Wednesday, March 5, 2008

further endeavors in potty training...

so layla has had some minor impovement since my last rant. she did finally poop that day, and in the potty, which is always ideal. yesterday she actually pooped twice, which is totally unheard of for her! she's been eating a lot of dried fruit lately. maybe in increase in frequency will help her get over her issues more quickly. that would be best for everyone involved.
layla's pottying issues, along with those of many other toddlers and preschoolers i've encountered over the years, have gotten me thinking about the whole potty training process in general. i have a tendency to think of things anthropologically, and when encountering a typical problem in the natural, universal flow of life, i begin to wonder how the rest of the world does it. i've always been one to question the status quo, especially when 'the way we've always done it' doesn't seem to be all that effective. or at least it's leaving something to be desired.
over a year ago, i stumbled upon a book called 'diaper free: the gentle wisdom of natural infant hygiene' while browsing in a bookstore. the sheer impossibility of the title's implication intrigued me (as things like that ususally do) so i picked it up and leafed through it, but didn't really gather too much info at the time. the idea of a diaper free baby really left me with only one thought; gross! but since then, the actual subject of the book, and several others like it, has floated across my plate several times. 'elimination communication' or EC is actually a fairly common practice in many cultures and it is growing in popularity in certain circles even here the 'we love everything disposable' usa. basically, the idea is not so much that you let your baby run around without a diaper and poop all over everything, but rather you get them used to using the toilet much sooner than is generally thought of as the right time to potty train, even from birth. true, some people take the extreme end of the spectrum and never put their babies in diapers, but there's room for much more flexibility than just that. it also involves learning to read your baby's signals that he wants to go.
so i got a book and started thinking about the possibility of not having to put micah through what is obviously very stressful for layla. i was very skeptical and didn't figure it would really work for us and thought that after 4 months, if micah was giving me any signals, i was sure not receptive to them. but i sheepishly decided to try one evening, to stick him on the potty and see what happened. ABOUT 2 SECONDS LATER, HE ACTUALLY PEED! i was astounded, but figured it was a fluke. so the next morning after he woke up and i was taking his diaper off of him anyway, i sat him on it again, and he peed! WOW! so i decided to read a little more of this crazy book and see what was really involved. i put him in a cloth diaper without the cover so i would be able to tell easily if he was wet or dry and a long sleeve t-shirt for convenience. later that morning, i was changing him after he had slept awhile and decided to see if we could make it 3 times. HE POOPED!!!! i #@!* you not! so i was getting more and more convinced that this might actually be a possibility. i read basically the rest of the book and figured it was pretty much common sense at the beginning and apparently a lot of EC'd babies are completely out of diapers by their first birthday (and able to get themselves to the potty on their own or at least able to tell you to take them there). so in the last 3 days, i've caught a lot of pees and 3 or 4 poops. he does have a few signals that i've been able to pick up on, but that part is still a little fuzzy for me.
i know you're all thinking, 'here's another one of rachel's crazy ideas!' maybe it is. maybe it isn't. so, no, i'm not exacly trying to potty train my 4 month old, i think that sounds kind of pretentious. i'm just trying to catch as many as i can and if we can get rid of diapers sooner rather than later, woo hoo! if not, i figure at least we can avoid the neuroses that so commonly accompany typical potty training. i'll keep you posted.

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