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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Two and a Half Years of Pottying in a Nutshell

Something you don't see every day (unless you're like me).

There's one important difference between conventional potty training and elimination communication: One is linear, the other flexible, with many round-abouts, pauses, and triumphs.  There's no official graduation with infant pottying, you may have 15 misses one day and zero the next.  Everyday provides new insight and opportunities to practice empathy during the gradual transition from diapers to potty.  It took me two and a half years to realize that the goal of pottying your infant, newborn, or toddler isn't to get them out of diapers as soon as possible.  It requires supporting your wise baby's instinct to not soil him/herself throughout their unique developmental stages. 

My first son, Akinyemi, began his potty journey at two months old.  By four months old, I was able to catch all of his pees, and by six months, both numbers one and two.  Then came crawling: he was too mobile to give me any signs of elimination the whole month.  My formerly amazed family became skeptical again.  Hearing that it was a waste of time was demoralizing.  I hadn't read any books about it, or known any one who practiced infant pottying.  Yet, as I witnessed the pattern of regression with each milestone, it began to feel normal and became a part of our rhythm. Teething, walking, and eating more solids all affected our relationship, his bowel movements and our potty dynamic.

During my entire second pregnancy,  he was diaper free at home, overnight, and outside the house.  My family applauded that we'd only have one in diapers.  Little did I know, having a newborn in our lives means another adventure in elimination communication for Akinyemi.  Although he is having a small potty "regression", I am proud that my two year old knows how to pull his undies down, sit on his mica, and continue his day.  Enhancing his self-awareness and knowing he has confidence that his caregivers are assertive to his needs makes me the proudest of all.

Pottying my 11 day old.


  1. LOVE your blog!! & am sooo happy for you are your two little guys!! - I left a comment on your other post...my two year old is completely out of diapers - and with my second child due next month I REALLY want to practice EC with him, my family is pretty supportive of it. I just want to know at what stage do you start? After meconium has passed? Straight from birth?
    Thanks <3 Sara

  2. Thanks for reading, Sara! And congrats to you and your family!
    I wanted to start right from birth, but I was so tired after the birth (trying to post my birth story soon), that his first meconium passed. His next two meconiums were so quiet and he was so still, that I hadn't even noticed until he gave a little squirm and he'd already finished. So, it took a little while for me to figure out his cues. Now, I'm dead on, but the struggle is to pay attention to our newborn with a lively toddler and his demands. Then, when I do know he has to be pottied, I need the energy to get him there on time. Overall, starting from birth has been easier for me than with my first experience, which started and two months.
    Is this your first time ECing?
    Do you have an elimination receptacle?