This is Day 101 of the Green in 365 series!
By Elizabeth of Running Family
Perhaps this week is first time you have heard about Elimination Communication and your child is an older baby or toddler. I highly recommend starting wherever you are at and keeping it fun!
When my 3rd child was 17 months, he definitely enjoyed our after-meal routine of flying out of the high chair to use the restroom. We also offer the potty before leaving the house or right after night-time snack.
We carry a small potty for the car and always offer the potty-tunity before going into a store (since I despise Wal-Mart style bathrooms.) We also read tons while he sits on the potty; in fact reading has replaced the comfort of nursing in many ways. It’s been a lovely transition.
And I must confess keeping my older sons in big kid pants has been an added bonus. We offer a boys’ potty-race for both the older boys and the baby. Little brother catches on very quickly. No matter what age or life situation, giving time and attention to basic the human need of elimination is always a worthwhile effort and can actually be a fun experience that promotes bonding between caregiver and child. Here is what we try to do:
Elimination Communication For Older Babies and Toddlers
Set Routine times
- after meals
- upon waking
- right before going to sleep
Cues for other times
- if fussing for no apparent reason
- glassy-eyed look
- extensive wiggle
- asking to nurse or be picked up for no apparent reason
- rubs belly or privates
- clears throat
- goes to hide in favorite corner
- runs to the general area of the potty
- tries to pull off clothing / underpants or diaper
- a vague sense that it’s time
- if I need to go I always take the youngest with me
- My older children will sometimes tell me their brother needs to go. They have a sense, too, of their brother’s needs
- phantom warmth in the diaper while I’m carrying him
- tension in the lower back muscles
If you are starting EC with an older baby, you may want to consider your baby’s world as you watch for cues. Try to be sensitive to your own stress level about the issue. Relaxing will help your baby relax.
I have even seen EC be helpful with older children who have bladder control problems or bedwetting. It can help increase any age child’s bodily awareness even if they were taught to eliminate in diapers as an infant. As a parent patiently and respectfully offers the assistance in getting to the restroom at consistent predictable intervals throughout the day, the parent is modeling healthy bodily awareness. Older children respond very well to patient parents!
As I have grown as an EC parent, I am also able to point out the cues to my older children and continue to teach them to respect human dignity and needs. This is definitely worthy of my time and attention.
Read the rest of the series here:
If you have an older baby or young child struggling with potty training, would you consider using Elimination Communication with them?
Elizabeth is living her life dream of running, writing, and raising four wild children in a little log home in the woods. She juggles blogging at www.runningfamily.net about healthy living, running, real food, and simple faith-filled living while trying to homeschool and practice Elimination Communication. She fails often at all of this but is trying to learn to live by grace.
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