I think that the key to a successful EC relationship is not to stress. Sometimes I have days when I'm tired (no, he doesn't sleep though the night, LOL), cranky or stressed and don't put the effort in for EC. On those days, there are A LOT more misses. And I am ok with that! No matter what, I almost always offer before sleep times and at diaper changes, and it gets us through the day, even if I have to do diaper laundry a day earlier.
One thing that Andrea Olson talks about in her book, Go Diaper Free, is that no matter what you do, you should always be consistent. To me, this doesn't mean that you aim to maintain your 90% catch-rate, no matter the circumstance, but rather that you aim to do some EC every day, as much as you (and your child) want to. And always be consistent with your communication. So if you decide not to potty because you're tired or you are not in a good location or you're not comfortable at that time, then let your baby know. And change their diaper as soon as you are able. I look at EC in a longer time frame, like I look at feeding. Did your child end up eating mainly bread and pasta today, despite being offered some veggies. Don't fret! Consider what he ate all week and you'll see that on a whole, his diet is more well-rounded than you thought. In terms of EC, maybe you missed two poops today and had a whole whack of wet diapers, oh well.... consider the whole last week. And in either case, if you are not happy with the outcome, consider how you can do better next week.
I would say that for most of this past month I was extremely happy with how EC was going, and soiled diapers (poop) seemed like a distant memory. Until one day, when Alek stealthily pooped in his diaper. And the next day when I had two half-misses for poop, and the next when he pooped in the car. And the next when he pooped right on the floor since he had a bare bum. What the heck! Looking at our 9 months of EC so far, there have been many ups and downs and I am trusting that this is another one.
A big change this month has been the weather! The end of August turned cool and grey and the sky and air was filled with smoke most days. Following that, early frosts and a few snow storms. Say it ain't so! This has gotten me thinking about the changes that I am going to need to make to keep EC going all winter. Last winter, I dressed Alek in leg-warmers most days, they stayed up fine and were as long as his entire legs. This year however, I can rarely keep them over his knees as his constant climbing and crawling causes them to slouch. Instead, I purchased myself a pair of split-pants and gave them a go. I always assumed that these would only work over a bare bum, but then I tried pairing them with a Flaparap and the combo worked surprisingly well! With the Flaparap on, the pant fabric stays open and the diaper shows. With a naked bum, the split-pants were designed with overlapping flaps to be a little discreet. It works OK, but maybe not when company is around because as soon as your child squats or sits, they expose everything! The nice part though, is that if you are using these pants during naked time at home and you have a miss, the pants tend to stay dry because of the way they open. I think that the combination of split-pants and Flaparap is going to be a favourite this fall and winter.
Finally, I did a little experiment this month since I have been really curious about the amount that babies pee and couldn't find this information anywhere. I wish I had started collecting it sooner though, because it would be cool to compare. If you want to start measuring your babies output, please post the results in the comments or send me an e-mail! Anyhow, I very unscientifically started measuring how much pee I would catch in the potty. Very surprisingly, the amount of pee was consistently 1 3/4 Oz. to 2 Oz - I measured 8 different times, sometimes before a nap sometimes right after, and any time of day. The largest pee I caught (and the only one over 2 Oz) was after a morning nap where he peed 3 Oz into the potty!
Here's hoping that we have at least one more month before all our EC babies will be wearing snow suits and pottying becomes a whole lot more complicated.
Hi! I'm Danielle, your friendly neighbourhood potty specialist.