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Hi, I'm new to EC. My curiosity finally won and I busted out dd's potties from storage to try some EC with ds (4.5 months). I literally just started a few days ago and have caught several pees and two poops! He seems to really enjoy the process and I think his need to eliminate may have been causing previously "unexplained" fussiness at the breast and at night. So I'm happy with continuing to catch occasionally. However, I'm not sure that we will advance to full time unless dh can see how easy it is and witness the benefits. He has tried to catch a few times, but has not yet been successful.<br><br>
So my question is, does occasional EC cause confusion for the baby? I guess I worry that if he is waiting for the potty, but we can't get him to one or he's with a caregiver that won't do EC (this is not often, but still...) will this cause feelings of frustration and confusion? Like, sometimes mommy and daddy listen to my cues and sometimes they don't? Sometimes I pee in diapers and sometimes I don't? I'm starting a little late, but I'd really like it if he could reclaim his body awareness and I worry the part time nature could be a hindrance.<br><br>
So for you veteran ECer's that have made it all the way to consistent dryness with your older children, did you have to do it full time to really make it work? And does full time include pottying in the middle of the night? Right now ds is almost completely dry when I take his cloth diaper off in the early morning (5 or 6ish). I have put him on the potty at that time, but it's disruptive to him going back to sleep. He also doesn't pee everything out- just some and then saturates the next diaper I put on him, squirming around in his sleep while he's doing it. When he finally wakes up he pees in the potty again. So he's literally saving it all up for the morning. Any suggestions for how I can get him to pee it all out at that early morning wake up and not disturb his sleep so much?<br><br>
TIA!
 

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my personal opinion is that any EC is better than no EC. i mean, when it comes to confusing messages from mom/dad, isn't it more confusing to wake up one day and have the rules totally change? yesterday a diaper was where they wanted me to go, now it's the potty? if you look at any time on the potty as an experience learning what the potty is for, and hopefully gaining awareness of the process of elimination on some level, then any time spent doing that is going to make the transition to potty independence less confusing and more productive. when going to the potty is a regular occurrence, it's no longer scary or strange. and even if that's all you gain, and your child is not out of diapers any earlier, isn't that pretty awesome? no coaxing, no bribing, no stressing.<br><br>
i have EC'd three kids - my first two were late-start, part-time, day-time only EC'd. my third was full-time EC'd, night and day, pretty much from birth. I have to say that, ultimately, from a big picture stand-point full-time was easier for me than part-time. it just became what we did. not to say i didn't use back-up, i totally relied on backup for the first year. but the diaper was a way of preventing a mess and frustration in me, and not something i particularly intended for catching poo and pee IYKWIM. whereas with the first two sometimes i tried to catch and sometimes i didn't. the transition to potty independence was much easier with #3 than with the first two, but that's not to say i really had much of a struggle with them - just a bit more work. and i do think it was more work with them because they were more accustomed to using a diaper and thus had to work more on their elimination awareness. but each child is going to be a little different too, so it's hard to say. i just know that #3 was by far the easiest, and that looking back i feel that it would've been easier with both my others if i'd started from the beginning and done it with more consistency. still, with all 3 it was a smooth transition from EC to potty independence, there was no "potty learning" - they just gradually took more of the lead until i didn't need to offer at all anymore.<br><br>
the beautiful thing about EC, IMO, is that it can work however you want it to work. diapers, no diapers, full-time, part-time, nights, no nights, big potty, little potty... i think the key is to find what fits best with your family and your lifestyle and do that. don't let it cause stress, do whatever is going to maximize your enjoyment of the process and be a happy mama.
 

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I'm doing part-time EC with my 12mo right now (have been since 2mo), so I can't speak to how that will work out- she is nowhere close to graduation. We use potties at home, and if we are out and about, I potty her when its convenient and she seems amenable but I don't worry about it either (found it was too much pressure on me and her, and so I backed off). She goes 2 mornings a week with a caregiver who does not offer potty. In a few weeks we'll be changing our care situation and I will ask the new caregiver to give her potty opportunities based on timing. But, as it is, we occasionally have no-miss days, we almost never have a poop miss, and I just washed 6-days of diapers yesterday and there were only 15 of them (and we use no sposies). So when I look at it that way, I think we're doing pretty "well".<br><br>
I did sort of late-start, EC-ish toilet learning with my older (I didn't know about EC but basically did everything like the books would suggest if I had read them when he was 15mo). He was out of daytime dipes at about 20months, but needed a lot of support from mom or caregivers until about 23m, at which point some normal sorts of reminders were all he needed (potty before we go out, etc).<br><br>
I think its true: any potty time is better than none. The kids know what it is for. They know that some day they won't use diapers any more. Its a long road to independent elimination, but at least with my son, doing it when and how we did meant that it just wasn't an area of strife, resistance, or conflict. And that was and continues to be more important to me than that I live up to some ideal of EC or toilet learning or whatever else. And FWIW, he never seemed "confused" by doing some potty and slowly increasing the time that he was diaperless over a period of about 5 or 6 months.
 

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I agree, any is better than none. I don't think it confuses them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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As long as you don't start and stop a lot, with breaks of several days or weeks in between, it isn't confusing for the child. For example if you potty minimally once or a few times in the morning and/or evening most days for a while, that should be fine.<br><br>
Most families EC part time. Even when doing it full time, parents experience some misses.<br><br>
Enjoy!<br><br>
Laurie
 

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I just started EC again, with my newborn 9 weeks ago. I first learned about EC a few years ago. We started my third born son at 6 months, so I am still observing subtle differences. This time with my fourth, it's easier for me to read cues. If he needs to go, he goes. He just seemed to "know" right from the start. Like other mammals, I believe we have the instinct to potty if offered.<br>
That said, he goes in a diaper just as often as he potties. I'm not worried about him being confused. We don't live in a den, and I can't respond to every cue. At his age, I am thinking he thinks of diaper changes in the same light as having his face washed or clothes changed. Their awareness changes when they get older. People don't worry their kids will forget how to eat or sleep, why would potty be different? So this time around, I am at peace with the misses, and happy I could help everyday when I correctly read his need to eliminate.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Peace">
 
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