So this is the type of making I'm able to get around to these days:
We've decided to give EC'ing a shot with our New Baby. For those of you not familiar with the concept, 'EC' is short for Elimination Communication, and is based on the idea that infants all know when they have to poop or pee, and have signals that let us know when that happens. So toilet training an infant is possible, by learning their signals, and then holding them over a potty bowl or toilet when they make whatever sound or gesture that is. Then they can simply go in the potty. When they go, the parent makes a sound (like 'pssst' or something like that) that they come to associate with the elimination, and eventually you can hold them over the potty, make the sound to cue them, and should they need to go, they will. Here's a link with more information about it, if you are interested. I'm using a book called The Diaper Free Baby as a reference as well, and its quite comprehensive. I've known a couple of people who've done this with great success, notably a friend of mine whose 3 year old absolutely refuses to use a potty, and after months of fruitless toilet training struggles, she decided to EC her newborn in hopes that she won't have to repeat the stress of toddler toilet training. And indeed, at this point her 6 month old is pretty much fully toilet trained. According to EC'ing theory, you kind of can't blame toddlers for objecting to toilet training as strenuously as some do. They spend their whole lives (two years or so) being taught that the diaper is the proper place to go to the bathroom, and then, at their most contrary, independence-seeking stage in life so far (toddlerhood) you try to switch it up completely by telling them that now it is time to use a toilet. From that perspective, you can see how it might seem unreasonable to them.
Anyhow, we're using the EC'ing concept so far, and its pretty interesting. At this point in the New Baby's life, the only goal is to be able to see when they are going, and work at creating an associative cue (psst), so we spend a lot of time not wearing diapers and just hanging out on some flat cloth diapers/other absorbent surfaces, so that we can see what happens. And he's got a pretty obvious signal. He fusses and cries right before it happens, and then gives a funny growly little grunt when he goes. So its pretty easy to cue him.
Also, I bought this little enamel pot at the local thrift shop to use as a potty bowl. We've had some success with that too, as I know he mostly goes right after breast-feeding, so I just take his diaper off and hold him over this bowl and about 8 times out of 10 he usually goes right into it.
They have some nice inexpensive potty bowls at the continuum family website (also note the adorable picture of a baby using one on the same page), but when I got around to ordering them, the shipping was twice the cost of the item, and that always just annoys me. Also, what I really wanted was this nice Japanese enamel one, but it was so much more expensive again that I just couldn't do it. So I just kept my eyes open at the thrifts, and luckily this cute little red one jumped out at me just a couple of weeks before the New Baby was born.
However, the problem with an enamel bowl, is that it is cold. And its hard to hold him completely above the bowl without touching it to his skin, either on his vulnerable little back or his sweet little legs. So I decided to crochet this cover for the edge of the bowl.
It worked out pretty nicely, for not having a pattern or any idea really of how I'd make it work. That's the nice thing about crochet; you can really just make it up as you go along. I made it out of some acrylic yarn that I had in my stash, as I figure it will get pooped on pretty regularly and probably need lots of laundering. The only downside to it is that the Little Dude keeps insisting it is a hat, and then pulling it off the bowl and trying to put it on his head just when I need to use it.
Luckily, his Oma crocheted him a lovely hat last year, that fits him really nicely now, and we pulled it out of the cupboard for him to wear in lieu of the potty-band. That seemed to do the trick, and he lost interest in running away with the potty band and instead decided to dance around in the hat.
Here he is in the midst of an especially intense dance move. I love the way his curls look sticking out of the edge of this hat. Now if only I could get him to wear it for any length of time.... Maybe next time we go outside.
P.S. If any of you are interested in the pattern for such an obscure item as a potty-bowl rim cover, feel free to leave a comment and I'll give a stab at writing it out for you.