We started trying to EC our 1yr old at about 8m. Doing it based on timing worked well at first, but then her schedule changed and it stopped working. So instead for about 3 weeks, I've just been trying to give her diaper free time at least once per day for an hour or so (MIL who watches her during the day isn't willing to do it, so it can only be PT). What I've been doing is to just watch until she starts to pee, and then immediately pick her up and put her on the potty, and immediately make the cue sound and the potty sign.
She now makes the potty sign back at me when I just put her on the potty to sit, but she doesn't so far make it when she needs to go. Yesterday she walked up to the potty, took apart the two pieces, and then peed while holding the two halves of the potty in her hand, so maybe the association is starting to sink in? Or maybe it was just a coincidence.
I guess I'm wondering if what I'm doing should eventually work to get her to associate peeing with the potty and/or the potty sign, but maybe I should be doing things differently? I assumed that if I just kept doing what I'm doing, after a dozen or so times it should finally click, and she would at least understand that pee goes in the potty, even if she can't always get there or tell us in time. Is this the experience you guys had? If so, how many of these kind of half catches did you need before it clicked at this age?
Or will it never work, since she isn't starting her pee on the potty? I've tried just putting her on the potty regularly, but she has never gone during these attempts. I can keep trying it and hope that we get lucky with the timing eventually, but I don't know how long that will take.
Thanks for reading my post - I'd appreciate any tips!
DD born at 40w2d on 1/19/2011
DD born at 40w1d on 3/1/2014
It only took a few of those "half-misses" you described for my 2 yr old DD to get it.
At 1 yr old... she'll get it, but it will take longer, and you've no way of knowing HOW long.
Also, even when she gets it, it could be another year or 2 before she is potty independent. (ie she will still need reminders)
Heck, DD has been PT for over 2 yrs now, and at 4 peed her pants just the other day--out of the blue--because she didn't have time to go to the bathroom!
BTW, if you want her to start the pee on the potty, put her on as soon as she wakes up. If she likes to nurse or have a bottle straight away, put her on the potty while you nurse/give her the bottle.
My 13 month old has been EC since 3 weeks old. He gets the connection--but it's still very hard to get pee catches most days.
Thanks for the response, heatherr30! (I didn't think anyone would respond, since I hadn't seen any posts yet. :)) I don't expect her to be totally potty independent anytime soon, but I'd just like for her to show that she gets the idea, and would really love it if she could learn gradually to use the potty when she is home and diaperless so that she wouldn't have to spend so much time in diapers - she does keep getting diaper rashes, and she hates diaper changes, so I feel like she would like using the potty instead of a diaper, at least at home, if she could figure it out. (It would also be nicer having her diaper-free at home if I didn't have to stay on high pee alert every second that she is without the diaper... :)).
I originally got catches by putting her on the potty when she woke up (when she was around 8m), but she never seems to go right away anymore - this morning she was diaperfree for 1.5 hours and never peed, so we didn't get a miss or a catch. But she did drop her sippy cup so that the lid came off and spill water all over the floor, and then she make what looked like the potty sign for the first time, so maybe she is starting to "get it." :) Maybe I will try your recommendation and actually nurse her on the potty, and see how that goes!
I was thinking about stopping even trying to put her on the potty when she is peeing and just to let her pee wherever she is and just focus on the cue sound and the potty sign, but I'm not sure if that would confuse her, or if it would help by making it simpler since then we'd just be focusing on getting her to understand the connection between her peeing and the sound/sign, without even getting the potty itself into it.
She does seem to like playing with the potty, and sometimes sitting on it for a moment or two, but I'd love for her to show some sign that she is gradually beginning to understand what it is for. :)
I do find it encouraging to hear that your son who started with EC really early didn't necessarily use the potty much at 13m, in that it gives me something to which to compare (I love the EC books, etc, but they always seem to include people with kiddos who went potty independent at a really young age...).
DD born at 40w2d on 1/19/2011
DD born at 40w1d on 3/1/2014
my 2y9mo who was ECed (part time but really most of the time) from 3.5m still needs reminders to use the potty, though she will also be independent a lot of the time. heck, my 7yo still needs to be reminded to pee before we leave the house! With that 7yo, we started some morning naked time at around 15m when he started complaining a lot about diapers- I'd not heard of EC but ended up kind of doing it anyway, following his lead. He was diaper free by 21m but still needed reminders to use the toilet. I tolerated a fair number of misses during that naked time but eventually he got so where if he had no pants on, he'd take himself to the potty (if it was right there). He would yell, "pottypottypottypotty" on his way there. It sounds like you are doing just fine. Your little one will "get it".
I also think those "diaper free" EC books can be dispiriting. I don't personally know any ECed kids (ok I don't know tons of ECed kids, but a fair number by now) who were indpendently pottying as a young 1yo. Diaper free, perhaps, but with a lot of adult support to use potty and plenty of misses.
dissertating mom to three
DD loved it too when she was finally diaper-free! This is a great milestone for them and it was wonderful to watch how proud my 2 yr old DD was, and how much more happy being an active participant in pottying, rather than unwillingly being changed. Unfortunately at the age of 1 their understanding of cause and effect is still fuzzy so they can't reason that "go in the potty then you don't have to wear a diaper".
I think just letting the bare bottom time (and the accidents) happen at this age is fine! Talk to her as soon as you notice, so she learns the words. Does she acknowledge the puddle? If so that shows good awareness! Letting her play with a (clean) potty is fine too!
If the accidents are too much for you you can try training pants or undies with sweat pants to soak up most of the puddle. You will still notice right away and change her promptly. I usually allow a couple of accidents then put the diaper back on when I get tired of watching.
There are a lot of key developments that take place 12-18 months which will help your little girl "get it". One of these is imitating others. Another is a desire for order and putting things in their places. Just follow her lead. You may want to take things a bit slower till around 18-24 months in terms of actually potty training. You can consider this phase "pre-potty training" where you work on bodily awareness, knowing what the potty /toilet is for, making a routine out of clean-up, etc (and avoiding diaper rash).