I first heard about EC when I read The Diaper Free Baby. I had a vague idea that this practice was used since my husband is from Ukraine and a friend of his explained that they "cue" their babies to use the potty. She did not explain anything further. I tried to "cue" my two boys when they were babies and by 18 months they each were wanting to use the potty on their own. However, I did not know how to proceed- do they wear underwear when going out or put them in a pull-up? What if they don't want to wear a diaper but I'm not willing to clean up another miss? Should I insist they use the potty even when they don't want to go?
I had a lot of questions and didn't know where to turn. Many of my friends warned me that teaching boys to use the potty too early would actually cause delays later. I unfortunately gave in and kept them in diapers. My oldest had bowel problems through kindergarten and finally turned a new leaf in 1st grade. My second child was potty trained and out of diapers even at night when he turned 4. He was a challenge because he would only poop in his diaper when he went in for his afternoon quiet time. My parents finally promised him a week at their house only if he was potty trained. That did it!
The first time I held him over the toilet, I cued him by say "psss" and he peed all over his feet! It seemed to come so naturally aside from the discomfort of wet feet. But this wasn't ideal and it was very uncomfortable for both of us!
The next day I cradled him over the little potty after his naps, and he went again. I noticed after I fed and burped him he would try to wiggle up my shoulder and seemed uncomfortable. I would put him on the potty and he would pee.
What has surprised me so far is how much my little guy can go! Even if we wakes up with a wet diaper, he will pee on the potty then a short time later have another wet diaper! What is a challenge is determining when he has to poop versus having to burp. Many times he will be struggling while sitting on the potty and finally has a big burp.
For me there has been a lot of second guessing at the beginning. Is he crying because of x, y, or z? There are also times when I'm just too tired to get down with him next to the potty and sit while he tries to go. Sometimes he is fussing in the middle of the night because he wants to go potty yet at 2 am I'm opting for some extra sleep. However, I have seen a great improvement in his sleeping habits since going on the potty. He is less fussy at night and when he goes on the potty in the middle of the night he goes back to sleep quickly.
So far, this has been a real bonding experience. Just like understanding when he is hungry, overstimulated or needs to burp, noticing when he has to pee is just as natural. Watching his big sister cue him and then he immediately goes is also a lot of fun. And not having to wipe up a big blow out is a big plus!! I have saved on diapers and wipes but I'm not really counting.
I'll be posting more as the time progresses to keep a record of how it's going. Please feel free to ask any questions or leave a comment if you have done this before. I'd love to hear from others!