This is as much a vent as it is a request for advice.
Our baby was doing pretty decently, not great, but alright. We couldn't figure out a tell when in diapers, but we were giving our baby about 30-45 minutes a day diaper free without any accidents, sometimes we'd notice what might be a signal sometimes it was just shear luck. We were planning on expanding the diaper free time slowly. Then our baby decided about 2 weeks ago (9.5mo) that peeing on the floor and peeing on me is no big deal. We haven't been able to do diaper free time without an accident, as our baby will sit on the potty, get off, and immediately pee. I know this isn't uncommon- but it had never happened before. We've tried getting baby underwear in case the problem was that our baby thought no diaper=pee time, but that hasn't helped and the underwear isn't thick enough so it still gets on the floor or me.
What really makes me want to tear my hair out, though, is that our baby signals at night. The only reason our baby wakes up (aside from a 7am feed) is to go to the potty. Which is generally only twice a night, but last night it was 6 times. Our baby can make it clear they need the potty, can hold it for a few minutes if we're being slow, and can go on the potty- without actually waking up. But during the day, nothing.
I really hate it. I wouldn't mind the middle of the night wakings if our baby was staying dry during the day, but right now I just don't feel this is worth it. It only makes me more frustrated to know that our baby can but won't. I hate waking up at night to do this, if I knew how to get our baby to go back to wetting diapers without waking up I would in a heart beat. I need sleep and I don't need this headache. I really don't know where to go from here. I hate having to leave our baby in diapers all the time, but I'm not willing to let our baby piss all over the floor and me.
This morning was just really bad. Our baby was going diaper free for 45 minutes without an accident. I thought we might have gotten over the regression and back on track. Tried the potty 3 times after what seemed like tells with nothing, so figuring kiddo just didn't have to pee, then I pick up the baby to go somewhere else in the house and got peed on. I keep reading that babies are supposed to not want to pee on their caregivers, but apparently mine thinks I'm a potty- I'm sick of it!
oh, momma, big hugs to you! This age can be hard since they are working on so many physical developments (crawling & walking) and they just get too busy to pay much attention to anything else. I suggest that you stop looking at the time and just go by a "3 strikes" rule where you set a certain limit on the amount of misses you can handle before just going back to diapers. Mine happened to be 3 (hence the 3 strikes rule), but everyone has their own limit. EC is supposed to be about keeping your baby comfortable and listening to them, there is no other goal than that, so do what works for you.
Most importantly, communicate with your baby about this, especially when they are fully dressed. Ask if they need to go, ask them to let you know, tell them you don't want to ignore them but that since the two of you are having a hard time getting the pee into the potty, that you're going to put the diapers on so there aren't any messes.
Keep potties all over the house so there's always one within reach. Many an ECing parent has looked over out of the blue and seen their babe sitting on the potty fully dressed.
You can use non-waterproof pants that show a spot when wet (certain light colors get darker when wet) so you can change them right away. Also, a lot of babes will try to hold it when they are dressed but don't have the same attention to it when they're nakey since living in houses isn't really a developmental given for them, if they're nakey and on the floor, they expect they can just go the same as if they were outside on the dirt =)
Maybe the babe has been waiting for you to take them and they think they're signalling but you don't see it, so by the time you pick them up to go to the potty, they can't hold it anymore, or you might be holding them in a position the think is a signal from you that it's ok to go.
As for nighttime, I'm sure right now you're too tired to see this, but it's a GREAT thing that your babe can't sleep when they need to pee! Do all you can to make nighttime pottying easy for you so you can go right back to sleep. Keep a potty at the foot of the bed, or even a stack of prefolds layered on a waterproof pad of some sort, so you can potty the babe in your lap and toss the wet dipe away until morning. I would even use the dipe they were wearing, open it up, they'd go pee into it and I'd stick a clean on back on.
Stress and frustration are enemys of EC - find ways to cut yourself some slack (there is NO perfect EC goal here!) and ways to make it easier so you can enjoy the time with your babe =)
Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my Wonderboys
BigKid (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
I'll give the diaper idea a try, hopefully it'll make it easier on both of us. He waits a minute or two for us to put him on the potty and starts screaming until we change the diaper if we don't, but he usually cries through night time pottying even with me hugging and singing to him, which is part of why it's so rough, I always feel like I'm doing the wrong thing no matter what I do because it makes him so upset. Occasionally he'll be calm for it, if he was always calm it'd be a lot easier to know it's the right thing to do. During the day he doesn't get upset on the potty and will even sit on it calmly for several minutes at a time, and he happily goes after properly waking up in the morning and after naps so I don't think he's getting a negative association with the potty, but during the day I can distract him with toys and books, he isn't awake enough to be distracted at night.
I'll give the 3 strikes thing a try, as well as putting him in pants.
The last few nights have been a bit better and today was actually very good, we went almost an hour and a half diaper-free without an accident. At one point, I'm pretty sure kiddo even held it for a decent while (I was on the phone with my mom- she's the type of person who says "I'll let you go" and keeps talking for 10 minutes, *I* was bouncing because I had to go to the bathroom by the end of that conversation) before going on the potty. Being in underwear definitely seems to help, I do think that kiddo figured out that, when naked, going on the floor is just as comfortable as going on the potty and far more convenient, but underwear gets uncomfortable when wet. We had to find underwear that didn't have a slit in it, though, because kiddo kept pulling it out.
My DS is just a bit older than yours (4/5/13), and I can totally relate! I have five kids, three girls and two boys. I didn't really know about EC with my girls, but ECed my first son from birth on, and now my 10 1/2 month old DS.
I've had some similar/different experiences with the boys.
I'll start with night time, which they are RADICALLY different. DS#1 was diaper-free at night. He slept on a couple of towels and a wool puddle pad thing, and woke up a few times a night to pee.
DS#2 REFUSES to use the potty at night. Tantrum time if we try. BUT....he doesn't like to pee in his nighttime pants, so he is restless. I would say at least half the time he wakes up dry and uses the potty. The other half he's soaked.
Daytime....both boys worn constantly until crawling, then whenever they'd tolerate it. They were both great about signaling when worn, and once they started crawling (6 months), I'd just put them on every so often. DS#1 always pooped in the potty. DS#2 decided a few months ago that more solid poops are weird and must be done in the training pants. :P Oh well.
The biggest thing is that for both of them, once they started crawling they would potty-strike big-time. No interest other than first thing in the morning, and after naps. I had DS#1 in Kushie training pants, and DS#2 is in Charlie Banana training pants (can't say enough good things about these...they are soft, waterproof, are organic cotton with a terry soaker pad that holds one pee without leaking, and come in a full range of sizes).
My little guy goes through anywhere from 3-9 pairs of training pants a day, and that's fine with me. I'm not concerned about the "misses." He's so BUSY right now. And, for the record, my older son who followed this same pattern was in regular underwear by the time he was 14 months old--it happened quickly--so I'm prepared for the ebb and flow of EC! :)
Good luck, and I'm impressed that you're doing this with your first baby! :) Good for you! (and I'm envious of the fact that your baby will let you potty him at night. My silly guy tosses and turns and I KNOW he has to pee, but if I try to put him on the potty all hell breaks loose, lol)
I'm glad to hear from someone who's baby is about the same age! It's also nice to know that my baby isn't super far behind ones who've been started at birth, sometimes I feel bad about not starting sooner, although looking back I don't think it would have gone well at all given our circumstances. I'm sure some people do it, but I can't imagine ECing with your first newborn, there were enough things that I was afraid I was messing up without adding misses to the mix.
That must be really frustrating, having your son clearly needing to pee but refusing to get put on the potty! Maybe what rubelin suggested about using a diaper will work for you? It is better that our baby'll go on the potty instead of sitting there needing to go and refusing, but I do wish he wouldn't be so upset. :( Sometimes he's so upset that he pulls to get off of it halfway through so ends up wetting the diaper anyways. One thing you might want to think about, if you haven't already, is getting/making a diaper cozy- I realized how cold the potty was last night and put a pair of his pants on it (thankfully they didn't fall in!) and he wasn't happy about it but he at least sat on it more willingly. We have a Baby Bjorn Little Potty and I found this pattern for it, so I'll give making a cozy a try.
I haven't noticed any signals when he's worn, and he also has no problem with peeing on me. I think wearing him while he was in diapers a lot may be coming back to bite me in the butt on that one. I may give it a try when doing housework anyways, with a prefold underneath him so if he does go it isn't a problem. The only issue with wearing him a lot is that babywearers were not made for bottle feeding, yesterday I had to wear him somewhere that I really couldn't take him out of the carrier and trying to get him fed was a comedy of errors. I've been almost wanting to try getting him to latch again, but I really don't know if I want to go back down that road.
I'm glad to hear that it happened quickly, everything seems to happen quickly with babies so I shouldn't be surprised. He's had a lot of developmental leaps where it's like one day he wasn't doing something and the next he was. My partner keeps telling me that it'll happen on his own schedule and I shouldn't worry so much- I just have a hard time not worrying about things.
The biggest issue for me really is sleep. When I can get enough to feel human, it's easy to be relaxed about misses and everything goes smooth. When I don't, everything's impossible. Our baby's never slept through the night, and I've been really feeling it lately, I kind of wish we could have at least gotten a week or two in before starting with the night pottying... I know (hope) that eventually our baby will either sleep through the night or be mature enough to entertain himself while I get sleep, but right now it just feels like I'm never going to sleep again!