Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fall in NY, Potty Training & Elimination Communication

Right now, we are in NY visiting Paul's family. We are having a blast staying with Paul's twin sister and her husband on Staten Island. The fall weather has been amazing, and we love visiting the parks and watching the trees changing.

Today we visited the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and enjoyed the fall colors and cool weather. We only have a few more days left of this trip, then we fly back to Florida for a short visit home. We are trying to squeeze in as much fun into this trip as we can because when we return in November, it will be cold!

We have a packed schedule until the end of the year, and will be on the road until January. Please check out Paul's tour dates HERE and come and say hi! We love connecting with old friends and especially love making new ones!

Noa is having a blast visiting the parks, playing and making new friends. I love that she can spend time with Paul's family, and it's fun having Paul show me around Brooklyn where he grew up.

Noa is almost 21 months, and we are taking huge steps toward becoming potty trained.

Since Noa was about 11 weeks, I began a practice called Elimination Communication (EC). EC is a toilet-training method that uses timing, signals, cues, and intuition to address an infant's need to eliminate in an appropriate place, like a toilet, portable potty, or even bowl. While at home, I mostly let Noa play diaper-free, and I tried to tune into her elimination rhythms and take her when I felt she needed to go. I was not always in tune with her, and when we went out, I would put her in a diaper. I did not practice this 100% of the time, but I did my best, and when it was not convenient or if I had a day with lots of "misses", I tried not to be too hard on myself. I always tried to keep a small portable potty with us in the car, and even took her in public restrooms and held her over the toilet. I started using a "pssssss" cue, and she caught on! It was really amazing connecting with her and tuning into her needs. It also was a huge help and encouragement that my close Mama Friend Debra was also practicing EC like a pro and I was able to learn a lot from her too.

Here is a picture of Noa at about 3 months, sitting on the potty while I cue her.

I'll admit that it did seem like more work getting started with the Elimination Communication early, but now that Noa is approaching two, she is almost completely cuing and letting me know on her own when she needs to go. She even makes her own "tssss" sound, or says the word "potty". I always try and take her potty when I go too, and she has no problem saying "no" if I ask her, especially if she is busy playing!

I will definitely write more about EC again, but for any moms who are interested in letting their new babies or even older infants go diaper-free, here are few quick tips to help you get started:
  • 1) Babies will not eliminate while they are sleeping, so always take them potty immediately after waking up in the morning or after a nap.
  • 2) Take them potty after a feeding.
  • 3) Before a bath.
  • 4) At different intervals throughout the day (15 mins., 20 mins, etc.).
Once you get started, it gets easier and starts to become routine! You will be amazed at how easily you can tune-in to your baby. I loved showing Noa the proper place to eliminate at such an early age and now that she is older, she knows where to go. There is no un-training!

I encourage all of you parents out there to try EC even once a day to get started! You will be amazed at how natural it feels and how connected you become to your baby.

Check out these websites to get more information on going diaper-free and Elimination Communication: & the EC

Check back here too, and I will be posting more!


CarmenB said...

Thanks for sharing Andrea, I didn't even know this existed, something I would have been interested in when the children were young. It was nice meeting you in Lake City, maybe next time we can talk more. I still need to email your husband the html code for a banner my son made for the affiliate program.
blessings ~ Carmen

Jacque Dixon said...

Thank you for this! I have heard about this many times, but no one really explained it well enough to understand without being there to ask them, as far as I was concerned - and I have potty-trained 8 other children by now, and a few around the age of 1, so I should have been able to catch on!
Now that I get it, I will be trying it with Samuel! :)
Anyway, I wanted to thank you for putting this into very understandable terms, and I hope you have a great rest of your visit!


Joanna said...

wow, this is great! i have never really heard about this, but am going to start with Elli. I have been hesitant about potty-training, waiting for her to show "signs of readiness" but i know that she can do it, and this doesn't sound bad at all... just wish I had started earlier with her. Hey, there's always the next one, right? :) I went on the website and will check back for more info. And i'll let you know how it goes. i think she will catch on pretty quick!

lusi said...

Hi Andrea :) I'm a new reader to this blog and just found this post via a friend's.
We have four children but only began EC with the last at 3 weeks. We had a varied amount of 'success' with it over the past 19 months but I must say that the cues worked brilliantly! Zipporah is not far off being potty trained and tells me when she has done something in her diaper!
Anyway, am enjoying reading your blog.
Blessings in Yah!
Lusi x

mountain girl said...

Hi Andrea,
I've been a member of Paul's raw life health show for a couple months, but this is the first time I've read your blog! I also started E.C. with my daughter (now almost 4) when she was 11 weeks. I changed very few poopy diapers throughout her time as a baby, and she was completely potty trained by 2. People were always skeptical and thought the early potty training would backfire into something terrible! But it really is a much more natural way for babies to go, and I think they are really happy to be mess free and more comfortable. For my next baby I'm going to try starting even earlier.

Andrea Nison said...

@Mountain Girl: That is great that you started EC early too! It is more comfortable for them, and they learn from the beginning where to go potty. Let me know how you do with your next one too :-) And you and your daughter are beautiful!