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Well my DS is a lot younger than yours, but I agree with prioritizing sleep.
I use 1 diaper for night time with a wool cover (without changing it unless it's soaked or poopy). DS doesn't indicate that he minds. I also sometimes miss the morning pee or poop because i am not sure if he's ready to wake up yet and I don't want to annoy him by getting him up when he's still tired or desperate to nurse. (these may not be issues at your DDs age)
I would not go for perfection esp at this stage. Your DD will be developing so fast in all areas--language, physical milestones, etc that you can try again in a few weeks or months and it might go much better.
My son is a bit older - 16 mos. From 7 mos to 2 weeks ago we did what you do -we gave up on nightime EC and worked on finding diapers that wouldn't leak all night. 2 weeks ago he got a yeast infection, which ramped up the discomfort I have always felt with leaving him in a wet diaper at night.
Now I have a thick wool puddle pad with a cotton towel or recieving blanket over it as a 'soaker pad', with a stack of them next to the bed, along with a few pairs of non-waterproof training pants. I put a diaper on at bedtime, and when he wets it I take it off and put his pjs back on. When he wakes up to nurse, I offer him the potty (a yogurt container actuallly) WHILE nursing sitting indian style. I use a headlamp sitting on the bed facing the wall with a red filter so its not to bright so I can make sure I get it in. As long as he can nurse while going, he seems pretty happy with this, and actually wakes up fewer times to nurse, I guess because he is more comfortable dry. If we miss, I just change the soaker cloth (and sometimes my pjs, but the bed almost always stays dry), and put him in his training pants. It is not the most comfortable sitting there like that if he doesn't go right away, but at the moment I don't see much choice lest the yeast come back.
My basic advice though, is not to worry about it until what you are doing causes a problem. Sleep is VERY important, and mine is definately somewhat impacted by this new routine - sometimes I cannot get back to sleep right away after being this active, and I feel more tired than I used to. Not sure how long it will last, or how long he will tolerate it (he usually doesn't stick with the same method for very long) but its good enough for now.
My ds is about 15 months now and nighttime is the reason we started EC. He would squirm around in his sleep, but didn't want to nurse and I finally figured out he needed to pee, but wasn't doing it in his diaper. So I had to figure out a routine at night.
I offer before bed and then play it by ear at night. I cloth him in either baby legs and a onsie or a two piece PJ set. He's in a BG 3.0 with an extra insert in case he doesn't wake to pee. But usually, sometime after midnight he'll wake. I'll try to get him back down without nursing. If this doesn't work, I offer him the potty. I have my little Ikea potty next to the bed on a waterproof mat with an extra diaper and wipe. I bring the potty and mat up onto the bed next to him. I just pull down his pants (or open his onesie), take off his diaper, and put him on the potty. I lean him against my shoulder so he doesn't have to hold himself up. With one hand, I feel his diaper to see if it's wet and if it is I move it and replace it with the extra one. I either hear or smell the pee when it comes out. Then I lift him back down onto the diaper, throw the wipe into the potty to keep the pee from spilling, and put his clothes back on. I put the potty back on the ground and snuggle or nurse him until he falls back asleep, which is usually quite quick.
Now, sometimes he doesn't pee when I offer and he clearly just woke to nurse. On these nights he usually stays dry the entire night. In fact, lately, he has been dry all night more often than not. But on nights where he nurses frequently he needs the potty or he wets in his diapers and then squirms.
Mama to Avalon 1/07 , Austin 1/10 in between and Avery 12/11
When my dd was around 8 months is when we started doing EC at night. She always woke alot anyway and I just thought I would try to EC at night to troubleshoot the night waking issue (I wondered if maybe she had to pee and was uncomfortable). We had the same problem initially with dd waking up fully when I brought her to the bathroom to pee, and protesting it as well. What ended up working for us was getting a nightlight for the bathroom (which is right next to our bedroom) so that we did not have to turn the light on. I would latch her on and carry her to the bathroom. And then I would also nurse her while on the potty. At that age, I could straddle the toilet backwards and nurse her with her bottom right over the opening between me and the toilet seat. She would go almost as soon as I got her into position and never fully wake up and would fall right back to sleep. It totally helped her sleeping actually. We have progressed to the point now at 19 months where she sleeps through the night and stays dry. I think Ecing at night helped to fascilitate this process.
Our setup is basically the same as Ma Cactus's (in fact, hers was the inspiration for ours, so thanks, Ma Cactus!), except I didn't put a diaper on him initially, I just put him in split-crotch pants so it would be easy to potty him. Then I put down the wool puddle pad and wrapped a folded receiving blanket around him and tucked it into the front of his pants (he generally sleeps on his back, so that kept the back side in place). Whenever he woke up to nurse, I cued him into the yogurt container while nursing him. He never peed while asleep and he always fussed when he needed to pee, even though he often pees with no discernible warning during the day. It was super easy!
He was also a lot easier to get back to sleep than usual, and didn't fuss as much. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it wasn't just a fluke. I felt sooooooo much better and less guilty not keeping him in a wet overnight all night!
ETA: The babe just started cross-crawling a few days ago and has been FIGHTING going to sleep for the night, and it had also made his night-waking more frequent/for longer stretches, but last night he didn't fully wake at all. Also, crap, what was the other thing I was going to say? Oh yeah, he has always refused to nurse lying down at least a couple of the times when he wants to nurse at night, and last night I figured out that those times, the times when he wants me to hold him sitting up, are the times he has to pee. So he has only been peeing in my arms at night basically since he was born, haha.
My DS will no longer sleep if he needs to pee, so I don't fight it any more (he's 12 months now, and has been like this since ~9 months.)
He wears training pants at night and baby legs with a onesie. When he squirms I get up, take him to the potty (on the bathroom counter) and hold him on me (facing out) while he pees. That way he stays warm and next to me and doesn't fully wake. The training pants are easy to get on and off in the dark - a diaper was waking him up.
Then we cuddle and he nurses back into a deep sleep - which I think helps me transition back to sleep too.
I'd love to have a container for him to pee in while we stay in bed, but I have a cat so I'm afraid of spills.
My DD is 4.5 now, but when she was that age, and earlier, we began offering the potty when she would squirm at night. It was keeping ME awake! We kept a wide wide mouth tupperware by the bed, and I got so I didn't even need to turn the lights on, we'd just undiaper, hold over the potty in the bed, rediaper, cover up the potty and nurse back to sleep. It usually only took a few minutes and we were done. I believe that offering the nighttime pees helped her get dry at night first, almost unheard of in the potty training world. We also offered immediately after wake up in the AM with the same setup, and we usually caught it, though not always.
If your DC is peeing in their sleep, I'm not sure how to deal with that. I would try to offer at the first sign of discomfort with minimal disturbance, and see if you can do it and get back to sleep quickly.
Amanda, DW to Drew, mom to Ella, 7, Gardner, 2, homesteading on the edge of the continent on the Lost Coast.
California Homesteading, http://eastmillcreek.blogspot.com