*** Just a warning… I’m going to talk about poop. There. You’ve been warned.***
I’m going to talk about something super controversial. And frankly, kind of strange.
My twelve-month-old poops on the potty. Like, exclusively.
I didn’t start out trying to do this, I promise. As far as potty-training goes, I’m in the more relaxed camp of let-them-be-until-they-show-signs-of-readiness. This happened to be just before age two with Milo and Oliver. But something funny has happened with Emil. Ever since he was teeny-tiny, he has hated the sensation of elimination. He would hem and haw and moan and groan, and seek out reassurance whenever he was about to poop. I mean, he was really upset by the feeling, so he would come find me and cry and cry while he was pooping. And no, he has never been constipated, so it isn’t that he was straining or in pain. He just didn’t like to poop.
So I would hold him, reassure him, talk to him about what was happening, and that was that. Until I started to realize that he was giving me fair time to teach him something. And by talking to him, I guess I was. But then I realized that instead of holding him on my lap, I could just place him on the little potty and reassure him from there. So I tried it. He would make the familiar sounds warning me that he had to poop, I would say, “Do you have to go poo-poo, buddy?” and take him over to the potty, take off his diaper and pants, and place him on the potty. I would stay with him and encourage him, and sure enough, he started going in the potty. Now, every time he has to poop, he runs to the potty and whimpers and looks at me. It kind of freaks me out that he is doing this so young, but it’s also kind of amazing, I think. He is clearly aware of this function (completely oblivious of peeing, though– that will come much later I think) and I find it fascinating that babies can learn things like this so young.
I had read about elimination communication a while back and remember thinking how crazy and weird and insanely time-consuming it sounded (especially for those who started the practice with their newborn babies!?! Ack!). Then this happened with Emil and I have realized that parts of it aren’t that crazy after all. With him, it just seemed normal. And I also realize that each baby is different and communicates differently. If, for instance, Emil were a secretive pooper, I never would have tried this. But, since he sought me out for reassurance every time he was going, it just seemed like the natural next step.
So is this crazy? What are your thoughts?