As you know, I am practicing Elimination Communication with my littlest one, R. When I did some reading on this technique before starting, I read that babies are born with the awareness of the sensation that they have to go. When we put them in diapers, eventually this awareness of sensation subsides and they go without feeling much, if any warning. When it is time to potty train them, we have to retrain them to become aware of the sensation that they have to go again. Babies will find ways to signal that they have to go from birth. If you respond to their signals that they have to go, their signals will get more and more noticeable. A signal that started out as imperceptible would gradually become more and more obvious as it was responded to. By not responding, any signals that they display at birth will generally get weaker and weaker until the signals disappear.
At first I didn’t really have much luck figuring out what R’s signals were. I just put her on the potty when I thought she had to go. I missed a lot. She was peeing every twenty or thirty minutes and there was no way I could respond on timing. I couldn’t be having her on the potty that often with an 8-year-old that also needs my attention. I just tried to relax into the process as best as I could. That is hard for me because I want to control EVERYTHING and feel crazy if I cannot. As she moved into her 3rd month, I could definitely get a better sense of when she needed to go to the bathroom. At that point, I was still missing a lot of pees but knew pretty much when she had to poop. The only time we had a poop miss was when I was eating and she wasn’t right there with me. She would make noises and if I wasn’t paying attention it would be everywhere! During her 3rd month, she would grunt a lot more when she had to go to the bathroom and get a little squirmy. It was still very difficult to tell if it was normal grunting/squirming or if it was bathroom related. I just kept at it. Catching what I could and missing what I missed. I was trying to be gentle with myself.
Flash Forward to 4 month old! We have exciting news. R has developed a Pee/Poop Wiggle. I am so excited! No when she has to go she shakes like we do if we get a cold chill! It is too cute! I have been able to catch more pees and poops because she has been doing this wiggle for the last few days and she needs to go almost every time. The only explanation I have for it is that when she feels the sensation that she has to go, it feels like a chill to her. She is also able to do the pee wiggle and hold it a minute or two for me to get her to the bathroom. We were in the restaurant today and she did the pee wiggle and I figured that she would have had an accident by the time we got to the restroom, but she surprised me and held it until I got her pants down and over the toilet.
My advice for anyone practicing Elimination Communication/Infant Pottying and are feeling discouraged in the early months, just keep at it and you will start seeing your baby’s signals strengthening and getting more noticeable.
Now I just have to prepare myself for the changes of signals and possibility of regression in pottying that comes with teething and new mobility.