Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Pooping Surprise

I checked out a couple of books from the library last winter on Infant Potty Training after reading about it in several different blogs.

The basic concept is this: Instead of training our babies to pee & poop in their diapers, we should be training them to go in a receptacle - toilet, sink, tub, the ground, a bowl, etc. And like Pavlov's dogs, use a 'signal' every time the baby does its thing. The recommended signal is whistling. They will soon equate their signal with the pot & use it correspondingly.

The key is to observe the rhythms and signs a baby is giving off that it is peeing or pooping - focused attention, quietness, grunting, etc. The books I've read also suggested getting them on the bowl (or whatever receptacle you choose) right after they've eaten (or during), or when they wake up from naps or the night's sleep - that these times are when they are most likely to pee.

It is a common practice throughout much of Asia and Africa; and was commonplace in the US and UK until the last 3 or so generations. My own father-in-law's baby book states that he was trained at 8 months. An impressive feat.

I've been training Starbeans part-time since December. I keep a bowl under our bed and put him on it every morning when we first wake up. I'm pretty relaxed about it; if he pees in the bowl, that's great - if he doesn't, that's fine too. But more often than not, he pees. I first chose to whistle (as the signal) while he was peeing, but realized that it the same whistle I use to call one of our cats, so I switched to saying, "go-go".

Each morning that he pees, it is one less diaper to wash and I view it as a step closer to being fully potty-trained. He seems to enjoy watching himself pee as well, which the books discussed. Tip: When I hold him over the bowl, I watch the clock and keep him there for no longer than 10 minutes. That way, I don't stress wondering how long we've been there or get frustrated wishing he would pee. More often than not, he pees within the first few minutes.

Now for the Big Announcement: Dant-da-da-DA!

This morning, in addition to peeing in the bowl, Starbeans pooped in it. I swear that he was aware of what he was doing too, because he started pooping within 10-20 seconds of sitting on the bowl. I was so proud. He hasn't pooped without a diaper on since he was a newborn (he is currently almost 9 months old); I am convinced he knew what he was doing.

I want to ease him into potty-training at a very young age: but I don't want to stress about it, or introduce it as a completely foreign concept at the age of 2. I think things are going very well. I am pleased.

So, that is my Pooping Surprise.

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