"How" and "Why".
We started pottying DD at about 4 weeks. I knew about from people I met in the home birth group. Most people hold newborns and small babies over something, either a potty bowl or the toilet, wash basin or bath. DD didn't like that, but by 8 weeks I had tried her sitting on the potty bowl (it fits between you knees or in your lap), facing me, with my knees up, and a pillow behind her back for support.
First I had to work out how frequently she went. One of the Infant pottying books suggested that you put the baby naked on a towel (with another towel covering baby to keep him warm), and just record every wee or poo after one of the morning feeds. DD weed about every 10 min (not a big deal, she was only awake about 40 min to half an hour after a feed).
So we started offering a potty (putting her on the potty) every 10 min after feeds. In the early months she she squirmed and grunted before pooing, so that was easy. She loved watching us while she sat on the potty for a couple of minutes, or less. Within a week or so she was dry after every nap (not night-time, although she is often dry at night since about 6 months of age). We found she hated being wet in those early days (despite using disposables), and she always let us know when she had weed for that reason.
We have had a great catch-rate. She wets about 2-3 times a day, and has since about 4 months. She is often dry at night(we offer a potty whenever she wakes up). And, of course, she wees a lot less often now, is often dry for several hours when we go out, without being pottied. Another positive is, some of my best friends now are the mums in the local potty group!
Why? A lot of reasons. I worked as a nanny for years, and I felt awful for the children, running around with heavy or pooey nappies, and getting red bottoms. Yuck, would you
like it? I also hated cleaning up messy pooey bottoms, and getting poo everywhere.
Between 2 months and 5 months we had 4 pooey nappies (and DD pooed 5-6 times a day until she was about 7 or 8 months old), and between 5 months and 11 months we've had 3 pooey nappies. A pooey nappy usually means a shower or a bath!
We have used cloth nappies since about 6 months, non water proof without covers, even at night, and we change them as soon as she wees. We own 10 nappies and 3 pairs of training pants (non water proof). We wash nappies about every 3 days or so. And we only use cold water on a wash cloth to wipe after a poo - as it goes straight in the potty, and there is usually a wee afterwards, there is very little mess anyway!
DD has never had a nappy rash. She likes her little potty bowls, and they are handy, we bring them everywhere to potty. She loves being read to on the potty, and is an avid "reader"! At home we sometimes walk around to potty. By the kitchen windows or in front of the washing machine. DH often potties DD when he is at home, and almost always at night. He likes to potty her in front of the mirror, doing funny faces. I think it has made us very close, and for a long time, when we had breast feeding issues, it gave me something positive to focus on. It is something we share, special time, and I wouldn't trade it for the world!
EC is all about YOUR baby and YOUR relationship. Nobody else's EC experience will be just like yours!