Last night my husband said "You know, we know when she's going to poop, so why don't we just put her on the toilet?". Of course! Why wouldn't we? We've heard all about potty training, and training pants, and those little potties for kids. But, he's right...why would we wait if we can do it now? She has predictable pooping schedules, so it would be pretty easy to just plop her on the toilet and let her poop there! I, of course, have no idea when she is peeing yet (at only 6 months old), but I sure know when she's about to poop- not only does she have a pooping schedule, but she also grunts and get's all red faced...giving me ample time to strip her butt down and set her on the toilet!
This got me thinking of all of the things that I could be "starting as I mean to go on":
- Pooping in the potty- We started this morning. She usually poops during breakfast, so I watched her closely. She gave a tiny grunt, so I immediately stopped feeding her, took her diaper off and set her on the toilet and waited. She looked around in amusement since she'd never been in this place before. Once she had taken it all in, she started grunting and trying again. PLOP! There it went into the toilet! My little girl (6 months old), just used the big girl toilet. We are definitely going to continue this! I haven't decided yet if I want to get a potty for her, or just add one of those little seats to the big toilet...although if we are "starting as we mean to go", I guess I just decided we will be using the little seats that connect to the main toilet. Why have to transition her later from her little potty to the big girl potty? Decision made! :) This will mean less cleaning for mama as well!
- Making a mess at the table- Ok so this one may be inevitable, but I can help my cause a little bit! A few weeks after we started feeding her solid food, Caroline decided she wanted to help. Well, she can't direct the spoon to her mouth very well yet, and this makes a mess. So I decided to not let her do this until she was better suited to do so. We let her hold the spoon when we are done for now so she can get used to it. She also started taking her hands and wiping them on her mouth, getting them full of food and wiping them all over her face and hair. Well, this is never something we want her to do! I started working with her. Every time she would lift her hand to her mouth, I would say "no hands please" and she has learned pretty quickly to not do this! Sometimes we did this what felt like 30 times in one feeding, but she rarely tries now! We are starting to give her finger foods now (those little puffs, etc.) and we are showing her how to grab them and put them in her mouth. Hoping this doesn't confuse her! LOL
- Drinking from a cup- Caroline requested to do this on her own one day. I was drinking from my glass of water, and she opened her mouth and put her hands out. I was surprised, but decided to let her try some water from my glass. We've been doing it ever since, and we now give her her own little plastic cup during solid feedings. We have to pour it in her mouth obviously, but she drinks quite well from normal cups! She also practices with straw sippy cups so when we are out she can have a drink. We started this at 3.5 months old!
- Not everything is a toy- I didn't mind if she grabbed my phone at first. Sure, I thought...go ahead and try and hold something. I then started thinking ahead to when she grabs and throws and chews on things. I don't want my phone involved. So, now I am consciously thinking about what she is grabbing. I don't want her to learn that my phone can be a toy...so she is not allowed to hold it.
- Showering - Eventually, I don't want to have to bathe her in the bathtub. I want her to get in the shower with me and we'll get everything done together. I've heard stories of little ones being so scared to get in the shower because it is new to them. When she was really young (a few weeks old) we'd take her in the shower just to expose her to it. It was way too hard to wash her while holding her, so we still used the infant tub in the sink for that. Now that she is sitting (but not quite stable enough to sit in the tub unassisted), we bought a bath ring. She sits in the ring, and I give her a bath in the big girl tub! I am going to continue using this ring even when she sits well, so she learns she needs to be seated, not standing and playing in the tub. We also have one of those shower heads with the long hose, so I turn it on and rinse her and get her wet with the shower head. This way she knows what it is and she actually seems to really enjoy it!
- Putting yourself to sleep in your own room- I never officially did co-sleeping because I didn't want to make that a habit. I want my own adult bed to be shared with just my husband and my husband agrees! There were a couple of moments early on that she simply wouldn't sleep unless I held her- so we co-slept in the extra bed mostly...but not my bed during the nights. I also wanted her to learn to sleep in her own room, so at 6 weeks, she started sleeping in her crib in her own room. I also wanted her to learn to put herself to sleep and have good sleeping habits, so we helped her develop these qualities over time, and at 4 months we went all in with sleep training.
- Individual play time- I keep meaning to do this! I try it on occasion, and I do better than I'm probably letting on, but there is only so much awake time during the day, and I want to play with her! I am trying to, however, once a day...place her in her playard and give her official independent playtime. I don't want her to always have to be entertained by someone- she needs to learn to play by herself at times. What I have always done is given her space. When she is having floor time, tummy time, etc... I tried to walk away at times and just let her try things. She seemed to try more things when I was not hovering all of the time. And then, of course, we have playtime together...this happens more frequently than not. I just want to keep in the back of my mind that I want her to be exposed to independent playtime from the start.
- Baby led weaning- I did research on baby led weaning before our baby had even arrived. I was on board and going to do this. When reality struck, though...it scared me. I am scared of her choking on something, and I don't like the lack of structure to this. So at 4 months I started making baby purees. She is almost 6 months old and I have now introduced the puff! That was scary in and of itself! Now that she is chewing well though, I am feeling more comfortable with the idea of giving her foods from our plates to try- or in my case it might be more me cooking something specifically for her that is a real meal for her to try. I do plan on incorporating some of this, however, because I want her to get used to chewing, and to grabbing finger foods, etc. I want her to be exposed to lots of foods as well, and we will not always be making her a separate meal of her own. It would be nice if she can eat from our plates sooner than later. So, I think I'm going to do baby led weaning kind of half way if that makes sense!