Since we've gone back to cloth diapers completely with our Honor, I'm back to being much more proactive with EC'ing (I'll admit, disposables make it easy to forget about missing pees…) I'm taking her to the potty basically every time I need to go. As per usual with being pregnant, that's a lot! I'm a little unsure of where we'll go from here…
Honor is showing some new signals since being back in cloth. She's still not much of a signaler, even for poops, and I catch most poops just because of her natural poop grunts and looks (as my kids have dubbed it “Honor looks suspicious!). Come to think of it, I suppose those are signals, right?
But she's developed some new pee signs. She is definitely grabbing at her diaper and pulling, especially if I think she needs to go and I ask her “do you need to go potty?” Sometimes it's hard to distinguish from other pulling – she'll pull at her shirts too, and if she's not wearing a shirt, she grabs her skin lightly sometimes. I'm not completely sure why. But often she will grab at her diaper if she needs to pee or has just peed.
I also think that she sometimes crawls up to me and fusses at me because she needs to go. I'm not great at picking up on this because she's a crabby kid and tends to crawl up and fuss over many things — but sometimes I do think this is related to needing to potty.
I'll see her stop what she's doing, get still, and see her belly push in a little bit. That's generally a pee (the intense concentration and bearing down of a poop isn't there). She'll frequently grab her diaper after this, so I'm encouraged by this awareness after being in disposables for a month.
Lots of Pee
Honor pees a lot. Like I said above, I put her on her little potty every time I go to the bathroom. She pees almost every time. In fact, she loves it. She gets delighted when I pick her up and note “you peed,” then we empty the potty into the toilet and rinse it out.
Of course, every time we do this I take her diaper off… and it's always wet. Because I'm pregnant we're in the bathroom constantly (I'd say every 30 minutes to an hour). And Honor is always wet. She's going through newborn numbers of diapers since we're trying to change at every pee (with our limited diaper stock I'm washing every day, too)!
My hope is that she'll be able to hold more, and that may come with us getting re-dedicated to elimination communication.
Decisions to Make
I've found myself waffling back and forth on where I want to go from here.
Part of me just wants to keep up what I'm doing now – taking her to the potty when I go, and diapering otherwise. Think about graduating from EC / tackling potty training later.
Part of me wants to really focus on re-establishing our EC rapport and then moving her toward graduation over the coming months.
Andrea has really re-vamped Go Diaper Free to close that gap in diaper free baby knowledge… how to go from EC'ing to diaper free with clothes on, and eventual potty independence for your tot. She's also done a great job establishing guidelines for creating an elimination communication routine with your older baby. I know I'll be studying those sections closely as I try to decide where to go.
One thing that stops me is that Honor is not walking. In fact, she's not really cruising. She's pulling up on everything and crawls like a race horse… but she's not interested in walking. Going to the potty is mostly a me transport her thing. I know this is really temporary and I suspect that we'll see steps within the next month. But right now it's taking her to the bathroom and I have a mental block of “how do I work toward graduation when my kid can't walk to the pot????”
I really do feel like getting elimination communication going again, and then working the “building blocks” to potty independence, as Andrea says it, is probably the right choice for Honor. But I have my doubts, and I worry that I'll put pressure on her with a new baby coming. At the same time, I had Cassidy graduated from EC totally at 21 months, and she was mostly there at 19 months when baby Asher arrived… and our experience was smooth, cheerful, and successful. So I know it can be done, even with a young tot.
(NOTE: Want proven, practical strategies to make elimination communication work for you? Use these 5 proven techniques to connect when your baby and have EC success! Get them here.)