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Todd at 17 weeks old (almost 4 months) - December 18, 2014

Todd at 17 weeks old (almost 4 months) – December 18, 2014

FOURTH MONTH
(NOVEMBER 21 – DECEMBER 21)

WEEK 14

It’s the sleep week!  Todd started his 4th month with an epic 9.25 hour sleep on November 21st to 22nd.  Then, on November 28th to 29th, he set another record!  I actually had to wake him up at the 9.75 hour mark because we had leave the house.  I didn’t get to find out how long he would’ve gone.  In the same week, he also had an 8.25 hour sleep, an 8 hour sleep and a 7.75 hour sleep.  Yay, Todd!

On November 22nd, we took Todd to our condo in Wenatchee for the first time.  That afternoon, we took him to the Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort for the first time.  We had a couple beers in the Hampton Lodge to kick off the season.

Todd in the papasan chair at our condo - November 23, 2014

Todd in the papasan chair at our condo – November 23, 2014

At the condo, Todd slept in the Pack ‘n Play in my bedroom.  It was rough that night because he woke up at 2 AM to eat and then he cried and cried before he went back to sleep at 3:15 AM.  Fortunately, this crying-in-the-middle-of-the-night-episode was just a “one-time thing.”

On November 23rd, we skied for the first time this season.  Eric and I took turns in the lodge.  We love Mission Ridge for many reasons, but especially because there are so many people that we see and ski with year after year.

Todd meets some of the boys at Mission Ridge - November 23, 2014

Todd meets some of the boys at Mission Ridge – November 23, 2014

 I’d been sick with a cold since November 18th.  On November 24th, it seemed like Todd was getting his first cold.  He had an obvious runny nose and more frequent sneezing.  The next day he was back to “normal.”  Odd!  Meanwhile, my cold was awful and lasted >2 weeks!

We drove to Bend, OR on November 27th for Todd’s first Thanksgiving and second trip to Bend.

A Vegan Thanksgiving - November 27, 2014

A Vegan Thanksgiving – November 27, 2014

Highlights:

  • 1st 9.25 hour sleep (11/21 to 11/22)
  • 1st visit to condo (11/22)
  • 1st visit to ski area (Mission Ridge – 11/22)
  • 1st 9.75 hour sleep (11/28 to 11/29)

WEEK 15

On November 28th, we took Todd to the Juniper Swim and Fitness Center for his first pool experience.  He’s always been content in his bath, and he reacted similarly in the warm children’s pool.  We all had a blast!

!st pool swim - November 28, 2014

!st pool swim – November 28, 2014

On November 29th, Todd visited Santa for the first time.  He was calm in Santa’s lap and just checked out everything around him.  Ashley and Eli have been going to see this same Santa since they were tiny.

1st Santa Visit - November 29, 2014

1st Santa Visit – November 29, 2014

Todd seemed to discover his feet (visually) for the first time when my mom (“grandma”) was playing with him.  He also started playing with a new toy during our visit.

Playing with a new toy - November 28, 2014

Playing with a new toy – November 28, 2014

Back home again, Todd rolled from back to sidelying a few times on December 1st.  He was getting sooo close to rolling fully from back to belly.

This was the week that I started doing Elimination Communication (EC) with Todd, with consistency.  See my last post for all the poop!  Baby Todd’s First Week of Potty “Training (3.5 months)

Highlights:

  • 1st time in a pool (Bend, OR – 11/28)
  • 1st Santa visit (Bend, OR – 11/29)
  • 1st poop and pee in sink (12/1)
  • Visitors at home:  Eric’s parents (12/2)
  • 1st pee and poop in toilet (12/3)
  • rolling from back to side
  • tries to “pick” candy cane off his pants
Showing off his new Christmas outfit from Grandma - December 2, 2014

Showing off his new Christmas outfit from Grandma – December 2, 2014

WEEK 16

We spent the weekend in Wenatchee and we skied both days.  On December 5th, Todd possibly said the word “hi” to Eric.  On December 7th, I noticed that Todd was touching his left foot (with his left hand) for the first time, while on the changing table.

Mission Ridge Ski Area - December 7, 2014

Mission Ridge Ski Area – December 7, 2014

On December 8th, Todd was doing a lot of rolling from back-to-sidelying to attend to his toys.  During tummy time, he was lifting his head to vertical and propping himself up with his forearms.

He started grabbing his left foot and toes regularly.  It makes it much more difficult to fasten his diaper because he wants to keep his legs drawn up.

Todd plays with his foot - December 9, 2014

Todd plays with his foot – December 9, 2014

On December 9th, Todd had a major breakthrough!!  He rolled fully from back-to-belly (toward the right) for the first time.  I was too slow to catch it on video.  After Eric got home, Todd graciously repeated the feat another 2 times, and it was funny watching him get hung up on a toy that I named “Mr Pippins.”

Right after rolling from back to belly for the first time - December 9, 2014

Right after rolling from back to belly for the first time – December 9, 2014

And get this– Not only did Todd roll from back-to-belly for the first time, but he also rolled from belly-to-back for the first time that same day (and Eric was home to see it!)  I wonder how common that is?

On December 10th, Todd repeated his back-to-belly (toward the right) and belly-to-back rolling.  It took Todd a lot of time and effort to achieve his belly-to-back rolls.  One time, though, he did it quickly and by accident.  He was on his belly, up on his forearms with his head vertical at the time.  He must have turned his head and somehow that “flipped” him over.  It happened super fast!  He had a very surprised look on his face and I laughed!

After Eric got home from work on December 10th, Todd managed to roll from back-to-belly toward the left for the first time.  From the 11th onward, Todd readily rolled from back-to-belly toward both sides.  He did not repeat the belly-to-back rolling for another week, though.

Highlights:

  • 1st pee in condo toilet (12/5)
  • Possibly said “hi” (12/5)
  • 1st time “sledding” (in car seat at Mission Ridge – 12/6)
  • 1st poop in condo toilet (12/6)
  • 1st time touching foot (12/7)
  • 1st pee in public restroom toilet (12/7)
  • 1st time rolling from back-to-belly, toward the right (12/9)
  • 1st time rolling from belly-to-back, over the left shoulder (12/9)
  • 1st time rolling from back-to-belly, toward the left (12/10)
  • new sound, “gee”
  • holds head up high and supports himself with forearms on tummy
  • looking at his groin in the mirror without a diaper on
  • sitting with assist from boppy pillow

WEEK 17

On December 13th, we took Todd to the Lynnwood Pool, for his 2nd pool experience. There, they have a session called, “Beach Swim.”  We used the shallow pool/play area and family hot tub.  Todd is very content in the water.  He doesn’t seem to mind when we float him on his back with his head in the water.  He loves to be zoomed around on his belly.

Swimming in Lynnwood - December 13, 2014

Swimming in Lynnwood – December 13, 2014

After the swim, we went to Babies R Us to buy a Graco Contour Potty Ring ($11.99).  This allows Todd to face the “normal” way while sitting on the toilet, and it makes it easier for me to hold him there.  At home, Todd demonstrated that he could “pee pee” and “poo poo” on the new seat.

Using the new toilet seat - December 14, 2014

Using the new toilet seat – December 14, 2014

On December 14th, we set our hot tub to 98 degrees and we enjoyed a family soak.  It was the first of a ~twice weekly routine.  Todd is a water baby!

1st time in our hot tub - December 14, 2014

1st time in our hot tub – December 14, 2014

On December 16th and 17th, Todd finally repeated his belly-to-back roll.  (He hadn’t done it since the 10th.)  It’s still a struggle for him.  He can do it with or without a diaper on, but it’s easier without, since he can draw his knees way up underneath him.

Highlights:

  • 2nd pool swim (Lynnwood, WA – 12/13)
  • 1st time using new potty seat (12/13)
  • Eric’s 6 week post-op date (Dr. Snip). He still has live “swimmers” (12/13)
  • 1st time in our hot tub (12/14)
  • Visitors at home:  Eric’s parents (12/17)
  • when sitting, uses arms more to prevent falling forward
  • “couch standing” with supervision
  • haven’t noticed him playing with his left foot anymore
  • Eric plays the keyboard and sings to Todd

WEEK 18 (Partial Week)

On December 19th, we drove to our condo late in the evening (a 2.5 hour drive).  Todd had a hard time settling for bed so he ended up sleeping in his car seat for 5 hours that (Friday) night.

I’m finding that I really miss not having my rocker/glider chair when we’re away from home.  Even if Todd is super alert and physically “hyper” before bed at home, once I start rocking and feeding him in the chair, he turns to putty in my arms.  Away from home, it’s not as easy to settle him without that chair.

Todd rolled from belly-to-back over his right shoulder for the first time on the morning of December 20th.  (Before that, he could only roll belly-to-back over his left shoulder.)

We skied on the 20th and poor Todd didn’t nap for very long that day.  Although he was clearly tired, he had another rough time getting to bed that (Saturday) night.  He was eventually able to fall asleep on my bed, with me.  I moved him to his Pack ‘n Play bed a couple hours later.  I feel bad that our weekend ski routine seems to disrupt his smooth weekday sleep “schedule” at home.

As of now…

During weekdays at home, Todd typically gets a really long nap (~2.5 to 3 hours) in his swing every morning, and then a somewhat shorter nap (~1.5 to 2.5 hours) in his swing every afternoon.  Alternatively, he may sleep for one of his naps in his car seat, when I take him in the car for shopping or outside in the stroller for a walk.  He typically goes to bed very easily at home, at about 8:00-8:45 PM.  He sleeps until about 4 or 5 AM.

Todd’s toilet use continues.  He pees and poops every day while sitting with support on his potty seat on the toilet.  Since December 3rd, only 3 small nuggets of poop didn’t make it into the toilet (on 12/7, 12/17, and 12/20).  Eric and I typically try to sit him on the toilet upon waking from nighttime sleep, upon waking from naps, after eating (a few times), and other times when awake.

He’ll usually pee on the toilet about 5-9 times per day. The most he’s done in one day was 15 pees on the toilet (on 12/19).  I keep track of dry diapers and I get excited when he has them!  I still wash a large load of cloth diapers every other day, but the diapers I do wash are not saturated.  Sometimes I can skip the pre-rinse cycle.

FOURTH MONTH WRAP-UP

Other things to remember about Todd’s fourth month:

  • More spitting up
  • Grasps and manipulates toys. Doesn’t drop them as much.
  • Everything goes into his mouth.  Lots of drool.  Using bibs now.
  • Still has an eczema rash on his head and bilateral limbs (elbows, knees)
  • Makes “exclamation” sounds on changing table
  • Prefers to play with toys in sitting rather than lying down
  • Eric sings and plays music to Todd
  • Getting close to being able to sit unsupported
  • Still wears some 3-month size clothes, but fits best in the 6-month size
Todd at ~3.5 months old - December 5, 2014

Todd at ~3.5 months old – December 5, 2014

This will be the first in a series of posts specifically about using Elimination Communication (EC) to facilitate our baby Todd’s early potty “training.”

(Technically, I started writing about this topic in my post, “Diapering Todd (and Early Potty Use).”  As of that post, Todd was 3 months old and he’d peed in the plastic baby potty 3 times.  We were just starting out.)

Elimination Communication (EC) is something that I’d originally heard about from a podcast that I listened to while I was pregnant (BBL: 003 and BBL: 013).  I was immediately intrigued by the idea that potty “training” could begin basically from birth.  It makes sense to me that babies would have the innate desire to stay clean and dry.  It’s obvious to me that babies communicate in a number of non-verbal ways.  Babies start learning from birth, and probably even before that.

EC starts with simple parental observation.  Todd is my baby and I know him better than anyone else.  I’m the one who spends the most time with him.  We’re in constant communication with each other.

I observe how often Todd soils his diapers.  I can estimate how many times he’s urinated based on the degree of saturation.  I recognize that he has a bowel movement after eating.  I pick up on subtle and/or blatant cues that tell me that his movements are imminent or already happening.

Before December 1st, I tried, off and on, to potty Todd using the Baby Bjorn potty on top of his changing table.  I used it intermittently, without much success.  I found it difficult to position him on it without smashing his penis.  He didn’t seem to like it because he would often try to stand up.  Eric had a little better luck than I did.

On Monday December 1st,  I decided to try holding Todd over the bathroom sink for the first time.  I’d been feeding Todd at 5 AM, and I noticed his “poop signs.”  I quickly got up and fortunately, there was only a small nugget in his diaper.  I held him over the sink and he passed the rest of a large poop.  Success!  That was much easier than using the baby potty.  A short while later that morning, I held Todd over the sink again.  He peed.  Success again!

December 3rd ended up being our “official” start date for using EC consistently…

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 3–

I decided it was time to dismantle the diaper changing station in our living room.  I set it up in Todd’s bedroom instead.  There’s a bathroom right across the hall from his room, so it’s convenient to carry him there after removing his diaper.  (The second changing station is still located in my bedroom, which is also near a bathroom).

After Todd’s morning nap, he peed in the sink for me.  After I fed him, I decided to try holding him over the toilet.  He peed for the first time in the toilet.  About an hour later, he peed in the toilet again.  After a short nap, he peed in the toilet for the 3rd time that day.  Finally, later in the afternoon he did his first poop in the toilet.  We were off to an amazing start!

MY METHOD–

When I position Todd over the toilet, I hold him in a forward squatting position by supporting his chest/underarms with my left arm and supporting underneath his flexed knees with my right arm.  We’re both facing the toilet.  I set his feet on the back of the toilet seat (socks off).

During this time, I make a cue sound, “psss,” and I repeat the word, “pee pee.”  If he poops, I say “poo poo.”

If Todd deposits anything in the toilet, I praise him and act very excited.  I repeat to him, “Todd peed in the potty!”  He lights up in a big smile…so cute!!  His extra cool “reward” is standing or sitting while looking in the bathroom mirror, which he LOVES.

If Todd doesn’t go in the toilet, I still talk to him sweetly and I thank him for trying.  He gets to stand up a little at the changing table before I put a new diaper on.

THURSDAY DECEMBER 4–

Todd peed in the toilet upon waking and then another 5 x during the day.  He pooped in the toilet.

FRIDAY DECEMBER 5–

That day, I did a “test” after Todd drank 6 ounces of formula at 2 PM. I took him to the toilet 4 times within an hour of eating. I observed that Todd peed at least 4 times within that hour. He did 3 pees in the toilet when I offered it in 10-minute intervals. The diaper stayed dry between those intervals.  When I took Todd for a fourth time 30 minutes later, Todd’s diaper was already wet and he didn’t pee in the toilet.

That evening, we drove to our condo in Wenatchee, WA.  When we got there, Todd demonstrated his power of “skill generalization” by peeing twice in the condo toilet…Yay!

SATURDAY DECEMBER 6–

We were in Wenatchee because we ski there on weekends.  Todd peed twice in the toilet before we left the condo to go skiing.  He didn’t pee in the public restroom at Mission Ridge that day, but we gave it a shot.  Todd did poop for the first time in the condo toilet when we got back.

SUNDAY DECEMBER 7–

We were up at 4:30 AM after we all had a good night of sleep.  Between 4:30 AM and ~8 AM, Todd ate 3 times and peed in the toilet 6 times.  The really awesome thing was that he had dry diapers at 5 of those instances.

The real shocker was that Todd’s diaper was still dry after he awoke from a 3 hour nap at the ski lodge.  Todd then peed in the men’s room toilet for Eric.  First public bathroom pee…wahoo!

After I fed him, I tried taking him to the ladies restroom.  His diaper was dry but he didn’t pee.  Instead of calling it quits, I waited several minutes.  Luckily there’s a bench inside the very large handicap stall.  I tried to potty him again without success.  Then, just moments later, when Todd was still sitting bottomless on his dry diaper, he peed.  I stood him up and out popped a small BM.  Oh, well- you win some and you lose some!  A while later he did end up peeing in the restroom for me.

During the drive home, we actually pulled over to give Todd a potty opportunity.  He didn’t go.  I think he was fussing because he was tired.

MONDAY DECEMBER 8–

Todd pooped in the toilet shortly after having his first bottle of the day.  At first I thought he was all done so I stood him on the counter for his reward time.  He started flexing forward and I suspected that he wasn’t yet done.  Sure enough, he plopped out another nugget.  That day, he peed 5 times in the toilet and had 2 dry diapers.

TUESDAY DECEMBER 9–

Todd peed in the toilet after I got him out of his crib.  After he ate, he peed and pooped in the toilet.  He ended up peeing 9 times in the toilet and he had 4 dry diapers.

FINAL THOUGHTS–

Right now I’m very happy with how things are going.  My current goal is simply to teach Todd that the toilet is where he goes for peeing and pooping.  Based on the positive results, I believe this is happening.

At this point, I don’t expect Todd to be able to “hold it,” so I do expect wet diapers.  I’m tracking when the diapers are dry vs when they are wet so that I can better anticipate his needs.  When a diaper is dry I feel great knowing that I got to him “in time.”

Hopefully at some point I’ll be washing fewer diapers.  Presently, the benefit is that the diapers that I do wash are not nearly as saturated with urine as before.  More often, I’m removing a wet diaper that has only been peed in once instead of multiple times.

So that’s all for now!  When things change or when I have more to report, I’ll post another update.

————————————–

Weekly Stats:

December 3:  1 pee in sink, 3 pees and 1 poop in toilet
December 4:  6 pees and 1 poop in toilet
December 5:  9 pees and 1 poop in toilet
December 6:  4 pees and 1 poop in toilet
December 7:  8 pees in toilet
December 8:  5 pees and 1 poop in toilet
December 9:  9 pees and 1 poop in toilet

(Note that Todd typically poops once a day)

Recommended Reading:
Diaper Free!  The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene, by Ingrid Bauer

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