Potty Training… I thought I would be able to knock this post out easily, but boy was I wrong. Firstly, I hate the term potty training. I don’t think my child needs to be trained; I think she needs to learn things on her own and at her own pace with my patience, respect, and guidance. We didn’t do rewards, we didn’t punish, and we just followed her lead with each day.
I chose to do EC (Elimination Communication) with my daughter starting about 8 months old thanks to the support I received from her care providers when we were able to leave our government run daycare in favor of an intimate in-home environment. In my usual fashion, I latched onto the idea but tweaked it to fit my daughter and our family. I never dangled my infant over a potty hoping she would go, for me that felt wrong and disrespectful and like a whole shit ton of work I didn’t really want to do. I waited until she was old enough to put herself on the small potty chair and chose to do it herself rather than feel like it was something being forced upon her.
Some days she wanted to wear a diaper, so she did. Some days she wanted to sit on the regular potty, so she did. Some days she only wanted to sit on her Ikea potty chairs, so she did. Gradually and with very little stress for any of us, she learned that the socially acceptable way to relieve herself was on the toilet in the bathroom and it just became her norm, too.
I do remember having a few regressions where she was choosing her diapers (which were disposable at the time) over the potty. Once I put her back in cloth and it didn’t hide the wetness for her, she switched back pretty quickly. She also spent a LOT of time naked; at home, at daycare, pretty much constantly nude. When we traveled across the country we brought along a small potty and would stop as often as possible to allow her to go. It was a good break for all of us and totally beat changing diapers. She still has an accident once in a while, but I can count on one hand the amount of times in the last 4 months. She is diaper free at night, as well, usually waking up to use the toilet completely on her own.
I don’t pretend any of this was really my doing. Emi is very much her own person, she picks things up fast. She wanted to go on the toilet, not to please us but because she preferred it to a wet or dirty diaper. All I did was give her the opportunity and gently remind her throughout the day. I am sure things will be very different with our next child, and I am prepared for that. I mean, I can’t say I’d really be sad to see my kid in a big fluffy butt for a little longer this time around.