I would like for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to meet my seven week old. A couple years ago, I did a little research on the word ‘toilet training’, and I found this untrue statement on their site, ‘Before children are 12 months of age, they have no control over bladder or bowel movements.’. FOR REAL!? NO CONTROL!?
They have got to meet Goldie! I’m not practicing voodoo witch craft (as one of my friends so nicely called it), just elimination communication (EC). Or, responding to my child’s need to eliminate in the same way a parent responds to a child’s need to eat and sleep. So, how do I tell the AAP that their statement is a load of rubbish? I’m not holding my baby’s bottom over a bucket all day, and I’m not letting her lay around making a mess everywhere just for the sake of not putting a diaper on her. She does her business mostly in a bucket because I take her when she has to go. Diapers are still on that cute little bottom a lot of the time, but they’re only there as a line of last defense. She actually has very good control over her bladder and bowels, and lets me know pretty clearly when she has to go, thank you very much!
She squirms, kicks her legs, changes her breathing pattern, will let out a little complaint… and in the past few days, makes this rapid ‘phhh, phhh, phhh’ sound. Almost like she’s practicing her phonics. I noticed it the other day. Every time she would start making this ‘phhh’ sound, she would also start squirming, and I probably had an idea that she had to go anyway. So, I would take her to the bucket, and taa-daa, a poo! I notice that she reserves the ‘phhh’ sound for #2s only. I don’t think what she’s doing is extra clever. And, I don’t think if making a ‘phhh’ sound at 7 weeks means she’s going to be extra gifted and talented. I mean, the kid probably just hears me asking her ten times a day (newborns poo a lot) if she has to poo when she looks like she has to poo, then, I blow a raspberry when she’s over the bucket.
I know what the sounds for ‘GIVE ME FOOD ‘ are, I know the sound for ‘I’M TIRED AND OVER IT’, so now she has a way to tell me, ‘MOM, I HAVE TO POO!’. My two and a half year old, Margo, whom I also practiced EC with, was telling me around three months old that she had to go, by blowing a raspberry.
I give babies a lot of credit, they’re pretty darn smart. Look at all the things they have to learn, especially in that first year. Dear AAP, why do you say that a child has no control over their bladder and bowels? They have to master a million skills in a year, surely they can also master the skill of elimination. I’m not saying the whole western world has to start doing EC (people in poorer countries have no choice, they can’t afford diapers!). For some people it’s overwhelming enough to have a new baby, they think it’s a bit full-on to be constantly taking a baby to the toilet. To each their own. That’s all grande. And, yes, I am grateful, that at 5 am in the morning, if I do miss one of her wees that she’s got a diaper on. But please, AAP, get your facts straight! Children DO have control over their bladder and bowels! Come meet my kids and probably the 2/3 of the rest of the world’s population of babies and children who also have ‘control’ over the bladder and bowels. I think I should email them this blog post, what do you think?