6 week old fussypants... need encouragement and advice - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 11-03-2012, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So we've been doing EC with the LO since he was one week old and he's now 6 weeks.  His fussiness is up in general, as that's just the stage he's in, but potty time has become really loud lately.  I can use BFing to keep him calm but the poor DH does not have that option.  Currently we potty him over the bathroom sink and use disposables.  So far we've been doing pretty good for newbies, I think, catching about 50-60% of pees and 75% of poops, and are getting better at reading his signals.  The issue is that he's getting agitated during the process, then staying agitated so we're curious if there's any technique or product that can help during this time.  We've tried the "top hat" (as I like to call it) in the lap but he hates it, and he's just a tad too small for a small potty (he is only 9 lbs right now).  He likes "the position" but hates the dressing/undressing.

 

The questions...

 

-- since we're about to switch from disposables, what product should we switch to in order to make the potty process easier?  He's quick to announce a wet diaper if there's a miss so I don't think we necessarily need to have a naked prefold, it's more about what is the quickest on/off to keep the process as streamlined as possible.  I don't think we're ready to go without a backup but maybe I'm just being chicken?

 

-- if he wets himself in his sleep, starts squirming, and is on that verge of waking up but not quite there, should we be getting him up?  

 

-- at what age can they start holding it longer?  Right now I'm kind of amazed that sometimes he can hold his poop for half an hour but at other times he pees every 5 minutes (which then agitates him, requires nursing to calm him down, which makes him pee more, which agitates him, etc ad nauseum).  

 

-- will he ever get less fussy?  I realize this is probably without answer as the issues will change with age, I suppose I just need assurance that this is totally normal for this stage in the game.

 

Thanks in advance!

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#2 of 10 Old 11-03-2012, 03:55 PM
 
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The quickest on/off hands down are ECA pants, or for a cheaper option, a prefold in a prefold belt. Since it is winter, you can make chaps by buying some cheapo second hand infant pants and cutting out the crotch, then tuck a prefold in the belt. Or better yet, buy some cheapo second hand wool or cashmere sweaters, and use them to make some chaps- they'll repell wetness (esp if you lanolize them), and won't feel cold if they do get a little damp, as well as have natural antibacterial properties and only need aired out unless they get poop on them. Fleece is pretty water repellent too, but sweaty and needs to be washed every time. There are lots of online patterns for making this stuff, i.e. here: http://doityourselfec.blogspot.kr/ (you might need to just google "do it yourself EC"- this looks like the korean link...)

And this system works great at night over a felted wool puddle pad- easy to change out the misses without waking bub, nobody gets wet. Also easy if he is squirmy and squirmy and squirmy to give nighttime potty a try- just untuck the front of the prefold, potty as usual, or into a bedside bowl/container/rubbermaid/whathaveyou, and retuck. We slept better if we pottied the squirmy baby.

The ECA pants are expensive, but in my ease-of-EC opinion, so totally worth it. Although I might wait until 3 or 4 mo when you are having fewer misses so you don't need to buy as many, and he'll be in a size that will last a little longer...

My son didn't hold it for any appreciable amount of time until probably 8-10 mo! But you get good at the potty ryhthm, so you'll still have fewer misses...

Keep in mind, the fussiness related to pottying could indicate something like reflux...maybe something to look into..

And yes of course, he will get less fussy before very long. But make sure you've done everything to determine that the fussiness is not related to pain or a problem you can fix. Attachment parenting doesn't mean: cosleep/breastfeed/babywear. It means understanding baby's cues and responding quickly and appropriately. The other stuff just helps you learn the cues and meet that end. Some babies are just fussy as they adjust to the new world, but sometimes there is a reason you can help with. Even your diet may be affecting him, there are lots of things to look at...

Keep your head up mama- and don't forget, if EC is adding to your stress, feel free not to stress about it. By all means don't be scared to do a lot of diaper free time for the communication aspect, but if it stressing you (or your little guy) out to try to catch each and every five minute pee, don't. EC only works very well when it isn't stressful for either of you, so work it to the level that it isn't. In the beginning we generally pottied our DS when we changed a wet diaper. They go so often you usually catch anyway! But it is a lot as a new mom to try for all catches. Take it easy on yourself. A calm mom is way better than a dry diaper.

Good luck!


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#3 of 10 Old 11-03-2012, 04:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pacopoe View Post

So we've been doing EC with the LO since he was one week old and he's now 6 weeks.  His fussiness is up in general, as that's just the stage he's in, but potty time has become really loud lately.  I can use BFing to keep him calm but the poor DH does not have that option.  Currently we potty him over the bathroom sink and use disposables.  So far we've been doing pretty good for newbies, I think, catching about 50-60% of pees and 75% of poops, and are getting better at reading his signals.  The issue is that he's getting agitated during the process, then staying agitated so we're curious if there's any technique or product that can help during this time.  We've tried the "top hat" (as I like to call it) in the lap but he hates it, and he's just a tad too small for a small potty (he is only 9 lbs right now).  He likes "the position" but hates the dressing/undressing.

The questions...

-- since we're about to switch from disposables, what product should we switch to in order to make the potty process easier?  He's quick to announce a wet diaper if there's a miss so I don't think we necessarily need to have a naked prefold, it's more about what is the quickest on/off to keep the process as streamlined as possible.  I don't think we're ready to go without a backup but maybe I'm just being chicken?

Have you looked at baby legs? A shirt and baby legs make for very easy access at undiapering time. There are also split pants/chaps which can go over or under the diaper in a way that you don't have to take them on and off. Baby bags are also popular around the house.

We use diaper belts to hold on flats or prefolds. They are nice and quick for us.

-- if he wets himself in his sleep, starts squirming, and is on that verge of waking up but not quite there, should we be getting him up?  

We all seem to make different calls here. I say if the baby is keeping me up, I will change him. If he goes right back to sleep I let him lie (well, I used to, we don't use covers so they would flood a diaper so we favor changing currently, but we can do that while they sleep).


-- at what age can they start holding it longer?  Right now I'm kind of amazed that sometimes he can hold his poop for half an hour but at other times he pees every 5 minutes (which then agitates him, requires nursing to calm him down, which makes him pee more, which agitates him, etc ad nauseum).  

I think around 3 or 4 months their pees really space out but different kids have different times of day when they pee more. Like mornings are wetter for my guys and small frequent pees when the older one is working up to a poop. My older two were diaper free out and about at two months, so they had some great bladder control by then.

-- will he ever get less fussy?  I realize this is probably without answer as the issues will change with age, I suppose I just need assurance that this is totally normal for this stage in the game.

He will learn new and more effective communication every day. You will learn what signal precede fussing and he will fuss less. He will fuss more sometimes and less others but it will make more sense the older he gets.

Good luck.

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#4 of 10 Old 11-04-2012, 11:41 AM
 
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I second what everyone else said. Baby legs are about the best thing ever. With my DS, we used a prefold w/Snappi (so much faster than pins!) and put a Thirsties Duo wrap over it when we went out or just didn't feel like we could deal with vigilance. With DD, I got some higher-quality prefolds (these ones: http://www.amazon.com/Dandelion-Diapers-Organic-Cotton-Prefolds/dp/B007XU5LBI/ref=reg_hu-rd_add_1_dp) and they are so absorbent that I can feel if she's wet, but often her clothes/blanket will stay dry. Love it. I might try making a prefold belt for her, just to be faster than the snappi--but the snappi is very fast.

 

I think around 8-12 weeks was when my DS spaced out his pees a lot more. I wouldn't go nuts over every miss. Just remember, if you catch even two per day, that's over 700 diapers you aren't washing or buying in the course of a year! :)

 

Also, be aware that 6-8 weeks is often an unusually fussy time for most babies. They change fast--it doesn't mean he's doomed to being a fusspants forever.

 

Good luck!


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#5 of 10 Old 11-05-2012, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your replies!

 

I cut down my fenugreek intake, which was making us both gassy blush.gif, and started really observing.  Looks like his fussy times are mostly related to being tired and that 6 week old colicky stage.  When he's well rested then he's quiet, patient, and generally a tolerant guy.  We have been pottying him at the first sign of squirming while he's sleeping but have stepped back and are waiting until he wakes up naturally, which I think should help.  At night he's pretty good about going right back to sleep even though our current EC routine involves going all the way to the bathroom (haven't settled on a good in-bedroom EC solution) but why push it.

 

All of the product recommendations sound good and we'll be trying out different combos to see what works for us.  We live in the SF Bay Area where summer doesn't hit until September (it's sweaters and fog before that) so we haven't had do deal with pants yet (generally do unbuttoned onesies, if any clothes) but it's about to get cold, fast!  A friend last night volunteered to make me as many EC pants as we want so I'll be taking her up on that offer ;)

 

It's funny, I've worked with dogs now for about 10 years and find myself using the same observational skill set with the LO I've been using with them.  Fortunately I learned long ago through that line of work that mistakes are usually "handler error," progress is not necessarily linear, you can't take things personally, and if something consistently isn't working then you have to change course.  Animals have a lot to teach us about ourselves!

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#6 of 10 Old 11-05-2012, 10:50 AM
 
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It's pretty interesting how similar mammals are, but try not to worry excessively about handler error. Even if we don't leave them alone for 8 hours, they might choose to pee in our shoes. Human children are loyal and social and all kinds of cool but they test their boundaries and do things that frustrate us even when we do everything perfectly.

This is also a much longer journey than house training a dog, and more rewarding.

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#7 of 10 Old 11-15-2012, 10:40 PM
 
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Since it sounds like your son likes the position but doesn't like the dressing and the undressing part, I would recommend when switching from disposables to move straight to something like split-crotch pants plus a cover or chaps plus a cover. Marija over at ecwear.com actually sells these and they're made in America. They provide warmth on the legs while you have an easy-on-and-off cloth diaper over it. I would not go without a backup because the diaper actually provides more of an opportunity to signal. I would look at getting rid of the diaper backup at around 9 months, 14 months at the latest.

 

For your second point, I would not wake him up if he wets himself in his sleep; I would just change him quickly if he's really wanting it. If you want to do EC at night, you can try it out but it might actually fully wake him up. Night-time dryness follows daytime dryness anyway so don't stress on this one. As for holding it longer, it really depends on the baby. I think by about 4 months, you should find that they're further apart, but I would not try to catch his pees every 5 minutes. I go for about half and half, 50/50 is always good. That basically means that you would just allow him to wet his diaper once, and then the second time he wets it, you would offer a pottytunity then. Or the second time he asks for a pottytunity, you would offer it the second time. You can really space it out and just do as much as you feel comfortable with. This might be something that's agitating him - going so often. Also using a diaper backup will help him to start holding it longer. If he doesn't like the way it feels, he'll start holding it more and I think that switching to cloth will help you on this one. 

 

And then the last part, will he ever get less fussy? Absolutely! :) you just gotta stick with it. He's only 6 weeks old. I've totally been there before; so many of my readers have been there before. As far as EC goes, he will definitely get less fussy around EC when you do transition to a mini-potty, which I actually have a new blog post up about, you'd want to get a potty cozy to make it as comfortable a transition as possible. That might be a problem with using the mini-potty right now: the seat might actually be too cold.

 

So anyway, I'm glad you asked all these questions. I really hope that you find some solutions that work for you and we've all been there before. :)

 

Sending you encouragement,

xx Andrea


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Author | EC Simplified: Infant Potty Training Made Easy

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#8 of 10 Old 11-17-2012, 07:58 AM
 
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Night-time dryness follows daytime dryness anyway so don't stress on this one.

I totally agree not to stress on nights. Do whatever gets you the most sleep. I just want to chime in here that night time dryness came before a year for my middle two kids, so it doesn't always follow daytime dryness. The oldest had a food sensitivity that made him wet the bed and the youngest isn't dry in general, so I don't know which will come first for him.


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#9 of 10 Old 12-28-2012, 04:30 PM
 
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Have you tried the top hat potty while nursing?  I never used that, but I used a quart sized yogurt container which amounts to about the same thing.  It takes a bit of practice but is possible.  It helps to be sitting against something firm like the wall or headboard to help support your back.  We did that at night to avoid getting out of bed which was GREAT.  That said, we only started doing it at night when forced to by rashes.  

You might also experiment with diaper free in a carrier.  My LO signaled much more clearly in a carrier - I think I only got peed on once when he was teething (while having him in the carrier that is - I got peed on MANY times in other situations!).  A sling made it super easy to get him out when he did signal, and if I kept him in one of those long nighties with the elastic bottom, there was no clothing removal necessary, which expedited matters nicely.  

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#10 of 10 Old 01-11-2013, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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update (now that he's 16 weeks, lol!): thanks to great advice here, we tried a variety of things and this is what we discovered...

 

-- a decent chunk of the fussiness was developmental

 

-- be more respectful of "I'm done" signals.  If he's fussing in position, listen and don't force it, even if you know he's going to go in 30 seconds after you put his pants back on. Better to leave with a positive experience and a dirty diaper than frustrate the poor dude.

 

-- forget about EC at night for now.  The process of taking him potty was waking him up and making him more cranky overall.  We made the goal to be super quick diaper changes when he woke for nursing and he's been much happier. Now we'll offer at a potty near the bed if he fully wakes up but if he's sleepy then he needs to keep on sleeping!

 

-- if you catch yourself saying, "he couldn't possibly need to go, he just went," then take him to the potty!  Forget your own logic, listen to the baby.

 

Thank you everyone! 

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