Those of you who know me won’t be surprised when I say I like to plan, know what’s coming, and the unknown is a bit unsettling. I like to know what’s going to and how it could happen. Most times I’m perfectly fine when things don’t go according to plan. It not that I want things to go precisely my way; I just take comfort in knowing I have a road guide.
With that said, I actually started thinking about MP’s potty training weeks after she was born. When she was between two and three months old, I came across something somewhere and was introduced to Elimination Communication (EC). Initially, I thought it was a crazy concept and way too out there for my somewhat crunchy leanings. However, I was fascinated by the idea. I borrowed books from the library and began lurking on some message boards where EC was discussed. Soon, it didn’t seem so out there and sort of made sense.
One day, I realized I frequently knew exactly when MP was going to have a bowel movement. It seemed silly to sit and wait for her to poop in her diaper and then clean up the mess. So soon, a potty chair found its way into our house.When MP gave her undeniable signals, I decided to see if I could make a ‘catch.’ If I was successful, clean up would likely be easier if I was able to have her go over a potty. If I wasn’t, no big deal.
It’s hard to describe what I felt when I was successful in identifying MP’s elimination needs. Most adjectives seem strange inappropriate in a way of too much parental involvement to use. Let’s just say that when I noticed and understood her cues, I felt an incredible rush and felt I was beginning to understand this little being.
So, starting at four months, I began regularly catching MP’s bowel movements. I only practiced at home and some days were better then others. I made sure that if I ever began to feel upset or stress over EC, an automatic break was instituted. I never was able to consistently catch pees, but bowel movements were caught about 50% of the time. Once MP started solids, her bowel patterns went haywire but I still had some modest success and saved a few diapers from having to be rinsed off.
When MP became mobile, EC took a backseat; a potty pause if you will. I just wasn’t committed to the energy necessary or willing to fight the occasional battle over sitting on the potty. She didn’t seem interested and I wasn’t going to push it. For goodness sakes, she was less than a year old!
Many will tell you EC is nothing more than parent training, and that may be the true. But, practicing EC allowed me to become more attuned to the various way my daughter communicated with me at that time. Plus, I also believe it also laid the foundation for the potty training that was to come.
Next up: Baby, Talk Potty to Me