At this point, Thea doesn’t yet actively tell me that she needs to go potty. But I do feel that I am communicating to her that I want her to go in the toilet when I hold her over it. So as far as communication goes, I think it’s one sided still. But there are signs that I look for that tell me she needs to go poop. When it comes to pee, seriously, I just go for it and try stuff. I know how to recognize when she is peeing, but not when she needs to pee. So here are my lists:
Since eating solids, Thea tends to strain and push. It takes her a minute to actually poop, so if I act fast when I see her pushing, we make it.
My father says, “You know what a fart is, don’t ya? It’s a turd honking for the right of way.” Who knew that my redneck father would help me know how to potty train an infant 🙂 Not every fart means she needs to poop. I’m still troubleshooting how to distinguish between the forewarning farts and the just gassy farts. But usually, if she farts more than once in a short time, we try.
Her poop generally is in waves. So even if I miss the first initial poop, we can get the other waves in the toilet, so I always take her to the toilet if I notice she has pooped.
Sometimes I don’t know if she needs to poop, but I try anyway. If I hold her over the toilet and it doesn’t come, I’ll hold her over the sink. I can watch her little bum-hole in the mirror. This way, I can tell if she is pushing or not even trying. If she’s pushing, we’ll go back to the toilet and wait. If she’s not, we’ll wait a couple of minutes, and if nothing changes, oh well. Cheers to trying.
Thea tends to only poop once a day currently. So I look for it all day. If it’s closer to evening (which is when she most often poops), and she still hasn’t pooped, I watch really close.
Like I said previously, Thea tends to poop in waves. Occasionally, she’ll only have one wave. When that happens, throughout the rest of the day I watch for when the rest is ready to go. Yesterday, right before we put her to bed, she pooped one wave, but wasn’t making any signs that more was coming. A few minutes later, another wave came. Then, when she woke up this morning, I wasn’t watching, and wave three took place in her diaper.
Thea tends to poop either during or after she is done eating. It’s like us, you’re eating and then realize your body needs to make a little more room, right?
Like I said, I don’t know how to recognize that Thea needs to pee. I only know when she is peeing: her eyebrows and nose get red, her lips purse together, and sometimes she pushes. But what I do know is that Thea pees a lot. So as I have been praying about how to help her learn to not pee in her diaper, there are some thoughts that seem to press upon my mind throughout the day: (1) Thea needs more opportunities to be over the toilet. Every time she wakes up, and every 30 minutes. (2) She needs to be held over the toilet or sink until she does go pee, even if it takes a few minutes.
My thoughts about thought number 1: If Thea pees as much as she did when she was really little, that means about every 15 minutes. That’s a lot. I don’t have the sanity to hold her every 15 minutes over the toilet. But if we tried every 30 minutes, that is giving her frequent opportunities to go in the toilet that is more realistic than every hour because she really can’t hold it that long, but it might help her begin to exercise the muscles to hold it if she realizes the opportunity is to go in the toilet is there more often. Every 30 minutes is still a lot, but maybe if I’m faithful for a week, I won’t have to do it so often. Also, I usually need to go to the bathroom when I wake up, especially in the morning, so getting Thea used to that routine makes sense to me.
My experiences with thoughts 1 & 2:
Thea can be really grumpy when she first wakes up because she’s hungry, and holding a hangry baby over a toilet does no one any favors. So I’ll feed her a little and then try to see if she’ll go on the toilet.
I really am not good about taking her to the bathroom every 30 minutes. I forget. But, as I have started to take her to the toilet more often, we have experienced an increase in the number of times she has peed in the toilet. After about two weeks of just taking her when I do remember, I can clearly see that she recognizes that when I hold her over the toilet or over the sink, she should pee.
If I hold her over the toilet and she’s not going after a while, then I’ll try sitting a different direction on the toilet or I’ll try holding her over the sink. Sometimes the change helps her for some reason.
If she’s really not peeing, I don’t try to push it. I haven’t been extreme about holding her there until she pees. I’ve waited maybe 2 minutes at most. I’m just impatient. I’m not saying this is right, I’m just saying I haven’t done it yet.
If Thea is crying and squirming to get up, I don’t push trying to make her go potty. I figure if this method really is about communication, I should show her that I understand her communicating that she doesn’t want/need to go to the bathroom. I definitely do not want her to have negative experiences on the toilet. I don’t want to give her any reason to not want to be there.
Anyways, those are my insights. They definitely aren’t the law. As with everything I post, these are just meant to be a springboard or a reference to help you to your own ideas as we experiment in this great thing called parenthood.