Sunday, April 15, 2012

Potty Time

Back when I was first reading about natural birth, natural parenting, baby-led parenting, attachment parenting, etc., I inevitably ran across the subject of elimination communication (EC).  I was like, "What?  Put a newborn on the toilet?  That sounds like so much WORK." And I summarily put it out of my head.

But.... the subject sort of crept back up on me.  A friend on a message board with a son about 3 weeks older than Andrew started sitting him on the potty a few times a day at around 10 months old.  Not to really potty "train," per se, but more to familiarize and normalize the activity.  "This is where we go pee and poo, and it feels better to sit here than wear it in a diaper."  Trying to hold a newborn over a toilet still sounds stressful to me, but an older infant who can sit up by himself?  That sounds like it's worth trying.  Not to mention, if it leads to even slightly earlier potty training eventually, or even just less diapers, with soon-to-be two way way under two, how can I argue?

So we picked up copies of "Diaper Free Before 3" and "Diaper Free Baby" from the library, picked up a couple of Baby Bjorn potties, and tried sitting him on it fairly (but not terribly) consistently when he wakes in the morning, after nap, and when he goes to bed.  Within a week he had peed on the potty for the first time, and boy was that exciting!  It was after nap (which to this day, which is when we usually catch it).  He was 10.5 months old.  And he's been going every once in a while after his naps for the past month now.

And for the past month, whenever I hear so much as a fart, I have been running to put him on the potty, in hopes of demonstrating to him how much pleasanter it is to poop there instead of in one's pants.  But no luck so far.  I've thought that first thing in the morning would be a good time to catch him, because that's his one really regular time.

Well,. daddy had the honors this morning.  He heard the farts during the first morning diaper change and decided to give the potty a shot.  And voila!  Success!  I am sparing you and the internet the picture. (Oh yes, there is one.  We are very proud.)

I'm so pleased with how this is going.  It's easy and low-key.  There are no accidents or huge messes, because we just aren't pushing very hard.  It's just introducing him to the idea, and again... if he gets the hang of it sometime between now and two years old, so much the better!


  1. This is something I've been thinking about lately as my daughter is 13.5 months old. But isn't it annoying to take the diaper off, put him on the toilet and then put the diaper back on again. I think it would be annoying since my daughter is in prefolds. But, I suppose I'll have to bite the bullet and start trying it if she's ever going to be potty trained.

    1. Honestly, yes, it's annoying. Which is why we won't be full-time ECers... I just couldn't handle that constant vigilance. My only goal here is to provide an introduction to the potty, so there's a natural progression into potty training as soon as he's ready. And hey, maybe he'll realize he's ready sooner than later because he has some familiarity with it. If not, well, it saved us spraying two poopy diapers (we use BumGenius). I'd start with times when you are going to change her to a fresh diaper anyway (on wakeup, after nap, before bed). That's mostly what we do.

    2. Oh, that's a good idea--putting her on the potty when I'm going to change her anyway. I know, I must sound like the laziest mom ever. I do want to get a little potty seat thing (whatever you call them) for her just to start sitting her on it and get her comofortable with the toilet and not scared of it. Personally, I think toilets are a wonderful invention but kind of scary. Especially when you're 13 months old and your entire body can fit inside it :-) ~Heather

    3. You know, Travis and I joke all the time about how our parenting philosophy is "laziness." Most of what we have chosen (breastfeeding, baby-led weaning, co-sleeping) seem like the easiest solution for us to implement. They also probably have benefits for Andrew, but they are just easy! No shame in that. :)