What is it?
Conscious infant toilet training where we learn to communicate with our babies about their peeing and pooing.
It is not really toilet training because none of the conventional procedures need to happen. Our child has learnt to acknowledge the processes in their body rather than to ignore them.
Why do it?
Less landfill in our environment
Huge monetary savings
Hugely satisfying for mum/family and baby – deepens our trust and bond with one another because they feel empowered with their ability to communicate their needs and you feel empowered that you can meet their needs.
I believe it also makes our children more intelligent and strengthens a mother’s intuition.
More hygienic for baby.
A child stays connected to their body and isn’t trained to have negative associations their waste and their body. Eg. what do we do when our child does a big poo and we have to change their nappy? eeewww, gross…
The 5 steps for elimination communication
Prepare your environment
Potty in the lounge room – perhaps decorated with paints or stickers by you and bub together, bought together etc..
Step and a child’s toilet seat in the bathroom
No rugs on the floor if possible
Start on a good day – when you are not tired, have nothing on, no visitors etc. and can be consistently attentive for the next 2 days
Most important is to have cloth nappies and liners and clasps or pins and start to use them at home until you are ready to use the potty. This helps them feel and you can start to observe their patterns.
Observe what your baby does when they are peeing and pooing.
Facial cues like grimacing and aural cues like grunting or even silence.
Genital cues are more relevant to boys – this is when their penis raises up slightly, just before they wee which makes things very easy becuase you can slip the potty underneath him quickly.
Your child may like to go somewhere private, be very quiet and squat down.
Times most children wee, like us, is first thing the morning. They are sick of being in a hot nappy too and as soon as they feel the air on their genitals they usually go. You can also blow gently on their genitals to stimulate weeing.
I also noticed that if they had an early morning feed then 20 mins later was a good time to catch a wee.
Feeling the cloth nappies regularly in the day and communicating to your bub – ooh that’s wet n yukky for you lets take that off straight away…and try and catch the next wee in the potty.
Create an associative sound – sss or ssshhh is most common.
Have an associative body position for the wee into the toilet. Usually its pressing your baby’s back into your tummy and holding them under their thighs over the toilet.
Maybe blow onto your bubs genitals at this point too.
This can also be great to just empty the bladder before you go out or in the car.
The four P’s
Positive / Praise / Patient / Persistent
Be positive and praise what they are doing ‘correctly’ and ignore what they/you are ‘missing’ with an ‘oh well’ and a quick wipe up with a nappy and disinfectant. With poohs show them how you flush it away…wow, cool!
Be patient and persistent. All the penny’s will drop sooner than you think. In the meantime you are developing some awesome virtues and your bub is loving all this attention and your relationship in the future will be so much easier with this extra bonding you have.
Do it your own way and apply the 3 She Births principles
Have faith in the body and your intuition and your relationship and communication channels that you are strengthening together. You may start with just catching the first wee or a couple of wee’s a day for a week or more. You may wait until its sunny n warm or until they are walking.
Relax and enjoy the journey, it will be incredibly satisfying trust me!