Way too much news! Let’s start with Infants on the Potty

My poor blog, once the baby decides to nap without me and longer than 20 minutes, I’ll be able to share our family’s adventures. For now, stay posted to our pictures here and facebook if you got it. But for now, I will share the most exciting news that may be unbelievable to some, a miracle to others, and just plain human nature to others.

From 11 – Geneveve 3 months

My baby uses the potty!

I’ve been interested in this since before we had her and Matt supported the idea when we talked about how many diapers a day a baby goes through (about 10-12 for newborns…that’s over 100 a month!) Luckily for the environment and our baby’s bottom we use cloth and it is not much more work than disposables but that’s a completely different post. I started offering Geneveve the potty when she was about 9 weeks old, when I started to feel human and we were on our own during the day so I could pay close attention to her signs. She tends to pee upon waking and before nursing. So at first I only caught the waking pees but then she started doing a little different sort of fussy dance or sounds when in the Moby to let us know. At 3.5 months we’ve started offering her the sign for toilet (I know it’s early, signing “should” start at 6 months, but why not?)

We’re not the only ones out there, either. It’s called Elimination Communication by many, but it bases the idea that babies are born with body awareness and not wanting to soil themselves. A lot of cultures around the world practice this and it’s not a phenomenon there. When we were in China, all kids had split pants and no diapers, even in winter. If a toddler had to pee they just squatted wherever they were and did it. It helps to have dirt floors and live in the country where I observed it. But you don’t have to have dirt floors. I feel like my communication skills with Genveveve are only getting better. Now she wakes up between 7 and 8am most days with a fart that precedes a poop but some days she just smacks me with her arm and looks at me with her big eyes that are like “Bladder full. Potty now.” And she holds it until I get the potty ready and her in position.

It only took her a few days to get the concept and she started giving me a sign or fuss and most times would hold it until we got to the potty. I make a psst sound and sing her the same song and after a month, she’s now smiling and singing along with me in her babbling way. It’s Very cute (and we use less diapers and she’s spending little to no time in a dirty diaper which leads to a happier baby). When we first started I’d get about 3-5 pees a day but after a week it was more like 7-10. I think now she’s holding her bladder more and there’s more in the potty than before. It’s very impressive and fun and do-able! I know there are EC support groups and websites and books out there, like Diaper-Free Baby and Diaper Free. I just read a little online and talked to some people and have been winging it.

Luckily, Geneveve is pretty good natured and usually only fusses for a reason. Being able to offer her the potty reduces frustration on everyone’s part and since we have a cue sound and song, she has now peed in the woods! and in public bathrooms (I hold her over the toilet) which is helping with her ability to pee immediately upon being buckled in the carseat. Now we can offer her the potty before going in the car. All in all, it’s win-win. I don’t expect to get her on the potty every time at this point but I still think it’s pretty amazing that she’s not even 4 months and most of the time she’s using the potty. We bought a Baby Bjorn potty second hand at a consignment store and have it in the living room. Sometimes she’ll just look in that direction and I’ll know she wants to sit on it. Plus, it’s a high vantage point for watching the dog and we get to sing together.