Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Beginning EC with an older baby or toddler

Baby Awearness EC Support Group - every 4th Sunday of the month
Next session: August 22 at 10:30 a.m. led by Holli Shiro

If your baby is past the ideal window (first 6 months) for starting EC, don’t despair! You can start with older babies and toddlers too. Here are the basic steps to starting:

1. Older babies may have become so accustomed to using diapers that they have lost awareness of their elimination functions. Providing diaper-free time each day (for at least 20 minutes - as long as you want) can help them re-gain this awareness. If you don’t want to go completely diaper free, a cloth training pant or coverless fitted diaper will work too. This will help your child experience wetness or actually see what their body is doing when they eliminate. Diaper-free time allows you to observe your child’s elimination patterns and signals, which will help you know when to offer the potty later on.
2. When you notice your child eliminating, acknowledge it out loud. You can say, “look, you’re going shi shi” and you can even sign “toilet”. If the potty is close by, you can attempt to catch it, but don’t worry if you don’t, because this stage is about helping your baby learn what their body is doing.
3. Once you feel that you have a good grasp on your baby’s patterns and your child has become aware of when they are eliminating, try introducing the potty. It can be helpful to have multiple potties in the house or child-size toilet inserts in the big toilet. Some children do better if you can bring the potty to them. Not every baby will use the potty willingly at first. If your baby doesn’t, be creative! Try other containers or bottles or going outside or just waiting a little longer before introducing the potty.

Remember, EC does not rely on bribes, rewards or punishment. Instead, elimination is treated very matter-of-fact, like sleeping and eating, and is about helping your baby retain (or re-learn) awareness of their elimination. If it gets too stressful for you or your baby, scale back your efforts to a previous step until you’re ready to move forward again.

~ Holli Shiro

Also, don't forget to come to our EC group on Sunday, August 22 at 10:30 am.

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