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!
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
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