Friday, September 16, 2011

EC - No Praise / No Discipline

It can be very difficult, especially in the beginning with Elimination Communication, to not go nuts when you start catching pees (and/or poops). I definitely got excited, but tried not to specifically say "Good job!" or whatever. (If you don't understand why I wouldn't want to tell my child she is good, please check out Hobo Mama's guest post by Anktangle on Being "good" and/or Hobo Mama's own follow-up post a month later about Why "good kid" bothers me.)

Everett on the PottyEverett on the Potty
Photo Credit

So, instead, I'd excitedly say "Daddy, Sasha went peepee in the potty!" I also don't punish for "accidents." She's been using the potty (off and on) since she was two months old! I don't think you can consider a 6 month old wetting the bed (because I let her sleep naked) an "accident." I do not want to shame her into using the potty! or anything else for that matter! Shaming children... is a shameful act!

So... how on earth do I motivate her?! Well first off, the idea is that babies do not want to sit in their own waste! However, I have found a way to "praise" or "bribe" her that I feel totally good about!

When Sasha goes in the potty - she gets more naked time! So now, as she is approaching her second birthday, we are getting back on track with Elimination Communication.

She has to go when she wakes, but doesn't like to be rushed onto the potty. When she first wakes, I take off her diaper and snuggle or nurse her bare-bottomed. Once she has had a few minutes to get her bearings, I sit her on the potty, in the living room. I make sure to have a couple books handy as that is her current favorite past time for sitting on the potty. I sit with her and we look at books. She likes for me to have my own board book, too.

Sasha on the PottySasha on the Potty
August 2011

When she is ready to get up, we "pat, pat, pat" her dry and then she is immediately ready for breakfast! (She has been known to eat breakfast ON the potty.) I let her sit (naked) on a cloth diaper in the high chair to eat. When she is finished with breakfast, I set her back on the potty while I finish cleaning her breakfast mess. She usually goes again, so she gets more naked time!

Then I just follow my instinct and watch for signs. She grabs herself before going, but she isn't always in the same room. (She peed on her sister's floor the other night.) If I think it has been too long and she sits on the potty, but doesn't go - I put a diaper on her. I don't want this to seem like punishment and she really doesn't seem to mind. In fact, I've been noticing that she'll ask for a diaper when she needs to poop.

I'll be glad when we get back to catching poop again, but I'm not pressing the issue. All in good time. At this rate, though, maybe she'll actually be out of diapers before Spencer is born! A momma can hope!


  1. Hi, found you because we were both in the natural parenting carnival.
    I like this post a lot. My son is two months and almost 4 months. It seemed like at two he was at the exact EC stage as your daughter. Then all the sudden he started taking himself like two months ago. But, like you we usually are home naked butt. Then he walks over and stands and pees over the potty. I mostly get excited with him when he stands and pees and makes all his pee in the potty. His aim is getting better. But I never got upset with an accident. Just gently remind him 'it's ok we'll clean it up' or if he peed his pants 'if you have to go, we can always take you!' stuff like that. I think it would be crazy to get upset, even now. I don't wanna scare my son into peeing in the potty. And I've noticed regular potty training often includes bribes, like how my parents gave me an M&m every time I went. But EC is so great that it's child led, they do it when they are ready!
    Great post!

  2. Whoops- my son is 2 years and 4 months ;)

  3. Have you tried training pants to help with the transition away from diapers? They are enough to save the floor, but not absorbent enough to interfere with control. :)

  4. @Cassie ~ since writing this piece, we've started braving trips out of the house with no diaper. We always have back up diapers in the truck and sometimes we take back up shorts.

    I have found that I just need to make sure to set her on a toilet within every 2 hours. I don't even have to cue her, she sits on a big toilet and just GOES!

  5. @eliminationcommunication - we have zero money to put into any other EC or potty learning products at all. But we're doing well these days. Since writing this post things have improved. I think it has been a few days since we've used any sort of diaper and we've had almost no misses... though hubby says she did pee in her high chair today. Oops.


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