Our EC practice is still going really well! At 3 months I am beginning to see/sense more 2-way communication than I was in previous months, which gives me a lot of hope for the future! The first thing I did this month was to download and try two (free) baby-care apps, Feed Baby and Baby Manager. Neither of these apps are specifically intended for EC, but can be super-helpful and more convenient than pen and paper for tracking your baby's elimination in relation to when she is eating or sleeping and the intervals thereafter. Personally, I preferred the interface on Baby Manager, but Feed Baby has the option of recording a "dry diaper" which can be helpful too. I used Baby Manager for 3 days at the beginning of this month to track Alek's habits and it definitely gave me more confidence to know when its time to "go". I would NOT however, recommend obsessively tracking every feed and diaper every day of your EC practice. Its best used for short-term information gathering and not to evaluate your "success".
Regarding communication, I have still not recognized any standard signals from Alek, but there have certainly been times when I heard a little cry from the other room and ran in to see that he had just peed, or a certain look or stillness that I acted upon and made a successful catch! On the other-hand, there have also been plenty of times that I took him to the sink or potty but nothing came out, only to have him pee on himself, the change table, floor or on me (!) minutes later. I do find that misses like those come in waves though, so who knows what was really going on. For about a week last month, each time I held Alek in the "classic EC position" to potty, he would stretch out his legs and hold them there (so much for the deep squat position!). So I tried holding him in a standing position next to the sink (with his feet resting on the bathroom counter but holding him so he wasn't supporting his weight on them), and cueing him to pee. No success. Next I tried holding him in the classic position and singing (usually the Itsy Bitsy Spider), this typically calms and relaxes him and sometimes results in a pee! I have also found this month that he can get very distracted by his own adorable reflection in the bathroom mirror, so I have been pottying in other environments more and more (including the shower, toilet, or potty in the livingroom or bedrooms).
Case in point: A couple of weeks ago I tried to potty Alek but no pee or poop came. So I returned with him to the bedroom and laid him on the change table. As my bookshelf is right there, I took out my copy of Go Diaper Free to look up some EC information. As I was perusing my book, Alek began to pee all over the change table! I made the cue noise, changed the wet pad under him, and continued reading. Then I noticed him making a funny cry/squawk noise, so I looked at him and he was staring straight at me. I got the overwhelming feeling that he needed to poop, put him on the potty right there, and he did!
We've been out-and-about A LOT since Alek was born, and I am trying as often as I can to potty him in public places. Unfortunately, despite major success at home, we have a dismal success rate when we're out. Partly this is because pottying on-the-go is not as convenient as it is at home. I think that the biggest barrier to our success is that he doesn't feel comfortable in the way that I am holding him over public toilets... I just cannot support his body the way I can when I am standing and holding him over a sink. And besides that, I tried pottying him over a public sink last week and he still wouldn't go. I have noticed in the last week or so that he is getting a lot more engaged with his environment and therefore a lot more distracted, so that is likely becoming an additional challenge to public bathroom pottying. I am itching for warm Spring and Summer temperatures that will make pottying in the car or outdoors a viable alternative!
Nighttime EC is not something that I am really interested in at this point, but I am willing to do anything to get more sleep! There were a few nights at the beginning of last month where Alek had a big poop in his diaper while I was nursing him in the middle of the night. One of these resulted in poop on his clothing and I had to change everything he was wearing. This was, of course, very disturbing to his sleep. The next night, I pottyied him before nursing and caught a big poop and a pee! After that, he has started holding his poop all night and he usually does a big poop in the potty first thing in the morning. Score!
My biggest takeaway this month has been that the more I offer the potty, the more Alek seems to save his elimination for the potty. Catches lead to more catches! But also that clothing (or lack thereof) matters. If Alek does signal (squawk.... ---- just as I wrote that, I clued in to the fact that Alek was indeed making an uncomfortable sort of squawk noise. I went into the living room where he was sitting with his dad, checked his diaper (dry), and put him on the potty where I caught a huge pee! He is definitely starting to signal more and it is SO COOL. ---- as I was about to say... it seems that he is more likely to alert us to his need to eliminate when he is either naked, or in training pants or a cloth diaper with no waterproof cover. Then again, it is also likely that I am just more aware of his signals or sounds at those times because there is a bigger chance of a mess if I miss it!
Are you practicing EC with your baby or toddler? If so, I'd love to know how its been going for you. Be sure to leave me a comment on this post to let me know :)
Hi! I'm Danielle, your friendly neighbourhood potty specialist.