I sometimes long to be back in earlier times... simpler times. A time when all of our modern conveniences didn't get in the way. Sure, things may have been more difficult but something is lost when things are given to us and we don't have to work for it. I think the same principle applies for kids growing in independence. I was given my first car from my parents. It was a shiny new Dodge Neon (nice for a first car) and I thought I was thankful! But I have to admit that I didn't treat that car with the appreciation and care that I treat my cars that I pay for and work for now.. Although I loved having a nice car in high school, my children will not be afforded the same luxury.. They will have to work for it! Please don't misinterpret because I am not in anyway faulting my parents.. They wanted me to prioritize school and athletics over a job- which I agree with... I just know that I didn't fully appreciate the gift I was given and I'm sorry for that. Anyway- got off an a little tangent there.. Head back with me to the simpler times! There were no cars so we couldn't drive down our driveway to our mail boxes to get our mail (insert eye roll). There were no computers so we'd actually have to reach out to each other in person or hand write a note!! (I'm totally guilty when it comes to the computer). There were no remote controls so we'd actually have to get our lazy butts off the couch to change the channel! I could go on and on, but I'll get to my point...
There were no disposable diapers, so man kind would just learn to deal which resulted in a "potty trained" baby- well before 2 or 3 years old!
So that's what I've decided.. I'm starting potty training NOW! Riley's only 6 months but as far as I'm concerned, it's a few months too late! A friend of mine who moved to Japan introduced me to the EC (Elimination Communication, AKA Natural Infant Hygiene and Infant Potty Training) idea a year ago and she let me borrow her book "Diaper Free" by Ingrid Bauer. I won't lie, the book made this self-proclaimed hippy uncomfortable with the extreme views, the approach and just how "hippy" it really was. I backed off for a while and figured I'd battle through it like everyone else. But just last weekend, a friend of mine- older mom in her late 30's who I respect and look up to both as a Christian and a parent (and might I add that I don't classify her the least bit "hippy")- was telling me about her potty training experiences. She didn't go to any extreme like the book may have suggested, but she used the principles of EC and had her oldest doing his business (at least #2) in the toilet by 9 months! And all three of her children were potty trained before the age of 2!!! Think about it... All the Third World Countries (Africa for example) don't have the convenience of disposable diapers.. I don't even think they have diapers, period. They carry their babies on their backs as soon as they are strong enough to hold their heads up (check out my friend, Emily's blog about her Ghana trip to see pictures of this) and there aren't any urine soaked backs!! They learn to read their baby's signals and adapt.
The fact that such a strong role-model in my life has successfully gotten three kids through potty training with this method re-opened the idea for me and so I now am jumping all in! I guess I think that the struggles with toddler potty training are more of a battle of wills than the capability to sense the urge or physical ability to use the toilet. I went and bought a little potty today. I was trying to hold him over the toilet but i don't think it's the most comfortable for him and both he and I tire from that so the website that I'm reading suggested the Baby Bjorn little potty.
Before Riley was born, I was gung-ho for G-diapers. Then John challenged their convenience and I caved when I got accustomed to how truly handy disposables are. I am now going to switch to a collaboration of G-diapers and cloth diapers. I figure it will help:
- me be able to learn Riley's potty habits
- make it not as easy to change his diaper (which will move up the priority of spotting his signs- that's kind of how I work)
- make it slightly less comfortable for him when he's got a soiled diaper on (disposables can hold A LOT of liquid and keep the baby feeling dry which is great.. a little too great! I guess I figure that the discomfort of feeling the wetness may get him to want to go in the potty instead of in his diaper down the road)
Oh ya... He peed in his potty today- YAY!!! (right now it's basically just me guessing when he might have to go, and sitting him on the potty till it happens.. here's the exciting part- when he goes, I make a cueing noise that he will eventually associate with relieving himself)
Celebrate little victories!