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Originally posted under Life With a Babe before someone told me about this board, which I have been perusing.<br><br>
We have a 2y5m old daughter that we have been potty training for about 6 months. It was going well, but now it's not. I just read a potty training debate in American Baby. An early potty trainer vs a late potty trainer. I am totally against late potty training. I think it's completely disgusting when 3 and 4 and 5 year olds still mess themselves daily. So, I'd like to try early potty training with baby #2 (no pun intended), who is due any day now. I ordered a book on the subject from Amazon (something Van Pelt), and I am also very interested in personal experiences with early toilet training. What's your story? Thanks.
 

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I was going to post my experience in a separate thread to encourage pregnant moms to try EC with their newborns, but I saw this thread so here goes...<br><br>
It is totally doable! I found out about EC right on this very forum, while researching cloth diapers. I decided that this made so much more sense than full-time diapering. Since I was going to be a SAHM and was going to have the time and hopefully energy to devote to EC, how could I not try it?<br><br>
We started with our DD, our first child, right after she was born at home. She'll be 6 weeks tomorrow, and we've never diapered her at home, only when we go out. We do, however, carry her over a CPF almost all the time, but we're at the point where we almost don't need to do that. I'll give an approximate week-by-week recap to give you an idea of what we experienced. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted it to be informative and wanted new moms and those expecting newborns to know that it's totally possible to start from birth:<br>
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Week 1 - We accidentally caught most of the meconium, which came out in about 3-5 (can't remember exactly) BMs. We were with her all the time, so we kinda saw it coming out (oozes slowly, mmm) and picked it up with tissues. The stuff that got on the diapers came out, no staining (we did do a cold rinse w/ baking soda, then washed on hot). We didn't focus at all on catching pees or poos, just let the diaper she's lying on catch them and observe her signals. There wasn't much going on in the early days, so we were thinking hmm, this isn't so hard! Well, my milk came in after 48 hrs, then the fun started at the end of the first week. Could anything pee more than a newborn? We still weren't focused on catching stuff, though. We just tried to remember to make the "sss" sound at every pee. Our stash of diapers is 39 prefolds, and we went through almost all of them each day. Sometimes there was just a little wet spot or squirt, but since we didn't have the dipe strapped on her, we had to get a fresh one.<br><br>
Week 2 - We are more focused on trying to catch her pees and poos. Our initial setup was trying to hold her over a bowl or the baby bjorn little potty, but the bowl was a bit big, the potty's plastic sides got in the way, and she was very floppy. Plus my back hurt and my perineum was still sore, so it was hard to squat or kneel over a low bowl/potty. I had read "Infant Potty Training" and "Diaper Free!" and saw the pictures of people holding their babies over the sink and thought I'd never do that. But while in the ped's office, we felt she had to pee, and there was a sink in the exam room, so....The sink is the best! It's easy on my back, and it's easy to clean DD as well. At first I lay her down on a diaper on the counter to clean her because I needed two hands to hold her (right hand under her back, left hand holding her legs), but now I've mastered the two-handed-to-one-hand-hold, where I rest her back against my right forearm while holding her thighs with both hands. When I clean her, I transfer the leg in the left hand to my right hand - I am now holding her feet in my right hand, still supporting her back and neck with my right forearm and crook of my elbow. We still missed a lot and got peed on a lot, but we didn't care. Some misses got on the carpet, but we rent, so we care even less. We just cleaned it as best we could.<br><br>
We're still going through a lot of diapers, still doing diaper laundry every day. We're getting better at reading her signals. Her pee signal is usually a squawk or cry accompanied by kicking during the day (after ruling out hunger or gas), and squirming/kicking during the night (we co-sleep). At night, she sleep on top of a diaper on top of a fuzzibunz mattress pad (works well, wicks wetness, but I feel it's too hot because of the polyester - am looking into getting a wool something). Since we usually missed her nighttime pees, we would just change the diaper when it got wet.<br><br>
Her poo signal is her "poo face." She goes quiet, her eyes go all shifty, and her arms go limp. She rarely poos in bed at night, phew! But she does often poo while nursing. I can't figure out how to hold her over a receptacle and still maintain a good latch, so I just have her over her prefold on top of a waterproof pad on top of the Boppy. If she goes, I just make sure the diaper contains it and that the poo doesn't get too much into the crevices.<br><br>
Weeks 3-4 - We're getting into a rhythm and still mostly reading her signals, which are changing slightly. She is pooing less, so her poo face is less reliable and less frequent. We usually catch poos by accident when we're taking her to pee, or when we her a fart or see a skid mark on her diaper. Her pee signals are very reliable - the squirming becomes squawking becomes crying.<br><br>
The pooing while nursing is also decreasing, but she still does go once in a while. When she does, she usually stops nursing and stares at nothing, then sometimes farts, then goes. I don't want to delatch her if she doesn't do it herself. On the other hand, she will squirm vigorously, sometimes crying and delatching if she needs to pee, so then I take her to the bowl (I can do this now) or sink. It took me this long to realize that the squirming may have nothing to do with the nursing, but the fact that she needs to go.<br><br>
Week 5 - My MIL is here. She is from India and knows all about this, although she didn't raise her children, who were born in the US, this way. But the first thing she did when she arrived was to take her to pee after I said, "I think she needs to pee." She just wisked her away to the sink without a word from me. Cool!<br><br>
She taught me more (not lecturing, just by doing) about timing. I had read about timing in the books, but never really tried looking for it myself. But she would always look for a signal 10-15 minutes after I fed DD, and she would pretty much always go. After a nap, she goes. Then she wants to eat. It feels time consuming, but it helps to have someone else take her to the sink.<br><br>
We have gotten a rhythm down at night as well. DD wakes up about every 3 hours. Before she wakes, she'll squirm. When she starts squirming more violently and kicking, and when her eyes start to open, we take her. Actually, our arrangement now is I sense her squirm, I wake DH, and he holds her over a bowl by the bed. We've had several dry nights this way. It's worked well for us because I can sense her better than DH (unless I'm really tired or turned away from her), and all he has to do is hold her over a bowl and go back to sleep. I stay up or semi-awake to feed DD then go back to sleep.<br><br>
We have achieved DH's dream of not doing diaper laundry every day. In fact, we only do it about twice a week now, and the dipes get pretty pungent from sitting around for so long! That's still about 8 dipes a day, but that's way down from 30 a day.<br><br>
=================<br><br>
So that's our story so far. We're trying not to be so hard on ourselves when we miss, but when we do miss it's sad to me to think that she was uncomfortable and I didn't respond to her telling me so. Have EC'd outside the house, but only in doctor's offices <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> where there is a sink in the exam room. Really want to get used to using a toilet so I can do it in a public restroom but behind closed doors, but she's still a little small for that still. Waiting for the head control...<br><br>
DD has definitely told us from birth that she is uncomfortable when she is wet or soiled. All babies do. She can also hold it, not all the time, but we know she's held it on occasion like when when in her carseat. She'll also sometimes go when we ask her to. Our cues are "sssss" for pee and "mmmm" for poo, though "sss" sometimes works for both. Seems amazing, but it shouldn't because they are people too! We're just so happy that we can give her a clean and healthy opportunity to relieve her discomfort.<br><br>
We don't know what it's like to diaper "normally," but as first-time parents this is the way we have done it from day 1 so it's normal to us. I would just add that it's REALLY helpful to have people to help you do it, otherwise you'll feel like your running to the sink/potty/whatever every two seconds. My DH has been great, as well as my MIL and my mom, who thought it was weird at first but then was really into taking DD to the sink (I think she thinks it's a sign of her granddaughter's intelligence <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: ). Anyway, it is time-consuming, but so is everything else, whether it's using cloth or disposable diapers, formula or breastfeeding, or whatever. If people don't want to put in the time associated with raising a baby, they shouldn't be having babies! I feel that it really is important to make yourself available on the baby's schedule for this to work. Everytime I've been lazy about it she goes and I feel bad that she had to be uncomfortable and I couldn't help her in time.<br><br>
You can do it, just go with the flow - pun intended!
 

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I had decided to EC on my own and then decided that if I had the idea there must be information on the web.<br><br>
I knew about EC because my mom said she did it with me-- I had such bad diaper rash she didn't want to put a diaper on me so she said she just put me on the potty. Also I had lived in Kenya for a year and the family there had a baby. I tried to remember what they did about diapers and realized I had never seen a diaper on that baby.<br><br>
EC worked almost immediately. In fact, once dd found out she didn't have to wet her diaper she wouldn't unless she had no choice. I told everyone that she was very fussy and wouldn't tolerate a wet diaper. I didn't tell them that I was strongly encouraging her to be that fussy.<br><br>
However, I still think diapers are useful. It's just that we used them as a back-up and not as a toilet. At 18 months dd became the diaper-free baby, right on schedule according to the old time baby-books.<br><br>
--AmyB
 

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I came across the EC idea on the web while I was still pregnant, and read some more about it after Lindy was born, and decided to give it a try when she was about two months old. I kept her in diapers almost all the time at first, and didn't worry about trying to catch every pee, just as many as I could easily manage.<br><br>
Right from the start, I caught almost every poop. (Lindy has always been an infrequent pooper - like once or twice a week.) I missed a lot of pees, and because I was trying to be very aware of when she wet her diaper, and changed it right away whenever possible, I sometimes used even more diapers than if I hadn't been doing EC. And it was definitely more work than just changing diapers. Whenever I thought she might need to pee (and it was pretty often when she was that young - way more often than I needed to change diapers before EC), I'd have to take off her pants and diaper and cover and take her into the bathroom and then put everything back on again afterwards. And trying to watch for her signals and remembering to give her the chance to pee every so often was hard - just another thing to deal with along with keeping her happy and trying to get a few things done (like eating and taking a shower.)<br><br>
Sometimes I'd think maybe I was making a lot of extra work for myself for no good reason. (I'm pretty sure DP thought so, though now he's into it.) But then I'd catch another poop and think how glad I was that I wouldn't have to wash it out of a diaper or clean it off Lindy's bottom. And I liked how EC made me so much more aware of Lindy's elimination patterns. Instead of just sticking a diaper on her and remembering to change it after a couple of hours, I got to find out exactly when and how much she peed, and how her fussing was sometimes connected to needing to pee or having a wet diaper. Even if she peed in her diaper, I usually realized it right away or very soon afterwards, so I was able to keep her from sitting around in a wet diaper, and I was also learning a lot about her pattern from each miss.<br><br>
And before long it got easier. As she got older, she peed less often, and I got better at predicting when she'd need to. (She doesn't signal much, or I'm not good at noticing the signals, so I mostly just use timing.) When she was about six months old, we got a Baby Bjorn Little Potty, and that turned out be really helpful, because she liked sitting on it. Before that, she had been getting increasingly distracted when I tried to hold her over the toilet or sink, and she'd often just squirm around trying to grab stuff, and not pee even if she needed to. By the time she was seven months old, she was going diaperless most of the time (including nights), with very few accidents, and now at eight months I think we're just about done with diapers. It's still not that uncommon to have one missed pee in a day, but there are lots of days with no misses. It's great to have gotten to the point where the earlier work has paid off and EC actually seems like less trouble than dealing with diapers. And I'm glad that Lindy is getting used to using a potty now, when she's young enough that there's no power struggle or stress. I think I might have a hard time being as patient as I should be with an older child who was resistent to using the potty, but with a baby it's easy to be relaxed about the whole thing, and there's no tendency to blame anyone but myself if she has an accident.<br><br>
I'd definitely encourage anyone to try EC, and don't feel like you have to go totally diaperless all the time, or catch practically every pee right from the start. Based on my experience, you can have a baby who pees in diapers a lot of the time in the early months and still ends up being able to go without diapers before she's a year old.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I think it's completely disgusting when 3 and 4 and 5 year olds still mess themselves daily.</td>
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Yeah the idea is not so appealing, but a lot of times the child is simply not ready to train earlier than that. There are cases where the muscles are not mature or the child is having some emotional issues to overcome first.<br><br>
I started ECing my dd at 6 mos. old and it went great until 12 mos. when she started walking *and* we went to India for 2.5 mos. all at the same time. She gradually lost interest. It was just too much change for her and she didn't want to sit down at all after she learned to walk. I continued to put her on the potty upon waking up and during diaper changes but she no longer did bm's on the potty. She did continue to stay dry at night about half the time but no longer cared if she was wet or dirty during the day. So we ended EC but I still continued to put her on first thing in the morning. She has always known (as far as she's concerned) how to eliminate on the potty and what the potty is for, which I feel got us ahead in the potty training game. BUT she's stubborn and no amount of EC will help with that.<br><br>
At 2 years old she showed some real interest in the potty off and on. Wanted to wear panties but didn't hold her pee or poop, just would tell me when they were wet and didn't like it. After several attempts at traditional potty training methods she started getting constipated. I think she was holding it in on purpose. Put her on a high fiber diet and totally laid off the potty training and guess what? A week later she was potty trained!<br><br>
I guess my point is that EC gives them a great head start but when the child is going to actually be potty trained is very individual. And a lot of the time the young toddler will use EC as a power struggle which doesn't help them use the potty any better. Don't be discouraged about strikes-- the early learning does stay with them.<br><br>
My dd will be 3 in 2 mos. and only has an accident a couple times a week, never has a poop accident anymore, and stays dry most nights. She takes the initiative to go most of the time on her own, I don't even have to worry about it. It's great!<br><br>
I considered EC more of a cooperative effort between us, with me doing most of the work. Real potty training is when the child takes full charge of everything from getting themselves to the potty, to washing their hands afterwards. The transition from one to the other is often when strikes happen. Just keep an open mind and if your child is one that trains at an older age, it's okay. It's not anyone's fault, it doesn't mean EC fails. It just means you are respecting your child's cues to let have take the time they need to take the final step.<br><br>
Darshani
 

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When my older daughter, 5 at the end of the month, was 17 months old, she was in disposable diaper and in daycare full time. I wanted to use cloth, but couldn't find a service, and didn't have a washing machine. So at 17 months, she was taking outside to play on the playground with her daycare providers. She proceeded to take off her diaper, squat, and pee. Ms. Kiana told me it was time to start potty training her. "Oh. Huh." I though. So I got a little potty and introduced her to it. She liked it, liked to sit on it, and peed in it occasionally. She also hated diapers. HATED them. I picked up about a dozen cloth diapers and used a combination of disposables (at night and when I was out of cloth), prefolds w/ pin (and generally no covers), and naked time. I took Jade potty when I went. Sometimes she peed or pood on the floor. If she did it more than once w/o going on the potty, I'd put her in a diaper and tell her we'd try again later. I wasn't at all punative about it, just matter of fact. Pees and poos go in the potty. She'd help me clean up too. (Her poos were firm, so easy to clean up.)<br><br>
Within about 2 months, she only pooped in the potty. By the time she was two, she was peeing in the potty 95% + during the day and when she had no bottoms on. By 2 1/2, I'd say she was fully daytime trained. For a while, she was staying dry at night because I was taking her when I went. I'd just scoop her up, set her on the potty, and we'd pee at the same time. The first few times she protested, but got used to it quickly. Towards the end, she even started taking herself. Unfortunately, she did backslide when Nova was born and was wet pretty consistently from 3 1/2 to 4 1/2. Happily, we decided together that we'd work hard to get her dry again at night. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> I usually take her in the middle of the night (for awhile I even set the alarm clock to take her), but we've gotten to the point now that we've gone over 2 weeks without a nighttime accident, even on the nights I forget to take her.<br><br>
I'd heard about EC before, but then heard about EC again when pregnant with my second. A friend was doing it, and "peed" her ds right in front of us. I was psyched. Went home and read everything I could on it. I had my old prefolds (maybe 2 dozen), and my mom got me more, but I was sure I wouldn't need them. I *did* because I wasn't very good at EC. lol! But it was really worth it.<br><br>
I started observing right away, a few days postpartum. Mostly Nova was in diapers and covers, but sometimes I'd nurse her and hold her over a little bowl, and sometimes she'd go in it. But honestly, I think I was giving her subliminal messages that I didn't want to do EC, because it took a while for her to go, and aI'd jump when she pooped (explosive and loud!) But she did pretty well, and I caught between a third and half, more if I was slinging her. We peaked around 9 months, just before she started to walk and I came down with a killer bout of depression. I essentially gave up, only rarely offering.<br><br>
In the spring, my depression improved, and I began offering the potty more often, and occasionally letting her go bare bottomed. However, her poos were extremely unpredictable, and liquidy, so she doesn't get near the bare time Jade did.<br><br>
It was definately worth it to me. EC enhanced my bond and comminication skills with Nova. I feel like she's very aware of her bodily functions, and I think it helped avoid lots of diaper rash. (she has very sensitive skin, but did well with cloth changed promptly.) I'd do it again, definately. At 18 months, Nova will pee in the potty several times a day. She often takes the potty ring and puts it on the toilet to tell me she needs to go. A few times, when she's been in pull ups, she's taken it off and peed in her little Baby Bjorn potty by herself, then tried to pull the pull-up back up on her own!<br><br>
We still don't get many poops though. I know they will come. Nova stays dry 2/3s of the time, and has more luck avoiding floor pees than her sister did. So I think it's just a matter ofkids being different.
 
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