Archive for February, 2010

I was very intrigued with the thought of being done with diapers early than the norm. I cannot stand to clean a poppy diaper. A close friend of mine had lent me a book on Infant Potty Training when I was pregnant with my first child. I read the book and thought, there is no way that I am going to do that because that just seems like to much work. So for the first 5 months of my son’s life, we did the normal diaper changes. But around 5 months of age, I started to see a pattern to my son’s pooping pattern. I would breastfeed him and he would always poop right after he was done feeding. Some one had given me a potty seat that fits on top of a regular toilet seat so I thought, what the heck, I will just give infant potty training a try.

Step One: Develop a signal word and show sign while child is peeing or pooping

I decided to just work on poop, since I hated changing poopy diapers the most. After my son would finish breastfeeding, I would say the word potty and sign potty in sign language as he was pooping. This way he started to associate these two cues (the word “potty” and the sign language for potty). I did this for about a month.

Step Two: Put your child on the potty when he starts to pee or poop (while using your cue word and sign language)

The day my son turned 6 months old, I decided I would finally give infant potty training a real try. After I was done breastfeeding my son, I took his diaper off, placed him on the potty seat, and said potty and signed potty at the same time. Apparently all my hard work for the past month had paid off because my son pooped and the potty! I could not believe it. From that point on, he has always pooped on the potty. He poops on the potty about 95% of the time. He still has an accident every now and again, but it mostly my fault for ignoring his need to go. I still take him to the potty after he eats. He does not always need to poop, but it has become a ritual we do. If my son does not need to go, he will say, “all done”, and at which point I know that it is time to take him off the potty.

Step Three: Your child communicates to you the need to use the bathroom through sign language or words.

The ultimate goal is that you child would tell you that he needs to use the bathroom without you having to take him to the bathroom at set times. Even though I have been signing potty to my son since he was 5 months old, he does not consistently tell me in sign language that he needs to go, which is why I still put him on the potty after each meal. He is now 17 months old, and he is telling me he needs to go more frequently, but not consistently.

What I wish I had done

What I wish I had done was also work on getting my son to pee in the potty early on. I decided to only tackle pooping in the potty. I have attempted to teach him to pee in the potty, but I believe that I missed that magical window where it is easier to train peeing in the potty. My son will pee on the potty about 50% of the time I put him on the potty, but I believe he does not have any control over his bladder muscle yet because I never helped him to develop it. He is also not aware that he is urinating half the time (at least that is what I think). I have decided to take pee training with “bottomless toilet training” or a “bare bottom week”. Essentially, during bare bottom week, you allow your child to run around without a diaper on. Every time he or she starts to pee, you whisk them to the toilet to finish peeing. You reward them for peeing on the potty with some kind of a prize (m&ms, candy, juice, etc.).  I plan on doing this once the weather warms up so my son will not be cold running around half in the nude.

My Closing Thoughts

I am so glad that I decided to poop train my son. I think it will make when I finally tackle pee training even easier. My hope is to have my son completely potty trained before my twins are born at the end of April. Let’s just hope the weather warms up in time for me to start my “bare bottom week.” If I am successful, my son will be 19 months old and completely potty trained. Let’s hope it works! I would be one happy mama to have my toddler out of diapers before I start diapering two newborns again!

Resource Links

Elimination Communication websties

Elimination Communication Books
The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative
Infant Potty Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living

Bare Bottom Potty Training websites

Read Full Post »

MAZDA PROTEGE5 (Similar to Mazda 3) 2003

I am expecting twins in April (only 2.5 months away). I currently drive a smaller car, Mazda Protege5 2003 (similar to Mazda 3), and we were hoping we could fit three carseats in a row in the backseat. It is do-able, but it is a TIGHT squeeze. My current car comes with two latch systems on the left and right outboard positions. In order to fit three carseasts across the backseat, I would have to use seat belt installation instead of latch instillation. Seat Belt installation can be just a safe and latch instillation if done correctly and checked my a carseat technician.

Here are the carseats that would fit in my Mazda Protege5:

Configuration #1:
Chicco Keyfit (seatbelt installed, behind driver seat)
Sunshine Kid Radian (seatbelt, rear facing, middle seat)
Chicco Keyfit30 (Seatbelt installed, behind passanger seat)
Advantages: I can still rear face my son who will be 18 months and around 29lbs and fit the two infant carseats in the car.
Disadvantages: It is difficult to lift my son into the middle seat.

Configuration #2:
3 Sunshine Kid Radian (Seatbelt, forward facing, all three seats)
Advantages: I can fit three convertible carseats in my car. The Sunshine kids Radiant carseat can hold up to 80 lbs, which will make these carseats last a long time!
Disadvantages: I cannot rearface at all if I have 3 Radiants side by side. They have to forward face. Legally, you can turn your child forward when he reaches 20lbs and 1 year, so this is not truly a problem. However, I want to rear face my children for as long as the carseat will allow (40lbs with the Radiant). Here is a link that discusses the advantages to rear facing your child: http://www.car-safety.org/rearface.html


We are also considering buying a new car. We are interested in buying the Honda Pilot (SUV). I think we are learning toward to Pilot for a few reasons:
1. Three rows of seats (Can seat up to 8 people)
2. Middle row has 3 seats of latches and tethers to install 3 carseats
3. The back row has 1 latch system, but 3 tethers (so you could secure one carseat with the latch system, or 3 carseats with the tethers)
4. This SUV is higher off the ground, which will hopefully prevent side impact collisions from crushing my children (verses my current car which is much lower the ground)
5. Even though we only have 3 children, we may decide to have more in the future and this car can grow with us.
6. This SUV also has plenty more room to store strollers, pack n plays, and traveling gear for road trips than my current car.

Here are the carseat configurations we can do in the Pilot

Configuration #1:
Chicco Keyfit (seatbelt installed, behind driver seat)
Sunshine Kid Radiant (seatbelt, rear facing, middle seat)
Chicco Keyfit30 (Seatbelt installed, behind passanger seat)
Advantages: I can still rear face my son who will be 18 months and around 29lbs and fit the two infant carseats in the car.
Disadvantages: Still a little difficult to reach to my on the middle seat, but easier than in my Mazda.

Configuration #2:
Marathon Britax  (latch, rear facing, behind drivers seat)
Sunshine Kid Radian (latch and tether, forward facing or rearfacing, middle seat)
Marathon Britax  (latch, rear facing, behind passanger seat)
Advantages: I can keep my two current convertible carseats which are the Marathon Britax instead of having to buy two new Radian carseats. There is plenty of room to fit all three with latch instillation and rear face them if I want to longer than they hit 2o lbs!
Disadvantages: Again, it is difficult to reach the middle seat, but if the middle seat is forward facing, my son can walk to his seat and I can lift him into the seat easier. I could even bulk him in from my front seat. This makes getting my son into the middle seat much easier!

Configuration #3:
Marathon Britax  (tether & latch, forward facing, behind drivers seat)
Sunshine Kid Radian (latch and tether, forward facing, middle seat)
Marathon Britax  (tether & latch, forward facing facing, behind passenger seat)
Advantages: I can keep my two current convertible carseats which are the Marathon Britax. There is plenty of room to forward face all three seats.
Disadvantages: I see none!

My advise if you need to fit three carseats across a row

1. Try out your carseats in your vechicle or vechile you want to buy. Try them in very configuration imaginable (forward facing, rear facing, latch installed, seat belt installed, tether installed, etc.)
2. Bring your children and try lifting them and bulking them into the seats to see how comfortable and easy it for you.
3. Have a trained car seat technician check the seats to make sure they are properly installed. You can go to this website to find a technician or call your local fire or police department. https://ssl13.cyzap.net/dzapps/dbzap.bin/apps/assess/webmembers/tool?pToolCode=TAB9&pCategory1=TAB9_CERTSEARCH&Webid=SAFEKIDSCERTSQL

Links to Carseats mentioned:

Marathon Britax– great safety ratings and can be used up to 65 lbs.
Sunshine Kids Radian– this is a very slim carseat that is great for smaller cars! Also can use seat up to 80 lbs.
Chicco Key Fit– can be used up to 22lbs.
Chicco Key Fit30 – can be used up to 3olbs.

Read Full Post »

Eating with a spoon requires fine motor skill development, as well as hand eye coordination.  My personal experience has been that my son was ready to try using a spoon around the age of 15 months old. Prior to 15 months, I worked on a lot of fine motor skills with him- such as holding a paint brush, writing with chalk, drawing with crayons, stacking rings, and putting buttons through a small hole. Many of these skills also require good hand eye coordination. Once I notice that he was able to many of these tasks with more ease, I began the process of introducing the spoon.

I should add, that I have allowed my son to play with a spoon during meal times since he was much younger- maybe around 9 months old. I would lay a plastic feeding spoon on his high chair and let him chew on it and play with it. I also made sure that I ate with a spoon in front of my son and occasionally showed him how to hold the spoon and bring it to his mouth. So by the time he was 15 months old, he understood the concept of what a spoon was and its function.

Start by giving your baby a small bowl/ cup of tick food. The thick consistence will keep the food from running of the spoon. Here are some good first foods to use to introduce self spoon-feeding:

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Mashed Butternut Squash
  • Yogurt mixed with baby cereal or baby oatmeal to make it thicker

The mechanics of self spoon feeding a kind of rough at first. You may find your little one just poking the spoon into the food and then bring it to his or her mouth. That is a good first step. You will have to show your child how to “dig” into the food and lift it up so that more food collects on the spoon. Model how this is done by guiding his or hand and allow your child to bring the spoon to their mouth. This is a hard skill to develop, so be patient. Self feeding with a spoon also takes a longer time to do, so if you are in a rush to go somewhere do not allow your child to self feed during that meal or you will never get out of the house on time. I usually save self spoon feeding for dinner since I usually am not heading out anywhere anytime soon, he will get a bath after dinner, and I don’t feel like I have to rush him.

Make sure you are prepare for there to be a mess. If the weather is warm, you can take you child’s shirt off. If you want to use a bib, make sure it is wide and covers a lot of surface area. I have found some really good toddler bibs at walmart that pull over the toddler’s head. They seem to help keep messes to a minimum (sort of, haha). Also I know that bumkin makes a bib that actually has long selves if you care to try that out too. I also keep a wet washcloth handy to wipe my son’s mouth, hands, and face when he is done eating. He is usually caked in food by the time he is done.

Read Full Post »