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Infant Potty Secrets, Revealed

This entry probably won't have a theme. Consider yourself warned.
Nick is out of town for a few days visiting a friend who was passing though Bangkok. Jonas and I went swimming yesterday afternoon and I bought us a cheese sandwich at the pool snack bar. I sat him in a chair to eat it and he took the sandwich apart and started nibbling at the toasted bread. He noticed it had mayonaise on it and started wiping at it with is finger. I thought "Oh, I guess he doesn't like the mayo." But then he proceeded to wipe it all over his leg very carefully. He thought it was lotion.
I spanked him today. I didn't even really mean to. It was a knee jerk reaction and I felt terrible afterwords. I had told him "no" to flushing the toilet for the 3rd or 4th time and then I swatted his butt with a children's book I was holding. He howled like crazy and I felt like crap.
Anyway, on the subject of toilet training, a few of you were curious about when we started the whole process when I mentioned him using the toilet in my last entry. Well, the year before I got pregnant, we lived in China. In China, babies don't wear diapers. They wear special pants with no butt or crotch.
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"But, don't they pee and poo everywhere?" you might say. That is what I thought too, until I saw the magic of "ba"-ing.
"Ba"-ing is the Chinese word that is used to describe an amazing potty training technique that begins soon after birth. The baby his held in a certain position and the caretaker makes a sound, such as "pss pss pss" to get the baby to pee on command. Actually usually in China the signal is a low whistling sound. The child begins to associate the sound and the position with voiding, so they get trained to try to "go" whenever the caretaker holds them like that.
I was pretty impressed by this, so I started researching for literature in English to explain this technique to me better. I found a book called "Infant Potty Training" and ordered it off Amazon.com. I tried to look on line using search terms I discovered such as "elimination communication", but I didn't find much free information. Mostly personal testimonials.
Well, when Jonas got to be about 4 months old, I started holding him over a little potty everytime he nursed (because he pretty much always pooped while nursing at that age). Then a couple months later it became our routine to sit on the potty every morning and play with toys. It never took more than 5 minutes for him to "go". Meanwhile we were also getting him to pee every now and then using the signal sound and position, but I'll admit we are kind of lazy with it and he does wear diapers most of the day. He does poop in the toilet 9 times out of 10, and every time we do the pee signal thing with him, he will actually go. It is just a matter of being extremely vigilant and making sure not to allow too much time to pass to where he will wet himself (it is easy to forget to stop playing and go potty when you are such a busy little guy). Most days, I'm not up to the challenge. So I was really happy the other day when HE came and got ME to go to the potty with him.
So, that is my story with the infant potty training. I don't tell many people because I figure some people will have a critical opinion and think I am weird. But all I can say is, it works. And I never make him sit on the potty longer than he wants to. If he wants to get up, that's fine, even if he hasn't "gone" yet.
In other news, he has been talking like crazy the last week. I don' t know most of what he is saying, but he "talks" alot and had a long conversation with me the other day complete with hand gestures and an impression of a baby crying. It was too cute!
Also, the neighbor asked, in Lao, "Where is Nick?" (Nick bpai sai?) and Jonas pointed down the driveway and said "Vrrooommm vroomm" to indicate that Nick had gone somewhere on his motorbike. I was amazed! He has quite a little mind in there.

Saturday, Mar. 18, 2006 at 12:09 PM

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