One of the things I talked about before giving birth is doing elimination communication, also known as - nappies (diapers) free. The goal here is not to toilet train at such a young age (though would add that as we're using cloth nappies, the simplest where every pee is noticed, I am quite sure that toilet training will be much earlier than most kids with disposable nappies), but mainly as a way of being tuned in to her and her needs. Also, I think it's probably much nicer to be able to not sit in your pee/poo.
While I did make a vague attempt some time ago, I didn't try too seriously as I was "battling" breastfeeding and just didn't have it in me to also have this going, and thought of picking up on it once I reslove breastfeeding. But a few days ago I realized that time passing isn't in our favour, and that I should start regardless of breastfeeding. So I began..
Stage one of this process involves me learning her signs. I am proud for picking up quite quickly that hand in mouth means I am hungry, but the sign for pee/poo? Much harder. So I have her with only an outfit on, open at the bottom without a nappy so I can see, and then I totally missed - oh my, she's peeing.. what did she do before that??
At least when she poos, even if I don't yet know the sign for it, I do know (more or less..) when she's going and can put her on the potty (or in our case a bowl which I hold her above as obviously she is too small to sit..). Today actually I managed to catch it right at the beginning and to dash to the bowl so nothing except the bowl and her tush where to be cleaned. But that really was more luck than anything..
So my learning process is continuing. Yesterday I thought I'd never figure out her signs, and today I'm feeling much more confident. I think I've picked up a sign for pee, maybe not, but if I carry on observing for sure I will.
And then there is holding her over the bowl. First time, when making a run when she was in the middle of peeing, I kind of scared her. Oops, didn't mean to girl, and not good as she stopped her pee and just wouldn't continue. So I need to do it quickly but gently. So I don't always take her to the bowl. After all, right now I am trying to learn the signs she gives when she needs to go. Later, once I've learnt those signs, I'll want to take her to the bowl once I recognize such a sign. But when I do.. at night I put a pocket nappy on her so it would be easy to undo when she needs to go (hmm... if I wake up! Night time was/is very important for me to do this EC, but I'm usually too tired, so even if I wake and see she's awake too, we just go back to sleep [when she's probably awake because she's just gone or is going..]) but as I don't have many of those, during the day I use a cloth nappy closed with a snappy (a kind of fastener) and a cover over it. Not so easy to quickly take it all off (and in a calm way too..).
And how do I hold her over the bowl... she doesn't seem to like it too much, so I tried (as we were in the middle of a feed) to calm her with a bottle. That is one hand holding a bottle, the other a leg with body against me and other leg kind of free in the air. Not too comfortable (though it did calm her). And I wanted to be also doing baby sign language! (and am happy to have a sign for poo and one for milk. I think two is enough for a start). so I have to figure out how to do it in a way that won't scare her but that will hold her efficiently over the bowl.
A lot of learning, but at least I am happy to have started with it.