Thursday, June 26, 2008

Steven Potty Training Update

I thought it appropriate to say a few words about Steven's progress with his potty training, as I know many people are following along with us.

On Staying Dry ~
Yesterday Steven stayed in the same diaper all day, as we made it to the potty for all his business, that is, until 8pm. At this time, he decided to pee in his diaper. Oops! :) He sometimes wets a little during his naps, but almost always has to go upon awakening. I think when he can't hold it any longer he then goes just enough to relieve himself. Yesterday and today he's awoken early from a couple of his naps needing to pee. This is nice for dry diapers but he's not too thrilled about going back to sleep. Normally he falls back to sleep after a few moments of crying to settle back down.

He's sleeping anywhere from 5-9 hours straight at night and so he currently is waking with a wet diaper. When he awakes to eat he normally poo's in potty and not in his diaper while sleeping. I'm not concerned about him awaking wet, as I know he's fully aware of his elimination needs and when he develops the ability to hold it all night I have no doubt he will. Right now he has a good capacity to hold it for at least a couple minutes when he really has to go, as long as he knows I'm in the process of getting him to the potty.

On Staying Clean ~
He is getting almost all of his poo's in the potty now, which is great! He's very good about letting me know he has to go. He stares at me with big eyes and his face serious (as if to say, 'Come on, Mom!'), his hands form into fists and his arms and legs straighten as he kicks. We still have an occasional (and becoming more and more rare) poo in the diaper, but most likely if he poo's in the diaper, it's just a little tiny bit and it normally lands on the insert. We then get to the potty for the rest of the job.


With all that said, we still have some wet diapers. Just a little while ago we were getting the majority of pee's on the potty but not doing so well with the poo's. Things have changed and now almost all poo's are on the potty but a few more wet diapers. I much prefer this, as pee can easily be rinsed out, diapers hung in the sun to dry and be used again.

Success today is not determined by a dry diaper at the end of the day, but by whether we are continuing to develop Steven's awareness of his elimination needs, his control over releasing and his communication with us on the matter. So far, each day with ECing has been a success.

A walk in the park? No, infant potty training takes time, patience and diligence.

It's a trade-off. You have to potty train sometime. Either you do it before they learn to use their diaper as the toilet or afterwards:

If you do it afterwards:
some CONS - You need to untrain them, as well as put up with years of diapers and all the time, money and energy that entails.
some PROS - But you have the benefit of changing their diapers on your time, not theirs. You can get away with changing them less often, as you may choose to only change them when the diaper is fully soaked.

If you do it before:
some CONS - You need to be diligent about getting them to the potty as soon as they show they need to go (they can only hold it for so long), and if they wet or dirty their diaper you need to change it right away so they don't get used to sitting in dirty diapers (sometimes they need to pee 10 or 15 minutes after just going). Also, as I'm finding with Steven, they may show they need to go, you put them on the potty, but they are working it out and it may take some time sitting there holding them on the potty while they finish business.
some PROS - But you have the benefit of having them dirtying much fewer diapers and the potential of being out of diapers at a very young age, as well as helping them become more aware of and develop their sphincter muscles, which will aid greatly in their potty training. As they continue to develop their muscles, they can hold their pee longer, meaning you won't always be taking them to the potty every 10-15 minutes. (Steven normally has to go at least once every hour when awake.) Also, infant potty training or elimination communication is just that: communication with your baby. You both learn to communicate to each other and this creates a unique bond. Also, they sit in their pee and poo very little, resulting in less likelihood of diaper rash and easier cleanup when they eliminate in the potty.

But is it worth it? In my book, absolutely. I've enjoyed the special bonding with my son through ECing. Is it for everyone? No, I couldn't say it is. By sharing our experience I do not mean to say that everyone should do as I. We are all in different places in life, may we live and learn from each other and enjoy the good gifts God delivers to each of us. I do hope I'll be successful with potty training all my children this way, but in time we will see. I've enjoyed it thus far. Thanks for enjoying with us!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

3 Months Old Today!

Steven is 3 months old today. What a bundle of joy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Carr Update #32

Check out our pictures on our photo album site.

Thursday, June 12th, we packed up and headed up north a little ways to Bowman Lake. There's camping sites there, with no facilities. We reached the parking lot at about 9pm or so, put on our packs and hiked to the camp site. We had camp setup by about 10pm or so and jumped into the tent just in time as it was starting to sprinkle. Then we heard weather sirens. We headed back to our car and listened to the radio. We ended up sleeping in our car the first night. Steven did well through the lightening and rain. He slept about 6 or so hours before awaking to eat.

We enjoyed a lot of hiking, some swimming and just being outside. Sven got sunburned, I got bitten by so many bugs that my arms and legs look like I have the chicken pox. Steven enjoyed being pottied outside. He got one bug bite on his forehead (it got into his little screen tent).

I didn't mind having to hike out into the woods and find a place to eliminate, but it was a little nerve-racking that the woods were not very thick, so you could see a good distance around you.

Jeff arrived in the afternoon on Friday, Nathan and Heidi and their five children arrived that evening, Maggie joined us later Friday night. We had a nice time with everyone. The kids were a joy.

Steven's doing well, sleeping between 7 1/2 - 8 hours a night. It's been such a blessing. It's been so peaceful now, as he's been more predictable (not completely predictable, mind you, but generally so). He's been doing excellent with ECing. Yesterday we had no wet diapers (just the one from over night) and only a couple with a little poo on them. I'm getting excited for the day that he'll go without diapers.

He's still waiting for his job to start. They are waiting on barcoding equipment to arrive. He's keeping busy with school work, due throughout the summer.

I packed up Steven's 0-3 month clothing yesterday. He's growing!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


It’s unfortunate that today we are so easily offended as mothers. We hear what one mother is doing differently than us and we take immediate offense, as if this was a personal attack against our way of doing things. This ought not to be. I hope we can see there are many ways of mothering, as it were, and if we listen to each other we may better our own selves, even if only in our expanse of knowledge on the subject. It’s in this light that I hope to share with you some things I’ve learned since becoming a mother in regards to breastfeeding. I do not in any way try to claim authority on the matter, nor do I try to presume that others should do things “my” way, yet I present my experience for what it is: my experience thus far.

I had some strong opinions on a variety of topics upon entering motherhood, which I deem to be a good and healthy thing. I read a lot on various topics and still do. Albeit another good and healthy thing is to be always ready to listen, ready to learn, ready to change your ideas if something else better comes along, as we do not know it all, far from it in fact.

One particular topic that I had a strong opinion about was breastfeeding and all it would entail. Isn’t it true that you should feed your baby whenever they are hungry, which is called “demand feeding”? Isn’t it true that to put your baby on any kind of “schedule” would be unnatural and thus unhealthy? Isn’t it true that an infant sleeping through the night, even at six months, was unnatural? Isn’t it true that if you didn’t feed an infant through the night then your milk supply would get too low? Before becoming a mother, I thought each of these items were true. I’d like to share with you how I’ve come to learn differently.

Isn’t it true that you should feed your baby whenever they are hungry, which is called “demand feeding”? It is true that you should feed your baby when they are hungry, but this isn’t the only definition of “demand feeding”. It seems there are quite a variety of opinions out there as to when you should feed your child under the term “demand feeding”. Some define it as whenever the child cries. This of course did not prove true for my son, as he often cried due to an upset stomach. If I were to feed him every time he cried, this would’ve only made his situation worse. I had to pay close attention to both his signals as well as to the clock to try to best determine when he was truly hungry, in pain or just needing to suck on something. (Although I kept very loose track of time, I used the clock to help decipher his crying, for example if it had only been 20 minutes since his last feeding and he started crying, he was most likely crying for another reason besides hunger.) Previous to becoming a mother, I thought there was nothing wrong with a child using mom as a pacifier, as it were, in order to meet the baby’s sucking needs, after all, breasts are natural and pacifiers are not. My son, though, is a gulper and finishes his meals in record time. He still liked to suck after he was full. If I let him continue to eat, he would spew up the majority of his meal, plus be plagued with a painful gut. My previous ideas about pacifiers changed quickly and I picked one up for his additional sucking needs.

Isn’t it true that to put your baby on any kind of “schedule” would be unnatural and thus unhealthy? My son naturally fell into a generally predictable schedule. He generally ate every two hours or so, although I didn’t pay too much attention to the clock, so that’s a rough estimate. If I had paid better attention to the clock, I admit now that it would’ve proven to be beneficial to myself, giving me a general idea of when he would be hungry and especially when he would be tired. After my son’s tummy issues cleared, he was still crying a lot. I paid close attention to try to decipher his cries, as I knew it wasn’t a pain cry. It soon became clear to me that by the time he was acting tired, he was over-tired. Once he became over-tired, it was hard to calm him and get him to sleep, thus the reason for his crying. I realized then how important of a tool the clock was to help determine when he was tired and be proactive about it. Once I started getting him laid down before he became over-tired, as he seemed to generally prefer being laid down, as opposed to being held (yet another opinion of mine that was altered by experience), he became a much more contented baby. Admitting that schedules are natural and embracing my baby’s schedule by allowing the clock to play a part, had a huge positive impact on my son and in turn, on me.

Isn’t it true that an infant sleeping through the night, even at six months, is unnatural? In order to expand my mothering horizon, I read the book “On Becoming Baby Wise”, although I was quite sure I’d disagree with most of it. To my surprise and delight, I found I agreed with a lot of what the authors were saying. The basic premise the book had, was if your child receives full meals, they will naturally fall into a predictable schedule which will result in healthy sleep, including sleeping through the night. Since my son had naturally fallen into the pattern the book laid out, which is sleep/eat/wake/repeat, I decided to roughly try their approach. The only thing I needed to change was to feed my son more at each feeding, in order for his feedings to naturally spread to every 2 ½ - 3 hours. I did this cautiously and apprehensively, as I didn’t want his tummy issues to reappear. My son took well to eating more, as long as I burped him in the middle of eating. He seemed content and happy, not overfull. Viewing their schedule as a rough guideline also aided in determining when my son needed to nap. Although he doesn’t always fall asleep right away, he is indeed tired at predictable times, at which I do my best to provide him with a good nap. By simply allowing my son to fill up at each feeding, he naturally adjusted to being hungry every 2 ½ - 3 hours, as opposed to every 2, and has started sleeping through the night (6 – 8 hours before awaking to eat, as opposed to 4 and then every 2 until morning. He does have some nights yet where he’ll awake every 4 hours to eat.). It still amazes me at how natural this really is (ie. My son sleeping through the night)! (I will add, without getting into the details at this time, that there was plenty of misconceptions that the authors of “On Becoming Baby Wise” held to in my mind, and these were enough to make me quite upset and at times very disgusted with the book.)

Isn’t it true that if you don’t feed an infant through the night then your milk supply will get too low? This was a huge concern for me, as I desire to exclusively breastfeed my son until he’s at least one year of age, as there are so many health benefits involved. As my son started sleeping longer at night, I made sure to pay close attention to whether or not I continued to produce enough milk for him. Once I started feeding him more each feeding, resulting in more time between feedings and a longer stretch at night, my milk supply actually has increased. What a pleasant surprise!

Experience has changed my personal views on breastfeeding drastically. I am pleased with what I’ve been able to learn and the results of such knowledge applied. I hope I will never close my mind to learning and re-learning, even if it means trying something I thought I’d never do.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Carr Update #30

I wasn't able to load pictures, as I didn't have access to our flashdrive in time, but will post pictures ASAP onto our album site.

Last Sunday we had a group of friends over after the evening worship service to discuss the sermans of the day. It was a nice time of fellowship and we intend on having an open door for anyone on Sunday evenings for serman discussion, with the exception of the last Sunday of the month where our church holds a fellowship dinner and book discussion (we're reading through Puritan works).

On Sleeping Positions ~
Steven's been learning how to go to sleep on his back, as he was used to sleeping on his tummy (due to tummy aches, I laid him down on his tummy to sleep). He didn't like it at first, but with some renovations has come to prefer back sleeping it now seems. I've placed a folded towel under his mattress to help lift it up slightly under his head. Sometimes he coughs on his saliva and this incline while sleeping seems to help. Also, he sometimes likes a rolled blanket placed under his knees. And most importantly, he likes to be swaddled so his little hands don't wake him when he startles, although sometimes he likes his hand sticking out just enough to get his thumb or fingers. Sometimes he likes his tummy rubbed or patted while he's starting to doze off.

On ECing ~
Due to changes this past week, we had more misses in ECing I think than we have since starting the process. That's fine, Steven and I are still enjoying the times we get in the potty, which are still a good percentage, as well as looking forward to getting back on track this week.

On Diapers ~
I wasn't a faithful cloth diaper user this week, as some of the disposables were getting too small for Steven, I decided to use them up before he no longer would fit in them. He's around 11 lbs. now!

On Growing ~
Yesterday Steven "walked" back and forth across our livingroom as I held him under his arms. He's so strong! He just kept lifting his little legs and feet and stepping forward. He also enjoyed it when I tried to help him "crawl". He wanted to keep at it on his own, but of course doesn't have the strength and coordination yet.

On Sleeping ~
Steven had one night where he went 8 1/2 hours between feedings - that was a nice night of sleep! Then he seemed to go between 5-6 hours at night before awaking to eat. We'll see what this week holds!

On School ~
Sven started his Apologetics class at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary yesterday. It runs through Friday. I guess he's taking two classes this summer at Kuiper college, I had previously thought it was one. They are both independant studies.

On Sewing ~
I'm hoping to get back to sewing this week. Last week I ended up taking a break, as I had run out of snaps and velcro, as well as having others things to tend to.