We've been practicing EC with our daughter since ~6 months. She generally goes in the potty when we take her, but she also uses her diaper. Whenever we ask her if she has to go, she almost always says no, but when we take her to the potty she ends up going anyway. We are planning on transitioning to underwear in a few months (she is now 19 months) with hopes that she will be more communicative about when she has to go. Does anyone have any tips on how to get my child to be more proactive with the potty versus waiting for us to take her? She is quite verbal, so she definitely has the ability to tell us, she is just choosing not to. Also, when she goes poo in her diaper (~30-40% of the time--she poops in the potty ~60-70% of the time), she is not going into a corner or anything like that, she will just poo in her diaper while she is playing. Is that a sign that she's not ready? Thanks in advance for the help.
What kind of diapers? I'd say go to underwear today and you will probably see a big difference by tomorrow. I don't think using the diaper means she's not ready. You are still putting a diaper on her, that means, it's still ok to go in her diaper. If she's used to disposables, it is pretty much as good as a wearable toilet as far as she is concerned- they don't feel wet at all. Even a lot of fleece or minkie cloth dipes don't feel wet. She will have a totally different experience the first time she pees in her underwear! When it happens, make sure you don't freak out- just point it out (Oh! That's your pee! Where does the pee go?" and explain undies aren't for peeing in, the pee pee, poop, etc needs to go in the potty. And don't forget the C is for communication- you can say, "I'm not going to ask you anymore if you need to go potty. You can tell me when you need to go." And then DON'T ASK, and when it goes on the floor (which it probably will, this is a transition after all), clean up calmly, talk about where it goes and that it is her job to ask for help if she needs it. Ask her if she'd like to help you clean up. But never get in the slightest ruffled about it- ok to be surprised, but not upset. If you KNOW she needs to go, keep your word and don't ask her, but just bring the issue to her mind by suggesting whatever toy she is playing with needs to go, and maybe needs her help. It doesn't have to be a doll or a Teddy. DS takes the digger, or even measuring cups to "wait their turn" and use the potty after he does...
I think the underwear thing will help alot though- let her choose the ones she likes, read some potty books that involve underwear, if she can't pull them down on her own make sure you show her the ropes and let her know if she needs help just to ask, and make sure you have lots and lots of potties around so she doesn't have to decide to leave what she is playing to go down the hall and into another room to go. My DS uses one favorite potty now for poops and the toilet for pee (has to be like Daddy). He is 30 mo and has been a grad since around 18 mo. From around 16 mo old we had potties EVERYWHERE- he pretty much had to be about 3 steps away from one to use it on his own. For us "potties" included a little urinal and a lot of pee buckets (yogurt containers), as well as 3 bblps, an ikea potty, and one of the "throne" style bb's (now the fave). Maybe you can borrow some to have lots around, or have at least one per floor and make it your job to have it in the room she is playing in. Don't worry, she won't want to pee in the kitchen forever- in a few months it will have to be just like what mama does. Our whole collection of potties live in the bathroom now, even though he only uses one of them, cause he says that's where they should be!
IF she is totally uninterested in the underwear and shows some resistance to losing the diaper, maybe she's not ready. If she is super excited about them, and about her new job (to get to the potty on time) then she's been ready...and waiting for you to be.
"That's the way it is, if that's the way it seems to you."
"Cosi e se vi pare."
I think it's a bit ambitious, at least for our little guy, to expect him to verbally signal consistently at this age. Our little guy sometimes--quite often now that he's turned 20 months--says, "Mommy, pipi," but more often he just trusts us to take him to the potty on time. Verbal communication is a gradual thing for us. He will definitely respond--not always candidly--if we ask him whether he needs to go. (If he is doing something more interesting, he will deny that he has to go, or even that he has already gone!) When he pees or poops his pants (about every other day, I'd say), we just remind him, "When you need to go pee/poop, what do you say?" He now answers, "Mommy, peepee/poopoo"--and is gradually getting better at actually implementing this knowledge.
So yeah, putting undies on him doesn't mean we can stop paying attention to timing and nonverbal signals just yet.
Just need to respond since I feel like I could have written your post since many things are, or where, similar for us. Not that I have great advice or anything. DD is 20 months now, and we've just got back into undies after a spell in diapers. It is true that undies changes things - your awareness, her awareness.... I feel like we are at a bit of a transition stage and I've been thinking a fair bit about it, and observing. I noticed my daughter will tell me very reliably (at 5am!) that she needs to pee or poop. She's an early riser. Since she isn't so reliable during the day, I know that a lot of her not telling me has to do with her being busy, engaged in other things and not wanting to be interrupted. Not that I exactly know how to deal with that, but it's interesting to know it's not that she can't tell us, or doesn't understand or whatever.
And that is great advice about not asking when you *know* they need to go - I've been wondering about that, since she often says no when we ask, when you know she probably really needs to go, and then it seems wrong to take her when she said no, so I'm going to try that approach.
Hi! I only have time for a quick note, but wanted to say that consistent child-led pottying didn't happen for us until DS was about 4 yrs old. At 4.5 he still benefits from occasional reminders. There is just so much other interesting stuff going on! He's been in undies for years and with body language and intuition our EC has been fine.