Baby steps

A week ago today, Gabriel took his first wobbly step.  Since then, he’s continued to gain strength and confidence, working up to six steps at a time.

After more or less shelving the whole pottying thing for a few months there, I couldn’t help but give it another whirl when I realized I would be home with him all day, every day.  No more blaming daycare as the excuse for Elimination Communication (EC) not working, though I feared the time away from EC attempts might have ruined any potential progress we’d made early on.

At Matthew’s suggestion, I agreed to a small reward system for peeing in the potty.  I balked at the idea because it smacks of bribery and traditional potty training to me, and thus seems anti-EC, but sometimes you have to compromise.

Although some days are all puddles, Saturday was a three raisin day, which gives me hope.*  Ever the optimist, I guess, we biked to the store and bought some toddler underwear (after my attempt to contact a Craigslist seller with some gently used ones went nowhere).  If nothing else, he looks adorable in them.**

Gabriel isn’t the only one taking steps though.  I realized at some point last week that I’m getting into a rhythm with the SAHM thing — really enjoying my time with my little  Pookie (now also known as Snuggle Puppy) — and maybe I can do it after all.  At this point I’m still job hunting, but it may be with more mixed feelings than I would have expected if/when I get a job offer.

*We’re using raisins as the “reward.”  One raisin every time he pees in the potty.  I know, I know, using food as a reward is kind of a no-no, but at least it’s not M&M’s, right?

**In the interest of full disclosure, he made a huge puddle on the floor two minutes after I took the above photo.  Also, why must everything for boys have either motor vehicles or super heroes?  I was rather tempted to buy him some of the nice, flowery “girls” underwear.


  1. I teach parents about using reward systems all the time and that’s exactly what it is – a reward. A bribe is completely different – a bribe requires that you give him a raisin BEFORE he goes potty, in the hopes he will. A raisin AFTER he goes potty is simply a reward…we all reward ourselves constantly. Paychecks = reward! Reward systems are wonderful and work really, really well to get through hard tasks or life skills you need him to learn. Whatever works for him! Good luck!

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Stacy, that distinction makes sense. From a general public health/nutrition/obesity epidemic standpoint, there’s a voice in my head saying “don’t use food as a reward,” but I’m not sure what else would motivate him. We also praise him when he pees in the potty, so there is that as well, but I think something tangible is important, especially at this point.

      1. Hey Melissa! We ALWAYS praise tangibles or food with praise, so that kids are getting both as reinforcement. I understand the conflict about using food as reward. I’m personally OK with special treats and things (like you wouldn’t iuse their dinner as reward, but maybe an M&M that they wouldn’t get any other time). My coworker’s son gets superhero temp tattoos, and little $1 trinkets.

  2. Punita says:


    I am new to your post I read Nupur’s blog semi-regularly and got very curious to see how you are growing Vegetables so successfully (my deck veggie garden is pretty stunted this summer).

    Anyhow, I have three little girls and my mom who used Indian Version of EC with my Sister and I forced me in to what I thought early potty training with my three kids. I hesitantly but surprisingly successfully potty trained them in just few days around 20 months. I used crazy amounts of praises as reward. I jumped up and down dancing and clapping, putting on quite a show. All three of them peed in the potty to see my ‘show’ I think. I did ‘naked potty training’. Later on I used stickers. I agree with you that food rewards just don’t feel right. They do eventually backfire but we all are guilty of using them because they work so beautifully at least in the beginning. .

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Hi Punita. Thanks for sharing your experience with EC/early potty training. We’re doing lots of praise — acting really exciting and clapping, also. We’re trying to make raisins a sometimes thing, not necessarily every time. He might be old enough to enjoy getting a sticker, although he would probably try to eat it 🙂

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