What should I do to make EC more successful for my daughter? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 07-30-2012, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
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My daughter has been part-time EC (only at home & grandparents) since she was 8 weeks and she's now 14 months old. She used to do really well...although she never learned to signal to us that she needed to go we'd take her first thing in the morning, after naps, before bath and bed, and random times throughout the day and would pee almost all the time in her potty, and would poop in it 95% of the time. She had a pretty long strike when she learned crawl but thanks to the advice here we got through that. However, lately she doesn't want to use the potty at all. She will happily sit on it, sometimes only for a minute, sometimes as much as 10 minutes, but won't go on it. Sometimes she'll run off right after having sat on the potty for awhile and then pee on the floor. There are times when I KNOW she needs to poop but she'll end up pooping in her diaper 2 minutes after putting it on. When I ask her where poopy is supposed to go she'll immedietely point back to the bedroom where her potty is. She learned to walk last month so I thought it may have been related to that, but she's a pro at walking now and I figured she'd be back on track by now.

So...I've tried laying off her for a week, putting the potty in different locations, making up silly potty songs...no luck. Today I decided for the first time ever to let her go diaper free with the potty right in the living area by her toys to see what would happen. I asked at one point if she needed to go and she nodded yes and got on the potty herself, then stood up and 30 seconds later was peeing by the TV. I tried putting tiny undies on her and she wet those and didn't seem to care one bit about being cold and wet. I tried having her mimic me by putting the potty in the bathroom and letting her in when I had to go...she happily got on the potty, then stood up and peed a foot away from it.

What am I doing wrong? Should I try giving her more diaper free or undie time and just deal with the inevitable mess for awhile? I'm afraid her diapers, whether cloth or disposable, are just too comfy and convenient for her. It's been almost two months that she's been off the bandwagon and I'm afraid she's only getting worse...she is starting to sit on the potty for only a few seconds or so more and more. Considering we've been doing this for so long I thought she'd be so much farther along by now.
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#2 of 4 Old 08-01-2012, 11:38 AM
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We had the same type of "potty pause" at about the same time. Ours lasted for about a month or two and it was right about the time she was getting really good at walking. She was also getting her first molars and eye teeth all at once (teething has always made a bump in the road on our EC adventures). We never had her in diapers, always just pants or panties and sometimes naked. We have a couple different places in the house that we potty her at. I was always best at getting her to go on the big potty and DH was always best at getting her to potty over the kitchen sink. At night we use a baby bjorn potty and on the road we just squat where ever we can.


With that being said, what we did to get over the "pause" was;

1: waited it out

2: tried pottying in different spots

3: stuck right by her almost every second of the day (of course this was time consuming and not a lot got done those days, but I feel this was the main thing I did that helped get us through. It was almost like starting over from the beginning. I had to watch her cues and what she did right before she went. I felt like her cues changed at this age.)

4: tried to make her feel like she had a say in it all and that she was a willing participant


For #4 what I did was when I needed to go, I would say something like "Lavender, mama has to go potty, would you like to go with me?" she would almost always follow me into the bathroom where I would sit down,go potty and say "oh, I feel so much better after I went potty". Then I would ask her if she had to go and most of the time she would walk over to me and I would pick her up and set her on the potty. At first, she would sit for just a second and then hop off, but after about a week of trying the same thing she would start going and if she didnt have to go, she would just not walk over to the potty for me to pick her up.


Now at 16months, she has started giving some very direct signals she has to go, such as grabbing her crotch for pee or standing straight up and stomping around a little (as if she is trying to hold something in) for when she has to poo.


Hope some of this helps, and good luck!

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#3 of 4 Old 08-01-2012, 01:44 PM
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That is tough. Hugs to you for hanging in there. I have a sixteen month old and started EC at 11 months and we are hit and miss too but more consistent by the sound of it. My first question to you is, what kind of diapers are you using? Disposables are definitely way too comfy but so are cloths with stay dry liners or fleece inner layers. This includes most AIOs and pocket diaps in my experience. With AI2s the inserts could have stay dry liners. I reserve my stay dry pockets for outings to try to keep the feeling of wet against her skin. I agree that a single pair of thin underwear isn't very noticeable when wet. What I do sometimes is stuff a folded flat (or a bamboo booster) into the underwear to absorb pee, make cleanup easier, and also to make it more noticeable for her. You could try keeping only cotton/hemp/bamboo against her skin to see if that helps (if you aren't already).
I think you're doing great and working with her as much as she will let you. I read books to DD while she's on the potty and a sippy of cold water to drink often helps her go. You are modeling potty to her, talking to her about it, pointing out when she goes pee and giving her opportunities to use the potty. There aren't many more things I can suggest. She is a young toddler with her own ideas and the best thing to do is work with her and not develop a power struggle. It's easier said than done but as long as you are communicating with her about her elimination, it's still EC even without making a catch. I know you are frustrated but each kiddo is unique. This doesn't mean she didn't learn or get any benefits out of EC, just that right now she is not interested. We went through a smaller strike at 13 months when little miss started walking. I just kept potty part of the diaper changing routine but didn't fight if she popped up three seconds later and peed two feet away. I just kept saying "honey, pee goes in the potty" and cleaning up. Eventually she decided pottying isn't so bad if she gets undivided attention from mommy and maybe a story or two. We still have tons of misses and I couldn't survive without diapers. I'm just trying to make her feel wet as much as I can and keep potty a regular part of the day even if she doesn't use it. Drowsy DD is more cooperative and she ECs too well at night lol.

I know this is a long, rambling post but with a young toddler, I'm sure you understand what my days are like lol. Good luck and just keep up the communication. She will get there and already has a huge head start on most kids.
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#4 of 4 Old 08-01-2012, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses! It's good to hear that she's not likely completely off the EC bandwagon so I'm much more optimistic than before. She's still very much excited about walking even after a month (she refuses her stroller, shopping carts, even her mei tai carrier because she wants to walk everywhere...I can barely carry her through parking lots to get to the store without her squirming out of my arms) so I can only assume it's taking her attention off pottying.

Like you mentioned Humboldt, I've definitely noticed today that she very much has to feel that SHE is making the decision to go and that I'm not just plopping her on the potty...otherwise she'll just sit for a few seconds or hop right off. She definitely wants to have a say now. smile.gif Having her mimic me definitely helps too as late yesterday and once today she peed in her potty because she saw me doing the same. And I've been shadowing her all day today trying to note any signals but no luck...but then it's only been one day. I'm sure eventually I'll see something.

Sky, I've typically had her in either disposables or Fuzzibunz which both keep her way too dry, and like you said the undies are just too thin to be uncomfy when wet. I would have never thought to add a prefold or the like to them so thanks for that suggestion! I'll be trying that tomorrow.

And you're both right...she's definitely miles ahead of most toddlers even if she doesn't feel like cooperating at the moment. She's aware of how those functions work and she knows what the potty is for...so we are really communicating. Plus she does like the time I spend reading her books while she's relaxing on the potty. smile.gif Seeing it from that perspective I'm much happier with our progress and I know eventually shell be more willing to cooperate. Thanks for the advice...now I'll be able to enjoy the process more and stop stressing so much over it!
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