Elimination Communication


It started out as a way to alleviate suffering. Julia gets constipated and has hard poops. One day she was straining and Kristin and I thought that it must be difficult pushing out a hard poop against a diaper. So we took off her diaper and held her over the toilet. And the movement finished moving much faster. Everytime we saw her straining we held her over the toilet. And then we cheered and waved bye bye to the poop and Julia got to flush the toilet (oh joy!). Even better, there was less shit to wipe off her, since there wasn't a diaper there to spread the stuff around. Eventually we bought her a little potty seat that sits on the regular toilet (Blues Clues, not that we know what Blues Clues is, but still, I'm trying to paint a complete picture here). After a few weeks we got tired of having to keep the potty seat on the toilet or have it kicking around on the floor, so we got a hook and now when the potty seat isn't in use it's hanging on the wall just above the floor.

Then we started noticing that Julia's diaper was not saturated in the morning when she woke up. One day, on impuse, we asked her if she needed to go potty. She said yes and when we put her on the potty seat she went pee. More cheering, more waving bye bye, more flushing of the toilet. In addition to the regular "She's grunting, hurry! Stick her on the toilet!" sessions, we incorporated sitting on the potty first thing in the morning and last thing at night... also before any baths. On weekends we started randomly asking her if she needed to go potty, and if she said yes we would stick her on the toilet and usually she would go. Sometimes if we left her there long enough she'd go poop unannounced as well.

A couple days ago we were getting ready for a party. One of us was in front of the bathroom mirror, the other one of us was trying to push the first out of the way. Julia pushed her way in the bathroom, too. I had just changed her diaper (this is important to note). We weren't really paying much attention to her, but she pulled her potty seat off the hook (it's at just her height) put it on the floor, and sat on it. We looked at her and laughed, oh so cute. We asked her if she needed to go potty. She stood up. "No" she said. I checked her diaper. It was warm and full. She had peed in her diaper while sitting on the potty seat she had gotten down expressly to pee on. From that moment on, everytime she gets her potty seat down and places it on the floor or the toilet, we take her diaper off and let her sit on it -- she usually pees. It might be coincidence, after all, babies normally release small amounts of urine throughout the day. But Julia's gotten to the point where her diaper is dry for stretches at a time. She's begun holding her urine, and thus when she askes and we sit her on the toilet and she pees, I'm believing that it's not a coincidence.

This morning I was on the computer uploading cds into my new iPod. It was a slow morning since I've got the day off to mourn a dead president (is it unpatriotic to wish presidents would die a bit more regularly so I could have more free days off?) Julia had already had her morning potty sit where she had both pooped and peed. But suddenly she came into the living room holding her potty seat. I looked at her and when she saw that I saw that she had the potty seat she laughed and ran back to the bathroom. I thought she was just playing and chased her into the bathroom. She put her potty seat on the toilet and began tugging at her pants. What the hell, I'll stick her on the potty again. I took her diaper off, placed her on the potty, gave her the quacking duck that we let her play with when she's toilet sitting, and stepped out of the room. She began jabbering to the duck. Suddenly there was a plop plop and then she began struggling to get down. I wiped her, put a diaper on, we waved goodby to the poop, and flushed the toilet. Then she grabbed the potty seat and put it back on the hook. Then held up her arms so I could pick her up and wash her hands.

I think she'll be out of diapers (at least during the day) by the time she's two if not sooner. And it's all been (mostly) her idea. Do they make panties size 18 month?

Posted by Trista @ 9:25 AM

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Yay! Go Julia!
And yes, they do make panties that small. Charlie has some.

Posted by Blogger Estelle @ 11:07 AM #

Yes, yes they do! High fives for Julia! High fives for her very responsive mommies!

Posted by Blogger zilla @ 2:46 PM #

That's awesome!! I hope Ryan shows that kind of interest, talk about making life easier.

Posted by Anonymous amy @ 5:58 PM #

Woo HOO! Go Julia, GO!

Posted by Blogger Shelli @ 8:52 PM #

Hooray for posting about potty training!

Congratulations, Julia. You're a BIG girl, now. Yes you is! Yes you is! Whooza cute little muffin? Who is? You! You is!

Blog-Auntie Ox

Posted by Blogger Blue @ 9:10 PM #

I've found that people without kids have a lot of advice for people with kids. I say this as a person without kids, noticing my own tendency to dole advice. Nasty habit, that.

In fact, I remember telling you all about my friends C&J in NorCal who didn't diaper their child and did an infant-response thing where they'd hold her over the toilet to do her thing. I remember you rolling your eyes and telling me you'd never do such a thing.

Granted, Julia is not an infant.

But I also think you have some crow to eat, sista.

Unless I'm totally mixing it up and I gave the infant-response-toilet "advice" to someone else and someone else rolled their eyes at me. Highly possible since I frequently receive eye rolls. In which case I will gladly eat crow. It's part of my normal diet, you know.

mossy moss

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 1:34 AM #

Mossy... there is a lot of difference between what your friends were doing and what we're doing. They were weird, thus everything they did was weird. We are not weird, thus what we're doing is not weird, it's precocious.

There, see? I'm not eating any crow.

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 9:55 AM #
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