Saturday, October 29, 2011

Elimination Communication Update

9 months
When Bugaboo was four months old, I started infant potty training (or elimination communication) and blogged about my experience. Bugaboo is now fourteen months old and a lot has happened since we first started.

Bugaboo caught on very quickly. It was tiring at first, taking him so often, but it was sort of fun too. We sang songs and did finger plays together. I learned how smart and willing my baby was. He was able to sign potty (not perfectly, but discernable from milk) before five months old, which made it so much easier. He did it most often when he needed to poo. With both our efforts, I caught half of his pees and nearly all his poos. I could even take him to a public potty when we were out, which also encouraged me to use cloth diapers away from home since I knew there would be no poopy messes. Sometimes I even took his little potty with me when we were gone all day or going to a friend's house. It took a lot of commitment, but it was worth it. I was so proud of both of us!

Then nine months hit. He was crawling and getting into mischief and decided to go on a potty strike. No more signing. No more sitting on the potty. It was very frustrating. Especially when he figured out he could crawl off the potty chair, spilling its contents onto the carpet. Yuck!

13 months

I got lazy after that. I still took him in the mornings, after naps, and before baths, but my efforts stopped there. A month later I tried again, and Bugaboo signed for about a week. Then he learned to walk, becoming more distracted, and stopped signing for good. Since then I've had to watch him like in the beginning to catch it in time. I was hoping he would be diaper free by one and fully potty trained by 18 months.

Overall my efforts have not been wasted. He still knows what going potty means. If he passes gas when I'm around, he looks at me and smiles. I'll ask him if he needs to go potty and he'll run to the bedroom. Unfortunately, it's just gas most of the time, the real thing happening shortly thereafter. Sometimes he signs all done when he's barely started eating and I know it's because he needs to go. Other times I just randomly ask him and watch for a response.

What I've learned is that diligence is the key. You have to be consistent and 100-percent dedicated. My laziness and his distractedness once he was mobile were a bad combination. I haven't given up yet. I'm working really hard again so that he can tell his teachers when he has to go once he enters our church's nursery at 18 months. Wish me luck!

Note: The morning after I originally wrote this post, Bugaboo signed potty and milk! He hasn't done it since, but it's a start!


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