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Elimination communication/early potty training...?

(92 Posts)
MoonFaceMama Sat 15-May-10 08:41:30

A thread on here reminded me about a documentary i'd seen about potty training tiny babies.

So i found this website... www.diaperfreebaby.org

Has any one tried this? Apparently it's common practice across most of the world. Esp where there's no/expensive disposables.

My ds1 is 13 wks so apparently a great time to start. So i guess i might as well give it a shot. He's in terrys anyway, when he's not kicking around naked. As i'm bfing i'm with him all the time. Plus it would be good to get some use out of the shower curtains i'm lumbered with after my home birth turned in to a hospital birth!

So the plan is this... When at home he can kick around on a shower curtain and old sheets/towels etc. Or he can wear a terry with no plastic pant. When i notice him wee i make the cue noise (i'm using a psh-psh-psh sort of thing). Also i note the circumstances of the wee and any signals he gives...I think this may be my failing!

Eventually i can anticipate his need to go and hold him over a potty (or something), make cue sound and by the magic power of association, he wees.

Or at least that's the theory...hmm

Apparently he can wear a nappy rest of time as usuall...part time is fine.

So i'm not saying it will work. I'm by no means an expert... I haven't even read all of the one website i've bothered to find. But it just looks so easy (too easy perhaps)! I figure it's worth a go.

So if anyone is already doing this please tell me about it! Has it worked? Is it nonsense? I'm happy to share my experiences if anyone i interested...

Here goes...wink

<is washed away in a tsunami of wee>

OP’s posts: |
debka Sat 15-May-10 11:48:45

yes you are mad and have too much time on your hands!
good luck though!

MoonFaceMama Sat 15-May-10 12:34:00

Probably both true! If it does work it will be easier now while on mat leave than in a couple of years time when i'll be working at least part time, may have another dc, and ds will have command of the word no!
Or i may just end up with a lot more laundry and a smelly house.grin

OP’s posts: |
Al1son Sat 15-May-10 13:42:49

I think the laundry and the smelly house is the most likely outcome but I don't see any harm as long as it is very easy going and your expectations are not too high.

Children do have a bit of a habit of learning things then choosing to stop them so you may end up potty training anyway.

I would suggest making sure the cue noise is one you will be happy to use in a public toilet when he's 2 otherwise you might be setting yourself up for a lot of embarrassment.

You may also find some negative attitudes from other mums who could see you as the ultimate pushy mother.

Al1son Sat 15-May-10 13:47:17

OH one more thing.

Being able to use predict when your child needs a wee is not the same as them being able to hold on when they're not near a potty/toilet and this control is crucial for a child to be reliably potty trained so it will probably only work at home.

Babieseverywhere Sat 15-May-10 13:58:02

Yes, it does work.

Yes, it requires a lot of time and patience.

Yes, most babies and young children do have the bladder control and this is can be seen both at home and out and about.

You do not end up with a wee filled house, as long as you back up with nappies and later on using training pants.

Pop your baby over potty/toilet/plastic bowl (kept for the purpose of catching wee) after he wakes up after a nap, after nursing and at 30 minute intervals in the middle.

ECing is not for perfectionists, you will have misses for months and that is normal. Over time you'll pick up your baby's wee behaviour and/or introduce a hand signal the baby can use to tell you when they want to go.

Babies often fart several times before a poo and usually end up clean (all poo in the potty) before dry (all wee in the potty)

Have a go and let us know how things go

MoonFaceMama Sat 15-May-10 16:48:51

Thanks Babieseverywhere, lots of useful stuff there!

Al1son, i can see what you mean. I am quite patient and laid back (dh sniggers) so approach it with a spirit of curiosity rather than a pushy agenda. Indeed one of the things that draws me to it is that by doing it this early i won't need to push him later, when it could become a battle, if that makes sense? If it doesn't work, or does but then stops working, well i'm in no worse position than i start. I certainly won't be pushing it to an age where memory of it might affect more conventional potty training.
Think that by age of two he shouldn't need cue sound any more..? [hopefull emoticon]

MIL's been round and i told her. She, understandably, think's i'm mad (though is too polite to say).
Ds is currently playing with his play gym atop a shower curtain and surrounded by terrys. At the mo i'm just watching and making the cue sound when appropriate. Think it'll take a bit more of that before i can even guess at his need to wee and greet it with a potty (note to self, buy a potty) so will be relying on my terry forcefield for now!

He did fart a lot earlier, and as babies suggests i thought he might poo. But nothing appeared. Not until about the time i was reading her post a few hours later! By this time if was nappy free again. Hurrah for shower curtain! I was so taken aback i forgot to make cue sound. Hey ho!

OP’s posts: |
CuppaTeaJanice Sat 15-May-10 17:47:40

My mum would love you. She's been yapping on about potty training since DS was virtually a newborn. At 2 years old, I still don't think he's ready.

Good luck! smile

CoupleofKooks Sat 15-May-10 17:57:22

we have done this p/t with ds2 and it has been a lovely experience, really rewarding and surprising
people mostly don't know what on earth it is about, and think it is bonkers, but as long as that doesn't bother you, then good luck and hope you enjoy it!

my ds2 is now 22 months and happily takes himself to the potty to wee when at home, and has weed on cue when out and about (with periods of co-operation and non co-operation!) since he was 8 months old
we use nappies as back up which has meant we are slower / lazier about it than others! but it has worked for us, and i would definitely do it again with any future children

there are a couple of useful yahoo forums on the subject - one UK one and one US one

PrettyCandles Sat 15-May-10 18:04:48

It just doesn't seem worth the effort. It's not as if you live in a hot country(or do you?)where few clothes are worn and hard floors are the norm, or where water and power shortage make laundry an issue.

Babies in washables tend to train earlier and more easily than those in disposables as the are more aware of wetness. Either way, if they are ready and you are consistent, training can take less than a week.

BertieBotts Sat 15-May-10 18:12:25

I was going to do this. I caught a few wees when DS was tiny. Unfortunately I didn't do too well with poos, because he was in so many layers of clothing that by the time I noticed he was going the thought of unpoppering everything and taking the nappy off was a bit of a bad idea! But I try to talk to him about it - so I always say "Oh, you're doing a poo" when I notice him going.

The other thing that made it not work for us was he has always screamed when held/sat on a potty, I have no idea why confused but since he clearly wasn't enjoying it I just stopped. He is 18 months now and I am just starting to think about getting him a seat for the big toilet, just in case he wants to use it.

I find that from reading about EC and the principles etc it has made me a lot more relaxed than most of my friends. I let DS wander round naked/nappyless a lot and don't worry too much if he does have an accident (though I only have carpet in one room) but I try and talk to him about what is happening. So he knows the word "wee" but I don't think that he does connect it with weeing all the time, as he usually seems surprised! Though my mum did say "Whee" the other day and he looked down between his legs and said "Oh no!" grin

I didn't really tell anyone in RL that I was doing it though because as someone else said you can be seen as pushy which I felt missed the point! Have you seen the ECUK yahoo group? I found it fantastic - there are various "potty meets" around the country too so you should be able to find one on there.

CoupleofKooks Sat 15-May-10 18:23:06

"It just doesn't seem worth the effort"

it really is! i don't know anyone who has tried it and not found it worth the effort

tbh scraping poo off a bottom takes a LOT more time and effort than helping your baby do one in a potty / toilet
(believe me i know, as we have had very little luck with EC as far as poo is concerned, so i have PLENTY of experience of shitty nappies - it's less work to EC, i promise you)

BertieBotts Sat 15-May-10 18:25:35

I think it's just a personal preference thing though isn't it? E.g. when people say they'd rather bottlefeed so another person can share feeding responsibility. For me the faff of making up bottles, cleaning, sterilising etc would no way be worth it. But for another person it would.

MoonFaceMama Sat 15-May-10 18:50:26

Thanks for your thoughts everybody.

bertie i'm glad you feel it's missing the point to see it as pushy, me too.

I'll defo check out the yahoo group too.
Is it essential/desirable/advisable to use a different cue for poo? Hadn't thought of it...any advice welcome!

I'm not precious so wet and pooey days won't bother me. It all washes!

Pettycandles no i don't live in a hot country. Peoples republic of yorkshire in fact. Not famed for it's climate. I guess we all have a different notion of effort. No doubt there are things that you'd take in your stride that i'm too lazy for (believe me this is undoubtably true). This just doesn't seem much effort to me. I may feel differently in a week..

Couple think i may have similar attitude towards this as you do!

Cuppa Maybe she has some experience of it? Apparently used to be common practice. In fact this has all come about cause i saw a thread mention early potty training during the war...

OP’s posts: |
MoonFaceMama Sun 16-May-10 06:44:02

Ok. So last night ds slept through for the first time!

I put a nappy on as he fell asleep. And when my huge aching boobs woke me this morning i fed him. And through all this... The nappy was dry. shock

I have no doubt this is very lucky but i had noticed he never wees while asleep or feeding. He always has to stop what he's doing and indeed waits till the end (rather than weeing then carrying on feeding or going back to sleep). Or at kept he does so far-which is no time at all yet.

Now to me this does seem to suggest that there is, at least, a degree of awareness involved on his part. Now i imagine this won't come as a suprise to some of you, but it did to me and makes me think this may just be possible. Apologies to those who have done it, i don't mean to sound cynical but it does fly in the face of current convention. And i'd rather not make any assumptions that will see me fall on my face!

grin

OP’s posts: |
Babieseverywhere Sun 16-May-10 09:22:54

It is common for babies not to wee whilst asleep. That's why I suggested starting trying to catch wee's after naps, pretty much guaranteed that they will have a full bladder and more likely to result in a successful catch.

Sounds like things are going well

Al1son Sun 16-May-10 10:37:35

Good luck.

Keep us posted. It would be nice to hear how you get on.

Have just realised that as a childminder it's not impossible that I may be asked to care for a baby who's been taught this. That could be interesting!

MoonFaceMama Sun 16-May-10 10:56:53

Thank you. Will keep you informed!

Does anyone have any suggested cues and /or hand actions... And should i use a seperate one for poo?

OP’s posts: |
pigletmania Sun 16-May-10 15:44:08

I heard that EC is more about catching wees/poos than the baby/toddler learning to recognise the bodily signs that they need to go and acting on them, that is toilet training. It is about 18 months that the toddlers body is physically and psychologically ready to control their bladdar and recognise physiological signs. Mabey those children who have been ECeed are more in tune to their bodies and are ready earlier than those who have not been.

CoupleofKooks Sun 16-May-10 19:15:11

i can only speak from experience but from 8 months when we started EC, ds was able to wee whenever he wanted, when we made the cue noise, so i know he definitely had the control and the understanding

moonface we used pssssssss for weeing, it seemed quite appropriate and effective!

i agree best time to start catching is after a sleep - you'll be amazed how much can be in their bladder in the morning if they wake up with a dry nappy, or even after a daytime nap

Reallytired Sun 16-May-10 19:24:13

For EC to work you need the same full time carer for at least the first two or three years. I found that EC fell apart when my daughter started nursery.

" heard that EC is more about catching wees/poos than the baby/toddler learning to recognise the bodily signs that they need to go and acting on them"

Probably true, but its an alternative to nappies. Some people would argue its more hygenic than having a baby sitting in sewerage.

Also the baby is not conditioned to pooing/ weeing in their clothes.

pigletmania Sun 16-May-10 21:11:20

each to their own. This bit of info i heard from a paedritrician (sp). Dont know how it would be practical if you were on public transport or in a shopping centre. I can see why it is used in poorer countries where disposables are expensive. I am a bit lazy and would find it hard constantly watching my baby for signs of weeing or pooing.

MoonFaceMama Sun 16-May-10 21:57:34

I had heard (but can't for the life of of remember where) a theory that we are born able to control our bodily functions, but forget while we are wearing nappies as we've no need of it.

If this were true could it be that 18m is the point at which it is possible to relearn?

Pure speculation on my part... Any comment anyone?

OP’s posts: |
CoupleofKooks Sun 16-May-10 22:32:51

when out and about, it's definitely more convenient sometimes, and almost always more socially acceptable to let them wee in a nappy than to help them find another suitable place to put it hmm

moonface i think you are barking up the right tree there

Nettiespagetti Sun 16-May-10 22:50:54

Moonface I think you are barking grin go girl!!

I'm so unlaid back I can't stand the thought of nekkid bums and empty pottys, wet floors.

Good luck though smile

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