Categorized | Adventures in EC

The Road to Potty Learning and Benefits of ECing

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babylegsI am getting serious about potty learning now.  I started ECing (elimination communication- practicing infant “potty training” by reading a baby’s cues and catching eliminations) my son when he was 6 months old on a part time basis.  In the beginning we were excited about it and sometimes went a whole day with no wet diapers.  But I got busier in life and my son got busier and would rather play than sit on the potty and hang out with me.  We still did it, sometimes 1-3 times a day, and sometimes we would go days or weeks between using a potty.  To me, EC wasn’t an all or nothing thing.  The reason I wanted to EC was to save myself a few diapers of washing and to introduce my son to the potty at a young age to avoid that fear some children have.

At 18 months old my son is definitely not afraid to use the potty.  He has still not shown any signs before he needs to go.  He doesn’t tell me or sign, or go to the potty beforehand.  I am still reading his cues and going by patterns.

He pees after he wakes for the day and after naps.  He pees before his bath.  He poops after breakfast and dinner (usually).  I put him on the potty those times when I can.  I can tell he needs to poop when he passes gas.  If I wait for the “poop face” or grunting it is too late…. the deed is halfway or totally done.

My son practicing being diaper free.  You may be able to see the pee in the potty.

My son practicing being diaper free. You may be able to see the pee in the potty.

Some people might think I am trying too early.  I see it as making him more aware of his bodily functions.  Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view) my son cares nothing about being wet or sitting in poop.  He would wear the same diaper all day with no complaints.  This makes it harder.  If he was bothered by those things I would assume he would be more interested in using the potty.

To me it is worth the extra effort.  The age for potty training is getting older and older.  I want my son to be on the younger end.  This means less laundry for me.  My son benefits by not having to wear diapers anymore.  He could also play in the Ikea playroom!

Even as I write this I wonder if I am crazy.  Running my son to the potty every time he passes gas…. but it is working for our family.  Even if it takes months of this before he begins telling me he needs to potty, I will still do it.  Plus, not having to spray a poopy diaper is a benefit I can live with.

Tomorrow I will be posting a list of cloth trainers, similar to my swim diaper post, so stay tuned!

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Kim Rosas began Dirty Diaper Laundry in 2009 out of a desire to help more parents understand modern cloth diapers. She lives in Florida with her husband of 5 years and her two boys. Even though none of her boys wear diapers anymore she is still just as committed to promoting them. In her spare time Kim enjoys video editing, photography, and coffee.
  • Natalie

    My son is 5 months & we plan to buy his potty at 6 months and pretty much take the same part-tine EC approach. I think it’s important for every family to do what works for them. I get amazed by how strongly people feel about issues like potty training,co-sleeping, etc. I personally don’t want to get into the power struggle over the potty with my son that I see so many others dealing with. I think when introducig them to the potty closer to age 3 then they’re at the stage of wanting to be independent and in control. I’m seeing so many kids recently who aren’t using the potty until around age 4. No thanks! I want to save us from that battle and save our diapers from wear & tear so they will be in good shape for baby #2.

  • Melissa (Green Mommy)

    This sounds exactly like our use of EC, except that our daughter is 10 mos old. We started at 6 mos & have been successful all but twice w/ #2s. I’d say that’s success. We’re reading her cues & going by patterns as well. I am not sure when we’ll be ready for full-on potty training, and am curious how this will go w/ you. I, too, want to be on the early end & am hoping that by using EC we’re able to avoid the drama & anxiety associated w/ potty training. It’s just one big experiment. I also share your sentiment that it’s extra work, but w/ promise of a long term pay off. Time will tell. Best of luck!
    .-= Melissa (Green Mommy)´s last blog ..Black Bean Mini-Sliders =-.

  • jenn brooks

    My son was out of dipes at age 2 and my daughter at 20 months. it’s totally doable! I didn’t EC but did use cloth dipes, and I really think it makes a difference. I will say, during the transition phase we went naked under clothes – if they had something close fitting on they’d assume it was a dipe and go. Once they had made the transition then I switched to trainers (after about a month).

    Good luck!

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