Curious about EC, not sure.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-30-2010, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I have an almost 3 year old who refuses to use the potty. I completely feel that I taught him to use diapers and now we is doing what he was taught He was using the potty pretty regularly at 18 months at daycare, but then we had to switch daycares and the new place did not have a place for him to go. So, he really likes his diapers. Blah.

I don't want to do the same with this one. I am not sure I would be able to really do full time EC, but would like to do some things. I just can't imagine changing diapers for another 3 years. Yikes!

Thoughts? Can you part time EC? What are truly realistic expectations? And how do I convince DH this is something worth the effort?

winner.jpg, cloth diapering, babywearing, AP mama to Aiden (10/04/07) and Rylan (12/20/10)  hbac.gif
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#2 of 9 Old 09-04-2010, 12:29 AM
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you can totally do p/t EC. Its all we've ever aimed for with DD, and at 16m she is dry all day and night more often than not. Though she still has misses. Its fine. I put her in diapers when it will matter- long car drives, going to homes of non ECers (or other people who might find baby pee to be upsetting).

I do use cloth diapers. Though we're in a transition to trainers (we're in the middle of moving so things are just chaotic in all ways right now!)

I happened to walk by Christine Gross-Loh's book at the library, gave it a read on a whim, and really liked her assertion that its NOT and all-or-nothing. I recommend taking a look at it. I never would have tried EC even though I sort of (inadvertently) did it with my older child... since I'm just not macho enough about it to want to be diaper free all the time. And to be WORRYING about it all the time. It so doesn't have to be that way.

dissertating mom to three

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#3 of 9 Old 09-04-2010, 01:25 AM
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We ended up part-time ECing without even knowing what EC was.

From the beginning I used cloth diapers. I'm not sure if this helps, but because of it, I would check/ change my DD pretty frequently. We also went coverless quite a bit, so it was pretty obvious when she peed or something. I never thought to EC, though. Honestly, cloth diapers were working great for us. DD was EBF, and she had very infrequent bowel movements. After about 3 weeks old, she would poop about every two weeks. Obviously when she would finally go, the massive volcano of EBF that would erupt from her tiny body was awe-inspiring (and incredibly icky). Because she would go so long without pooping, when the time came it was pretty obvious what she was doing. Since no diaper ever built could contain her twice-monthly messes, I started to set the stage for her to just drop the bomb. I would take her diaper off, line her Bumbo seat with prefolds, and let her poo to her heart's content.

This system worked fabulously until she started eating solids (finger-foods, no less) at around 7 months old. At that point she began pooping more frequently, but she would struggle with constipation anyway. My DH and I couldn't stand to see her in pain. She would cry and shake and it hurt us so badly to just watch her go through that without being able to help her. One day I got the bright idea to take her to the toilet to see if the gravity could help things along. It did seem to help some, so it got to where we would take her to the potty to poop whenever we noticed that she was starting the process (which, because of her difficulties, it was a long one). Pretty soon she was ONLY pooping on the potty.

She showed some serious interest in fully potty-learning right around her first birthday. We even bought her a little potty. But to be completely honest, I wasn't ready. She was my tiny baby, and from day one had been rushing this infant process along far too swiftly for my tastes. I just couldn't bear the thought of her being done with diapers so soon... so I held back. At 12 months old she really depended on me for help with potty, and when the support wasn't there as often as she'd liked, then her interest waned. She still pooped on the big potty consistently, though.

By around 15-16 months her desire to learn how to use the potty picked back up in full force. I was ready to support her by that point too. The novelty of cloth diapering a toddler had completely worn off. LOL. Things were progressing a lot slower than before, though. I think part of the slowness was due to the fact that she never really showed much interest in her baby potty. She'd always done her business on our adult toilet. We never used an insert or anything, and she always just balanced herself with her hands (once she was big enough to do so). So I guess it never occurred to her that the little potty would be a good place to pee and poop. She knew that WE went on the big potty, and she pooped on the big potty... so that's where she wanted to do this PLing business. So because of that, our early PLing days consisted of her recognizing the urge to use the bathroom, running to the toilet or bathroom door, hollering for me to come help her, and then asking for me to place her on the toilet. The problem was that she didn't always catch herself before peeing... or I didn't hear her yelling for assistance in time.

By 17 months she'd taught herself to climb onto the toilet sans assistance. For some reason we'd never thought to get her a step-stool. Seeing this tiny 17-month-old climb onto the toilet seat, perform an impressive balancing act, and the sit herself down to do her business was simply jaw-dropping. I didn't even know she could do it until one day she called for me to wipe her and I realized that there was nobody else around who could have sat her on the toilet. lol.

At any rate, the independence of no longer needing me until the end of her pottying sessions (Which even then, she sometimes thought she didn't need help. Who needs to wipe, eh?) really helped things along. She had far fewer "accidents" throughout the day. We put her panties at that point, and just tried to be as patient as possible.

There were a few setbacks, since she has this fierce desire to do things on her own, and she resented my efforts to "help" her remember when to go potty. But in the end we called it official at around 19 months. She was still having night-accidents then, but her daytime potty-learning was complete. And she really had done it all on her own!

Wow... so that was long. Sowwy. I guess you could just count me in the "Yes it's possible." camp and call it a day.

I'm me. In love with this guy. We're bringing up two girls: Big A (8) and Little A (3)

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#4 of 9 Old 09-04-2010, 02:53 AM
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I'll second the recommendation for Christine Gross-Loh's book.

And yes, part-time EC is totally possible. My contention is that as long as they're getting the opportunity to pee and poo sometimes that's NOT in the diaper, not in their clothes (which is what diapers are, just absorbent clothes), but into "open air" -- every time they do that, it reinforces for them that diapers are not the ONLY correct place to eliminate.

So it reduces the diaper-training. Yes, they go in diapers, but they don't HAVE to. Often times, a kid will be 90% potty-trained but still ask for a diaper when they have to poop. They're totally conscious of the need to poop and can control it, they just want a diaper! My nephew is doing this right now, he just turned 4, and despite this his parents look at their baby girl and say "oh, that's her poop face, she's about to poop", we say "so why not put her on the potty and save yourselves the cleanup, if you know she's about to poop", they say "oh, you do what works for your family and we'll do what works for ours." ???

Anyway, yeah, if they've experienced pee and poo 'in open air' and not only in diapers, then it's not a strange thing when they're suddenly expected to potty train. And since they get to experience both, they'll likely realize pretty soon that the open air is waaay more comfortable, and will go in their diapers less and less often as their conscious control and comprehension develops.

Also, even if only doing EC part-time, every catch is a diaper saved. If you catch only one pee per day on average, that's a potential 350 diapers saved over a year. Whether thinking "landfill" or "laundry", that's a lot less of it.

I think the fear that EC must be all or nothing is what turns many parents away from it... they incorrectly assume that it must mean barebottom ALL the time, and CONSTANT vigilance and high-alert status! But it doesn't have to at all. Any EC is better than no EC at all, IMO.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#5 of 9 Old 09-04-2010, 08:05 AM
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I plan to start with part time EC after giving birth. I read a really inspiring story in "Infant Potty Training" about a woman who got started with EC because she was tired of getting peed on at changing time. Now that is something I can relate to! Every time she took off her LO's diaper, she held him/her (can't remember which it was but probably a him) over a bucket next to the changing table and cued him to pee in the bucket. Then she could lay him back down and fiddle with the diaper not worrying about being peed on.
I think if this is all you do in the beginning, you are teaching your LO that it is good to take the opportunity to go when the diaper is off. (Not like what usually happens--we freak out when our LOs pee or poo with the diaper off and by several months old they have learned to hold it till the diaper goes back on... and then, voila, you have a lovely mess inside what was a nice clean diaper... )
So anyway yeah, I plan to start off just doing this simple step and as the baby gets older I will incorporate diaper free time and more potty-tunities into our day as and when it feels right.
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#6 of 9 Old 09-04-2010, 10:46 AM
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toys at the potty, towel on the lap so they don't fall in, puzzles, books, sit with them, go when they go, they go when you go.

Elimination Communication Tips
Babies can use the potty too!
And Some Potty Training Tips for a Toddler
(What is good for a baby works for a toddler too!)
Just as our babies know their own bodies, and their needs for food and breast, they also know the bodily sensations that go with the need to pee and poop, and they can, and usually do, communicate these needs.
A baby is very much aware of the pressure associated with full bladder and the rumble tumble of a stinky on the way
I can recall that from birth my baby was clearly expressing her need to go pee or poopy. Or, if I was too late, that she had just eliminated (excreted biological wastes, urine or feces). Grandma and her father were cramming pacifiers in her mouth every time she whimpered, cried, or mildly complained those first three weeks of life (when Grandma was visiting). I would promptly go behind them, and try to determine the cause instead of allowing them to "shut her up" with this artificial device without trying to determine the cause of her distress. Guess what? Each and every time, her diaper was HOT from her fresh urine. So, I changed her diaper and she was happy. Within the first two weeks of my baby's life, I learned that every cry means something, She can communicate that she has a wet diaper and quite clearly. My baby doesn't want to sit in her own urine for any length of time and she was clearly expressing this. I just had to listen. In those two to three weeks, I also realized something more important. I was horrified at the thought of letting her sit in her own urine for any length of time, not a minute, not an hour, and goodness knows, not all night. It took a few more weeks for me to realize that she was communicating that she needed to go pee/poopy BEFORE she actually went (not merely after the fact). At 8 weeks old, I was sitting on the toilet with her as she made a stinky. 2 or 3 times later, I determined I needed an infant size potty. Sadly, it didn't occur to me on my own to take her to the potty for Pee Pee also. It is so engrained in Western Culture to allow babies to pee on themselves in their portable sewage containment system that I didn't think twice about it. I put her on the toilet for stinkies so I didn't have to clean and wash a horribly soiled cloth diaper. EC began for me for selfish reasons yet, at the same time, I was also trusting my instincts. So, when my daughter was 12 weeks old, I asked on a local website where to find an infant size potty and was lead down the path of elimination communication.

(quick note: the Passy does offer "comfort sucking" but maybe not for the reasons people have been led to believe. Babies communicate their needs to pee/poop with the breast (especially those early months). meaning - how they "suck" (nurse) is a cue. If unanswered, they may get distressed. When they have peed on themselves, more distress and they seek more comfort via the breast and try to communicate their wishes to be cleaned and rid of the wet diaper and the smell of urine. (if the comfort the baby desires isn't given, and they continue to cry "for seemingly no known reason", it is the practice of our uninformed culture to stick a passy in their mouth).

EC Items that I love:
1.ECAPants cloth diapers from
a.They open from the front and flip between the legs and up the back to allow for quick easy access to the potty. There is a waist band that holds them on during this process. Non-Waterproof ones are great for other caregivers. They are one-miss diapers. This way, when they pee in them, the caregivers know it and must change their diapers immediately. Also, they can be put on your baby standing up, sitting up, or laying down, in your lap, just about any way you can imagine.
2.Baby Leg Warmers
a.Make the hassle of frequent diapering or ECing easy. No cumbersome clothing.
3.Baby Bjorn Little Potty
a.I prefer the one without the removable cups. The cup can pinch their legs
4.Potette Plus - 2-in-1 Portable Potty & Trainer by Kalencom
a.Versatile potty for backpacking, the car, the front porch, and can also be used a toilet seat reducer when the baby is older at public restrooms or at home.
5.Potty cozies, fleece potty covers, the baby never gets cold behind
6.Split Crotch Pants
a.I simply made them myself. By warm pants from the big box store and cut up/down the seam from front to back to open them. Wear the diaper on the outside during the winter.

Some people say don't force pottying. A baby is forced into a highchair when time to eat, forced into bed when time for bed. NO, it isn't forced, it is encouraged! So, your baby may so no to the potty, but, don't they sometimes say no to eating when you know they are hungry and you feed them anyway? Don't they say no to bed and you put them to bed anyway? So, same for pottying. Don't force or hold them down on it. If it is truly causing screaming or fear, then stop for that time and try again later. Never stop trying. Also, do expect it them to use it. A baby/toddler will do what is expected of them. It is boring, to sit still. Using these tips below can make potty time fun and productive.. My personal rule with my baby, is she can't get off her potty until I get off the toilet. I find this helps immensely when she is making a stinky. It helps her to sit there until I know she has gotten it all out. Of her own accord, she would up and running after the first poopy but not before it was all pushed out.
Elimination Communication may be an answer to colicky babies. As most babies can express the need to eliminate through various cries, latching relatching on the breast, popping off, squirming during their sleep just to name a few signals. Then the cries not being responded to in the proper manner, may be causing a baby distress. Respond to, meaning, taken to potty or getting a diaper changed. A baby, just like us, is very much aware of the pressure associated with full bladder and the rumble tumble of a stinky on the way. They cry out in discomfort, their only form of communication those early months, through the breast, unexplained fussiness, waking during sleep to get help, comfort, from this distress. If not met, they must pee on themselves.
EC may reduce gas and bloating in babies. The Basic Under Thigh Hold infant pottying position holds the baby's legs up to its tummy, applying pressure, and thus allowing for gas to be released. Before I learned of EC, I recall pushing my babies knees up to her chest while she laid on the floor ("as grandma said to do") because she would never burp.
In our society, it is common place to leave a baby in a wet, urine filled diaper for hours. This too, may be causing great discomfort for infants. First, they are sitting on something wet. No matter how good you make a disposable, if you pour water (or urine) on it, it is wet. It doesn't evaporate the water. The wetness is uncomfortable. I imagine it would feel rather like walking around in a wet bathing suit, soaked maxi pad, or soaked adult diaper.
Two, the urine could be burning the baby's skin. Maybe the baby doesn't develop full blown diaper rash but does that mean that urine, the ammonia based substance (something as adults we handle with gloves) isn't burning their skin? Like when adults get diarrhea, they get a sore anus. Adults may not get a full blown "rash" but nevertheless, every pee burns that area. If you have ever backpacked for several days where you have been unable to shower or clean yourself properly, you know very well that your privates can feel raw and sore from the urine that you can never get rid of. Infants, with the most fragile and delicate of skin, are obviously going to be more sensitive to the corrosive properties of urine.
The smell of the urine could be causing distress in babies. As tiny human beings, they desire instinctually what we desire, a clean environment. As adults, we know that peeing and pooping where we eat and drink and sleep is undesirable, unhealthy, and unsanitary. To survive as a species, we have learned to pee and poop away from our living areas. Instinctually, our babies want to do this as well.
The disposable diapers of our time are a chemical cocktail. I have heard of babies getting diaper rash simply from the diaper. I can only imagine the chemical cocktail created inside one of those when ammonia based urine is added to the mixture. It is constantly recommended not to use chemicals, dyes, perfumes (such as in washing detergent, lotions, shampoos) on our babies as they may be irritants. Yet, we don't think twice about what our chemical filled disposables diapers may be doing to our babies bottoms. The diapers could be burning their skin, itching, causing discomfort even if they don't get full blown diaper rash. Same, may be true for the diaper wipes and diaper rash creams. It is like this, when we use a new facial cleanser on our face, sometimes it burns and we don't use it anymore. The diapers, creams, and wipes could be doing the same to an infant, burning their skin. Perhaps, it is like when we stick our hand in overly hot water but not yet scalding, we feel quite a bit of discomfort without blistering. Yet, we will do anything possible to get away from the hot water. Sadly, an infant can't do that. All they can do is scream in pain. What we don't know is, is the diaper, creams, the wipes, or the urine or the combination causing distress in a baby, burning its skin, thus an explanation for colic?
I use cloth diapers and a sink, faucet, or sprayer of water. On the road, a sports bottle of fresh water and a wash cloth will suffice. And, other than the diaper rash she came home from the hospital with, once in cloth diapers, my DD has never had one since (17 months old now). And, never needed to use diaper rash creams to protect her from her own urine, she was never left to sit in it. Nor, did I use store bought diaper wipes. I rarely scrubbed, wiped, cleaned her skin with any kind of cloth as the baby skin is so sensitive that needless abrasives, I didn't think she needed. Her bum held under the running water was most of her cleaning.
I have read, and believe because of my own baby, that EC makes baby's more efficient poopers. I noticed with my baby, if I didn't get her to the potty quick enough, she would poop some in her diaper then stop. Then later in the day, she would then go to the potty to get the rest out. If I did get her to the potty on time, then that was all her poopy for a day or even three. She gets it all out in one big push. Because you hold the baby in a "squat" position versus allowing them to poopy laying down, they can use gravity and the pressure placed on their bellies by their legs to excrete all that needs to be pushed out. And, very little if any poopy gets on the baby. Simply hold their bum under the water for some rinsing or use the sprayer.

First are the links from
1.75 Benefits of EC, elimination communication, natural infant hygiene, infant potty training.
2.Infant potty positions (still can be used with toddlers

3.Cues, signals, that a baby (can apply to a toddler) needs to potty
Now, the EC Tips, cues, signals: (from
1.Observation is the first step in EC. While observing, there are a few things to look for. One is timing patterns and rhythms. Many babies need to pee:
a.either immediately or a few minutes after waking up
b.0, 5, 10, 15 minutes after nursing frequent, regular periods in the morning less frequent, regular periods in the afternoon
e.either before, during or after nursing sessions at night.
2.Other things to look for are body language and signals. These could include:
a.squirming, "fussing," vocalizing
b.tensing the face, raising the eyebrows
c.frowning or having a look of "inner concentration"
d.becoming still and pausing in activity
e.agitation or sudden increase in activity
f.stirring or waking from sleep
g.looking intently or reaching for you
h.reaching for the potty, or indicating towards the toilet place
3.For an older baby, signals could also include:
a.rolling, crawling, or walking to the toilet place
b.struggling to get out of a sling or carseat
c.moving off the bed, couch or carpet
d.holding the genital area
4.Along with these, your own intuition will naturally develop around your baby's elimination. Listening to and trusting your intuition is an important part of parenting. With a little time and practice, it can also become a very reliable tool for anticipating your baby's elimination. What intuition is, and how it works, is difficult to describe. However, there are a few concrete ways you will know your intuition is telling you that your baby needs to eliminate. For example:
a.a sudden thought along the lines of "She needs to pee."
b.wondering or questioning, "Does he need to go?"
c."seeing" or "hearing" the word "pee" or cueing sound (see below)
d."just knowing" that your baby needs to pee
e.feeling the urge to pee yourself
f.feeling a warm wet spreading over your lap or other area while baby is dry
g.If you are finding it difficult to observe your baby's elimination patterns, consider choosing one day to make it your focus. Putting your baby in a cloth diaper without a waterproof cover, or removing the diaper entirely, will help you to know exactly when your baby has eliminated. Even just few hours of this kind of observation will help you learn your baby's elimination habits.

My Personal Experiences and Tips
1.More obvious in an older baby, the baby or toddler may ask for the breast at unusual times, when you are pretty sure they aren't hungry. Such as when you are out shopping, or in the house they come and ask for the breast, they could actually be asking to go pee. They are seeking the breast to get comfort from the way they feel at that moment (from the feeling of the full bladder or the stinky coming on)
2.The baby, toddler, will not go to sleep. Been laying in bed for 10, 20, or 30 minutes, more? Perhaps they need to go pee. I have learned with my baby, especially as she got older and was able to hold off sleep unlike a newborn, that not going to sleep was a need to go pee.
3.Usually, when you hear a baby pass gas (a poot for girls and a fart for boys (wink wink)) almost always was just seconds before a pee was coming. I would immediately take her to potty.
4.Almost always, if not done together, when she made a stinkie, a pee was to follow, and would hold her over the sink or potty a few more minutes (or while holding her under the faucet she would pee because of the water running over her)
5.Sudden anxiety, asking to leave, begging for your attention, wandering off from the playgroup, could be the need to pee/poop if not already done.
6.An extreme or overcharged reaction, temper tantrum, fussiness to what normally elicits a mild rebuff. When you take a fork away that they are walking around with. Normally, a mild complaint but this time they go off the deep end. Look at it like this. When we as adults are overly tired, hungry, or need to go pee something awful, when we are rebuffed in that moment, we may give an overcharged reaction also.
7.To encourage a pee if I felt it was coming, I would put water in my hand and let it drip on her privates.
8.Before a bath, while the water is running, let them sit on the potty to get undressed. The running water may encourage a pee. After the bath, sit on the potty to towel dry, blow dry the hair. The change in temp, from warm water to cold air, may encourage a pee.
9.Put a towel on their lap when on the potty so toys can't fall in. Provide puzzles, books, dry erase board and marker, magnetic board and magnets, pen and paper
10.Set an example: always sit on the toilet when they sit on the potty.
11.Each time you go, they go. Each time they go, you go.
12.Take your baby to potty at regular intervals when awake. Learn their schedule and habits. Every 30 minutes, every 20?
13.You can give a vocal cue, such as a gentle "ssssss" sound, when you notice your infant eliminating
14.Diaper Bag becomes a lot less heavy, if you even carry one. At 14 weeks, my bag went in the closet and a potty in the car. A diaper or two in the purse or on my baby wearing device. A sports bottle with water and a wash cloth for wiping.
15.Some mothers have noticed that their babies spit up less when diaper free and seem more content in general. (gas is being released during the pottying process)
16.It's much more comfortable for a baby to use the bathroom when held in a gentle squatting position than when in a diaper. Imagine trying to go to the bathroom when sitting on the floor, or when lying down
17.Reminder, it is perfectly ok to use diapers as backup! Diaper free doesn't mean that literally. It is freedom from the dependence on diapers.
18.Babies and / or toddlers may go more frequently in the mornings due to nighttime nursing. And, less frequently in the afternoons. In the AM, perhaps use a potty, sink, in one bathroom then a few minutes later, use a potty in another bathroom while teeth brushing or putting on clothes, or go outside on the steps, or another room.
19.Keep potties out in the open, to remind your baby/toddler (or help them remember) they need to go by seeing it. In other words, have one in the living room, one in each bathroom, one it every main place the child is (your bedroom or near their crib, the play area, at the door for easy grabbing for outside potties)
20.Take your baby or toddler to potty at regular intervals, after eating or drinking, immediately upon waking, immediately after a car ride, frequently,
21.change it up, move the potty to the front step, the backyard, the living room, etc
22.If the potty or sink gets old, just "water" the grass, the car tires, the curb, a tree, whatever you have
23.Just because you don't have toilets close by when out at the playground, doesn't mean they can't go potty. Bring it with you, keep one in the car. And, if you forgot it, just use the tree or a bush.
24.Sit your baby on the potty while brushing their hair ... while brushing their teeth ...while putting on socks and shoes .... while putting on shirt and pants
25.Dress your baby for low stress potty times - such as leg warmers or no pants at all, only a shirt When walking, put Girls in dresses and boys in Kimonos. Make your own split crotch pants, put the diaper on the outside for those cold winter months. use Ec friendly diapers such as ECAPants or other cloth diapers.
26.If physically possible with your auto (car), sit them on the potty before getting back in the car (or use the bathroom before leaving a store) - they can sit on the potty and put groceries in the car for you
27.Use the potty before getting into the car every time and getting out of it every time. When you leave the house, use the potty just before the door. When you get to the grocery store, water the car tire (or sit them on the potty in the back). If older, and can hold it, go immediately to the bathroom in the store. Before leaving the store, go to the bathroom. The sudden temperature change from inside/outside the store could encourage a pee on the way to the car, thus I try to get it before going to the car.
28.Make potty time like anything else, routine, eating, sleeping, breathing, going to the bathroom just is
29.Don't reward for catches, the baby would have peed/pood anyway. Simply rewarding for a biological need (like eating) is irrelevant. Simply support that your baby goes, make no big fuss over it, (nor a fuss over a miss). Keep pottying with an infant, a newborn, a toddler, or a child low stress!
30.Pottying is not about HOLDING it, it is about relaxing when given the chance to go.
31.Just like we accommodate our babies and toddlers by bringing food and sippy cups with us because we know they need to eat and drink more frequently, our babies should be equally accommodated for going to the bathroom. Always offer the potty (by carrying one with you) just like you did by carrying the food and water. We, as adults, know how uncomfy it is to wait to the next rest area when traveling to go pee. When a baby/toddler signals the need to go, they pretty much need to go "NOW". They don't have the concept of "later" yet. And, the walk to the bathroom is that long wait like we experience. It takes minutes, stress, and time away from their play. Thus, may cause resentment at the need to go potty because it just takes so long or unnecessary stress and discomfort due to the pressure of the full bladder - and thus - the toddler may stop telling you. A potty or a tree nearby, quick easy access clothing will help limit that.
32.NIGHT WAKING - Just like us adults tend to wake up once or twice a night to go pee, so do our babies and toddlers. Be ready to accommodate these night trips to pee from birth. Our babies are on a liquid diet. Frequent night waking is normal, quote "This is because they have shorter sleep cycles, Pantley explains, and so have more periods of ‘active', or REM sleep". Another Quote, "Dr. Sears goes on to say that night waking is adaptive behaviour for infants. If they did not wake up in the early months, they might go without needed food, warmth, or air. Sears also says that an infant's need for human comfort, at whatever age, is just as legitimate as his physical needs, and should be responded to even if this is inconvenient for parents at night." Allowing a baby to cry it out, or "controlled crying", or even more elegantly called, "self soothing" is also detrimental to a baby's development. Quote "Studies have found that uncomforted crying in infants can affect later IQ, cause Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, and lead to inability to regulate one's emotional state. " Obviously, there are many reasons for a baby waking at night, not just the need to go pee and poopy. Sadly, our culture has forgotten that they can and do wake up because of these needs. So, to ignore any communication from your baby, even the tiniest whimper in their sleep, is ignoring them talking, communicating, asking for your help, your love, your comfort, food, to go potty.

33.Keep a potty beside the bed. If you bed share, co-sleep, or simply have the baby crib next to your bed, these are great ways to support this full communication and understanding effort between you and your baby My daughter, even now at 17 months old, wakes up at least 3 times a night to go pee. Now, she will say Momma, during the day she will pat her diaper and say Pee Pee or stinky. Before....
a.Before, in her tiny days, she would get squirmy. Even though not fully awake, she wasn't asleep. Off to the potty
b.Potty beside the bed. Sometimes, she would still nurse, latched on, while making a pee/stinky. Full alertness always meant a full on stinky was coming. Or, I would sit on the toilet, baby attached to the breast, and strategically point her to the hole. Also, I have heard simply sitting on the lip of the bathtub and let them just go, no aiming involved. This is especially a good tip with baby boys, no aiming required. (It is possible, that the sudden cold air from the removal of the diaper at night causes discomfort. Or, more likely, at in these first few months, a baby is hungry "now" and they may need to "pee" "now" and doing them separately isn't in the rule book of the baby.
c.Usually, at night, she will go to bed, and 20 minutes to an hour later, wake up (stir, squirm, cry, something. take her to pee pee, back to bed, nurse, back to sleep. Usually, 45 minutes to an hour later, repeat. Then, it seems as if she has gotten all the liquid for the day ingested out and settles into a long sleep (for us 3.5 hours). Some days, if more drinking, nursing, then a few extra wake up cycles. Also, frequent waking could also be a signal of stomach discomfort due to caffeine ingested by the mother, milk, or other foods that can cause distress in a baby. Practicing EC allows for you to quickly determine that this cry means hungry, comfort, tired, pee, or not feeling well.
d.Nightmare Cry? Are you sure? Every time my baby cried out in her sleep (what grandma said was just a night terror), I learned through EC, was a full bladder that was going to explode that suddenly jerked my baby awake because of its discomfort. Or, it was the sudden hot gush of urine being released onto her privates that jerked suddenly from a nice sleep. Either way, off to the potty or a diaper change was required.
34.NEVER ENDING SUCKING - on the breast, has always been the need to go pee or the stinky. I noticed it more at night when I may not be immediately responsive to my baby. She will just rabbit nurse, dry suck, for what seems like an eternity.
35.NAPTIME waking. I learned that my baby, most naps, even now at 17 months old, would wake up during a nap to go pee pee then go back to sleep. Those early months, she would usually wake up about 20 minutes into the nap (later 30 then an hour). Pee, back to bed, nurse, back to sleep.
36.If you start as an infant, simply let them lay on a towel or use a wash cloth when you baby wear so that you can an instant feeling of wetness. The rag works well if you baby wear a toddler as well! And, when you catch a pee (miss) take them to the potty immediately so that the association with pee/poo is made to the potty. Even if they don't go, just hold them there for a second. Make the "pssst" sound as you notice they are peeing "on you" or in the sink.
37.Letting your baby pee at the sink is also great. They can look at themselves, the baby in the mirror. Although they may not understand that is their reflection, they do see their mother. One, they "see" another baby going to pee along with the ever loving comfort of seeing their mother.
38.Those early months, when the baby isn't too mobile, don't use a diaper at all! Just let them lay on towels and wash clothes. Maybe add an old blanket as an layer between the towels and carpet. All are washable. For little boys, they do have "tee pees" or a triangular Tarzan piece of fabric to reduce unwanted urine from getting on the ceiling. Then simply switch out the towels, wash clothes, using the wash clothes as the layer directly against the skin. Wash, reuse.
39.I have learned from watching several toddlers, that in the early months of eating (6 months and on) but still true at toddler stage I am in now, that throwing food from the highchair is a signal to go pee. Just like we typically go pee in the middle of a meal, same is true for our toddlers.
40.Babies/toddlers may kick the covers off of them, try to squirm out of their bed clothes, try to get off the bed, get off the sofa if they need to go pee.
41.Sudden silence, withdrawing away from the play area (babies and toddlers, just like us, don't want to spoil their environment, it is instinctual).
42.Sudden temper tantrum when you go to pick them up. Maybe they asked for a juice, or food, or a toy. You pick them up to give it to them, and they just "fall all out", rag doll, or angry. So far, every time, that was a pee.
43.When she was learning to walk, when I held her hands, she would just drop to the floor suddenly, getting fussy, picking her up made it worse. Was a pee.
44.Don't immediately offer another toy, another bite of food, a passy, a bottle, a cup, etc when your baby/toddler complains. When their bladder is full, it creates an uncomfortable sensation (just like us!). and, they may complain until the it is released. Then, subsequently, they may complain of the wetness and hotness. so, always assume a pee first
45.My Rules:
a.Does she need to pee first? (or poopy)
b.Does she want the breast?
c.Is she tired?
d.Is she over stimulated and need some downtime with the boob and mommy (no time out in this house!)?
e.Is she sick?
f.Now, get concerned if none of the above resolve your cranky baby.
46.Unexplained but seemingly rhythmic outburst of crying that stop somewhat quickly (especially when younger) can be calls of the wild. It is common for the babies to need to go pee about every 15 to 25 minutes, and toddlers, about every 45 to an hour (and other times as previously mentioned).
47.Pushing off of you (most people think - oh, they want to get down and play) then they get fussy when you do put them down - they are trying to get away from you so as not to pee on their "food and bed" but at the same time, don't want you to let them go - well because they need you to help them.
48.Baby/toddler comes up to you, insistent, pushing, shoving, demanding your attention - could be they need to go pee or want a diaper changed If ignored, (as I know, guiltily) they may hit you, pound on you, stomp on your toes.
49.Dry nursing or rabbit nursing, for my baby, have been 90% signals to go pee/poopy. the other 10% was upset tummy or a boo boo. They may ask for the BB for over an hour before the stinky comes.
50.Potty trained should not include the rule that "the toddler must undress themselves". Our western culture has created bulky, cumbersome, and difficult clothing that is impossible for a toddler to get on and off. It is just another excuse why we can't put our baby on the potty at a younger age. Because it is just too difficult to take all those clothes on and off every time. Well, easy solution - don't use them! Dress for girls, long shirt, and leg warmers. For boys, a long kimono, long shirt, and leg warmers. Problem solved.
51.Basically, everything a baby/toddler says means something.

Some Web Links of Interest
Elimination Communication
Baby wearing
"shutdown syndrome" (what happens to a baby left to CRY IT OUT or to sleep alone in another room) information
The benefits of Co sleeping (higher IQ, happier baby, secure baby, more sleep for all)
Blog on Elimination Communication
Risks of Mother-Toddler Separation
Effects of Daycare and Preschool on Infants and Toddlers
The Society of the Disposable Diaper
Witty Responses to Co-sleeping Remarks
"Spanking does for a child's development what wife-beating does for a marriage." -
Contrary to the promises in advertisements, diapers don’t keep the baby clean and dry, but only his clothes & environment."
Grandparents sleep together, aunts and uncles, even mommy and poppy - so why do people ask me when will my baby sleep alone?
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#7 of 9 Old 09-10-2010, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info! I am glad to hear it can work part time There is definitely a ton of info in this thread that I need to sit and digest. But hopefully, you guys will see me around in a couple of months asking questions!

winner.jpg, cloth diapering, babywearing, AP mama to Aiden (10/04/07) and Rylan (12/20/10)  hbac.gif
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#8 of 9 Old 09-17-2010, 05:33 PM
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easiest at this age (age 3), keep him in diapers/trainers and take him on a schedule (as best you can), and use a distraction while on the potty (we sing a song) to help him relax on the toilet.

we use the regular toilet, nothing fancy, and cloth trainers (antsy pants) as back up (my guy is 2 btw), and we will be moving to underwear this summer (december here).

it works really well to go on a schedule early on. teaches the body what to do, takes pressure off of you and him. give yourself about 6 months to get into a total habit, and he'll likely be out of diapers in that time.
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#9 of 9 Old 09-23-2010, 06:43 AM
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i see that you're in the DC metro area. you might want to check out a local diaper free baby meeting. it's soooo nice to have IRL support, to get to see what EC looks like first-hand, and of course most EC mamas are pretty crunchy in other ways so it's a nice way to meet like-minded mamas in general (kinda like a LLL or API). here's a link to the info:
and their yahoo group:

i've EC'd all 3 of my kids, the first one i started at 9 months and was very part time and it worked out wonderfully. but i have found that the more effort i put in up front the easier it was all around. full-time EC sounded daunting but really in the end i found it easier than part time in a lot of ways. but i mean, full time for me didn't mean trying to kill myself catching every single elimination. more just a mindset that there were never times when i was just going to put on a diaper and forget about it entirely. i think foremost it's just important to stay relaxed and not let yourself get stressed about it. after all, no matter what you do they will go in the potty eventually. so for me it was about keeping my child clean and dry as much as possible, and about responding to their needs and listening to them. they really can communicate about it from the beginning if you know what that communication looks like. i found it deeply rewarding and not a hassle at all. and, hey, having even my least-effort part time EC'd kid a grad by 28 months was icing on the cake (the other two were 22 months - also part time but started earlier - and 15 months - she was my 3rd, and my only full-time EC'd baby, i started at 2 weeks pp).
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