Motherhood is no joke. That moment when you become a mother, you are all of a sudden responsible for creating, curating, and influencing an ENTIRE life.. From physical to emotional, psychological, spiritual, material etc needs and aspects of life... All the while figuring all that shit out for yourself- and of course lets not forget trying to fix/prevent or repeat experiences from your own upbringing onto your own children.
Now I know some of you are on here from a post I wrote about how I potty trained my 5 month old. For those that don't know, my son is 5 months/22.5 weeks today and I could honestly tell you he is pretty much potty trained. By that I mean (to clarify) that he does not (intentionally) use his diaper to poop and instead prefers to use the potty. He will signal to me that he needs to poop and waits for me to put him in position and signal to him to poop. He also pees during this time but he does still pee in his diapers. They are not cloth so they do absorb the pee but he does complain with a full diaper when he feels it is wet. More on that later, but that is what I mean when I say he is potty trained.
Now as for my introduction on motherhood being a tough dynamic job, this is to help explain where I am coming from.. There are endless styles, methods, and schools of thought on how to parent. With that in mind, this is NOT a "How To" .. this is exactly what this blog is about... According to me... and nobody else. I cannot tell you how to do this with your child because your child is not my child, your child is YOUR child, and YOU are your child's mother. Every mother has this tough job of doing it all and does what they figure out consciously or unconsciously (both I think) works and is the best, for them and their kids. But to understand where I am coming from is to understand the relationship I built (and build) with my child that fostered this sort of development.
First... Why the hell did I do this? I saw lots of comments as to how many diapers I will be saving and many comments on how EC is not worth all the effort blah blah blah. This goes into my parenting style...
I POTTY TRAINED MY CHILD BECAUSE IT WAS MY INSTINCT NOT TO LET MY CHILD POOP ALL OVER HIMSELF.(which he does not enjoy for one, and causes all sorts of rashes etc number two, which leads to number three, the need to use all sorts of unnatural creams etc to clear it up. side note: we tried all the natural and the only one that consistently worked for us was triple paste....which i hated using on him due to the ingredients that are so NOT natural.)
I do love to learn about different parenting styles etc but I believe in trusting your gut and really opening your mind to what just makes logical sense. Most of the time this leads me to doing things a lot like the attachment style parenting and sometimes it doesn't. Mayim Bialik wrote in her book (pg 108 Beyond the Sling) how it didnt make sense that babies would be born with a natural instinct to not want to defecate on themselves (as all animals are born not wanting to eliminate on themselves or near where they eat/sleep) yet we basically are teaching them to go in their pants and ignore that natural instinct only to tell them years later that no, we were wrong, you SHOULD NOT go on yourself and instead need to use a potty. this is what most people talk about "potty training" this makes sense to me. this is the logic I used when helping my child learn where to eliminate.
I do not think this is exactly elimination communication. I did not cloth diaper Ryber although I do think I will now to help with understanding when he needs to pee and learning how to communicate that to each other. I did not let my child go diaper free. I did not teach my child sign language.
So what the heck did i do?
I sleep with Ryber. Ryber has never had to cry it out. I think the last time he cried was maybe at two months with me due to gas or such and at three months when I was at work and he was hungry. I have since left my job and am with Ryber full time so he never needs to cry to get fed. He signals to me he's hungry by moving his head around my chest and trying to latch. If he's in the stroller he will start to whine, although this happens rarely as I usually offer him the boobie when he wakes up since I know he is almost always hungry then.
I breastfeed Ryber. Ryber does not take a bottle, even of breast milk. When I worked full time he definitely took a bottle of breastmilk, but he took 90 percent of milk from my boob.
Ryber is used to getting his needs met because I am there to meet his needs. This is my style of parenting. I do not personally believe in putting an infant in another room. In my honest opinion trying to sleep train an infant and putting them in another room is basically saying you are not interested in meeting their needs during the night. this is for convenience which I understand but that is not my style of parenting. I don't do things only because they are convenient for me, (even though I definitely definitely try to find the happy medium as I believe I did with this) I try to do what I think is best for Ryber and makes sense. This sometimes means I need to be very patient (which I'm starting to get good at and sucked at prior to being a mom) and selfless. I need to put Ryber's needs first which is not always convenient for me but I believe it is essential to my child's well being, and that is more important to me. A lot of this is about perspective. My doctor (Dr. Jay Gordon) asked me if Ryber sleeps through the night. I said yes, he usually goes to sleep around 8 and will wake up around 8. Then he asked if he wakes up to eat, and I said yes he wakes up probably twice. He then made me realize that Ryber then would not be considered a baby that sleeps through the night to most mothers. But because I sleep with Ryber and his waking up to feed consists of him turning his head and me half asleep making sure it goes in there as we both fall back asleep barely having to wake up let alone even move- I did not really feel I was inconvenienced and felt he "slept through the night", that is the power of perspective.
Ryber has used eco friendly natural diapers since birth. I've used Bambo, Earth's Best, Naty Nature Care and Honest. I like Honest the best and have used that exclusively since he was in size two. He's now in size four, but only because I think the way Honest measures their diaper scale is off by 5 lbs for my child. Anyway, I digress.
A month ago at barely 4 months old I started to put Ryber on the changing table when I noticed he needed to poo. It was usually either right after or up to 15 - 20 minutes after feeding or a nap. He always does the same things. He wanders off, he puts his hand in his mouth, and as of recently he makes grunting noises. I would take him straight to the changing table, open up his diaper and let him poo and pee in the open diaper. I would start to make grunting sounds and the noise of poop like farting sort of noises and say "kaki... lets go kaki". I just naturally did not want to sit there and watch him poop all over himself. I mean, I knew he had to poop, why watch him get it all over himself and then have to clean it up and try prevent a rash? makes no sense.
I pretty much picked up his cues from there and with poops I did that frequently. Not always as i still worked full time, but all the rest of the time. Two weeks ago, I ordered a Summer baby toilet off of Amazon. I started to sit him up on there (assisted, he cannot sit on his own fully yet). It was my last week of work. During my lunch I would feed him and then put him on the toilet when I saw he needed to go. He would go. It was awesome.
Last week I bought Ryber the baby toilet from Ikea. I highly recommend for infants as it is much narrower and fits much much better. He will grow into the other one. I started to put him on that. He loved it. I would start to make grunting sounds and the noise of poop like farting sort of noises and say "kaki... lets go kaki" and he would go. In the past week Ryber has starting alerting me with those noises and with a new frustrated sounding grunt that he needs to go. So I take off his pants and diaper and he starts to smile big all of a sudden and I know yep.... this is what he wants... I put him on the toilet, and voila! he poops. sometimes a few minutes later, sometimes right away,... just like how we poop.
Today i was at Disneyland. He needed to go. I did not bring his Ikea toilet. He made the frustrating grunts. I was hoping hed possibly just go in his diaper. Nope... did not want to go in his diaper. So I figured... OK... the other day i put him on the toilet at my moms becuase I didn't bring his, and just held him up on the edge, but even with toilet covers I'm not doing that here.... so I remembered this story I read how women in India put their babies backs to their tummys and spread their legs under their knees and they go. The story stuck with me because Ryber used to go with me reading to him in that position. So i stood over the toilet in Disneyland and it really did become the happiest place on earth becuase my 5 month old went poop. and pee. and about thirty minutes later he let us know that he was not done and that i pulled him off that toilet too early, and he started to signal with the mouth fart noises and frustrated grunts and my husband this time took him to another bathroom and yup... again after telling go kaki!! he went kaki. ( We always say YAY! GOOD KAKI!!! but i know I read EC does not ecourage that... but like I said, I do what I think is best and we like to do that.) He did the same thing on the way home and somehow held it in. He could have gone in his diaper if he wanted to. I put him on his toilet the second I walked in teh door and he went.
Ryber has done 90 percent of his poops in his toilet in the past two weeks. We have not been home for many of them. In the past few days, he has not had a single poopy diaper.
So there ya go. Now I am going to probably take it from here and start cloth diapering him when I am at home to learn his pee singals since his Honest diapers do absorb his pee so they do not bother him until 2 or 3 pees when his diaper is wet. Since he's already not liking to go on himself, I don't want him to get used to peeing and it just disappearing so I will stop with the disposables when I am at home and will use them when I am out (convenience).
That is our story and our experience. Does this mean my son will never poop in a diaper again? I doubt it. Does this mean my son is never having to get used to poop all over himself and wanting to run into a corner alone and poop in his diaper? yes. this is what we want for our son. it's not for everyone, but that is the beauty of motherhood. its the world's toughest job, that can't be done the same way twice.
happy mothers day