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BabyRoX

Wednesday by Leah: EC Part III

I’ve talked about our journey with Elimination Communication (EC for short) here and here. Since Jonah is now 15 months old and rapidly gaining more autonomy each and every day, it’s time for another update! If you’re not familiar with EC, please read the earlier posts first cuz I don’t feel like recapping here. Haha.

Anyhow, about a month ago Jonah started grabbing his diaper right before – or after, if he’s really engrossed in play – he needed to potty. Sometimes he will pull his pants down, sometimes he’ll fetch another diaper and hand it to me, other times he will walk to his potty, but usually he just grabs his diaper and looks at me, and I say, “Do you need to go potty?” and then take him to his little potty chair in the bathroom. We also go to the potty after naps and in the morning, and whenever we get back from being out and about.

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Between 12 and 18 months is considered the sensitive period for toilet learning, in the Montessori tradition. I don’t strictly adhere to any one parenting/teaching philosophy, but Jonah clearly is showing signs of readiness! So I honor that. And I do think practicing EC, even part-time, has been really helpful in making using the toilet a familiar, regular part of Jonah’s day. I don’t view toileting as something he has to master in a day, or a month… it’s just an evolving process and as he gains more independence and ability to do things for himself, he will begin using the toilet more regularly on his own. He’s already taking some initiative with using his potty and he is able to control his bowels and wait to pee on the potty when needed. He LOVES washing his hands, too – mostly because he loves water, and he gets a kick out of climbing his stepstool to the sink to wash his hands.

We aren’t offering any candy or other bribes to reward him for using the toilet – there’s also no pressure for him to go, and he still wears diapers, not training pants yet. I also try to limit my praise when he does go now. I used to get really excited, but now it’s more of a normal thing. “Oh look, you went potty! Help Mommy flush it down the big toilet! Ok, now let’s wash our hands.” I still do the cueing noise when he sits down, but he doesn’t really need that anymore. I’ll probably stop doing that soon – it’s really more of a habit for me, not something I think about doing. He sits on the potty and I go, “Pssss, pssss!” – but by now he’s been using the potty so long he’s often already going before I get the sound out. He feels the need to go, and he knows the potty is the place to do it. Well, most of the time. Like with all things parenting/kid-related, some days/weeks are smoother than others. But again, it’s a journey – not a destination. Not yet. He doesn’t have to go in the potty all the time at 15 months of age.

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I think he will be ready for training pants in a month or two, once he gets better at pulling his pants on and off. I need to get a little stool for him to sit on, and stock up on more elastic-waist pants! I expect a number of accidents as move forward with toileting, so I want to have plenty of changes of clothes on hand. Jeans and other pants with snaps/zippers are just too difficult at this point, so as cute as they are on him, we need a more practical wardrobe as he gets older and more ready to leave diapers behind!

Oh, and flushable wipes have been awesome! His poop is solid now (usually!) and sometimes sticky. And pretty darn stinky. So I much prefer being able to dump the whole contents of the potty in the toilet and flush it down, rather than having cloth wipes to wipe off or regular baby wipes to throw in the trash. Wipe, dump in potty, flush! Much easier for me. I like being eco-friendly, but when it comes to stinky poo, I’m ok with the flushable wipes. More than ok.

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Would love to hear your toilet learning tips and experiences, too! Please share!

Wednesday by Leah: Level Up!

I didn’t realize how much I’d changed since becoming a mom until I went out to dinner with my sister and baby niece the other night (sans Jonah and Mark). I was able to teach my sister the quick-change method for discretely changing diapers on the fly. Grab wipe, diaper, and disposal bag (or have big pocket available). Open clean diaper, place under baby. Open dirty diaper, wipe, remove dirty diaper with wipe inside, close and stuff in bag or pocket. Bonus points for doing this one-handed. Affix clean diaper around baby. Done! No changing pad needed! Easiest with babies wearing dresses or legwarmers, then you don’t have to bother with snaps or pulling pants on and off.

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Sharing this “secret” with my lil sis made me realize I’m not such a n00b at this mom thing anymore. I’m actually somewhat seasoned! Or, to quote Mark and his nerd-speak, I’ve leveled up.

I instantly move everything on the table out of reach. No silverware, glasses, ketchup bottles in grabbing distance. I do this even when Jonah isn’t there. Woops. Habit.

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My wardrobe consists of clothes that a) don’t show stains as obviously and b) have stretchy or v-neck tops that provide easy boob access. They also need to cover my armpits and legs since I’m usually rather hairy or stinky. Or both. And my Movado watch – a lovely gift from my parents – has been replaced by a rubber band so that I can pull my rarely-washed hair back when Jonah is in an extra-grabby mood. Or when I need to look a little more presentable and hide the almond butter-encrusted strands in a messy bun.

Oh, and I always have to remember to stick nursing pads in my bra because my boobs will leak when I see/hear/smell a cute baby. You know that Feed the World song? I think it was written about my boobs.

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Somehow, all of this has become second nature. It’s not anything I think about anymore, I’m on autopilot. My diaper bag is packed to handle any emergency. (I used to forget some key essentials… like, uh, diapers.) I’m dressed for the day’s adventures. The almond butter in my hair and milk stains on my shirt are just part of my SuperMama outfit. It might not be magazine cover worthy, but I like the new me. Even if I’m a little stained and smelly.

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And to this kid, I’m the best. The sun to the stars on his sparkly tiara. Does it get much better than that? I think not.

Wednesday by Leah: Sick Day(s)

BabyRoX has been incredibly healthy since birth. He ran his first-ever fever at 12 months. It was roseola, which didn’t seem to affect him in the slightest. High fever for a couple days, then a non-itchy red rash broke out. He didn’t act like he felt bad. Then a week later he got a stomach bug. Two pukey days, a low-grade fever, more napping and less eating, and he was good to go. He didn’t seem to feel too awful then, either. We didn’t need to go to the doctor, although I did call the nurse hotline just to reassure my worried mind.

But this past weekend, my sweet boy felt absolutely miserable. In pain from an ear infection and teething. High fever, runny nose, coughing. He couldn’t get comfortable. He wanted to sleep but couldn’t. He just wanted me to hold him. So much for night weaning- he wouldn’t eat any food, so I nursed him as often as he wanted. Anything to make him feel a little bit better.

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Luckily, our pediatrician has Saturday hours, so off to the doctor we went. Thankful it wasn’t the flu or anything truly serious, I left with instructions to give him Motrin as needed and… amoxicillin. Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I lean toward the holistic/organic/crunchy side. I’m NOT anti-allopathic medicine, but I’m also not a huge fan of medical interventions unless they are truly needed, because the risk of unpleasant side effects or complications from the intervention is higher than I’d like. I know antibiotics are over-prescribed. I know they strip the body of good bacteria, not just bad. I know they are ineffective if the infection is viral. I know that there are gentle, holistic remedies that can be very effective at treating both bactetial and viral infections. I know all of this.

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I also know that I took a sh*t-ton of antibiotics growing up. Big, pink, gooey spoonfuls of amoxicillin. I liked the stuff! I was on hormonal birth control pills for years. I ate Dunkin Donuts every Saturday for 6 years straight. Ok, maybe not quite… But a lot went into my body that isn’t organic. And I’m fine. So why am I so guilt-ridden over giving my toddler one round of antibiotics? His body has been far less “contaminated” than mine was growing up. And, as my awesome and hilarious friend mentioned in this post, he’s going to eat all kinds of nasty stuff anyways! He’s already helped himself to generous portions of cat food, lint, and dirt. (And the chips that my parents like to feed him! Don’t think I don’t know about that!) And he didn’t have a truly sick day until nearly 15 months of age.

So thank you to all my awesome mom friends for assuaging the guilt and giving me a healthy dose of perspective. You know who you are. Y’all rock.

I’m doing ok. You are doing ok. BabyRoX is doing ok. We’re all ok!

And for the record, amoxicillin is no longer pink NOR as tasty as it used to be. The times, how they’ve changed!