When my daughter was 6 months old, we took a baby sign language class at the local rec center. I thought it’d be a fun class for both of us and, more importantly, we would be able to communicate with each other earlier on. I was particularly interested in learning and teaching signs related to eating and elimination. I had read about elimination communication, or “EC” as I kept seeing on different forums, and was intrigued by it, but not a die-hard ECer.
Around this same time I bought my daughter the Baby Bjorn Little Potty which is the smallest potty chair out there. If she woke up from a nap dry, I’d place her on there and she’d go. I would incorporate signs while we were doing this, but it definitely was not a regular occurrence. I would also do the sign for “change” when I could change her diaper but again, I wasn’t very consistent.
Once my daughter began crawling the potty chair was useless; she’d wake up dry from a nap but couldn’t sit still and just wanted to crawl and explore. So, I put it away. A couple months went by and she began walking, so I knew to not even bother with the potty again. About two months after she had the hang of walking I decided to re-introduce her to the potty chair after a nap, and she knew exactly what to do.
She actually began making the connection at about 14 months that a diaper change happened after she went pee or poo but that she could let me know she had to go by signing “change” ahead of time. Lucky for me, I went from washing diapers every other day to every third or fourth day. We have many false alarms, as she will conveniently sign “change” before bedtime or as I’m putting her into her high chair…after all, it’s more fun to play with the toilet paper! But I’m learning when she really has to go and it is nice to see her gaining independence.
On the other hand, I had been eyeing some more diapers to add to our stash which now can no longer be justified! (Sorry Bitti Tutto, you’ll have to wait till I have another baby.) But the plus side is that soon I will get to shop for trainers! The Blueberry trainers have really cute prints, the Super Undies Pocket trainers seem very practical, and the Little Beetle learners look like they would be the most comfortable! So I guess there are pros and cons to each milestone. Maybe I’m ready for this “change” after all!
Ann J. is a cloth diaper fanatic with a 15-month-old daughter who has the cutest diaper butt on the block!