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The only ECing parents out for the day - what can the grandparents do??

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Soo.... In March my fiance and I hope to leave our child, together, for the first time, with all four of his grandparents, to go to a concert his friend is purchasing two tickets for.


Thing is our son has been EC'd, and I'm the only one that knows when he has to go. I never saw his signs during this process.. what happened is when I held him without a diaper on, I developed this bond of trust, that developed into me instinctively knowing when he had to go - without looking for or noticing signs. ..This poses a problem, as while we are gone, I cannot tell the grandparents when he needs to go. I mean..there are signs for when he gets desperate that I'll tell them to look out for should they want to try and potty him. Like he'll pluck at himself if he really needs to pee, or he'll get up on all fours and shove his butt into the air if he's trying to poop. But I don't know if he will do these signs every time, as part of this instinctual knowledge is knowing he needs to go... BEFORE he gets desperate.


He doesn't take himself to his potty. He hates both of them (Frog Potty from Fisher Price I believe, and Bjorn), nor does he always walk himself to the bathroom. I was thinking of picking up the Potette Plus, because maybe his issue is he doesn't like those other types of potties dictating where he puts his legs. He is, after all, a very free-spirited child. He doesn't like car seats or high chairs, nor is he a real cuddly child because he cannot stand anything dictating when, or how he can move his body. So at 20 months, I'm still squatting him over the toilet because it's the only way he wants to go. Perhaps with the Potette Plus he'd willingly take himself to it every time he has to go. Because his grandparents are physically incapable of holding his 27 lb bum over the toilet as long as I can do it....


So, what do I do in case he doesn't take himself to the potty, and in case his grandparents miss his cues? Continue to cloth diaper, or pick up disposables(I was thinking of Earth's Best disposables, since they don't use the SAP, and are apparently much softer on baby's bum). I am not sure I have enough cloth diapers. I only have 12; 24 if they use the prefolds I have that are a tad short for him now, the rest have gotten worn out, and I'm not sure that's going to be enough for his grandparents to change him with..especially if they miss his potty cues.


I was thinking of leaving them with the remaining diapers he has, and having the Earth's Best disposables there just in case they want to/need to use those.


Does that sound like a good idea? Anyone have any other suggestions?

post #2 of 12
How long will you be gone?

Does he normally wear diapers at home? Will he be home?

In the days leading up to this, I would pay attention to his natural timing and cues and write down what he's doing before going. You will probably realize that some of his cues can be communicated. Some cues can't be explained but telling them that squatting and walking into the bathroom are signs will help a lot (if he does those, our toddler walks into the bathroom and pees in front of the toilet a lot).

Chances are good that he will be conventionally diapered. My experience has been that people who are used to diapers will use diapers.

All that said, 20 months is old enough that you can encourage him to tell someone. My 13 can say pee and poop (he generally says "uh oh" instead of poop) in advance of going. He isn't consistent yet but it's handy when I'm not around.

Good luck. It will all be ok no matter how it goes down.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

More than 4 hours. It'll take 2 hours to get there, 2 hours to get back, and I'm not sure how long the actual concert is. He might actually try and hold it for me to come back(he's held it until his "potty person" comes back before), but I don't want him to do it if he's bursting.


Thing is, he's still not really talking yet. He crawled and walked all at the end of the normal range, so chances are he might not talk more than what he's been doing(which is repeating simple words he hears every now and again) until he's 22 months or so. He'll be 2 weeks shy of 24 months when we leave, but I'm not sure he'll repeat "pee" or "poop". I'll give it a whirl, though!


Yes, he will be home. I've been having him in diapers as of late, because his sleep schedule has gotten out of whack, and I'm not always sure when he's gonna sleep, I've been having him in trifolded prefolds and a cover just in case I'm late getting to him when he wakes up.


My mom said she can do his cloth diapers. I tested her last night as she's gotten it down just by watching me. But I am not sure my MIL would continue to use his cloth diapers. She's been hard to convince that cloth are better than disposables. But seeing as how all four of his grandparents are going to be there, I probably don't have to worry about that too much.


Like I said...I think he would walk himself over to his potty... IF he liked how they were designed. But the Frog potty and the Bjorn and many others dictate where his legs have to go, and I don't think he's too pleased with that. Maybe if we got the Potette Plus and set it in the living room where he's going to be spending the majority of his time, hopefully he'll walk over to it at the very least and point to it and grunt excitedly.

post #4 of 12
Kids will sometimes pick up funny signals. Maybe you could work on showing him a sign if you don't think he will be talking? Patting his crotch or something more discreet (my DD used to do "Itsy Bitsy Spider" sign when she had to pee because we always sang it on the potty).

A dozen diapers will be plenty.

Good luck.
post #5 of 12

More than 4 hours, plus concert, we're looking at some time frame less then 12 hours, during a lot of which your little guy will probably be asleep...You are clearly very concerned about him holding it too long or suffering some unable-to-potty related stress. But I think you can probably relax. 12 hours or less in the great scheme of things will make no difference whatsoever in his pottying. Sounds like you, like me are a SAHM who has perhaps, like me, just about never ever left your child for more than an hour with Dad. Deep breaths. Grandparents are great. It's going to be an awesome concert. Your little guy is going to have a ton of fun with all four of his GPs and will probably not notice you are gone until bedtime. If then. I was a little bummed how little my DS missed me the first time DH and I went on a date and left him with his Grandma.

Honestly, IMO he's old enough to ditch the dipes. A naked bum napping toddler is not a disaster, and is a great thing EC-wise. Put a thick wool blanket under his sheet and don't worry so much! Let him wear undies and warm pants- there will be no messes if he misses, and at his age, he can probably even pull them down if there are no snaps. Or undies and baby legs or rock-a-thigh socks. More mess, but even easier for him to pull down. Or split pants. You may find that making this change might help him start to take charge of the potty arena on his own. You're kind of still in ECing-a-baby mode, but little guy is growing up!

On the night of the big event, if he potties before you leave and they offer in two or three hours (usually pees less in the pm, right?) and before bed, the GP's probably won't even have  to clean up any messes. Just make sure the laundry is clean and the grandparents know where all the clean clothes are. And in any case, I would be surprised if between now and then your little guy has not taken the reigns and isn't taking care of this issue himself.

Pottete might be just the thing, generally it is helpful for a toddler to start taking himself if the potty is within arm's reach of where he is playing. Since this is a boy we're talking about, a very cheap option is just to have a ton of yogurt or other quart sized containers around. Even if he can't manage the pants, or isn't talking much,  going and picking up the container is a pretty clear sign.

Don't worry about poops over 12 hours or less. I doubt he will poop without you if he is still going with you normally, so don't worry- a poop that waits over one night does not make constipation or fortell any poop problems. He'll go with you in the morning. (Side note: Our DS used to refuse any of his potties for poops and we did the same method you use until about age 2. I was worrying I'd be sitting on the can with him until he went to college. Then he just wanted to use the Bjorn "throne" style potty for poops, and it is such a nice thing for my back.)

How old were you potty trained? The GPs might not even be thrown for a loop with a 2yr old who goes potty. That was pretty normal back when we were kids. It is probably a lot weirder for your MIL to worry about disposables vs cloth or how to fold a trifold for a 2 yo than to help him get to the potty.

post #6 of 12

My son does EC for us, but not for the sitter.... for the last year (age 1 to age 2) and it's no big deal, just do cloth diapers. People told me that it would "ruin" everything if we didn't find a sitter who could do it, but he's fine. I mean, he might be transitioning a bit slower to fully pottying on his own, but he's not traumatised or anything, and he still knows how to tell us/ go to the potty when he needs to go. The sitter has tried, but she just doesn't get his subtle signals, and he is less vocal at her house with all the other kids. But he transitions bath and forth no problem, so I wouldn't worry. (He also lays down and naps at daycare with out being walked, rocked, driven, nursed etc...) so she has to change poopy diapers and we have to spend hours trying to get him to bed!

post #7 of 12

I would add that this is the age they have to take the entire task into their own hands. With this I mind, I would say it will pan out okay.

post #8 of 12

Well, I think since this is still a couple of months away, it might not be a big deal by then.  Things change so fast, by the concert day he may be fine with using his potty.  You can ask them to offer him the potty or toilet a couple of times, but if they just put diapers on him it will not affect your long term EC pattern.  If there are only cloth diapers in the house they will have to use them, and it will be okay.  I encourage you to let the grandparents figure it out.  Maybe practising the sign for potty will help?

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Wow! So many replies! My email didn't alert me to your responses... sorry, guys! I think the potty thing is sorting itself out. I ordered the Simple Potty from Luvable Friends, after reading that some kids don't like potties with removable inserts because they can cause skin to be pinched. And after researching a little more, realized that this is likely the reason why he's been refusing to use the Bjorn or the Froggy Potty. The change is..remarkable. We got it today, and he's used this thing consecutively more times today than he's used either the Bjorn or the Froggy Potty in the entire year(well..not including night time potties, in which he will only use the Froggy Potty because he's desperate, and ONLY if I nurse him at the same time). So I think, as long as the potty is with him in the room he's playing at(right now it's in the bathroom during the daytime, and will be in our bedroom at night for night-time potties), that he'll either go right over to it, or do something noticeable to where his grandparents will be like, "oh! He's got to go!" It'll take a couple weeks of consecutive use I think, but he definitely knows what it's for now.


As far as the concert...unfortunately we ran into a transportation problem and won't be able to make it. But I'm thinking of heading out with my fiance for his birthday in a couple weeks.


The only reason he's been in cloth diapers lately is due to a food intolerance that ...slipped our minds, his sleep schedule has been out of wack. Nap times he holds it just fine. But throughout the day I've been so exhausted that some days I just completely miss when we has to go. And as we live with my in-laws...him having an accident on my mother in law's new carpet that she spent bucketloads of cash on...is NOT an option. =/ Night time is the same way. I am so exhausted from him sleeping 4 hours one night, 10 hours the next, 2 hours the night after that... that I have a diaper on him because I'm generally too out of it to realize he has to pee. And typically I find him soaked at night because I've just been so starved for sleep. I prefer him in underpants, and he'll be wearing them again when his sleep evens out(which it should be doing any day now). I have him in underwear when we're out and about, when my mother-in-law is taking a nap so if he DOES have an accident I can clean it up without hearing any backlash, and when we're over at my parents' house.


Poops I'm not worried about. He typically poops every 2-3 days. Lately it's been every night I think because his body is detoxing from the food intolerance we had unknowingly been assaulting his body with over the holidays. But that'll sort itself out before too long. Besides.. he even poops in this Simple Potty. The last time he pooped, willingly, in a potty, was back when he still had liquid breastfed poop. After it started hardening up, any poop has been done squatting him over the toilet, or squatting him over one of the other potties. And that last one resulted in an unhappy baby. He does not like potties that bite him.


And I totally understand about your back... Our son is 27 lbs and slowly gaining, but lately it's been a real strain to keep him suspended over the toilet. Especially when it's a poop day, and due to the food intolerance.. he's been like....filled to the brim, and I'm positive I must be holding him for like 5 minutes over the toilet sometimes, gah...


Anyway, I'm a lot more relaxed now that we have a potty he's actually happy to use! And what's even better, unlike the potties that have a removable insert, he doesn't think it's a toy!!

Edited by EchoSoul - 1/4/13 at 12:11am
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Okay! So, I wound up leaving our son today, for 6 hours, while my fiance and I accompanied a close friend to her grandmother's funeral since she had no other support person. My son did..extremely well with the potty. Absolutely no accidents except I noticed his undies were wet when I came back. I imagine in the excitement of him seeing daddy first, no one offered him the potty, or he was too distracted to initiate it, or something.. but no big deal. Beyond that, his grandparents had no other accidents with him. The only reason they put underwear on him was to keep his butt warm. He used his potty when he needed it, and when he didn't, they offered, and he used it. So, I am..extremely happy. They didn't feel they had to resort to diapers or anything. :)

post #11 of 12


post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Indeed :) That's not to say they didn't try to use the  diapers... but the tabs on the cover wouldn't stick. I never got the hang of pinned/Snappi'd prefolds or flats, so they've just been strictly used trifolded or angel-winged in covers, and since the tabs on the cover wouldn't stick, it rendered the diapers completely useless. Which I'm kind of thankful for. I'm really glad it worked out, considering I've pretty much been the only one to potty him since like....ever. Overall it was a really good day!

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