Lazy Elimination Communication – a shorter read

Here’re the Coles notes (Kait’s notes?) for my post about early potty learning. The full details of how I implemented this plan and what success at each stage looked like are there. It’s a long read though, so here’s my elevator pitch:

I see a lot of concern that children will be traumatized if they use a potty “too early”, and few warnings that potty readiness doesn’t always present itself as “my kid walked into the bathroom, took his own diaper off, and pooped next to the toilet” and that there’s a window that can close, leaving children unwilling and even unable to eliminate except in a diaper. But you can try out the potty very early and just react to your kid’s reaction, taking them off if they are uncomfortable, or following their lead if they will sit happily. You won’t know until you try.

I also see all kinds of variations of “my kid always poops at the end of bath, what can I do?” or “Oh there he goes again with his poop face, watch this”. I say, why not try using those cues to put your kid on the potty, or even earlier, teach elimination communication without the naked time?

Here are some reasons you might be motivated:

  • Your kid blows out their diapers frequently
  • Your kid reliably poops within minutes of being loaded into the car seat
  • Your kid poops in the bath
  • You are sick and tired of changing cloth diapers so incredibly frequently
  • You hate rinsing cloth diapers now that your kid started eating table food
  • You want to stretch how long your kid can wear a disposable diaper to cut back on waste
  • Your kid is susceptible to diaper rash

Here are some signs that this would be easy for you to try:

  • Your kid poops on a fairly consistent schedule, especially right after waking up
  • Your kid has a hilariously-obvious poop-face which gives you a warning
  • Your kid usually poops while in a bouncy chair, swing, car seat, or high chair
  • Bonus: Your kid can estimate “sitting” with your hands supporting them

And here are the steps I started from only a few months old to getting both kids to poop in potties by the time they were 7 months old:

  • Labeled eliminations with words and signs, especially during diaper changes
  • Showed excitement at their eliminations, even into diapers
  • Laid them on my propped-up legs while they pooped, fully clothed
  • Sat them fully dressed on a tiny potty chair while they pooped
  • Sat them undressed on a tiny potty lined with cloth diaper while they pooped
  • Sat them undressed on bare potty while they pooped
  • Caught all the obvious straining or scheduled poops
  • Started offering the potty at every diaper change
  • Moved them to a supportive toilet seat reducer once they could safely perch there, at every diaper change
  • Watched and listened for my son telling me he had to poop (with signs or words); he developed the ability to hold it for a few minutes until we could get to a potty

If that sounds interesting, check out my 4000 word essay on the topic, The Case for Early Potty Learning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *