Potty Time, Excellent

February 28, 2006

Marina on her potty.Zack and I decided early on that when Marina could walk and communicate, she should also be potty trained. We couldn't see ourselves changing the diaper of a two year old after being instructed by her to do so. Hence, our potty journey began.

I had talked with my mom about how she potty trained my brother and I. She told me she would hold us over the toilet when she thought we had to go and by the time we were about a year old, we would take ourselves to the bathroom. Simple as that.

When Marina was a few weeks old, Mimi sent me a New York Times Article about infant potty training. I think she sent it as a joke! The article suggested that the reader check out the website www.diaperfreebaby.org for more information. After exploring the website I found a local group that I joined. I lurked on the list for many weeks, not quite sure how, when, or if we would ever start.

I decided that we needed a potty chair. Everyone on the list seemed to prefer the Baby Bjorn Little Potty (aka BBLP) so that's what I got. That sat around unused for several weeks. I also decided to purchase a potty turtleneck that some people on the list talked about. A potty turtleneck is a nifty little accessory (like a toilet seat cozy) that takes the chill out of the BBLP. The turtleneck was made by some nice ladies at The EC Store. "EC" stands for elimination communication - another name for infant potty training.

I spent many weeks thinking about how in the world we were going to get Marina to pee or poo on her potty. It seemed impossible. I asked my mom again how she did it and what I should do to start. She told me to put Marina on the potty every time I changed her diaper and just see what happens. She also said that I wouldn't make a catch every time but it was a good start. My immediate reply was, "If I'm changing her diaper, she obviously doesn't have to go to the bathroom because she just went!" My mom told me to just do it. So I left it at that.

A few more weeks went by. I read this book called Diaper Free by Ingrid Bauer. It was interesting but it still didn't make sense to me. I wanted to have it all figured out before i tried it.

The next thing I did was to move the BBLP into Marina's room. I thought maybe if it was near the area where we change her, i might put her on it. It sat in her room for a couple of weeks.

Finally, on the night of December 30, I had a revelation. I was going to do it! The time had come. I was changing Marina's diaper. Before I put on the new one, I set her on the BBLP and made the cueing sound, "Psss, psss, psss." Viola! She immediately pooped! I was thrilled! I felt so proud of her and myself!

Little did we know, but our life was about to become even more focused on poo and pee. We continued on, putting Marina on her potty after naps and whenever we thought she might have to go. At first we didn't catch much, so I began keeping track of the intervals at which Marina peed and pooped. I also looked for signals she would give when she had to go, such as certain fussy noises.

After many misses, I came up with a pretty good system. Now, on most days we catch 75-80% of the pees and 100% of the poops.

Zack and I are very happy that we are potty training Marina. We wouldn't have it any other way. It seems so much more hygenic to take a baby to the bathroom when it's time to pee or poo.

Babies don't just fuss or cry for no reason - they're trying to tell you something!