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Toileting the Baby

So, I’d heard about “Elimination Communication“, but I thought it sounded like too much work. My idea of it was people not using nappys at all. Apparently this is possible. However, the thought of trying to get the energy to deal with all that and a newborn… *shudder*. However, when Sweets was 6 months old, eating solids 2 to 3 times a day meant that her bowel movements (there is no real way to be delicate) had changed from weekly to sometimes daily… and one day I saw the unmistakable “poo face” and realised she was in a nappy with no liner. I had three choices:
1) leave it and clean that nappy later
2) try to quickly swap her nappy for one with a liner in
3) put her on the toilet

I chose lucky number 3 (huh, should have made that the second option…) and she’s been going on the toilet since.

This does not mean she doesn’t use nappys. She wears them almost 24/7. It’s just that she wees several times a day on the loo and almost always poos there. It’s pretty neat actually and I’m quite impressed with her (never mind that thousands or millions of babies do the same or better, I’m pleased with her spoon use and her crawling too). It turned out that even though I didn’t “want” to do EC, we actually kind of were.

As a newborn, Sweets, like many babies, would wee when her nappy was changed and if my Mum was there she would do a cue noise a “Shh, shh, shh” (different from a shushing to sleep noise). Also, when Sweets was doing her weekly poo, she always pulled a face and we would put her in a squat position (to help her out, I mean once a week!) and pull the face back to her to encourage her (much to the amusement of any other friends or relatives around). Mum didn’t consider this toilet training or really think about it at all, but this was building associations for Sweets so that when we did put her on the loo, we were able to cue her.

I have ulterior motives for toileting her too. We do cloth nappies, prefolds with covers (for those up with the slang) and Sweets would never sleep with a wet nappy, so I was changing her frequently and knew her routines. If I suspected she was wet, I couldn’t bring myself to leave her like that either, so I was changing her regularly 10-12 times a day… and our dryer doesn’t work. So daily laundry it is, if only to make sure there is space on the line for the next days amount. When I started toileting her, it wasn’t so much about reducing nappies as getting her used to the fact that dry is normal and the toilet is the place to go, plus me getting more in sync with her.

At about 7 months of age a “good” nappy day was 6-7 nappies in a 24 hour period, a “bad” day was 10-12. Now at just 9 months, a “good” day is 4 or less and a “bad” day is 6-8. She has even had a few stretches of 20+ hours without a nappy change!

It’s not a quick process and it wouldn’t be possible except that I do spend so much time with her. I just think it’s kind of neat that it is possible and that we are that in tune with each other. It’s funny, because when I talk about it with people of my generation, they often are weirded out by it, but when I talk to people of my Mum’s or older generations, they think it very normal. Funny how things change, huh?

Point of Fashion: Jeans not trackpants?
Current Obsession: Mascarpone!

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Sass | September 30 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Whenever I talk about my friends who have had babies with other people, I often quip up “It seems that it’s all about the pooh”. Not having a problem with talking about bodily functions personally, I don’t mind hearing about them:) Plus it’s kinda cool to hear about the daily baby stuff:)

  2. Karen | September 30 2010 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Yay for you and Sweets… I think it is neat if it works for you two… J still wets ON and I have kept T in a nighttime pullup til now in solidarity, but am now surreptitiously letting him leave it off… Poor J is not happy when he notices, but even with the pullup he makes quite a puddle!

  3. Giffy | September 30 2010 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Sass: There is lots of other stuff I could and should blog about with Sweets, but I really feel I should document this as it is not the norm in NZ. When are you going to visit so you can see her crawling and have her try and charm you?

    Karen: It is neat that it works, although in some ways I wish she wasn’t sooo fussy about having a wet nappy as I’m pretty sure it’s one of the reasons why she wakes in the night. Yay for T and J. It is tough when younger sibs “get” things faster than oneself.

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