I figured I’d just be straight forward with the topic of this post. We chose to try out Elimination Communication (EC) with Big C and we have been doing it with the little one too. The big one became a graduate just after his second birthday and has not had a major accident in months. He even wakes himself at night if he needs to go.
Since Little C just turned one, I thought I would share how we have been EC’ing him and what some of our successes have been.
When he was a newborn, we were very laid back about EC. When we would change his diaper, we would hold him up in the ‘classic’ pee position – back against our chest, knees held up- and see if he needed to go over a cloth diaper. We caught some and I think this helped him know that we were at least trying to pay attention. We did not have the patience or energy or time to pay attention 100% of the time.
We planned on being more intentional around 6 months when we were going to start solid foods. That timeline worked really well with big brother, but not so well this time. Big C was pooping consistently on the potty well before his first birthday and even deliberately waited until we took him on the potty to go. Because of our big move, we delayed starting solids with Little C until we got settled. On top of that, our little one is fiercely independent (aka: won’t eat purees) so it’s been a less than steady transition to solids.
Even though we are hit or miss with catching number 2, we are doing awesome with pee. Big C never really cued when he had to pee. After several months I began to develop a weird 6th sense about when he would have to pee, but he never cried or made any other noticeable sign that he needed to go. It was incredibly frustrating, but some kids are just like that. Little C on the other hand cries when he has to go. Especially if he is wearing a diaper and even more so if the diaper is one that lets him feel that he is wet (no stay dry lining). He is often diaper free at home since we have hard wood and tile, and he is having fewer and fewer accidents. He just gets wrapped up in what he is doing and doesn’t realize he has to go. In just the last few weeks though, I’ve noticed that when he is wearing a diaper, he will cry and come over to me. Sometimes it takes me a few minutes to realize why he might be crying, but he will wait for me. He has even started being dry during outings and will cue (cry a little) when we are out and about. I have successfully taken him potty many times at restaurants and I carry a little potty in the back of the car. If I take him before I go in to a store, he will most often stay dry for the whole trip.
He also consistently stays dry during his afternoon naps. If I go right in when he wakes up, I can take him potty and his diaper will be dry. At night, I sometimes take him, but I am having a hard time deciding if taking him helps or hurts. I know that at least sometimes he is waking up because he has to pee, but I don’t know if taking him is waking him up more. And even when I do take him, he’s not totally dry. I think we will just keep trying sometimes, but not worrying about it too much.
I am excited that he is doing so well. He seems to already have a better sense of needing to go than Big C ever did. The big one knows when he has to go, but he has to wait until he actually has a tiny accident (a few drops) in his undies before he will tell us. I think because he never cued, I took him too often. He is getting better and within the month I think he’ll be good to go, but getting him to communicate his need has been really tough. The little one already tells us. And I can already trust him that if he squirms off the potty, he’s done or doesn’t need to go. Now we just need to get number 2 down and we’ll be good to go. I’m hoping we’ll be ready for trips out by 18 months. Our next biggest problem is finding undies small enough!
I may be a little crazy, but I know that being more aware of when they need to go potty has made them much happier kids. So often babies cry when they have to pee, but we as parents don’t realize that’s why they are crying. If you want more info about getting started, check out Diaper Free Baby.