Monday, February 6, 2012

Potty trained

In the interest of bringing some closure to the things I've written in the past on here, I'd like to summarize what happened with my son.
By the time he was 14 months he almost never pooped in his diaper - preferring to go in the potty and being able to wait until he was so able.
By the time he was 2 years and 3 months (27 months) he was wearing underwear during the day and going on the potty with some assistance (mainly with getting clothes on and off). He wore a diaper at night but one month later he was no longer wetting them at night and would instead wake up and yell for us to come help him.

For the details: When he was 13 months old I began a full-time language course and DS began to attend day care, which put our EC on hold, at least for part of the day. Try as I might, the day care folks weren't convinced he'd go 'potty,' plus they don't realistically have time to hold him over the toilet and say 'sssss' every two hours. (Actually, I just wanted them to substitute their passive diaper changing with active toilet time, but either way, it didn't fly.) DS was actually one of two kids in the class of 12 whose parents were doing EC, and they were equally frustrated with the challenges of day care. Long story short, we put full-time EC on hold and whenever DS was with us we'd hold him on the toilet. When I returned to being a full-time at-home mom, we picked back up with EC. This was November of 2010 and DS was 20 months.
At this point, I had DS in diapers, but had him sit on the Baby Bjorn potty whenever he woke up and a few times throughout the day. It wasn't foolproof, but I am certain that it helped him to learn when he had to go. The hardest part for us seemed to be getting him to tell us when he had to go. Until he was about 2 1/2, it was always me reminding him and taking him. Finally at around 30 months, we got to where he would say, "Quick, quick!" and run to the bathroom.  He's now almost 3 and can go into the bathroom and remove his pants by himself and go potty. He still needs a little help getting his pants back on, but as I understand it, that's normal for his age.

I hear about other people trying to potty train their kids and I am so glad I did EC. And keep in mind it was only EC in the most convenient and lazy possible way. I substituted diaper changes with potty visits. I was going to be in the bathroom taking off DS's pants and diaper anyway, why not let him try going in the toilet? I truly do not think I spent more time doing EC than most parents do 'teaching' their kids to ignore their body's signals about urination. We saved money on diapers and in the process taught our son how to be more independent. I had a great experience and have just recently started EC with my second son, who is three months old. More to follow!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Linger and Simmer

A friend once recommended that I speak more slowly - she said that one of Michael Jackson's mantras was to "let it simmer," that is, to take one's time. This is important when potty training your child. There have been numerous times that I've placed DS on the potty and when there were no results within a minute or so, I'd take him off and then he would pee or even worse, poo, on the floor. So it's good to use distractions to keep your child on the pot for a few minutes, e.g., read a book or give her a toy, so that she will linger a while and let nature take its course. Also, as a parent who is practicing EC, you should trust your instincts. If you think your child needs to eliminate, he probably does, so give him a chance to work it out. How long should you wait? At least three minutes, which is actually quite a long time to keep a child still. Many songs--albeit not kiddie ones unless you sing "Old McDonald" for a few rounds--are three to four minutes in length. So you could try singing or humming a tune. Like Michael Jackson's "Rock with You," which is 3 minutes and 39 seconds long.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cloth diapers

After a few days of getting peed on, I've gone back to using diapers and attempting to hold DS over the toilet often enough to maintain a claim on "potty training."  I've slowly converted to cloth diapers and now use cloth exclusively during the day, and disposables at night. I don't know if this is true of other cloth diaper users, but I found that I had to adjust all of the different types I've tried to fit my needs, and now I have a system that works pretty well. But I wonder if I am being too demanding in my attempt to find a diaper that is lightweight enough to feel like underwear but to hold a missed pee. Perhaps I should be looking at training pants instead. Until I do, here's the rundown of our current diapering system.

I have three different types of cloth diaper outers. One BumGenius, two Gro Baby and two gDiapers. I was given a bunch of infant size Crickett's Diapers by my lovely sister-in-law when DS was born. He is too big for them now, but I saw potential in the diaper doublers that came with the diapers. I found the fabric strips are just about the right absorbency for my one-missed-pee needs. I just needed a cover. So I bought the GroBaby diapers. I would put the Crickett's doubler in the GroBaby outer and it worked okay, but it was difficult to get the diaper on while keeping the doubler in place. So I ordered a trial kit of the gDiapers, thinking I could lay my extra doublers in the liner on the gPant. I just got the gDiapers a week ago, but it has been going pretty well. The only drawback to the gDiapers is that they aren't one-size like the GroBaby, so I'll have to order more once DS grows out of the medium, which he almost is already. (Darn babies, growing so fast!) So I use the BumGenius and GroBaby diapers for outings and when DS takes naps, and the gDiapers with thin liners for when he is awake and I'm trying to potty train. I use about four a day, depending on how attentive I am and if I hear him when he first wakes up (and catch him before he pees in the diaper).

All of this background to say: I need someone to offer a thin liner that allows parents to turn diaper outers into a training pant. I'd buy it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Going diaper-less

My son received some adorable little boy undies (boxer briefs?) for Christmas and the last two days I've experimented with having him go diaper-free. I haven't been brave enough to attempt letting him sleep without a diaper, but when DS is awake, I've been putting him into the underwear. This actually only amounts to about six or seven hours a day. So far we've had two accidents and three successful eliminations. The first day I found out something I'd long suspected, that DS likes to pee when he's sitting in his high chair. Actually, both accidents took place in the high chair. But I learned from that, and now when he gets the glazed over look and stops paying attention to the food, I know he's about to go and can whisk him to the nearest potty.  This is something I wouldn't have figured out if I hadn't attempted to go diaper free, so I feel like it's already paid off, especially because the cleanup from the accident was minimal. (There is very little carpet in my home.)

I recommend trying this out when you have a couple of days where you don't have to leave the house, I think it would be too stressful to try to watch for your baby's signals when you are out and can be distracted by any number of things. Actually, if you could turn off cable and the Internet, that would help too. Seriously, though. I found that being right with DS the whole time he's diaper-less made me less anxious because I was able to really look for his signs.

I also realized that I want to find a physical sign for him to use to tell me he has to go. Sometimes he pounds on my arm or chest repeatedly - it's a very specific tapping sort of thing - and I think that has to do with his potty needs, but be doesn't do it every time he needs to go, so I need to either encourage that more or start my own sign and start using it consistently. Any ideas?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Pee-Nightmare Connection

Since he was about six weeks old, DS used to start screaming as if in extreme pain in the middle of the night. He would cry, go red in the face and howl with his eyes closed. There was little I could do to soothe him though he would calm down after several minutes and drink a bottle of formula before falling back to sleep. After this continued intermittently over the months, I did a search on "baby nightmares" and found Dr. Greene's site about night terrors in which he explains the pithy terms "confusional arousals" and "nighttime dryness." Apparently these night terrors are brought on by the urge to urinate or the desire by the child to stay dry while sleeping. Once I learned this, I would put DS on the potty when he awoke crying (or screaming) and sure enough, he would pee, often having held quite a bit of liquid in his bladder. Now that he's older (11 months), however, he tends not to wake up in such an agitated state and often when he does wake up, his diaper is already wet and he just wants to be changed and fed. But it was interesting to learn about the link and that it could help some parents who are puzzled by sudden night terrors by their infants or toddlers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Getting Regular

As of late The Boy and I have developed a part-time EC pattern that seems to work for us. I don't know if I'm betting better at picking up his cues or if I'm just holding him over the toilet more frequently, but we've cut back on diapers and rarely have a #2 miss. It's been five months since I started the EC experiment and I'm quite happy with the results. I'm hoping that by the time he is a year old we will be completely free from daytime diapers.

Our successes to date are as follows:

  • The Boy will go in pretty much any toilet I hold him over - including in an airplane, which is quite loud and not just a little drafty.
  • He doesn't poop in a diaper when I'm around. By this I mean that as long as I'm near enough to hear him, he'll grunt and look at me before he'll actually go. Number 2 in a diaper is a last resort for him.
  • He doesn't pee when his diaper is off and he's not over a toilet. Meaning, I don't have to rush through diaper changes or into/out of baths for fear of getting peed on.
  • On average, I catch five pees a day, with between three to five misses. On days when I am using a cloth diaper I usually only miss one or two. I think this is because I pay more attention. I am seriously considering moving to underwear during the day.

A couple of things I've learned that help me:

  • Now that The Boy is standing, it's easier to use a pull-up style diaper instead of a tabbed one, which is a detriment to my use of cloth part of my motivation toward underwear. I most often use the Huggies Dry Pants, though I don't know what is available in other areas.
  • Because I started EC by holding him over the toilet after he ate, I've continued that pattern and he now waits to go because he knows he will have a chance in the near future.
  • Give yourself a break. Right now I don't do much EC if The Boy wakes at night. Sometimes he will look at the bathroom door, which has developed as an EC cue specific to his room. When he does that, I take him in, but if he seems too sleepy, I will just change his diaper and put him back down. For now, I'm happy with our daytime system.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Exclaim in fear

I missed a #2 today. Not to get too graphic, but the clean-up required a tub and a removable shower head. I don't know if #2 is always going to be this sticky, but if it is, I'm sure glad that DS usually waits to go in the toilet. If he were always going #2 in a diaper I'm sure I would dread each little grunt DS ever made. "Oh no! He might be pooping!" I'd exclaim in fear.

But instead I say, "Woo-ee. Sure glad I usually get you over a toilet before this stuff comes out."

Also, I am now almost certain that I don't actually see DS's cue for peeing, but that I instead just take him to the toilet often enough to catch a few pees. This is somewhat disconcerting, as I'd like to eventually get the 'communication' part of EC working. Right now I'm sort of doing elimination timing. I guess it gets DS used to going in the toilet, but it would probably be less work for both of us if I could figure out some way for him to tell me he's gotta go. Any suggestions?