Unintended post

I wasn’t going to write about this. 🙂 I thought if I ever tried it I’d be hush hush about it since it’s not too common in the US. I didn’t want people to think I was weird or crazy, and I didn’t want to be talking about my baby doing something that lots of toddlers don’t do yet. But I realized that it’s ok for me to post about it even though it’s unusual. I’m just explaining what we’re up to these days and sharing the excitement I’ve felt upon trying something new!

So what in the world am I talking about? We’ve started infant potty training (IPT), otherwise known as Elimination Communication (EC), Natural Infant Hygiene, or the diaper-free baby. IPT is based on the idea that babies don’t like to be wet or dirty and would rather go to the bathroom somewhere other than in a diaper. EC focuses more on the communication aspect and says that babies signal to their parents that they need to go to the bathroom before they go, and that parents can respond by taking the baby to an appropriate place, like the toilet. Those who have written books on the subject in the past few years get many of their ideas from other cultures where babies are regularly carried naked and are given opportunities to use the bathroom. I know that while we were Africa, I saw many babies without diapers, often being carried by their mothers or walking around naked if they were old enough, and I never saw a single “accident.”

You might be wondering why in the world we would be trying IPT when diapering is so easy and is the social norm. Kate has recently moved up in diaper size, and while I use cloth diapers the majority of the time, I use disposables at night. I have used Pamper’s Swaddlers since she was born, but they don’t have them in size 3, so I had to change to a new kind of diaper. Once she started wearing the new diapers, she developed a bad rash that I couldn’t get to go away. At her 6-month checkup, the doctor said she has eczema/atopic dermatitis, or very sensitive, dry skin. He told me to let her go without a diaper when possible, and to be careful what we use on her skin. I’d read about IPT and was interested before Kate was born, and this was just what I needed to convince me to try it.

The first day we tried it, she spent much of the day without a diaper on top of cloth diapers or towels so I could observe her and so she could “air out.” Just before her bed time, I realized she had been dry for a while and decided to take her to the potty just to see what would happen. To my surprise, she used the potty!! I couldn’t believe it. I was SO excited! I yelled for Bryan (and scared him half to death 🙂 ) and she went again when he got into the room. At that, I was hooked.

Since then, she’s gone once on the potty each day when I’ve taken her regularly, and I’m starting to get better at knowing when she needs to go. This morning she’s already gone on the potty once, and I hope she will at least one more time today. We’re still using cloth diapers, and I’m giving her diaper-free time when I’m not very busy. I hope we’ll gradually work into needing diapers less, and maybe eventually we’ll start using tiny training pants. Her rash is a lot better already, and I’m thankful that all the changes seem to be helping. Unfortunately I still haven’t figured out a good solution for nighttime. She wakes up so easily when her cloth diapers get wet, and I don’t want the rash to get worse again by using disposables, so I’ll still have to work on finding another option. Any suggestions would be welcome!

So  along with the daily tasks of being a homemaker, I’ve added a little extra laundry and many more trips to the bathroom. I wasn’t expecting to be using words like “potty” and “wee wee” quite this soon or talking about it this often at Kate’s age, but I’m actually enjoying it. It’s exciting to watch her learn something new, and it’s nice to realize that even though IPT is often a long process, it’s likely that she will be potty trained long before she would have been if I had waited to do it in the usual American way.

So tell me. What do you think? 🙂

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Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 11:36 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I cloth diaper and one of my twin boys has excema as well. What kind of cloth do you use at night? The type of diaper can make a major difference. We use bumbgenius for night because it wicks the moisture away from the skin so well and keeps them from waking up at night because they feel wet. The boys go 10-12 hrs no problem. We don’t do IPT but I am reading more about it.

  2. Wow! Very impressed, Meg! I’d never heard of IPT before….you’ve got a good baby 🙂


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