When Gabe was 3 months old I wrote about how we were practicing elimination communication with him to get him used to being on the potty from infancy! If you want more information about elimination communication, like what it is, the benefits of it, and how to get started, check out my original post! I get a lot of comments asking me if we’re still doing it and wanting an update on how its going so here we go! I apologize for taking forever to write this. This is just a brief update to let y’all know how its going!
I haven’t felt like writing an update really because I feel like there isn’t a whole lot more to share, to be honest. Haha
I also want to be tactful about how I talk about this because I don’t want to give TMI that would be embarrassing for Gabe in the future, so don’t expect me to go into great deal about his potty habits. Haha
But YES we are still practicing elimination communication in our own way that isn’t 100% by the book, but it works for now and I truly LOVE “EC” and cannot imagine handling pottying any other way! There are some very devoted and dedicated EC moms who are very motivated from the beginning to catch all their child’s pees and poops, as well as doing lots of diaper free time and that’s not me. That overwhelmed me so I figured it would be better to just do a more relaxed approach than to not do it at all. Maybe with our next kid I will be more proactive and try to do better with that stuff, but I’m still very pleased with how things are going with our more relaxed version of EC.
There are other bloggers and EC educators out there that can offer much better advice on this stuff! www.godiaperfree.com is a great one!! I don’t want to pretend like I’m any sort of authority on this topic, because I’m not! I just wanted to share our personal experience and how we are doing it for all those who are interested. Since Gabe was 3 weeks old I’ve been placing him on the potty at every single diaper change, and anytime he needs to go #2.
I’m not in a hurry to get him to only pee in the potty right now. As long as he’s used to peeing on the potty a few times throughout the day, that’s great to me. My biggest thing is catching #2’s. Haha…For obvious reasons. We do cloth diapers and cleaning that off cloth isn’t too fun. Even in disposables, it’s not fun. Luckily we don’t have many “misses” so I don’t have to deal with that too often. When he started eating solid food more regularly things changed and we had a slight regression with more misses, but we are back on track now!
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When Gabe started walking, I made another change which seems to be helping and making him more excited about the potty, and that is using a potty seat on the regular toilet! Prior to this we used the insert from a potty chair and I would hold it between my legs and sit on the floor with it. See my previous post for more details. This was optimal for holding him on the potty when he was smaller, but he’s ready for the big toilet now so we are loving our potty seat! I also love that I don’t have to empty and clean out the potty insert every time. Haha! It has handles so he can hold on to it if he wants and it gives me something to grab when I’m putting the potty seat on and off so I don’t have to actually touch the seat. It also stands up tall on its own so it doesn’t take up much space in the bathroom. It was only $9.99 on Amazon! Definitely recommend it!
The average potty training age in the US is 3 which is so much later than the rest of the world ( on average ) and I feel like he will be ready for total potty training way before that since he’s already going on the potty so often at a year old!
One other thing I started doing was around 7 months or so I started signing with Gabe when using he potty. I just looked up a couple signs on YouTube and have been trying to implement them with Gabe. We do the sign for “potty” and the sign for “poop.” Although he doesn’t sign when he needs to go yet, he has shown that he understands what these signs mean when I do them. So the next step as he gets older will be for him to start using the signs himself to tell me when he needs to go. I’m extremely pleased with how elimination communication is going!! It is really not much, if any, extra work. Especially when I save myself from having to clean so many poop diapers! 😉
The other day when I was helping Gabe on the potty, my husband Ryan said something along the lines of “I can’t imagine not knowing about this!” We were both just like, this seems so normal and natural to us and to Gabe to go to the bathroom on the potty. Nether of us can imagine just letting him soil himself knowingly. Accidents are one thing, but when babies get older, you can obviously tell when they need to go #2 so we just help out by getting him to the potty when he has to go. Babies are born ready and born with the instinct to not want to “soil the nest” which is why so many “accidents” happen when you remove their diaper. The cultural norm here is just to watch as they soil themselves and then go clean it up afterwards, which can be a pain and also a huge mess. We are both so glad that I came across elimination communication and decided to try it out. It really does make so much sense when you’re doing it! It’s all we know since we started right from the beginning and we wouldn’t change a thing! We will definitely be using these techniques for all future kids and I’m sure I will learn even more tips and tricks and be even more proactive with it when the next kid comes along. I hope this little update helps and encourages you if you’re wanting to try elimination communication with your babies!