Monday, June 11

Natural Infant Hygiene

We've been learning about Elimination Communication (EC)/Natural Infant Hygiene/Infant Potty Training lately, and I've been trying it with DD (now 7 months old). How I wish I had read about this and been more open to the idea when DS (now 6 1/2 years) had been a baby. I think things could have been different for him in some respects. He still has issues with bedwetting, even now.

I can say that in the search for a good potty training method for DS, nothing ever seemed quite right. Rewards, punishments, praise, encouragement. The closest thing to "working" was just letting whatever happened happen. I was never satisfied and felt like we were always sending him mixed signals in our attempt to teach him what he needed to know. We were all frustrated. He's a very bright kid, but head smarts don't always equal body smarts, especially when we unwittingly "taught" him to go in his diapers. I knew he signaled when he was peeing and pooping as a newborn. I just didn't know I could do anything about it. These signals eventually faded, as I believe, he learned that the place to go was his diaper.

Now, like with anything, some kids can take the changes in stride and say, "Oh, okay, I'm big enough now; time to toss the diapers and use the potty." However, for him it was not as easy, with lots of back and forth. I wonder if EC might have been easier on us all.

However, I also know that parenthood, like life, is a journey. It all started with my decision to breastfeed. Later came the decision to carry/wear my baby, then to cosleep, etc. I don't know if I could have handled any more "new" stuff then. Learning to trust your heart and instincts can be a process, especially when those feelings go against the mainstream. Maybe now is the time, when the idea really resonates with me because of my own experiences with DS.

DD is doing well. We "catch" some and miss others. She's even already dry some nights. When I'm tired or don't feel like I can handle it right now, I put a diaper on her. Just in a month or so of part-time EC, however, she's made her preference known. She fusses as soon as her diaper/training pants/floor she's sitting on is wet and usually fusses when I put a diaper on her. What baby doesn't prefer lots of naked time or at least light clothing in this nice warm summer weather?

Yet another outpost on our family journey together :) On we go...

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