Thursday, 25 October 2012

Number Two's

I don't want to be talking about toilets, bowel movements, dirty nappies and such if you're eating. So look away if this is a bad time for you, and come back to this post later. For those still baby (who is more of a toddler these days) has used the toilet three days in a row! I know this shouldn't be cause for as much excitement as I am currently displaying, but it is REALLY exciting. I am a Naturopath. So that means I talk a lot about digestion, quality nutrition, food in, food out etc. Inevitably this results in talking about poo and it's fascinating secrets to our health very frequently. I read about elimination communication while I was pregnant and always intended to help my baby to become toilet aware early. It's really crept up on me how quickly its happening now! Yes by Australian standards a toilet aware 12 month old is early, but I'm sure that's not the case elsewhere in the world. I figure if he's telling me he's ready, then he must be.

For quite a few weeks now Elijah has been saying 'po po' and pulling on his clothes when he needs his nappy changed or when in the process of moving his bowels. So a week ago I started taking him to the toilet and holding him on the seat and saying poo when he was doing these signs, and miraculously he did it! I think we were all so shocked and proud that we laughed and cheered - it was good that Dada Avocado was home at the time for extra encouragement. So now it's been three days in a row and I think we're really turning the corner of not needing to wash pooey nappies anymore. Here's some of the  things I think are helping us succeed:
Toilet Awareness

: : When you change a nappy tell your baby if it is poo or wee that you are changing
: : If you see your baby doing a 'poo face' or obviously trying to move their bowels encourage them and talk to them about the poo.
: : If your baby is indicating with facial expression, body action, language etc that they need to go to the toilet - take them.
: : When on the toilet make noises, facial expressions for the toilet action.
: : When you change a poo nappy take your baby/toddler to the toilet and tip the poo in and let them see it get flushed away.
: : Use encouragement like clapping, smiling, praising when they succeed, and even when they just try.
: : establish a routine like taking them to the toilet after meals.
: : Don't push it or fight about it.

I love the idea that listening and acting on Elijah's communication with us is fostering his independence and confidence. I think it's also building a trust that we will listen to him and attend to his needs. After all who wants to wear (and wash!!) nappies any longer than necessary.

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