Lately, I feel like Ikaika and I have hit a plateau with the potty.
For those who don't follow my life religiously - I cloth diaper my now one year old and have been using the basic principles of Elimination Communication with varying degrees of commitment since 2 weeks old. He began sitting on the toilet using a little seat insert when he was about 3 months.
Since he started eating solid foods and (more or less) sleeping through the night, his digestive system has become increasingly predictable. Therefore, I feel like now is the time to take this whole potty thing to the next level.
But where is the next level?
My number one frustration is that I dont feel like Ikaika is communicating with ME about the potty. Ideally, I want him to be able to let me know if he wants to go. Go into the bathroom, point at the potty, grap at his crotch, anything that would give me a clue as to what hes thinking. Usually, catching anything in the toilet feels like sheer luck. Also, now that his communication skills are improving I want him to be able to spend at least part of his day in cotton underwear and/or training pants.
He already cooperates with sitting on the toilet, he has peed and pooed in the potty (as long as I get him there), doesnt seem to be scared of flushing, etc. Can I really expect any more from a 12 month old?
According to this book I read yesterday, the answer is yes. Diaper Free Before 3 by Dr Jill Lekovic presents a theory that is somewhere between "diehard EC" and "wait till they are ready". I think this book is very in sync with my own thoughts about potty training.
The new ideas I took away from this book are as follows:
1) now that Ikaika is older and more regular, its time to start treating the potty as part of our daily routine. Just like feeding, dressing and bathing, I need to incorporate trips to the toilet into other activities for the day. After he wakes up, after he eats, before bath, before bed. I need to be more consistent about offering the toilet to him instead of just doing it whenever I think about it.
2) Its time for an infant potty. Sure, he can sit on the seat insert and use it without much problem. But a toilet that is his size will enable him to sit on it or go to it without my assistance. It will make the toilet more accessible to him. He can also mimic - go to the potty at the same time as Mr A or myself - a technique thats worked like a dream for teeth brushing.
3) I have to be able to take the plunge and put him in training pants. Ive been doing it all morning today with surprisingly uneventful results! Because he already uses cloth diapers, training pants are more about training ME to be aware of what hes doing and not rely so much on diapers.