Posts Tagged ‘potty training’

I am not sure if this is really a good “term” for what I am about to describe, but I thought the title fit. A “dream feed”, is when you go into an infants room between 10-11pm and try to feed them without waking them. The idea is that if you are able to “Tank them up” with food they will sleep longer. A “dream pee” is when you go into your toddler’s room, and wake them to go to the bathroom before you go to sleep (usually between 10-11pm) and then put them right back to sleep. The hope is that since they just peed, they will remain dry until morning or not wake in the middle of the night (and wake you) to pee.

We have been doing a “dream pee” with Cooper for a while now. He is now 3 years old. He was fully day time potty trained at 22 months, but has never really got the hang of nighttime potty training. He wakes up dry only 50% of the time if we do not do a “dream pee” with Cooper. He also wakes up in the middle of the night, say at like 2 or 3am and will call out to us to take him to the potty. Call me selfish, but I don’t really want to take him to the potty in the middle of the night. I have a hard time falling back to sleep after I get up with him and take him potty. Cooper is still afraid to go to the potty alone in the middle of the night so one of us needs to take him if he wakes and needs to go. Cooper has also not really mastered clothing management (putting his clothes back on himself sufficiently). The “dream pee” prevents middle of the night wakings and I get to sleep a longer more interrupted night of sleep, plus the added benefit of him waking up dry. I am not sure how long we plan to do a dream pee, but for now, until he is able to use the bathroom on his own and control his bladder all night long, we will continue using this technique!

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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

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My family just moved from Maryland to Texas. My son is now 9 months-old and we decide to make this move totally on our own. What I mean by that is, we packed the boxes, hulled it all into a truck (you pack, they pick it up), and drove across country, unpacked the truck ourselves, and painted our bedrooms in the new house. It was a huge under taking, but we had to move on a budget and this was the most affordable way for us to move.
Here are some suggestions on how to make a large scale move more manageable with a baby:

Pre-Move/ Packing Suggestions

1. Ask for help– get some friends and family to take your baby/ child to their house or play with them at your house so you can pack. This was about the only way I could get anything done!

2. Work around napping schedules- try to be as productive as you can while your baby is napping

3. Starting packing in advance– we started packing a month before we moved. As you know getting anything done fast with a small baby is near impossible. The sooner you start getting things in boxes, the less stressed you will be as time leads up to the big move day.

4. DVDs/ TV/ New Toys- I am not advocating sticking your kids in front of the TV non-stop, but the TV can help especially when you are in a bind for time. My son loves Baby Einstein DVDs and they kept him occupied while he was awake and I needed to by packing and boxing. I also borrowed some toys from friends that were new and that kept him interested for a while. The key is finding things that are noval and distracting so you can get things done.

5. Try to pack your baby’s room last- Keep pictures on the wall, things on the selves, and curtains up for as long as possible. Babies tend to sleep better and be less anxious when their sleeping environment is familiar and unchanged. We did not pack my son’s pictures, curtains, and room decorations until the day before the move. We did not take his crib down until the morning of the move. This really helped him to have less anxiety leading up to the move, as well as helped him to sleep better.

Traveling with Baby (in car/ plane)

6. Buy some new toys- get some new toys. They don’t have to be expensive. You can get some toys at consignment shops and garage sales for cheep. The novelty of new toys will keep you baby content and happy for a little while.

7. Keep snacks and drinks on hand- we had some Gerber rice cereal bites, Cheerios, and my pumped milk on hand. That way you don’t have to stop the car to give him some food to hold him over until you are at a good stopping point. I have an electric breast pump and I used that to express some milk to give to him in a bottle if he got fussy if we were not a good stopping point while we were driving. If you are flying, you are allowed to bring breast milk and formula through security in a bottle.

8. Portable DVD player/ DVDs- What would I have done without this? My husband got a portable DVD player as a gift right before we moved. My son loved watching his Baby Einstein DVDs while we were driving down the highway. When my son was in melt down mode, all we had to do was turn on the DVD player and he would instantly quiet. I will never go on a long drive without a portable DVD player again!

9. Head Rest/ Sun shades/ blankets- Buy an infant head rest and make sure you put up blankets and sun shades to help keep you child comfy for car naps and cool. We hung blankets from the windows to help darken his spot in the car, which helped him to nap a little better in the car.

10. Training Toilet- If you are at the stage when you are potty training your child, make sure you bring a training toilet along. You can just pull over anywhere and allow your son or daughter to go to the bathroom without having to hassle with finding a bathroom or the cleanliness of public restrooms.

11. Drive during naps and at night as much as you can- The easiest time to drive is while your child is sleeping. If you can time travel¬† during your child’s naps and nighttime sleep, it will be much easier to get where you’re going. We did a bulk of the drive from about 7pm until 1am for 2 days. That was 12 hours of driving while my son slept.


12. Don’t wash your child’s crib sheet- A friend gave me this piece of advise and it works. The scent on the crib sheet is familiar to them and when you get to their new room or they are sleeping in a pack ‘n play, put the unwashed crib sheet on. This should give them a familiar sent and help them to sleep better.

13. Give them familiar objects/ things- My son sleeps with a stuffed monkey and a sound machine on. So we made sure these things were not packed in boxes. We put them in the car so we could have them immediately when we got there. It helped him to have the familiar sounds and smells of home just like the crib sheet.

14. Paint the nursery the same color and use the old furniture- now would not be a good time to change your nursery theme, furniture, or color of the walls. We painted my son’s room exactly the same and hung the pictures that were hanging in his room like they were at our old house. This made the transition into his new room a lot smoother than I thought it would be.

15. Give them lots of cuddle time before bed and while they are awake- If you spend a lot of time with them reassuring them that you are not leaving than the transition to the new home will be easier. My son need more cuddle time and a little long before bedtime activities in order to go to sleep and go down for naps. I was happy to give him the extra time if that was what it would take to get him settled. The days that I tried to rush pre-sleep activities were the days he slept the worst. So give them the extra reassurance and TLC they need!

16. Play in their new room- Take time to do some play time activities in their new room even if you don’t usually play in your child’s bedroom. This will help them to get comfortable with where they will sleep and be less strange to them.

17. Don’t rush un-packing- Make sure to ease into your new home and give your litle one lots of attention. You can unpack slowly during his naps and nighttime sleep. While he is awake, make sure you give him the extra attention he needs.

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