Monday, January 14, 2008

A lesson learnt well

Some time ago, i wrote about potty training. I left it a little abstract, but later decided that the documentation on Anjali's babyhood has to be complete, and that means everything, her acheivements, tricks, our acheivements, tricks, goofs, to the best of my knowledge and time. And that should include potty training.
The above is a picture of Anjali sitting in her pink potty. She has two, a pink one for our house and a blue one for granma's house.
A week ago, I read an article on elimination communication, how it is possible to keep babies off diapers for the most part, so that they are toilet trained by the end of their first year. Husband and I wanted to (cross our hearts) keep Anjali off disposable diapers from the time she was born.
But the first few weeks were difficult. Every night, we had to wake up every ten minutes to feel under the sheets for pee, and when the sheets were wet, we had to lift Anjali from bed, change the sheets and put her back. That was not so bad, but the worst bit was that Anjali had to sleep on a rubber sheet, so that she would not spoil the bed sheet. I didnt like the idea of putting the baby on a rubber sheet, people said it was heaty. Yet, there didnt seem to be any solution.
Then Swati came by when Anjali was about three weeks old. Ananya was three months older than Anjali, and was on diapers almost 24/7. Diapers were ok, she explained. They donot cause rashes. You just have to be careful about changing them.
We were not very convinced. then she suggested something that was the solution to our sleep problem. Put her on diapers for the night. She said. Then you dont have to stay awake, and you dont have to disturb her sleep by lifting her all the time. For husband, not disturbing his precious diamond did the trick more than him not getting sleep. The crazy guy was always crazy about his daughter. For me, it meant no rubber sheets.
So it was settled. We woud shange her diapers about twice during the night, and after three weeks, started sleeping four hour stretches, waking up just to feed her.
During the day, she was still on the rubber sheet. I still didnt like that, so we shifted her to the floor. Anjali would be on a piece of cloth on the floor all day and shifted to the bed at night. That was good, It gave her a lot of room to move around, and it solved the rubber sheet problem. Floors are easier to clean than mattresses.
Two months ago when bunica came along, she suggested getting a potty. We werent sure how Anjali would take to it, so put it off for another month, before finally getting one in early December.
Like I wrote earlier, Anjali took very well to the potty. Every hour or so, I would put her on the potty and say Anjali pee pee. And she would do immediately whatever needs to be done. After it was done, she would put up her arms to be picked up. And all would be well for an hour until the cycle repeats again. When she wakes up, she would go straight on the potty, so much so that now, even when we wait for a while before putting her on the potty, she has sort of learnt to "hold and release". If she didnt want to go, she would not stay, but get up immediately, and we would wait another 15 minutes before trying again.
This is on a good day.
On a bad day, she would refuse point blank to sit on the potty, arching her back whenever we made any show of putting her near it. Maybe she didnt want to do anything now. So we would let her play. And thirty seconds later would find a big puddle of water on the floor. Or worse, on the bed (at which point husband would take out all the sheets to dry).
Sometimes toys orked, but mostly they didnt. Anjali knows what she wants. And if she doesnt want to stay, no amount of toys would help her to stay longer than three seconds.

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