We successfully ECed our first. From 3 - 10 months old he rarely pooped in his diaper, and frequently peed in the potty. He LOVED his potty time. Then we made an international move, put him in sposies for a month (in hotel with no laundromat), and He. Re. Gressed. I spent the whole 9 months we were there getting him back to it, and he got there... By the time we left he was consistently requesting to use the potty and never going in his diaper/underwear. Well, then we moved again... back home. Another regression. I tried to be patient. Then my husband lost his job, I became pregnant and very sick. Then there was a new baby. Now it's been over 1.5 years and we have not gotten him back to ever wanting to use the toilet. He goes in his underwear every day, several times a day. He even at times takes his pants off and goes on the floor. He has even spread it around and put it in places around the house. I know I am supposed to never be upset, but I'm absolutely about to have a breakdown now. I'm sick of reading that setbacks and "pauses" are normal. What I have now is a permanent regression (for him) and a developing anger problem (for me). For a while I stopped worrying about it and decided that he would stop doing it when he wanted to. But I'm starting to be overwhelmed now. I know he's only 3, but he has known for a long, long time how to use the potty and how to request I take him. He now even knows how to do it on his own. So this feels very deliberate to me that he just won't. And I know my anger isn't helping, but I'm in a cycle now... and I don't know what to do. I'm aspiring towards unconditional parenting but I recently gave up and started offering rewards. Guess what? He doesn't care about rewards! I'm so losing my mind I'm thinking of going to punishment next even though I know that won't work either (and I am so against it). Help!! Also, he doesn't fit any of our diapers and I'm not spending money on new ones for this.
Oh and I'm so bummed but I cannot get EC to work at all with our new little one. We were off to a really good start, but every time I hold him over something he just won't go and he gets mad. And then I put him back in his diaper and he goes. I've tried different positions and different potties/receptacles. No dice. Sigh. I was almost hoping my older one would see the little one go in the potty and decide he should use the potty too.
I just wanted to give you hugs. Not a lot of advice here. My daughter is three and I know how tough they can be. Fortunately, we have not had potty issues with her, but I struggle with anger at times about a lot of other things. My one year old son has been EC'ed since birth, but we are currently is a potty pause so I feel you on that one too. Maybe try nursing your new guy while you offer and cue. (((hugs)))
Your story sounds similar to mine but I didn't stick with it when I had my second/third(DStwins). DS1 was put into cloth diapers then plastic but it angered me more when I diapered him then when he had an accident. The issues were visitors and going out, and not least of all no support. I honestly believe that once we quit diapers completely and allowed the DStwins and DS1 to see each other using the potty, that they all became more comfortable and quickly learned. This is my only experience with EC so I would love to know other people's experiences.
Does he see anyone else using the potty his age or younger?
I hope to start a support/ info group this winter maybe there is someone in your town that has set one up.
My DS1 was completely trained @ 4 after a long regression (similar to what you have described). I wish we could come over and just be normal potty learning kids having a fun play-date. He needed that so much when he was your son's age.
I hope you are able to stay away from diapers but I, of all people, understand the pressures, outside and in, that we mothers face when diapers/EC is involved. Hugs and lots of thoughts/prayers for you and your little ones.
I have the SAME problem!!! I EC'd my daughter from birth and it was going great but I got pregnant again when she was 9 months old. I was too sick to work on EC'ing with her for a few months. She's now 18 months and I haven't been able to get her to go on the potty ONCE since our hiatus from about 9 to 13 months old. SO frustrating!! She tells me almost every time she goes pee or poop, but she won't tell me before she goes and she won't go on the potty. I've started letting her run around naked as often as possible, but so far that has only resulted in messy diapers at naptime and pee on the floor. Can't seem to catch anything.
With my newborn (5 weeks old), things were cruising right along until a couple days ago when I started missing his cues and having more poopy diapers to change. But I think I have this one figured out. When he was born, I decided that with 4 kids and two of them being babies, I was just not going to have the time or energy to really work on EC, so I decided that I would take him when it was convenient. If I noticed a cue AND it was convenient, I'd take him. But I wasn't going to TRY to get a catch; I was merely going to offer the potty when I felt like it was feasible and SEE if he would go. An approach that, for me, took a lot of the stress out of it. But I started seeing a lot of success which motivated me to work harder at it. But then I found myself seeing false cues and taking him when he didn't have to go. I think that frustrated him and now I'm seeing fewer catches and feeling more stressed out. So I decided yesterday to relax again and just SEE what I can catch rather than TRYING to get a catch. This morning I caught 2 pees, so maybe it was just my stress level that was throwing things off!
Awww I know it's hard but would it be possible to just put him in diapers and let him decide where to pee/poo while you work on the other issues? Go back to all those AP basics and just enjoy each other, EC is not about forcing an unwilling child (nor should any kind of PT).
He may be more ready in a couple of weeks, after he's had a chance to see how those dirty diapers feel...... Besides, I have a feeling that he's picked up on the fact this is important to you, and is choosing to make this an issue. The more you get bothered the more stubborn he's going to be. According to attachment theory, he's testing you to see whether you'll stand by him, even when he's at his worst behaviour. This happens because he feels threatened. So just work on bonding with him and making him feel his environment and family are secure, and that you love him no matter where he goes potty (I'm sure you do this).
Of course, I could be wrong, it could just be that he forgot what to do... but at any rate he won't be the only 3 year old in diapers, far from it. You haven't failed at all--he and you have gone thru quite a lot of major changes recently which sounds like it's been enough to deal with. You've taught him how and where to go potty, which information it's now up to him to use (or not). And in a few years nobody will know or care whether he was pt at 1 or 4.