Forest is slowly morphing out of the newborn stage and into the general baby stage. At somewhere near 12.5 lbs I’m pretty sure most people wouldn’t think he was only six weeks old just by looking at him. He’s now far more engaged with his surroundings and has started doing more smiling and light laughing, though it is more like cooing with a smile. His cooing and talking has picked up more, too.
Last week I meant to mention one big milestone that I started working on but didn’t get around to writing about here. I started elimination communication around the middle of 4.5 weeks. It was mostly on a whim. I was about to change Forest’s diaper and as little boys typically do, he made it very noticeable that he needed to pee. So, instead of putting on a diaper and having him whine five minutes later for me to change it I headed to the bathroom and tested this EC thing out. I made the ‘pisssss’ sound that is suggested by the book and internet articles I read and very quickly got a result! Pee in the toilet! I immediately told Forest that he was a good boy, gave him kisses, and then had to figure out the best way to clean him up. It was pretty insane and amazing at the same time!
At first the biggest struggle was figuring out how to hold him over the toilet. We also have a small infant potty that I tried a couple of times but it was too awkward to hold him on it since he can’t really hold his head up or sit up yet, and he didn’t like it himself. The position I’ve found best so far is to kneel behind the front of the toilet and hold him under his thighs with his back leaning up against me. He leans a bit and looks at me while I’m making the signal and generally looks calm and happy. This is not always, of course, sometimes there’s crying involved. (other potty positions)
Since this initial attempt, except for a few days after that initial attempt, I’ve generally been taking him to the potty at least once a day. That was the goal I set for myself, to catch one pee or poo a day. Some days I do more than that. My high number so far is 5 times in a day. First off, the pees are the easiest to catch right now, especially because he is a boy. I know some of you are wondering how I can even do this, but just as you know when your kid is hungry if you are around your kid enough you know his potty habits too, or you should. Soon after I started ECing Forest I realized his initial whining before his real whining for a diaper change is often him telling us/being upset that he has to eliminate. I don’t know how I didn’t catch onto this sooner, and of course there’s always a deviation, but those initial whines we would check his diaper and there wouldn’t be anything going on, only for a few minutes later the first whine turns into an all out meltdown and the diaper is full of pee, poo, or both. I finally realized that those initial whines, usually, is him letting us know what was about to happen.
With that, I will sometimes try to potty him at those first inital whines. Of course he’s upset so he sometimes stays upset when I potty him and I typically don’t want to stress him out too much so I won’t cue and wait too long if I don’t get a result. If nothing happens I’ll put the diaper back on and within a few minutes he gives a nice meltdown whine and I’ll check the diaper and he’ll have gone. Sometimes he isn’t stressed out and will go and all is right with the world, at least for that moment in time.
Usually though, I will potty him when I change his diaper and see that he might need to pee. He may have already gone in his diaper but like I said about little boys, he gives me a clue that more pee is coming my way. I’ll throw a clean diaper under his butt and then carry him to the potty and give a few ‘pissssss’ noises and wa-la, he goes! A few times I’ve been rewarded with a poo, too. In fact, the first time I pottied him he did both. I was completely surprised! I’ve caught far more pees than poos, maybe four or five poos total, and I just call that luck. He’s poos are often when I’m nursing him and I haven’t quite figured out how to transition to potty him during a feeding, though usually he delatches and does his business there. Other good times that I’ve learned I can potty him are first thing in the morning and right before putting him in the car seat. He loves to get a clean diaper on, get buckled up in the car seat and whine three minutes later. Sometimes I do that routine a few times before we finally get all peeing and pooing done and can actually get in the car, which is why I like the idea of pottying him first as an attempt to bypass the multiple diaper changes or false start whines.
Anyway, I realize this is a weird thing to be writing about, but IT WORKS! I dug out my Diaper Free Baby book to revisit it since I last read it over the summer and it has reassured me that I’m doing EC the right way and to take it one day at a time. I’m still on the one-a-day goal but will often try a couple of times a day. It really isn’t time consuming at all and if it doesn’t work one time then no problem, we tried, and I’m getting him used to going on the toilet. But I can tell he really does like it when he goes…it’s the strangest thing. As proof I showed my parents his ‘potty trick’ while they were here over the weekend and they were impressed, though my dad made some jokes about it. It *is* different and not what one would usually see, but if it can help cut down on diaper changes as well as get Forest potty trained earlier than the average, then I’m all for it. I’ll keep y’all posted as time goes on to any ups and downs we have with it, but I’m really thrilled that it works!
That’s really all I have to write about today. Forest is still growing like a weed and we’re doing good on the breastfeeding still. I’m thinking of writing an 8-weeks postpartum review here over the next week to go over some contemplations from this crazy new life I’ve got now.
Here’s the rest of the photos from this week!