I have been training (‘learning?’) my brain to refer to it as “learning” rather than “potty training.” The word is so medieval, I think. Getting two kids, who are 23 months apart, to use their respective potty has been interesting but, yeah I’ll say it, kinda fun. One kid goes because we started infant elimination communication (EC) at four weeks and the other one has finally associated that mama and dada do not like toddler pee or toddler poop on the carpet. EC and potty learning both share similar concepts but EC has a “window of opportunity” age that the 2-year-old does not fall in anymore so I guess we’re “potty learning.”
My first attempts of potty learning began when Humnoy started walking at eight months and we enthusiastically purchased the Baby Bjorn potty chair. It collected dust more than actual human waste for a good long while and mainly for the fact that my effort did not match my unrealistic goal of potty training him within two trimesters of his sibling’s gestation. Once joined by the new baby, I think seeing her “go” inspired Humnoy’s potty learning progress while getting quite comfortable (and successful) with infant elimination communication. Here’s the lowdown on potty learning with two different-aged children at the same time:
What? Elimination communication is the practice of being in tune with an infant’s elimination needs rather than let them go in a diaper. It’s usually referred to as “infant potty
training learning.” Potty learning is just a sappy way to say potty training. No, just kidding. It’s actually a child-led approach to transitioning from diapers to potty. They’re similar in that I’m listening for their signals.
How (do I know?) Speaking of signals, both of the kids communicate it to me. Lanoy fusses; Humnoy will straight up say “pee-pee” or “poo-poo.” Bless his heart. Only difference is that Lanoy hates a wet diaper and a wet diaper happens when her fuss sounds are overlooked for that time being be it a busy mama or a *cough* lazy dad *cough-cough* because she always, always sends some sort of signal before needing to go potty. Her signs are breathing fast/heavy, unlatching off the breast, and lastly a whimper or a cry if the first few signs aren’t recognized fast enough. Again, big brother just says the word and we guide him accordingly: to his potty chair. Sometimes it comes after the fact and I have no shame to have “how to clean poop off carpet” bookmarked.
Where? Humnoy has a sweet Elmo potty chair that makes a cool flush sound, which can help with rewards and incentives for going but it’s actually just an annoyance now. The sound, not the peeing. He does his business either in there or we catch toddler poops in the standard potty with the seat adapter from the Elmo chair. Lanoy goes pee in a repurposed Huggies wipes container (one kept next to the family bed and one for car EC), the bathroom sink, or the standard toilet with me sitting backwards on the toilet. Sometimes I get the ol’ surprise of an ass splatter in the sink but then swing her over to the toilet to catch the rest of it.
Why? … am I crazy, you mean? That I can’t answer but I’m really enjoying the successes we’ve had with EC and potty learning. As with both, it’s all natural. Not as in racking up crunchy parenting points but as in natural processes for both. I’m following my children’s leads with their toileting needs, from wherever they started. We’ve had many misses and many a turds hit the ground but I use that as a lesson for me to help my children communicate with me better. It reduces laundry, waste, and hopefully tears on the journey to full toilet independence.
What’s your experience or ideas about potty training or learning?
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