Friday, April 20, 2012

EC - Head Start on Potty Training

I've seen it said often that children with Down syndrome potty train at a much later age than other children. When we found out that our son had Ds, this was one thing I researched. I wondered if anyone with a child with DS had ever used Elimination Communication and whether it could work to shorten that time.

I definitely found some early mentions of using EC with children with DS and found the information encouraging. I'm not sure why I was worried, as if there would be some reason I shouldn't do it.

With Sasha, I discovered Elimination Communication right after she was born. I read books, I watched videos, I checked websites... I procrastinated. I knew I wanted to do it, but I guess I was intimidated or something. Then finally, like with most things, I suddenly got the motivation and just jumped right into it. She was 2 months old. I grabbed one of those big pink hospital basins and put it on the kitchen counter.

The first "catch" truly is an exciting thing and will have you addicted in no time! Elimination communication brings even more trust to the relationship you have with your baby. You may also feel more confident as a parent when you realize you know your baby so much better than a lot of people (by predicting evacuations).

You can get started by going after sleeping / naps, plus every x amount of time. The advice I give most often, though, is to listen to your intuition! I had so many times when I just thought "I bet Sasha needs to go." If I didn't listen, I guarantee you I had a "miss." (We'll not be calling them accidents, folks.)

Sasha is just over 2 years old, by the way, and has been out of diapers for several months. Yes, we occasionally have misses, but I'm thrilled with how much easier this was than trying to potty train my older daughter.

Now I have Spencer and I knew I wanted to use Elimination Communication. I admitted I might not be ready to do it first thing in the hospital, but it was in my plan. Then we had the NICU delay on getting home... and then I didn't know how to hold a floppy newborn BOY over a potty... I was procrastinating again.

I got a little advice and kept EC on my mind, waiting for my motivation to spark again. And then it did (at 5 weeks)! Spencer started to fuss a little. Instead of going straight for the breast, I found his diaper was dry and thought he might be fussing with a need to pee. I stripped his diaper off, cradled him over a bowl and cued him. He peed immediately! It was my first try!

I've taken that leap, now I can work on more catches. It is so exciting and fun and bonding. And you know what? It makes for less diaper laundry, too!

Have you tried elimination communication? At what age did you start?
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