We all poo in toilets, so why can’t baby?
My hypnobabies instructor introduced me to elimination communication or EC. I read a little about it, and like most new ideas, I youtubed a bunch of videos on it. I was intrigued to say the least. Parents swore their babies would pee and poo in the toilet. The method was simple enough: watch the baby for signs they need to go, place them on the toilet, and use sounds or trigger words every time the baby went. Some commenters freaked out at the idea. I also read one article stating babies are not designed to hold their waste in so it can cause developmental issues later on. However, the parents I learned from did ECing only part time, meaning the baby would go on the toilet occasionally and the rest of the time in the diaper. I weighed my options and figured trying it out wouldn’t hurt—especially if I never punished my son for peeing in his diapers. I decided I would encourage all pees and poos whether it was in his diaper or on the toilet.
At around 6 weeks old, my son started to pee every time I changed his diaper. One day, he peed on me literally 5 times! Every time I opened his diaper, there would be a stream. This reminded me of what my hypnobabies instructor said, “babies naturally want to be clean. That’s why they tend to pee when you open their diaper or when you change it.” It made total sense. If I were in a diaper, I would probably pee when the diaper opened up! We essentially condition our babies to pee in their diapers at a certain point, and then they just keep doing it. So at 6 weeks when my son kept peeing on me, I started to hold him over the sink. I began holding him over the sink after every feeding. Amazingly, almost every time, he would go pee! I knew it was good timing. But every time he went pee or poo, I said the word aloud making sure he would hear. Eventually I bought a baby bjorn toilet seat because my arms started to get tired from holding him up. I could tell he really liked sitting on the toilet. He always giggled and smiled. That’s how I knew it was definitely not a cruel act to place him on the toilet.
Fast forward 4 months and my son makes every poo on the toilet and I catch 50%-75% of his pees. My friends think it takes a lot of time or dedication, but it’s actually super easy!
Benefits of early potty association (I call it potty association because it’s not training—I never reprimand the baby for peeing in his diaper and he is encouraged to pee and poo in his diaper at all times):
- Peeing and pooing is just as essential to our human existence as eating. It occurs regularly, multiple times a day. Baby learns to associate the toilet with pee and poo from the beginning of life instead of being forced to realize when mommy and daddy decide it’s time.
- Provides baby with the opportunity to consciously pee and poo without the coverage of a diaper. Allows baby to concentrate on the task of peeing/pooing.
- Helps prevent diaper rash because baby is not sitting in wet diapers as often.
- Provides a positive, dedicated space to pee/poo.
- I personally feel like it helps baby go more regularly.
- Keeps baby clean from being smothered in his own messy poo. It is so refreshing when the baby poos in the toilet. One quick wipe afterwards and everything is over! I have not had a single up the back, explosive poo since I started EC.
- Helps baby develop his/her lower back muscles while sitting.
- Baby learns to control his/her sphincters.
- Great with cloth diapering because you wash less dirty diapers
- Less waste even if you use disposables—helps save money too!
At 4 months, my baby pees and poos on command whether over a sink, on the baby toilet, or on an adult toilet. I still have about 5 diapers changes throughout the day that are semi wet, however all poos are always on the toilet. I typically give him the opportunity to pee/poo right when he wakes up, after every feeding, sometimes right before a feeding, and every hour in between. He usually poos 1-3 times a day now. I’ve heard with developmental changes babies often regress. So I’ll keep my readers updated on what happens down the line.
Here are some tips for baby pottying if you’re interested in trying it out:
- Praise pees and poos in any form whether on the diaper or out. Say the words, or any sounds you want the baby to associate with the act, and every time they pee or poo, recite the words over and over.
- If you feel like they are trying to go poo but its not coming out, take a little water and wash their bum area. It can help stimulate the area so they go. If they don’t go, just put them back in their diaper and try again in about 30 minutes to an hour. They might need more time, or another feeding to go.
- Listen to your own instincts. If you feel like they need to go, they just might need to!
- Watch for their cues. My baby will get quiet all of a sudden, clench his fists, and start grunting. Other times, he starts getting fussy in the midst of playing.
- Give them a lot of diaper free time on a towel so you can watch them and see when they tend to go pee. When you first start out, you’ll want to log when they pee or poo to monitor their cycle. What helped was laying a towel in a bathtub and having baby play in it. That way his pee and poo would soak into the tub and the clean up is easier!
Feel free to message me if you have any questions! Happy peeing and pooing!
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