It’s taken some time, and I’m not entirely convinced everyone’s on board yet, but people do seem to accept that mother’s breastfeed, formula feed, or combination feed their babies. So then, why do we not have the same level of acceptance for nappies and elimination communication?
I wish I had read this book whilst pregnant, I probably wouldn’t have been as brave to try it with my First but I’ve had some level of success with my Second, despite trying part-time. And by part-time, I do mean part-time, one or two mornings a week. After a few mornings of trying and one day entirely nappy-free, my daughter will happily sit on the toilet (but protests at the potty – ever the independent one!), insists on wiping her own bottom, enjoys pulling the flush (I hold her up so that she can reach), and washing her hands. And she is 12 months old! I’m so proud of her, and I’m enjoying watching her grow in confidence.
I read this book after an 18month uphill struggle with potty training my First, something didn’t feel right, I began to question conventional thinking because it wasn’t the going in the toilet or potty which seemed to be a problem, chocolate cake saw to that (!), it was that he wasn’t bothered by being wet or dirty in his pants or trousers. He just doesn’t care about being wet. So I thought, what if he had never felt wet, would he have taken to toilet training better?
Unfortunately I came across this book too late, when my Second was ten months old. The book talks about an early reflex, which makes sense to me. When doing baby swimming with our First, we were told about an early reflex which allows babies to swim underwater but if you don’t make use of it, they lose it. Much the same with toileting it seems. So I have no doubt our journey would have been easier if I had starter when she was younger. That being said, I am pleased with our journey so far.
The book is practical and acknowledges the challenges you will face, including other people’s opinions and the lack of community. We never practice this on the weekends as my husband is not yet on board, and I never discuss what we’re doing at playgroups because I already know the criticism that I faced for baby lead weaning last time around! So you are on your own, but there is a Facebook group if you want to join it, which I find supportive and encouraging.
Even if you think elimination communication or baby-led potting isn’t for you, I would recommend you read this when thinking about traditional potty training methods. There are some great pages which describe how the body works, and descriptions (and pictures – hand drawn) of the what different looking poo means. I wish I had read this information when potty training my First.
A good, non-judgemental, practical read, which really appealed to my “inner hippy” (as my friend would say).
There are currently 12 copies available for loan in the Surrey County Council Library network.