I thought it appropriate to say a few words about Steven's progress with his potty training, as I know many people are following along with us.
On Staying Dry ~
Yesterday Steven stayed in the same diaper all day, as we made it to the potty for all his business, that is, until 8pm. At this time, he decided to pee in his diaper. Oops! :) He sometimes wets a little during his naps, but almost always has to go upon awakening. I think when he can't hold it any longer he then goes just enough to relieve himself. Yesterday and today he's awoken early from a couple of his naps needing to pee. This is nice for dry diapers but he's not too thrilled about going back to sleep. Normally he falls back to sleep after a few moments of crying to settle back down.
He's sleeping anywhere from 5-9 hours straight at night and so he currently is waking with a wet diaper. When he awakes to eat he normally poo's in potty and not in his diaper while sleeping. I'm not concerned about him awaking wet, as I know he's fully aware of his elimination needs and when he develops the ability to hold it all night I have no doubt he will. Right now he has a good capacity to hold it for at least a couple minutes when he really has to go, as long as he knows I'm in the process of getting him to the potty.
On Staying Clean ~
He is getting almost all of his poo's in the potty now, which is great! He's very good about letting me know he has to go. He stares at me with big eyes and his face serious (as if to say, 'Come on, Mom!'), his hands form into fists and his arms and legs straighten as he kicks. We still have an occasional (and becoming more and more rare) poo in the diaper, but most likely if he poo's in the diaper, it's just a little tiny bit and it normally lands on the insert. We then get to the potty for the rest of the job.
With all that said, we still have some wet diapers. Just a little while ago we were getting the majority of pee's on the potty but not doing so well with the poo's. Things have changed and now almost all poo's are on the potty but a few more wet diapers. I much prefer this, as pee can easily be rinsed out, diapers hung in the sun to dry and be used again.
Success today is not determined by a dry diaper at the end of the day, but by whether we are continuing to develop Steven's awareness of his elimination needs, his control over releasing and his communication with us on the matter. So far, each day with ECing has been a success.
A walk in the park? No, infant potty training takes time, patience and diligence.
It's a trade-off. You have to potty train sometime. Either you do it before they learn to use their diaper as the toilet or afterwards:
If you do it afterwards:
some CONS - You need to untrain them, as well as put up with years of diapers and all the time, money and energy that entails.
some PROS - But you have the benefit of changing their diapers on your time, not theirs. You can get away with changing them less often, as you may choose to only change them when the diaper is fully soaked.
If you do it before:
some CONS - You need to be diligent about getting them to the potty as soon as they show they need to go (they can only hold it for so long), and if they wet or dirty their diaper you need to change it right away so they don't get used to sitting in dirty diapers (sometimes they need to pee 10 or 15 minutes after just going). Also, as I'm finding with Steven, they may show they need to go, you put them on the potty, but they are working it out and it may take some time sitting there holding them on the potty while they finish business.
some PROS - But you have the benefit of having them dirtying much fewer diapers and the potential of being out of diapers at a very young age, as well as helping them become more aware of and develop their sphincter muscles, which will aid greatly in their potty training. As they continue to develop their muscles, they can hold their pee longer, meaning you won't always be taking them to the potty every 10-15 minutes. (Steven normally has to go at least once every hour when awake.) Also, infant potty training or elimination communication is just that: communication with your baby. You both learn to communicate to each other and this creates a unique bond. Also, they sit in their pee and poo very little, resulting in less likelihood of diaper rash and easier cleanup when they eliminate in the potty.
But is it worth it? In my book, absolutely. I've enjoyed the special bonding with my son through ECing. Is it for everyone? No, I couldn't say it is. By sharing our experience I do not mean to say that everyone should do as I. We are all in different places in life, may we live and learn from each other and enjoy the good gifts God delivers to each of us. I do hope I'll be successful with potty training all my children this way, but in time we will see. I've enjoyed it thus far. Thanks for enjoying with us!