Monday, March 5, 2012

Elimination Communication update (20 months old)

Hartly a couple weeks old
Background:  When Hartly was just a few weeks old, Frank said to me that he wanted to put Hart on the potty. I laughed and rolled my eyes.  Frank brought this subject up many times.  He argued that in other countries they do not use disposable diapers and that children are in underwear much earlier...  I was a new mom and had a lot going on.  I told Frank that I would as long as - 1.) Frank did all the research, 2.) He had to tell me exactly what to do AND, most importantly, 3.) As long as it didn't stress out the baby and it doesn't stress out me. For more details, refer to my February 9th, 2011 post. For Update, keep reading...

Hartly, 20 months, planting seeds
Naked in the Ocean!
Update:  Hartly is now 20 months old.  He is walking and running and climbing.  He talks a ton, is learning to dress and undress himself.  He loves airplanes, swimming and hanging.  He helps around the house and is learning to feed himself independently.  And Hartly pees and poos in a potty.  

Is he completely Diaper-Free?  No.  

Does he understand when he needs to go to the bathroom? Absolutely.  

Does he always make it on time?  Does he always tell me when he has to go?  No.  

Does he often not want to stop playing to use the bathroom? Does traveling make it harder?  Is it sometimes confusing (I can pee in the shower and in the ocean but not in the pool or on the floor?)? Yes.

Hartly hanging
Hartly in undies in our tent with ballpit balls
For the past couple of weeks Hart has been interested in wearing underwear exclusively.  He wants to wear it all the time.  If he wants to wear underwear and we are at home, I let him wear underwear. I have explained that he can't pee when the underwear is on or else it will mess all over him.  He nods and looks at me and says, "hooollldddd it".  Yes, I say.  When you wear underwear, you have to hold your pee until you can get to a potty.  "Ohhh Kay" he says.  And, for the most part, he does.  

Whenever I have to use the bathroom I tell him he needs to try too, so I am reminding him.  And he, occasionally, tells me, "potty" too when he has to go.  But more often than not he tells me he has to go by saying, "Hhhooollllddd it!" and that means he has to go but is holding it. I then ask if he needs the potty and he says, " Yes" and proceeds to tell me if he wants the big potty or little potty.

But, as I mentioned, he is not completely Diaper-Free.  And he has had "accidents".  

I have been feeling slightly guilty because, when we are out and about, I put him in a diaper.  He will sometimes tell me when we are out, "pee pee" and if it is not convenient or easy to find or we are in the car or I am in a rush... I say, "It's okay.  Just go in your diaper." UGH! Bad Mommy!  

And there have been 3 times over the past 5 days that he has been playing all day, dry, in his underwear when, toward evening, he stood right next to me and said, "peeing" and he was right. He was standing there looking down and peeing...

We brought our own potty to PR
And it can be frustrating that he is not completely Diaper-Free because I know he understands... but.... I have to remind myself about the goal of EC.  

The goal is: 

1.) for the baby to have body awareness from an early age - Hart has been pooing on a potty since he was 4 months old!  We have changed VERY few poopy diapers since birth.  Only if he is teething, sick or if he goes during nap or sleeptime has he had BMs in his diaper and not on the potty.  Hart, for many, many months has told us, when he is in a diaper, "peeing".  Even when we travel he uses the potty! 
In Spain Hart used adult toilets

He has signed for the potty since he was under a year.  He definitely has body awareness!  

2.) for the baby to be healthy and clean - Hartly has never had a diaper rash.  Never. 

3.) To use less diapers and be better to our environment - We do GDiapers AND disposable.  And, on average, Hartly only uses 2-3 diapers per day (including nap and bedtime). So, we have, at least a little, lessened our carbon print on the world. AND he is still just a baby!

Painting in his Baby Gs
A few people have asked me what my reaction is when he has "misses" or "accidents".  My reaction is very matter-of-fact.  I do not get upset at him!  I simply comment on what has occurred.  If he is underwear and has made a little mess I say, "You went pee-pee on yourself.  Oh no.  Now we have to clean up.  Next time tell Mama if you need the bathroom or go get a potty." Then he has to take his wet underwear off and we put it in the sink and we wash it together.  He also gets wiped down and then he takes towels and goes and cleans where he left a puddle.  It is not a punishment. I always help him. It is just a consequence.  When Hart has an accident at the table and spills his water, he cleans it up.  He doesn't get in trouble or yelled at but he knows that if he makes a mess, he has to clean it up.  When he dumps out his toys, he cleans them up when he is done playing with them.  He is used to cleaning up after himself and he often sings to himself, "Clean up. Clean up." while he does it.  If Hart goes in his diaper, I just mention it when taking it off for him to use bathroom, "Oh look.  Hartly went pee pee in his diaper.  Next time, try and hold it and tell Mommy if you need the potty".

Hartly helping keep hotel room tidy

For anyone who thinks all of this is pushing a child or asking too much, I might have thought the same thing in the past. But Hartly, actually, really likes being independent.  Even when he was very little, he enjoyed sitting on the little potty (and it really helped strengthen his core and helped him with his balance).  He feels pride when he uses the bathroom and he enjoys the one-to-one time he gets with me or with his dad when he is sitting on the potty.  He enjoys learning how to do things.  Kids are capable of so much!  It's nice to give them opportunities to display their knowledge and enjoy doing things.  Ask anyone who knows him.  Hartly is a VERY happy baby!

Happy Boy in PR

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