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starting EC at 6 months?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

First post. I've done a lot of reading here on your forums and have also read Infant Potty Training. I love the idea of working on EC with my kids but need some help as I'm not sure where I should start.

The facts:
- I have identical twin girls, so I've never really worn the babies
- They've been in cloth diapers since the beginning, except at night

So how do I start? What do you think of this?
1. Go diaperless at home for a while and try to figure out when they poo/pee. Cue with a sound anytime I see them do their business.
2. When I have an idea of when they'll poo/pee, take them to the sink or grab a nearby Tupperware and try to catch it.

Should I also sign? Should I get a potty? I'm excited to start -- thanks so much for your help!
post #2 of 13
i started at 6 months with DS1. He very much disliked being held over anything, so I got a BBLP (Baby Bjorn Little Potty). I would set him on it upon waking and whenever I thought he had to go. Sometimes at diaper changes too. He was in sposies :

I did cue with a psssss sound when I saw him peeing. I also signed to him. He picked up neither. DS2 never really did either. I think just putting them on the potty is cue enough.

Jump right in and remember that it is the communication part that is the most important and the catches are a bonus!
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks. How long did your DS take to understand what he was supposed to do on the potty?
post #4 of 13
he picked up on it right away. i think i had 5 or so catches that day. he also demanded to be pottyed at night starting from that first night. i had planned to only do daytime to start with, but he had other plans!

for nighttime, i would nurse and potty him at each waking (which was often, like every hour - poor sleeper from the beginning). within a couple weeks i was only pottying him every other waking, and eventually he was dry all night. i am thinking that around 8 or 8.5 months he was dry all night long.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Wow, that's awesome. I think I'll get a little potty then and see what we can do from there. My girls are so wet when I get them from their nighttime sleep or naps -- they've clearly JUST peed. My girls wake up so quietly, I think they're actually awake long enough before I hear them that catching that pee might be difficult...

Perhaps I should put them over the potty upon wakening anyways?
post #6 of 13
absolutely! with both my kids they were able to wait longer and longer upon waking. one of those ever changing things. it is kind of frustrating at times just because i don't know when they want to pee. sometimes it is one minute, sometimes it is 10.

and if you are consistant, they will know a potty opportunity is coming.
post #7 of 13
Go for it! I think you might be surprised how conscious your babies can become of the potty rhythms you develop-- like a PP said, they'll wait longer and longer when they know a pottytunity is coming.

We started with dd at 8 months, and she was down with it right away. Not that we didn't still have misses, everyone does, but it was a great partnership, and I felt like we really worked together to keep her dry. Keep your expectiations low, keep it fun, and you'll have a great time!
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
That's good -- just keep offering potty-tunities. (Cute word.)

Snanna -- Could you walk me through was you did with your DC when you started at 8mo? Was it just putting them on the potty regularly throughout the day, did you cue/sign? Love to hear more from women who've already been there!!

Thanks again, guys!
post #9 of 13
the clear wonder potty is nice since it is clear and u can see in and know when they are going. i like it.

put them on the potty (or over sink or bowl or toilet) as soon as they wake up. then again in 10 minutes after they pee. most people cluster pee when they wake.
post #10 of 13
If your breastfeeding:
I've always found that DS would squirm if he had to pee while breastfeeding and that made it always a successful opportunity. Also right after breastfeeding if DS did not need an opportunity during.

But really: I suggest you go to the following website. This website is made by a mom and has for me been the best reference, even better than the book I bought, Diaper Free by Ingrid Bauer, although the book really sold the idea for my husband and I.
post #11 of 13
Originally Posted by piccolo View Post
Snanna -- Could you walk me through was you did with your DC when you started at 8mo? Was it just putting them on the potty regularly throughout the day, did you cue/sign? Love to hear more from women who've already been there!!
At the very beginning, I just held her over the sink after she woke up, and after she peed in her diaper (we didn't have a potty yet). She was one who hated to be wet even for a minute, so I pretty much knew when she went, but it also helped to give her as much nakey-bottom or coverless-prefold time as possible, so I could learn her patterns.

Really we just stuck with the waking and after-pee times at first, and then added in after-getting-out-of-the-sling times (she didn't like to pee in the sling, so she'd often have a big one then) and after-nursing times, and "fussing for no reason" times... But even if you start small, it has a way of expanding-- you learn more and more of your baby's signals, and it gets easier to catch more often, so you potty them more, and they learn that they can wait, and before you know it you are doing full-time EC.

We did sign/signal, and say "pssss" from the beginning, and we were doing a lot of other baby sign already so it felt very natural. Our sign was hands vigorously rubbed together (think Mr. Burns), which we would do when we suggested or announced we were headed to the potty, and then we'd make the "psssss" as a cueing sound once she was actually at the peepee spot (or if we noticed her peeing). I liked this sign because once she started doing it, it was audible to me at night and when she was riding on my back. We still use it, the only baby sign still in use!

She started using the sign and sound at about nine months, but not consistantly, of course. For a long time it was mostly just timing, and intuitive guesswork. My husband would feel imaginary pees on his lap, even if she were wearing a diaper, and jump up, but she'd be dry! And then have a big pee in the pot. I never got to this level, but you do develop a sixth sense. Mine is still definitely in operation, with her 2 1/2 and potty-independant seemingly forever.

I highly recommend the "elimination communication" yahoo group. It's big, active, and there are really helpful mamas there. Their archives alone are extremely helpful. A year or so ago I seem to recall there was another mama ECing twins who was posting a lot...

Lastly, six months is not late starting! It's probably just right for you and your babies. You have a good plan, and they will like sitting on potties together. I remember my sisters (also identical twins) sitting on their little potties together at about 18 months-- they were so cute! My mom did "early potty training" with them due to cloth diapers and no dryer, but it was basically EC, I think.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Wow -- thanks everyone. All of your comments are so helpful and I am looking forward to working on this. Right now, it seems like it would be a fun thing to work on... hopefully I will retain this attitude.

I'm going to go look some more at that website!
post #13 of 13
I'd say just dive right in! No special equipment needed! (At least, not for us in the very beginning.)

We started with DS when he was 6 mos. Wasn't hard at all. I just decided one day to hold him over in the "classic" position


...over the tub after he woke from a nap. He started peeing and I softly made the cue sound "pssss..."

The rest is history!
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