I wrote a post about my 20 month old - heard some great advice from people, but I've also been thinking more and wondering about what steps to take, if any, now.
DD was nearing "completion", then we had a bit of a set back and she started wearing diapers a lot more. I think we are moving out of that again, and she pees and poops on the toilet, though still a lot of misses. She doesn't potty on her own, or show interest in going on her own, and rarely tells us she has to go. (except at 5 in the morning! ;) funny how that works!)
I was just talking with my husband, and we decided to try her in underwear more, try and get rid of those diapers. But I guess I'm feeling a bit....stressed. I suppose I hoped she would have graduated by now, even though I know I shouldn't feel that, and that we did EC because we wanted to practice that communication. I've been reading a few other posts and I'm wondering if, OK, why don't I just come out and say it, if we somehow "failed" because we aren't done?? Oh, and also wondering if people are thinking I went to all the trouble of that crazy EC thing and she will probably not be "finished" any sooner. These are all the thoughts that I KNOW I SHOULD NOT BE THINKING.
I'm wondering if we should be approaching things differently now? Are there aspects of regular "potty training" that should start to come in to how we do things? (and what would those be?) I was thinking about trying to get a stool so she could climb up to the toilet and "do it herself" because she doesn't like the potty. I've been talking up "peeing in the toilet" and making sure I vocally observe if she is dry and how that feels, and if she is wet, and that she can tell Mummy or Daddy if she needs to pee....
This is a very non-specific post, but if anybody has any thoughts on my ramblings I'd love to hear them. Anybody with a 20 month old still ECing and not done?
There are plenty of 20 month olds who aren't done. I tend to think that as the potty training age pushes back, the EC completion age pushes back as well.
With my olders, I don't recall doing anything differently as they approached graduation or anything to push them through. They were in underwear for a long time before they graduated.
With my current toddler, 14 months, we have 8 teeth coming in and the floor is mopped regularly. We have wood floors so its not a big stress. Whenever I see a sign that he's about to water the floor, or hear the first drops splash down, I jump into action. I cheer, "Pee pees!" And run him to the bathroom to finish. I've been doing this for a while and he is very verbal about pottying (little else) and very good at running to the bathroom. He can't physically get on the potty. He tries but he winds up with one foot in the pot and falling forward when his bum lands on the wrong part. He always announces his "bee" and "boo" (before or after, but usually after) and usually runs to the toilet on his own, which is much more than his older sibs did at this age.
A number of toddlers I knew back in the day graduated when they began speaking in 3 word sentances. I totally thought the two developmental milestones went hand in hand. My first fit that pattern to a T. My second was monosyllabic when she graduated, so she blew that theory out of the water. For being a girl and my second EC from birth experience, she only graduated a month earlier (and earlier in her language development). The other kid I practiced EC with (as a nanny) graduated right before her second birthday and right as she began 3 word sentances, just like my son did (at 18 or 19 months).
Good luck. It's a journey. The world doesn't change much when you move past diapers except urgent calls have to be answered quickly wherever you are.
Thanks. Love to hear others thoughts and I think that is more helpful than "answers".
My daughter is well into three word sentences - she was a pretty early talker. But she was a little later walking. She's been in underwear today (except when outside in a snowsuit. that is just a little bit too much cleaning up to deal with!) So far, lots of misses. But as always, great to spot the moment it happens, which is harder with a diaper.
But we were doing underwear before so I'm just trying to get back to it more - I think we got a little lazy when she started missing more (and we had other things going on so diapers was part of not stressing out about misses) Anyway, underwear is rinsed out and drying by the fire, so we'll just try to say by to diapers and see what happens. And I'm going to stop measuring ourselves against everybody else, and just do our thing!
First of all..there's no standing guidebook when it comes to EC. Unless you've done it before, or it's regularly practiced in the extended family..because the technique is so rare, each family that does it is embarking in a completely new experience that varies widely from family to family. My son is 21 months. He wore underwear at 13 months, for MONTHS, and then with the onset of a food allergy, I had to put him in diapers because the little man has been piddling like mad and I've been unable to keep up. But his system is clearing now, and he's slowly getting back to undies.
Secondly. your daughter sounds like my son. Would NOT take himself to the bathroom worth anything. I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "Out of sight, out of mind"? Just because these babies are fortunate in that they know what the bathroom is for, they're not always going to remember WHERE it is when the time comes :)
Thirdly, what potty have you tried to get her to use? I JUST recently figured out with my son that the reason he wasn't using his, was because they had the removable inserts, which, through research, I found out can pinch them, and I also personally think can make them feel unsafe, because the inserts can tip out when they try to get off of it. So I ordered a one-piece potty(Simple Potty from Luvable Friends) which is smooth, light-weight, low-profile, and has been VERY effective. He can climb on it himself, and just needs me to help him off most times because the splash guard is(thankfully) the tallest I've ever seen.
Fourthly, has her potty been in the room she's playing in? Again, out of sight, out of mind. If you put her potty in the same room she's playing in, she might slowly grow accustomed to taking herself to it, and letting you know somehow she needs it. I put the Simple Potty in the room my son's playing at, and though he won't take himself to it every time, he will sometimes start climbing onto it, I'll see, rip his bottom clothes off, and move him and the potty to a quieter part of the house because he won't use it when there's too much commotion.
Hope this helps!
I agree that plenty of 20 mo old aren't done yet. It doesn't mean you have "failed" at EC! Just look at it this way: a worst case scenario of EC graduation is probably finishing around age 3. We have friends who used disposables in the conventional way who are celebrating their daughter's finally being out of diapers at age 5. (!!!!) So if you are going to compare what you are doing, just compare the amount of landfill you didn't take up with 5 years of diapers.
I considered my son to be a grad around 18 mo, but looking back, I'm not actually sure that was the case. I think we just had a routine down that resulted in few misses, but if he wasn't naked it was on me to make sure potty happens. Now at 31 months he will take himself most of the time but sometimes still has damp undies we have to change by the time he gets himself there. Some days there are no damps and I'm trying to remember if we changed his undies today (was he wearing those ones yesterday too??) Some days we go through several pairs. It's all relative. He was wearing undies or light trainers from around 11 mo. So definitely you don't need to wait for graduation to use undies.
That reminds me- as I said, my son was a "naked grad" at 18 mo. He would take himself if he was naked. But if he was wearing even undies, he would try to hold it until he burst. So then it was a timing game on my part. Maybe try naked butt around the house? With potties sprinkled throughout...you might see some "progress".... leg warmers are great in winter:)
"That's the way it is, if that's the way it seems to you."
"Cosi e se vi pare."
Today she actually peed twice on the potty! It seems funny to be glad about that, because she already pees in the toilet, but it was good because she said something about "need pee" and sat on it by herself, which is great. And I *hadn't* been keeping the potty around where she could see/use it but started doing that, so obviously that will help! Also, she seems interested in taking her various stuffed toys/dolls to pee and having the potty around is great for that. Not to mention only having one bathroom, and it being upstairs, it is great that she might actually be interested in peeing in the potty!
I totally agree about "naked grad" too but that's a bit tricky - live in a very old, uninsulated house with a wood stove for heat, and it gets pretty chilly!!
I'm also really glad we went back to undies - as I said, we had been doing that for months, like others and with various changes we seemed to have just migrated to using diapers more. But it's way way better to spot the pee right away. You can sometimes start thinking they should be in diapers until they aren't missing much, but I totally remember realizing earlier on that diapers just make the whole EC thing harder, so not sure why we kind of went astray.... One of those smack hand to forehead moments.
I can just tell, too, that she's on the edge of something, you know? I'm feeling encouraged. Thanks for the support.
In this culture of babies potty-training at 3 years and up, it's easy to get discouraged. Perhaps one day she had more accidents than usual and you guys decided the next day you'd put her in diapers just for a little while to play it safe. And that turned into longer, and longer... I know it, I've been there. My son was in underwear flawlessly for months, most days even going bare bottom. Then food allergies started plaguing him, he became a piddle + poo machine, and I freaked out thinking, "Oh my goddd, what will my in-laws say??! They'll think I should have this down-pat by now!" and he went back into diapers full-time.
I agree. Diapers are..difficult. Especially struggling to keep them DOWN to put it back on. Underwear is much easier to slip on.
and then of course, today she was in underwear this morning, with lots of misses, and then, as we were traveling to Granny's this afternoon she was in diapers and was dry for the rest of the afternoon/evening (of course, not being home can sometimes work in your favour). Go figure! But I'm still committed to undies.
Mornings always a lot more pee than afternoons. DS is 31 mo or so, pees every hour so until nap time, then maybe every 3 hours or so in the afternoon.
"That's the way it is, if that's the way it seems to you."
"Cosi e se vi pare."
When DS was at this stage, it helped to give him reminders based on timing, but also to not cross him on that subject - he was trying to make it 'his' which was what I also wanted. So if I thought he had to go, I would say 'hey, its been a long time since you peed. Do you need to?", to which he ALWAYS said 'no'. I would then say 'ok', and go on with whatever we were doing, but a few minutes later he would announce that he had to go and we would run together to his urinal.
My other tactic was not to interrupt him if he was concentrating. If he was standing up, I would just quietly pull down his unders a bit and put a jar in place and he would relieve himself and we never even discussed it. If he was not standing, I just waited until he was or until he was less concentrated or talking to me otherwise and would then make a reminder. I realize that isn't going to be as easy for a girl, but maybe if she is wearing a dress and leggings you could just slide a potty under her for minimal interruption?
After several months of using these techniques (ages 18-22 mos or so), I realized one day that I was no longer reminding him. I considered him grad at that point, although he did have one regression at 24 mos that lasted 2 weeks or so that I attributed to chaos around X-mas time.
I would also like to say, that from 15-18 mos or so, I was TOTALLY frustrated with EC and felt like I had been potty training for years and was so sick and tired of cleaning up pee that I found it very very very difficult to be relaxed about things. I got through it by backing up to waterproof trainers at times when I was feeling stressed about it, and not making any potty offers for a few days. This usually worked as a sort of reset - I usually found that I had been offering too often and not noticing that his bladder capacity was expanding or control improving or something.
thanks for sharing that. I can very much sympathize with the offering too often and with the "no" (which is the answer to many many questions these days as she discovers that!). Thanks for the tip about not interrupting. I've been struggling a bit with that too and though it probably isn't quite as simple to do with a girl I think I'll put some thought into that. The last thing I want is for her to feel going to the toilet is always connected with interruption. I think I will try asking less often, and trying not to take her as maybe the misses than happen when she decides not to go and is in control might move things along more than the "catches" than happen when I just take her, if that makes any sense.
She's been peeing more in the toilet and we've been making a bit more of a deal of it than we did before. I'm not totally comfortable with it, but I'm trying to angle it as "celebration" and pointed out the positive, rather than "praise", you know? Sort of..."yay, pee in the toilet! Now your bum is dry." instead of "good job!" ....oh, it's a fine line. I hope it's ok though, as it does seem to work for her.
So just remember, it's not a race and comparing to others is kinda pointless, but ... when I take him to the potty at mom& me when all the other kids are in diapers, I admit I'm a bit chuffed
Also, even if you have three or four misses in a day--if your LO was in diapers, you'd be changing pee or poop more often than that. There are no shortcuts. Or if there are, I don't know of them--if you do, please tell me
Yep. No short cuts!
But just wanted to update - people here are so smart! I have been asking LESS and resecting the "no" and it is totally paying off. I know it may just be for a while, no straight lines on the road to EC, but it's still encouraging. She's telling me she needs to pee or poop now, and staying dry all day (and night) except for a pee in diapers a nap time. As I say, I am not expecting this to last or anything, but it is just nice. Best thing was undies and asking less, even though I thought she wasn't telling me at all. We also are doing the "I think George the doll needs to pee" thing, and that's great too.
Thanks for the great advice, all!
that's great! I still sort of wish my daughter wasn't averse to the potty (instead of the toilet) so that she could maybe take herself....but really, I'll take helping her on the toilet over diapers any day! For some reason, we had a few misses this morning, and I admit I had a moment if "oh no, our dry spell is over" but I'm sure it was just one of those days. And you know, sometimes one miss kind of gets you out of sync or something. Hope so - washing machine pipes have been frozen for at least a week, and I've been doing laundry by hand - EC is great for those occasions!!