I figure it’s about time for another update on how the infant potty training (aka Elimination Communication, aka EC) is going. Jeshuah is now twenty months old, and at 18 months, I was despairing that he would be out of diapers any sooner than your average kid. However, I reminded myself that no matter how soon I could call him wholly and completely Officially Potty Trained, choosing to EC has been one of the most rewarding practices we have chosen as parents. Even if it isn’t every single time, I am thankful to wash less diapers–and definitely thankful to rarely ever have to deal with a poopy diaper!
However, last month, we had a breakthrough. When Jeshuah was 18 months, I realized I was being lazy with his training and ought to just put him in his undies on a regular basis, since I knew he was capable of staying dry and telling me when he needed to go. But because I didn’t want to have to deal with accidents and being concientious all day long of whether or not he may need to go to the bathroom, I just kept him in diapers. And I noticed a significant regression in his training from 12 months (when he was nearly completely potty trained) to 18 months (when I found his diapers nearly always wet, even if he did also use the toilet). I knew this was due to my lack of consistency, and determined to do better.
For the first couple of weeks, Jeshuah had multiple accidents a day and rarely made it to the toilet. I definitely felt like a failure at EC! Thankfully, my SIL has been doing EC with her two year old and we encourage each other in the rough times. We both switched our babies to underwear at the same time, and within days, her son was consistently dry–even at naps and nights! This gave me hope that we would reach that point soon, too, so I kept persevering. Three or four weeks ago, I started putting Jeshuah in undies nearly all day every day, even on outings of 3 or 4 hours. He not only stays dry, but he often lets me know when he needs to use the toilet while we are out. While he is almost always dry when he wakes up from naps, I still have not made the jump to undies for naps. That is my next goal.
I honestly was nervous about putting him in undies all the time, and even more nervous about going out in undies. But after the first couple of days, I realized an occasional wet outfit is really not that big of a deal, and seeing the fruit of my labor is very rewarding. I love seeing him without the bulk of his diaper. I love knowing he is cool and dry in this heat. And I still love our toilet time–when his favorite activities are either reading stories or driving his toy cars around on my legs as I sit across from him on the tub.
Of the things on my list that I look forward to most with this new baby, potty training is right up there with snuggling, holding, and smothering with kisses. I am so excited to learn to communicate with a new baby, to watch for cues and clues, to pick up on him/her letting me know when they need to go. EC has never been about pressure or guilt for me, it has just been fun and extremely rewarding. If I get in an emotional place where it is too stressful, we let it slide for a bit until I get my feet on the ground again. And I am okay with that. Would my kids be potty trained faster if I were anal about it? Yes. But my goal with Infant Potty Training is not to get them out of diapers as soon as humanly possible, or to beat the average kid out of diapers. My desire with infant potty training is to establish a bond of communication with my babies, to clean less diapers :-), and to give them the relief of not sitting in soggy or messy diapers. But mostly, I do it because I enjoy it, and I know Jeshuah enjoys it. If I didn’t like doing EC, I wouldn’t do it. But I find it intriguing and rewarding and am eager to do it all over again!