|(Five months, baby!)|
Wow. I can't believe that it has already been five months since Little Owl was born. People always say it goes fast... and they aren't joking.
I promised myself back when I told you all about my decision to do EC/"Diaper-Free" that I would give a little update once a month. Well, it's that time. So, here it is.
When it Rains, It Pours
First off I have to say it was a lot easier to practice EC when it was warm out. Little Owl could just hang out with nothing on and just a receiving blanket under her. If she peed, all I had to do was change the receiving blanket. Now that the lovely cold and wet of the PNW has returned I really have to adjust. I used to be able to just stick her on the potty straight away. Well, when she is wearing a diaper, a diaper cover, a onesie, and a pair of pants it takes a little longer to get her "potty ready".
The rain makes everything more difficult when you are out and about with baby. Stroller-rides change, it's not as easy to change a diaper in the back of a car, transferring a sleeping child from car to bed is even more stressful. It's no different with EC. But, like this whole adventure, I have learned to adjust. She needs to stay warm. I want her to stay dry. It doesn't always work, but we keep trying. Thankfully, she is old enough now to where she holds her pee for longer and will recognize the verbal cue and go when she is given the opportunity.
The cold weather has also changed our nighttime routine. I discovered that not all pajamas are conducive to EC. I have adjusted several outfits to make them work. I particularly like this one. They are your typical pjs with the snap pants, but rather than snapping them to the pant leg I made it into a sort of dress. (Easier access to the diaper in case of the need to do a nighttime change...)
It hasn't ceased to be an adventure. But, I am committed to this for the long haul. Many days I am still in shock at how well it does work. I have learned her routine. She pees after naps. She kicks at night if she has to pee. She kicks in her carrier if she has to pee. It's interesting Around three months her cues were all verbal. Now, there are no verbal cues (not that I can find, anyways!...) they have switched to physical.
Home is Where the Boredom Hits
One surprising observation I have made over the last month is that I actually have more success with EC when we are not at home. That's right, when we are out and about it's easier to catch pees/poops. Why? I think the answer is multi-fold. At home, she is often practicing rolling over or doing little airplane dance moves (aka all movements that put pressure on her bladder). When we are at home she will sometimes pee teeny amounts four times in an hour (yes, those are VERY hard, nigh, impossible, to catch... especially if you want to get anything done during the day besides holding your baby over a toilet. Hint: I am not THAT "crunchy"!). Out and about she usually goes once every one or two hours.
Why the difference? I think a large part of it is because she gets distracted by all that is around her and also because I am typically carrying her in the ERGObaby and can feel her kicks when she has to go. Last week we went out on the town (that expression has a different meaning when you have a baby...) for about five hours. Number of dirty diapers we returned with? ZERO. That's right. ZERO.
Granted, this doesn't happen every time we go out. But, typically now we will return with only one or two diapers for a whole day excursion. I find myself packing my diaper bag to the brim with STUFF and not needing even a tenth of it. Once I learn to trust myself that we really are getting it I will only take two or three extra diapers (not twenty).
I just finished reading the section, How the Chinese Potty Train Early from Mei-Ling Hopgood's wonderful book, How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm. I was very encouraged. It reminded me that there is a whole spectrum to early "potty training" with many different starting points, approaches, and end-dates. The basic, underlying theme is simply to keep your baby dry, not let them get used to being wet-- help them to know about their elimination needs, help them recognize your cues, etc.
Traditionally, most Chinese children are potty trained by around eighteen months. And they don't typically start until around 6 months. (By those standards we are ahead!) Of course, some cultures are potty trained by one year. There are variations on this all over the globe.
Who knows when our potty-trained "date" will be. I don't particularly care. While, EC is a means to an end, the end is not the only purpose. As Hopgood says, "It's about learning to read your child and teaching him to communicate needs. It's not a task or even a goal but simply something that is done with gentle patience and persistence." (100)
I would also add, on (most) days it's actually (believe it or not...)FUN! <3