About 6 weeks ago, I wrote about our start to Elimination Communication. Since then, we had a little break because I was focusing more on sleep stuff, then decided to pick it back up. There are no hard and fast rules to EC. You can be as laid-back or as committed as you want. I’m more of a part-time, laid-back ECer, so the break wasn’t really a big deal for me or Anneliese.
When I picked it back up, Anneliese knew just what to do. I think she is becoming more aware of her body overall, and she’s also giving me clearer signs that she needs to potty (either that or I’m just getting better at picking up her signs. Hard to tell!).
Sometimes I put her on her potty just based on timing. Perhaps she woke up from a nap a few minutes ago, or maybe she just finished a good nursing session.
Sometimes it’s because I went to change her diaper and it was dry, so I know she hasn’t peed in a little while.
Other times, it’s because of a cue. Like she’ll be playing with some toys, then kind of pause and stare off into space. Or (more obviously) she might grunt a little if she is feeling gassy or needs to poo.
When I put her on the potty, I let her play with some of her bath toys (like “Bath Cow,” above) or amuse her by doing finger-plays like the itsy bitsy spider, where is Thumbkin, or patty cake. I’ll say a few poems or sing some songs. And in between all of those, I’ll make the cue sound “pssst.” Especially if I think she’s thinking about peeing or pooing at the moment.
I also do sign language when I say the words, “potty,” “pee,” “poop,” and before I take her off the potty, “finished!”
She’s really starting to understand what the potty is for. Sometimes I’ll put her on, even if she just peed in her diaper, and she’ll try to squeeze out some more, and often succeeds, even if it’s just a drop of pee. A couple times, she’s started to act like she had to go to the bathroom, and I told her, “Oh, can you wait? Let’s go to the potty!” (with signs for wait and potty) and I swear she held it till we got there.
For this video, I was just going to film her while we sang songs and things like that, but as soon as I put her on the potty, she started going (even though she had just gone in a diaper a few minutes ago). I was so surprised!
Just this week, Anneliese has started signing to me. On the day she turned 7 months old, she signed “milk.” Of course that one is her favorite, and sometimes as I’m getting my shirt ready for her to nurse, she’ll sign it excitedly. The only other sign she’s done so far is “all done” or “finished.” She has only done that one twice, but it was unmistakable. The first time was after she was finished using the potty. She raised one hand and twisted her wrist in each direction to say “finished.” And sure enough, she was. The second time she signed “finished” was after a nursing session, once I had closed my nursing tank and pulled my shirt back down.
It is SO exciting to be able to communicate with my infant in such specific, meaningful ways, and that she can communicate in return! I’m adding more sign language to our daily routines, and hoping she’ll pick up on it! Also, a sweet friend of mine is making a trip to Ikea this weekend and picking up some things for me – including hopefully (if they’re in stock) a few more potties for Anneliese. It’s just good to be able to have them scattered around so one is always nearby, especially in the beginning.