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these may be silly questions but I am very new at this!!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi ladies!


my DD is almost 4 months old, and we have just started EC.  We have been using cloth nappies (pocket nappies)

I know some of her signs (when feeding anyway), but do tend to confuse "needing a wee" with "needing a burp", and I also struggle with the "when" in "I need a poo" as there seems to be hours of build up to that one!  I have also worked out that she doesn't always show signs for a wee until after it's done.


I had decided after doing lots of reading - especially of some of the posts here - that I needed to do more naked time with her to learn her signs more, and focus less on the the "elimination" and catching, and more on the "communication".  I was looking forward to starting a new nakie day! 



she has begun teething (yep early I know), and has done NOTHING but scream, is not sleeping and is refusing the breast.  Probably not a good time to work on EC, is it?


So my questions are -

- am I better off just leaving it while she is miserable, or just try a little?  How long is she likely to be miserable for anyway (this is number one for me, so I have NO IDEA about anything LOL!)

- if I leave it or only do EC "sometimes" am I going to confuse her?  I did still want to use nappies some of the time (particularly in the evening when DH comes home/dinner to cook/animals to feed/etc)


Also, how do you physically manage keeping her naked (or bum bare) and breast feeding (as in not having wee go EVERYWHERE).  I tried holding a pot/bowl under her, but I can't hold and feed her as well as hold her.  And if I put a nappy or towel or anything on her, then I can't see her go.  I even tried just putting a terry flat nappy on her for feeting but even then I still couldn't tell when she went and got a surprise to find a wet nappy.


And what happens when you have "days off" - if I have a day off of EC, eg going into town or something, then am I "undoing" all our hard work?


I guess I am just after some reassurance, as I don't really have anyone to discuss baby issues with at all, let alone EC.



post #2 of 7

We started at 6 months, when DD was already crawling and teething... a very difficult time to start.  From what I've read and discussed with others, part-time EC will not confuse your daughter.  You are really just teaching that a potty is the correct place to go and not letting your little one sit in their own pee/poop.  It's not potty training, though -- as I'm sure you know, but it's easy to lose sight of that!  You are correct in your post when you mention about communication.


My best advice is to rely on timing and cue-ing now.  For example, first morning pee and after nap pees were and are the most consistent for us (my DD is now 11 months).  We did over the sink quite a bit at that point and would really focus on her learning the cue sound.  Later, she knew and would "try" by pushing and straining when she was over the sink or on the potty.  And would definitely arch/stiffen when she didn't want to go!!!


The naked time is totally up to you, some people are more comfortable with messes than others.  We have done a cloth diaper (nappie) under her while on my lap.  Sometimes she would wiggle or stop nursing if she had to pee, but most times (and still) she doesn't cue to pee.  We did naked time typically after I nursed her so that I knew she was likely going to go within 10-15 minutes and during that time, I typically took her into our kitchen (easier for clean-up) on the vinyl floor. 


Don't stress about part-time or occasional.  She is still learning and you will be learning her cues at the same time!


Good luck!


post #3 of 7

I agree with PP.  Part-time is fine!  You are still helping her be aware of her body and you are still working on communicating with her.  We do EC at home, and I offer when we're out and about if it's possible but don't worry about it if I can't.  In the early days I didn't offer if we were out of the house as I was shy about it.  DS still hates public bathrooms (I think because they tend to be loud) and usually refuses if I offer at the mall or whatever.  You aren't confusing her or undoing your hard work if you go part-time.


In terms of naked time, some people use a wool blanket or sheep skin (I guess a bit harder since your DD is mobile) and I bought a pad for bedwetting to put on the floor.  You don't have to do a ton of naked time to start trying to learn her cues or see how often she goes.  Just do even an hour a day at different times of the day.


DS is teething right now too.  I think you'll see that DD will have good and bad days.  If it's a bad day, just be gentle with her and offer but if she doesn't seem interested that day or is frustrated, don't push it.  DS for example is on a "hating the toilet" kick and will only use it to poop but only wants to pee in the sink.  I will keep offering the toilet as I'm sure it is a phase but I'm happy he's not refusing the sink too.


What I did with DS when he still peed while nursing (doesn't seem to anymore) is leave a flat diaper (I guess that is what the terry nappy would be) over him and if he bobbed off that's when he tended to pee so I'd just lift the diaper enough that I could see and cue him when he peed.  I tried a pot too and just never felt comfortable with it.


You'll quickly get more comfortable once you get going and pretty soon you won't be able to imagine not doing EC!  Also, I'd try to get your DH on board if you can. It's nice to have two people thinking about it and he may notice cues or other signs that you don't.  My DH loves it now and I have gotten the cutest photo of him pottying DS.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

thanks ladies,


I had a really "bad" day the other day - I just seemed to keep getting it wrong, and felt like I was really hopeless at understanding my DD!  I really am still struggling with her signs, and if I be honest, even her tired signs are very subtle (and sometimes missed!).  So I was being very hard on myself, which I know isn't in the spirit of EC, but I had just read a section in the Laurie Boucke book, and one of the mothers says that she considered it a bad day if they only caught 4 or less wees that day.  My best day has been 4, but most days is only 2 or 3 (my really crap day was 0).  THough sometimes I am seeing the signs but can't potty her quick enough.


I have a couple more "silly" questions...


bit of background first - My DD (4 months old) is not a good sleeper - she is very easily startled, and still needs to be wrapped (swaddled) to avoid her waking up with a startle.  If she has had a good sleep she is slow to rouse from sleep.  She doesn't sleep much at all during the day - only 3 sleeps of about 30 min each, but sleeps right through the night.


So - if I wrap her, then I am much slower in getting her up so often miss a wee there. 


If she wakes up and is lying there happily talking away to herself and playing with her hands, do I disturb her to potty her?  Or do I leave her enjoying entertaining herself? (I have tended to leave her if she is happy, knowing that there will be a wet nappy)


If she wakes up slowly and is still groggy, I have previously been trying to settle her back to sleep, which sometimes works, but I have also now noticed that this is when she pees - do I get her up to potty and then she becomes wide awake? Again something I have been reluctant to do.


She also feeds to sleep - which of course means another pee, which wakes her up if we do potty and nappy change, only to make her tired and hard to settle back to sleep.


Also, I had been giving her a "dream feed" without waking her, just before I go to sleep, but am now wondering if this making EC harder for her in the mornings?


She doesn't show signs to poo at all, literally removes herself from breast and BAM! although she will look like she is working on farts for ages, so I am really struggling with these.


I am not really sure what my specific questions are, I guess I am just trying to work out how we manage sleep and EC at the same time? Any suggestions? or am I just putting way too much into this?



post #5 of 7

Hi! I haven't responded before, but will now, hopefully I can be of some use. Four months is a bit hard, but stick with it and it will get easier! We were where you are at 4 months too. My dd is 8 months now and it's a whole new ball game! This is what we did (I'm sure I don't need to mention every baby/situation is different, lol); If dd was squirming in her sleep but wouldn't settle at the breast, I'd offer the potty (Ikea one is what i use). I keep it under my bed, keep the lights off, minimum fuss. She usually peed then settled right back down. She is a pretty laid back, easy baby though. If i thought that the potty break would cause a huge scream fest at 2 am, i'd skip it, let her pee and then change her. If she was in deep sleep I would not wake her. If she was kinda waking up in the morning, I'd offer the potty. If I had a rough night and was enjoying some snoozing, I wouldn't. She was definitely not damaged by these inconsistencies. Now she is much more used to being pottied and enjoys it. Basically my rule is "deep sleep- leave it! light sleep/squirming- Potty!" Hope that helps!

post #6 of 7

It takes a while to settle into a groove, and things change as you go along too.  Just be easy on yourself!  You're doing great!


DS wasn't a good napper, and is getting better but still isn't very good so I understand about not wanting to disturb nap time and to try to get DD back to sleep instead of fully waking her.  I can tell you what I'd do in your situation, but you know your DD best so take my thoughts FWTW.


If she's awake and happy, I'd take her potty.  Not only will you be more likely to catch a pee that way, but she'll learn in time that the routine is"I wake up and mommy will take me pee."  If it's a routine then she'll eventually learn to hold it until you take her if you're consistent about it.  If she wakes up and is really groggy, leave her.  But if she is grumpy but squirmy, she may have to pee. See what happens if for a few days you take her and then try to settle her back down.  Maybe you'll be surprised and she'll go down because her bladder will be empty.


Pee her right before nap time, which is also feeding time.  Then put her in something that won't feel wet if she pees so that she'll settle for you.  DS peed while nursing before a nap for a long time, and then just recently stopped.  I think it's because he got in the habit of emptying his bladder right before his nap.  Does she poop while nursing?  I'd try this: if she's been farting and/or squirmy, feed her a bit and then take her to the potty and give her a good 2 minutes to poop.  Then continue feeding her.  This might also help with the pre-nap misses and diaper change.


As for the dream feed, I don't know.  If it were me I'd just keep up with what you are doing.  But then, we only sort of EC DS at night.  If he wakes up before his dream feed at 11:30pm I offer the potty, but if he stays sleeping I don't wake him.  Then the only way I potty him at night is if he gets really squirmy because then I know he either has a full bladder or needs to poop.  The rest of the night is just diaper time.  It doesn't help that it's really cold hear and we have him in pj's and a sleep sack even though he's in bed with us so alot of layers to get through (I have warm jammies on too!!)


What I'd say really helped me was getting into a consistent routine.  I always potty DS before we leave the house, as soon as we get home, before a nap or bed time, on waking up and as we change activities if they aren't really short (ie: into the ring sling, chores then out of it, then into the high chair, then after breakfast, etc.)  You really will look back one day and realize all of a sudden that you're making more catches than you were.  Don't think, just do, it's easier!!

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

thanks ladies for your input - it is very much appreciated. :)

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