My DS is almost 27 months and we've been doing EC part-time since 4 months. We were using cloth diapers, but several months ago they all started falling apart and I thought we were so close to being completely diaper free, we switched to Bambo natural disposables, thinking it would be very temporary. He's very comfortable on the potty, he loves to sit and read books, etc, and most of the time, he poops only in the potty. (Peeing is another story, which I hope isn't because of the disposable diaper switch.) We've had weeks of him telling me he needed to go poop BEFORE pooping. I thought we were well on our way to potty learning. We then had weeks of me asking "do you need to/did you poop?" and a "no" response, even with a full diaper. So we've had some set-backs and some progress, but I'm not quite sure how to proceed from here. I've heard I should get him back to cloth (trainers), or that I should keep him naked from the waist-down (which sometimes he prefers and other times he doesn't and asks to have a diaper on). I've looked into the 1-day potty learning, the 3-day potty learning and I'm not sure what's best at this stage. He's not always dry during naps, and isn't great at dressing/undressing, but he's so familiar with the potty and it's purpose and he's a great communicator, so I think he's ready to take the next step, I just don't know what it should be! He'll be starting pre-school (3 mornings per week) in a month, and I'd love to either have him out of diapers or at least a plan for the school to stick to once he starts. Any advice on how to proceed would be appreciated!
Part-Time EC potty learning
We did part-time EC from about 3 or 4 months as well, and I was getting super-frustrated by about 19 months because I KNEW he knew what was happening and could hold it, but we still had misses almost all every day, usually when he was too into whatever he was doing and didn't want to stop playing. He turns 2 this week, and he's now had practically no misses for a month - often even naps and nighttime he wakes up dry. We were in a little different boat since he had been good for poop since about 6 months, but I NEVER thought he'd stop peeing in the diaper when he was feeling lazy or distracted. So it will happen, just hang on. =)
What worked for us, in addition to just hanging on: 1) underwear. Not padded underwear with waterproof lining or pull ups, but full on big boy underwear. If he's in a diaper of any kind, he'll pee it. If he's in underwear, he won't, or he'll at least hold it as long as he can. The only misses we've had in underwear are when he tells me he has to go, and we've just gotten in the car and on the road from wherever, and I ask if he can hold out...sometimes he can't. 2) Since you have a boy, standing up. That was our real breakthrough - as much as he loves to read and sing when he's on the potty, it's also why he never wanted to go during playtimes - it took too long. If we ask if he needs to go, and he says no, and we suggest, "how about a quick stand and pee?" he'll trot on over to the bathroom; even if he still protests, we stand him on the seat and he goes, or he doesn't and very assertively says, "No pee! Done!" and we get him down without stressing that he's going to wet himself. 3) Naked really did make a difference for us as well, especially when we first really transitioning into more full-time EC. Naked time cut our misses down from 3-4 a day to 1-2 a week - I do think it's why he transitioned into being more comfortable going in the diaper (which he wasn't when he was a baby), because in his mind it was "diaper is for peeing, no diaper is for potty," so it set us back a bit on days when we were running errands all day or he was at the babysitter's. Before we started doing a lot of naked time, we could occassionally catch pees when out and about; after naked time began, out and about always meant wet diaper. Until we switched to underwear. Lastly, 4) if you have the chance to spend a full few days with just him, do it. We took a short vacation a month ago, and that was the other tide turner. Both DH and I spent all day with him, no computers and very little housework to distract us, coslept because there was no crib available, and we used 3 diapers total the whole week, and those were all naptimes in which we weren't in bed with him. Mornings, he woke up dry. On return to civilization, he does slip quite a bit with sleeptimes because we just can't cosleep on a regular basis, but wow did it make a difference in his potty learning!
We have DS out of daytime diapers now after months of part-timing (diapers anytime we were out or he was asleep). We decided to jump in full-on and go for it, because the part-timing was sending him a complicated message about what he should be doing with his pee...diaper = go; naked = potty; naked outside = go...I think it's easier for them to get one consistent message that pee and poo go in the potty ALL the time.
We've learned to never, ever ask if he needs to pee. The answer will be no, regardless of how bad he needs to go. He can be pulling on his penis and dancing around and he will still tell you "no." He still can't really tell us before he needs to go though, so here's what we do:
When we're at home, he's naked and a potty is always near. Most of the time now he will just go on his own, so long as there is a potty nearby. It's taken about three weeks for that to develop. If he's engrossed in something and I can tell that he needs to go, I nudge the potty closer to him, point to it and say, "Here's the potty." Not as a question or a command, just a reminder that it's there. It works really well.
When we go out, I try to pre-empt him actually needing to go. If we're running errands, like going to the grocery store, I take him either right when we get there or right before we leave, depending on when he peed last. Fortunately he LOVES to pee in public toilets (he likes to squat on the rim) and will go even if it's just a dribble, so that isn't a challenge that we've had to face. Again, I don't ask him if he needs to go before we go - we just go. A couple of times he has said no once we've gotten into the stall and I take off his shorts - no big, we don't go. I don't ever try to get him to go. I'd rather him have an accident five minutes later than argue with him or try to manipulate him.
As for naps, we put him naked on waterproof pad in the bed. The first day he peed several times, the second day once, and not at all after that. We still do diapers overnight because he nurses (taking in lots of fluid) several times and I'm just not up for trying to offer the potty at night. I do want to switch to cloth at night though because I think the deceptive dryness of disposables is confusing.
We stayed home for the first three or four days just being hyper-focused on catching. Minimal housework, no errands, just me watching him and catching pee. If you can do an intensive weekend where you don't do diapers at all, that could be all you need.