Raising a baby would always mean spending a ton of money on diapers, on top of essentials like clothes and milk. That often leads parents to think about potty training their kids at a very young age to cut on the diaper expenses. Now, of course, potty training at a very early age is not very realistic. The closest that we can get to it, however, is to learn elimination communication and be able to recognize when you will need to help your child to the potty.
Now to do elimination communication, you will need to learn to understand and interpret your child’s body language, and therefore, learning how to communicate with them non-verbally. If you are able to tell when your kid needs to change diapers, then we can say that you’re pretty much halfway through learning elimination communication. This would also mean that you are already halfway through a diaper-free life.
Here’s a quick tutorial that will help you learn elimination communication. Before we start, you will need to prepare a notebook and a pen to take the necessary notes.
- Begin by recording the times your baby needs to eliminate, identify the pattern, and make out a schedule from what you’ve found. You can start the whole process at the time you find convenient, but it’s always best to start early, and by early, we mean the age before your baby reaches 6 months old. That will be before the age your child is too busy exploring everything around them to recognize the need to go. A typical schedule at this age starts with urination shortly after waking up, after every nap, and from five to fifteen minutes after feeding.
- Do be sure to take note of every single signal that your baby is giving you, like squirming, grunting, or making a fuss right before they get to eliminate. Sometimes, you will find that their facial expression appears to be that of concentration, their face going tense and may even reach out to objects they associate with taking a dump or urinating. More mature infants sometimes give clear signals like holding on to their private areas. Regardless of the behavior that you baby displays, do take note and identify patterns such that you will be able to predict the time they need to eliminate and thus help you get them to the potty on time.
- It also helps that you associate certain sounds with elimination. Here’s a quick example: make a “psssss” sound every time your baby takes a pee. You do not need to get your baby to use the potty as yet, but be sure to get them used to this association before you start the actual potty training.
- Having understood the signals your baby is giving you prior to eliminating their bodily wastes, you may then start removing your baby’s diaper whenever you think they need to eliminate. This is where actual potty training begins for them. Be sure to help them to the potty gently, holding them to keep them steady. Before your baby starts eliminating, make the sound that they have learned to associate with the act. Remember though, that the learning process can be pretty difficult at first, so be sure not to pressure your baby into following through. They’d learn soon enough; just rinse and repeat until they finally get it.
- Before we end this tutorial, here are a few things that you will need to be aware of while learning elimination communication.
- First off, it can’t be helped that your baby will have accidents while you start potty training them. It’s natural, so just relax and stay positive about it.
- You don’t need to eliminate the diapers if you are not yet prepared for wet carpets and car seats – thinking about those is kind of stressful, we know – but rather, just keep the diaper and only take it off of your baby when they need to go to the bathroom.
- Don’t try to interrupt your baby once they have already urinated, even after you are able to recognize the signs a little too late. You can instead make use of the event as an opportunity to further associate them with the specific sound for the act of urination.