I 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.
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.
If you’re interest in learning more about EC I highly recommend reading the book “Diaper Free Baby” by Christin Gross-Loh. Remember, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing but the benefits could pay off greatly when it is time to potty train!