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We would make progress and then regress. Make progress, and then regress.... It didn't help that I got into a car accident right around the time when Athena was just starting to be mobile, and I couldn't lift her for months. It didn't help that we had "potty rebellions", and that we lived in carpeted housing at times. So I just decided maybe EC wasn't for us, and just basically gave up any hope of potty training before five!
Then, a few weeks ago, when we moved into our new space on the Eco-village, something clicked. And, now, potty "training" is done. We've had two accidents in three weeks. So, I guess, by all standards, we're done. And before two. (That's not bad, right?) It's really hard to believe. And I'm not even sure how it happened, but I'm definitely not complaining!
People have asked me if I think doing EC has been worth it. And even before I knew I would have a fully potty learned two year old, even when things weren't going so well, I would have said a resounding YES. I am so grateful I was introduced to this idea before Little Owl was born. I highly recommend it! Even catching a few poops in the potty instead of having to deal with blow-outs makes it 1000 times worth the effort, IMO! ;)
But, now onto the real reason I am writing this post. It's more than just to update you on my experience with EC, but to tell you my "tips" for potty training. It seems like bloggers these days are full of advice, so I thought I might as well jump on the band-wagon! Here are my
10 (Unconventional) Tips for Potty Learning
Really this should be part of any how-to for any stage of parenting. Always chocolate. You DON'T need to invest in a lifetime supply of Hershey's, you could even make your own. But, I highly recommend always having some on hand. You never know when it might be needed.
2. Wine.What goes better with chocolate than wine? Yes. This should always be around too. It can be especially helpful after a long to of unsuccessful potty learning. But it also doubles in the case of a successful day of potty learning... as a reward for momma!
3. Naps.Always a good idea. Take naps whenever you can. It's a good strategy for all aspects of life... so why not apply it to potty learning. You deserve some shut eye, momma!
4. Meditation.This is kind of like napping, except sitting up.
5. Long Walks.On the beach, in the city, in the woods, with baby, without baby, with a stroller, with a carrier... however you do it! The fresh air is always helpful.
6. Deep Breaths.You have to be careful with this one during potty learning. It's all in the WHERE you do it. Just don't do it right over a diaper blow-out or a potty "miss" and you'll be golden.
7. Yoga.I don't have much experience with this myself. But people always add it into advice lists so I thought I should include it, too.
8. Massage.Yes. Just, yes. Get a massage. Your potty learning a baby! You deserve it!
9. Pedicure.Unfortunately, I am too ticklish for a pedicure, but that shouldn't stop you!
10. Hot tea.Hot beverages cure a million ailments. Potty learning included. This is my personal non-caffeinated favorite! But, really, you can't go wrong. Pour yourself a cup of tea and know that, someday, your baby will be potty learned. So that's comforting, right?
That's my list, Mommas. Pretty unconventional, right? ;) It's a good list, though I think. I'm going to keep it around for other parts of parenting too... like temper tantrums, sibling fights, teenager debates, etc.
But in all seriousness, I don't feel like I have a lot of advice to give. But I do have a LOT of sympathy! If you want to learn more about elimination communication I can't recommend highly enough Ingrid Bauer's Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene. Even though, I didn't follow exactly what she advised, I learned a LOT from it. And I know you will too.
I also wish all parents would read Mei-Ling Hopgood's How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between). She talks about EC in the book, but it is also just a good look at parenting in other cultures, to help us put our own in perspective.
As far as "potty learning" tools go, I highly recommend you check out www.NaturallyDiaperFree.com to see what this momma has to offer in the way of EC materials. Here is a little bit about the site from the page itself: Here you will find products for Elimination Communication (EC). EC is a gentle, natural way of meeting your baby's elimination needs. I create many of the products for sale on this site. The products that I create are made from 100% organic cotton or upcycled fabric, both from local sources. Our goal at Naturally Diaper Free is to provide you with the tools you will need to practice EC in the modern world.
For our family we used two different potties. When Athena was really little, we used the BABYBJORN Smart Potty which was great because it was very small.
As Athena got older we wanted something a little more sturdy and found this Munchkin Arm & Hammer potty seat at a second-hand store. I highly recommend looking for these sorts of items second hand! It's amazing what you can find at thrift stores.
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