Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Potty Time

I promise I didn't mean to leave everyone hanging so long! It's been a busy month here at Chez Brown!

I left off my last entry with a teaser about elimination communication, so before I go further, I'll explore that a little bit. First off, yes, it sounds crazy. I am fully aware of this, and will admit I never expected to go down this route when we were planning out Tenley's infancy! That said, EC, as it is known, has a way of hooking you in!

EC is not potty training in the traditional sense. It's not based on rewards or punishments, rather it follows an infant's natural cues. Babies are born with the ability to hold their bladder for short periods of time. From an evolutionary perspective, babies know not to pee on their caregivers! It makes sense. The confusing part for them comes when we put them in diapers and don't give them an opportunity to do their business elsewhere. They give in, and start ignoring their body's natural signals, going in the diaper instead of holding their bladder until given an opportunity to potty. In history, this would be a bush, but we get a tad more refined around here!

With EC, parents and caregivers watch a baby's natural cues, and offer a chance to potty when appropriate. Since starting this with Tenley, it really shows you how much little ones try to communicate with you! I can't count the number of times I've been nursing her, or trying to play, while she fusses and squirms all over the place, only to have a lightbulb moment, take her to the potty, and have her smile and go pee.

It's nice to know that we can listen to her communication with us, especially with something that makes all of our lives easier! We are doing a very part time version of EC, so Tenley still wears diapers full time. We take her potty when she wakes up in the morning, after naps, and other times throughout the day when she's showing cues. She is also learning to associate the sign for toilet with using the potty, and off and on experiments with showing that to us!  The best part of EC'ing, hands down-- 95% of the time we "catch" (an EC term for the baby successfully using the potty) her first potty of the morning- saving me from a gross dirty diaper! Sitting her on the potty for a few minutes is definitely worth not having to change a dirty diaper 5 minutes after waking up!

And of course, she's so proud of herself!