Month 12: First Steps, Happy Birthday!
I have heard about “potty pauses” and about both EC and conventional training parents putting their 3 year olds back in diapers. I asked myself what will re-diapering accomplish? Because for me, soiling yourself is not okay and shouldn’t be encouraged even though it sometimes happens. Even when adults are incontinent the goal is to catch an accident when you can’t get to the toilet–not to deliberately go in your pants. Unless you have a serious medical problem preventing toilet use, soiling yourself is to be avoided. How do tribal women handle this type of situation? Do they just take it in stride confident that it is a short phase? Do they even have this problem? I made the decision then to not put my baby in a diaper even if we had an off day, or week, or month. I made that decision even before her first training pants arrived in the mail. I’d been working my way to weaning myself from diaper use and once the diapers were away they were away.
The only time the one lonely prefold has been used was to lay it on the bottom of a car seat during a long ride to protect it in the event of an accident. After all, I don’t expect “no accidents” any more than I expect “no mess” when I give my baby a mango! She knows how to feed herself, its just that she’s not learned the finesse of neatness while doing so. Funny thing, though, we haven’t had a potty accident in the car at all in months. If I need added insurance on an extended outing, I simply put on a waterproof cover over her trainers. We both find that a bit annoying though! If we were visiting an active ECer we wouldn’t have to do that as there would be other experienced active eyes watching.
I have to say that my husband and I are truly spoiled with a toilet using baby. As I have said before, we’ll take the one or two accidents every few days or even daily over full time diapering ANY DAY! Especially the poops. Poops in the potty are the best. Massive where-on-earth-can-she-store-that-much poop in the potty are cause for celebration.
On September 6, just a few weeks before the baby’s first birthday, she got her first illness with fever. Normally, I wouldn’t sweat a fever and it was okay for the first 24 hours. No other symptoms but the fever spiked to 105 rectally during the car trip to the office (which is 103 orally. I think that the car was just too hot and didn’t do her any favors, I still kick myself for that–I should have cooled it off first). It was recommended that we go to the ER to rule out a UTI. I didn’t think it was a UTI, but since it does run in my family and I was hospitalized as a child and it was very serious for me I was frightened to say the least. What does this have to do with pottying? NO ONE WOULD BELIEVE THAT SHE WOULD PEE IF ASKED! They insisted on catheterizing to get urine. Our poor sick baby had had to pee for an hour and was holding it waiting!
They were thinking she was dehydrated (she’d been nursing constantly and peeing just fine) and my husband and I kept having to explain that she doesn’t want to pee herself. We were told that it had to be a clean catch. I am not convinced that peeing in a cup wouldn’t have been sufficient (everything was negative by the way, just a random virus). It really brought it home just how much society has forgotten when it comes to what babies are capable of when given opportunity. Anyway, in order to manage the fever and keep it at 101 we had to manage it with Ibuprofen and Tylenol for 24 hours. I am not sure if it was the exclusive breast milk, meds, or the virus or all three, but it caused some loose, stinky mucousy, frothy stools. Clearly she was having trouble being stool continent and we soiled many training pants, BUT she made clear successful efforts to use the potty even when ill going so far as to stop mid accident and finish on the pot.
The approaching 12 month growth spurt is kind of rough. We went from sickness constant nursing for 4 days straight no solids, to growth spurt perma-boob attachment. Even when she eats an ENTIRE plum or apple she is right back nursing. She nurses constantly at night and that has resulted into a pee miss now and then which took me by surprise (she hasn’t night pooped since newborn) — we still sleep on top of my homemade mess catchers (just a sewed 27×27 square flannel “blanket”) for milk leaks and they work well for missed night wees if they should happen — which they haven’t until now. I know once she’s finished with this epic marathon she won’t need to pee as much at night. By night, I mean the wee hours around a bit before dawn she has a few pees in a row because of the massive feeds and STILL, yes, STILL has her usual morning fountain pees. It’s amazing how much liquid the girl can process.
Baby girl is one year today September 21! She has been teasing us with almost walking for weeks, and as taken a few steps. Crawling and climbing is much preferred. I’ve noticed that some pants in her size have too much butt room so we are still using 6-9 month size pants as the weather cools. Capris are in fashion right? So another advantage of diaper free is that you get a much longer life out of baby pants (trousers/jeans/shorts). We’ve come so far. I expect that the next phase of this journey will be to help her to learn how to become potty independent. I don’t like the term “potty trained”…it is more like “potty aware” or “potty literate” or “potty learned” or “pottytunistic?” Haha.
The toddler is emerging. I haz a sad right now.
This isn’t the end of the journey. More is to come in the second year. Remember the goal is not to have “baby trained by x age” that’s a conventional potty training idea. That’s not what EC is. The goal is to help the babies to eliminate by providing opportunities to go in an appropriate place rather than their pants anywhere and everywhere. Just like walking their independence happens in stages as they grow.
Posted on September 21, 2010, in Babies, Parenting, Potty Training and tagged diaper free, ec, elimination communication, month 12, natural infant hygiene, nih, potty learning. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.