Here's what else we did today: We peed in the potty!! (And my apologies here to anyone who's been reading this blog because they are interested in Senegal and not so much in the baby thing. I am really just in the baby thing right now.)
Anyway. This is something called Elimination Communication -- the idea is that even the tiniest humans don't like to poop and pee where they're hanging out. They can't control those muscle movements, but they're aware of them and they make what can become (to the trained eye) predictable faces or noises when they're going.
Here is a photo of the potty. I got it at Eliminationcommunication.com for $24. It's clear so you can see her peeing (instead of listening really, really hard) and then right away start making the cuing noise. (More on this below.)
To paraphrase the book, I don't train her; she trains me -- to notice her grunts for poops (very, very easy) or the way she'll stare off for a second while she's peeing (and okay, I can see that, but I haven't even tried to get the pants off and on the pot in time). The first step is to have naked time (on a rubber-backed mat in a toasty-warm room) and observe when she pees. While she's peeing, I "cue" her, which is to say, I make a pssssttt sound. The second step is to say (quietly to yourself is fine), 'Okay, she tends to pee right after a nap,' and so after the nap, I take off her diaper, put her on the little clear pot, and make my cuing noise. Yesterday, she made her pee, and today, she made another one!!
This is really fabulous, because we've only tried five times. I would add here that I'm not going nutty for this, we just thought that if we could "catch" (that's what ECers call it) one or two pees per day and maybe some poops, we could elminate a few diapers from our daily output.
Speaking of. Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers did not work for us at all. Two diapers and two pairs of pants in four hours (she blew through twice, which she doesn't do in disposables), so we've switched to friendly disposables -- made of cornstarch, 70% biodegradable diapers called "Nature Boy & Girl." I order them online from Seattle, they're $16 for a pack of 40 and less if I order a case, which I'm going to do next time. They're not too much more expensive, they seem to work almost as well as Pampers, and they're supposedly not total landfill hazards. I'm going to bury one in the backyard right now, and maybe in ten days I'll see what we've got left. I know that's not much time when you're saving the planet, but that's all I've got before we leave for Senegal.
For Women in Prison, Tampons Should Be Free - The availability of sanitary products isn’t simply a matter of budget lines and purchasing orders. It has to do with power.
1 week ago