walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Notes on Elimination

Heh. It almost sounds sinister, doesn't it?

I ran across a book called _Infant Potty Training_ on Amazon a while back while I was pregnant. After initial horror based on misunderstanding what might be involved, I relayed a summary to R., who said that's what they do in Africa, proving, as always, that he is a better parent than I am. We discussed it, and decided it was worth a shot, but not something we were hugely committed to.

What with the anemia, the C-section, and the usual newborn/new parent hit-by-a-train feeling, I would have abandoned it, but Teddy does pee on the changing table, which is the bathroom counter, so aiming him at the sink is pretty straightforward. On a good day, we'll take him in to change him because he's crying and gesturing like that's what he wants, but he'll be dry. Either way, we'll point him at the sink, turn the water on to dribble to give him a suggestive little audio cue, and sometimes he'll go. Package him back up and back to his job of eating and sleeping.

Like some percentage (probably small) of exclusively breastfed babies, Teddy does not poop very often. As in, less than once a week on average. As a result of this and some other considerations (like, a completely free set of diaper covers and some cloth diapers we'd picked up in case we got a yen to try cloth), we're cloth diapering during the day, since it isn't appreciably harder than disposables. Disposables have to go out in the trash (easy -- chute is a couple yards down the hall; I can go barefoot in my jammies if I check and the hallway is clear); one extra load of laundry every three days or whenever we run low on diapers (and the laundry is in the bathroom where the changing area is set up). The best part is not having to remember to go to the store and buy diapers. Screw cost. This is one less bulk item to pack home.

A couple of poops ago, I noticed that we got some warning -- he'd be all red faced and straining on and off for an hour or so before the mega blow out. And if you're quick and listening, you'll hear the first squirt and can get him to the changing area before he's filled the diaper, much less risking squeezing out into his clothes (I could see where that could be nightmarish). So this morning when he would NOT go back to sleep, even when I'd nursed him to the point he was spitting up, and curled up entirely around him (this usually works, dammit!), in the fog of 7 a.m. or so (this is really early for us, okay?), I put my hand under his feet and told him to push. It had been a week or so since the last round of this, so he'd forgotten, but he remembered fast and after a few pushes, I heard that splorch and hustled him off to the bathroom. Out of the diaper, butt hanging over the sink, I got most of it down the drain with minimal mess. Next time, maybe I'll remember to take him into the bathroom when he's really pushing and I know it's been about a week and a half.

I knew I was looking forward to bodily fluids (honest! not sarcasm here at all) with the little guy, but for some reason I get a huge kick out of being able to save him (most of) the annoyance of sitting in his (albeit largely inoffensive) shit and piss. I'm not advocating anyone else get this into it, but I'm here to say this isn't just cheaper, or healthier, or more environmentally conscious or anything noble like that. It's ridiculously fun.

Some of this came up in my last postpartum visit to the midwives, when I casually mentioned that we had an exceptionally good night in which the single disposable never got wet because he was peed twice in the sink during the night either before nursing or between breasts (you know what I mean!). M. asked what we meant and I described it and she said, oh, are you doing diaper free? That sounded like a reasonable description (albeit a bit hyperbolic) so I said yes. After further clarification, I learned that _someone is teaching a class in the area_, possibly based on the Boucke book.

For some reason, this cracks me up. I thought I was nuts for buying the book to learn how to do it (especially since our version of it is somewhat different from the ones described in the book). I was avoiding talking to other new parents in part because I did _not_ want to get into any conversations about this as I was utterly convinced people would think we were crazed and possibly abusive. But no, it turns out it's a trend and there are classes.

And there's this foggy notion in my brain that Colbert did a really funny thing with a diaper looking like an American flag, compared to Chinese diapers (as a patriotic issue, when it's a reference to a kind of cloth diaper here in the US), possibly mentioning that NYT article about going diaper free (which is apparently way more hard core than anything we're attempting).

Last, but far from least, R. says that Teddy is creeping, which is really cool and really scary. On the elimination front, creeping means it might be time to put a little potty in the living room, so he can give an unambiguous signal by looking at it or creeping towards it. On every other front, we're looking at the child-proofing decision once again. *sigh*

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