Hi all you experienced EC parents out there - I'm actually not "officially" one of you, but my daughter seems to be trying to change my mind!
She's 8 months old tomorrow, and for the past week or so has apparently decided to poop in the potty. It started when I saw her trying to poop in her diaper while sitting in her high chair. She struggled and started crying, and I assumed she was constipated. I took her out of the seat, hoping to help her find a more comfortable position. When that didn't help and her crying escalated, on a whim I took off her diaper and sat her on the toilet. And she went! She still cried, but she went.
One thing led to another, and I started paying more attention, and today she has twice pooped in the potty without going in her diaper at all. This last time, tonight before her bath, she finally "got it" and grinned and laughed and was so proud of herself.
I'm just blown away! Before, when I saw that "poopy face" (you know the one!), I would assume that she was straining to go or was constipated. She actually grabs the arms of her chair and turns red, but her diaper stays clean. Now I'm starting to think she's straining NOT to go! Has anybody else had this happen?
I haven't changed a regular dirty diaper in almost a week! I don't want to make an issue out of it - diaper, potty, it's all OK by me - I just want to meet my baby's needs. And she clearly needs some attention paid to this. Can anyone recommend your favorite resource to help me learn how to help her? Are there other cues I should be looking for so I can catch it before she's uncomfortable? Has anybody else started EC by accident?
First of all, congrats! I think it's awesome that you are paying close enough attention to her to meet her needs in this way.
We, too, fell into EC somewhat accidentally. I had heard about it, but thought you had to do it since birth, and it seemed complicated. Fast forward to 8 months old - DS had HORRIBLE diaper rash (burn level, skin peeling, horrendous) from antibiotics he was on (grrrr ), so I was anxious to find a way to give him some more diaper free time, because it simply wasn't healing, in spite of prescription burn cream. However, at the same time, I had been noticing that he was often having trouble falling asleep in the Ergo on our "nap walk" like usual - and that often, he'd get upset and cry, then poop in his diaper, and pass out. I realized this was happening frequently - that he'd seem tired, I'd pop him in the Ergo, and he'd still be distressed (even nursing). So I started to put two and two together.
Finally, I had noticed him peeing (diaper off) when the shower was running. I decided to replicate this, sitting him on his potty (which I had randomly bought to get free shipping on something else, figuring we'd need it eventually) - and TA DA! He went immediately. He took to it like a lil fish to water, and we never looked back. (He had just turned 9 months by that point)
I've read since that there are several "windows" of starting EC when your kid may be interested in it. Sounds like we fell in the same one! Once I started, it seemed so simple - it was just like anything else I do to meet my kid's needs - washing, nursing, feeding, etc. I loved the increased communication - I truly believe it brought us closer, especially in that (largely) pre-verbal phase. Plus - fewer dipes to wash!
I bought a used copy of Diaper Free Baby that was helpful, but it mostly reiterates info that is easy to find on these boards and online. Other cues when he was around that age were unexplained fussiness, squirminess, and hyperactivity. Nowadays he is sometimes cranky, or he'll hide somewhere. You can also work on cues and hand signs when she goes - some babies pick these up, and will do them to you to let you know they have to go.
My biggest advice is to continue to be laid back about it - you will likely go through dry periods and then have some misses (especially when sick or teething) - try not to fixate on your "success rate." Just keep communication open and let the baby drive, as you are doing now. Good luck to you!
~ Lucky wife of DH and loving mama to DS (04/11) ~
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