The last time I wrote an update on our EC journey was shortly before our trip. The trip was a whole new challenge for us, and it’s nice to be settled back in at home now.
Here at home, we have all tile floors, and all the “stuff” in the house is, well, mine, so if it gets … waste on it, no one will have to be upset. If it can’t be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, I can just get rid of it and no one will miss it but me. The same is not true on vacation, however. I was a little nervous about things at first, because I didn’t want to have to explain bright yellow stains on my sister’s carpet or anything like that. Things went surprisingly well, however, and we EC’d with reasonable success in the mornings and at night, while outings generally meant misses. As the trip progressed, I got a bit more brave, since things were going fairly well, and we had more and more catches all the time. We even had one, long outing during the last leg with no misses at all.
On the flight home, we used fitted diapers since I knew the bathroom wasn’t generally going to be available right when we needed it, but Annabelle still successfully used the lavatory several times during each flight. I was pretty pleased that we could EC and diaper all at the same time.
Now that we’re home and about over the jet lag, I think we’re finally back in the swing of things with our EC routine, too. Yesterday was a day of many misses, but today was much better. We had only one miss the entire day, despite the fact that we were out on errands for most of the afternoon. We have managed a few completely dry outings before, but never one so long and drawn out as today’s. It felt like quite an accomplishment! We had to go to the post office, the store, and the offices of two cell phone companies, and were gone for a few hours. I offered the car potty each time we got in and out of the car, however, and Annabelle used it when she needed it and managed to stay dry.
Here’s how it works right now, for the very curious. We have moved the Baby Bjorn little potty to the bathroom, and that’s where is stays. We still use our makeshift car potty on outings (a plastic bowl with a prefold inside as a liner. When babe uses the potty, the prefold goes in a wet bag and is replaced with a fresh one). When Annabelle wakes up in the morning, I take her straight to the potty and she always needs to go. We get up and start our day. She uses the potty at least twice more in the next hour. As the day goes on, I offer again each time she seems to need to go, or after each nap. She usually goes right after a nap, but is occasionally blinded by her hunger and has to eat first. These times, I know that I have to make a bee line for the bathroom the moment she unlatches, or I’ll miss it. If we go out, I offer the potty each time we get in and out of the car, or anytime she signals.
Her daytime signals at the moment include:
- kicking her legs if being held
- stopping while playing and getting a glazed over look in her eyes
- suddenly changing focus and direction while crawling for no apparent reason
- …and sometimes when she’s not understood, she resorts to fussing
At night, Annabelle signals by squirming about in bed. When she wakes, I nurse her first and she either squirms, then uses the bathroom, then nurses back to sleep; or nurses right back to sleep without needing the bathroom. Generally speaking, the only wakeup where she doesn’t need it is the first one of the night, around 11 or 12. During the night, I used to try to use a potty right beside the bed so that Annabelle’s sleep wasn’t interrupted, but that meant leaving her in bed while I went through the whole clean up routine. Our bathroom is literally a few steps from the bed, so I’ve found it is just as easy to tiptoe inside there and hold her over the big potty. She stays in arms and therefore at rest, and I don’t have any extraneous cleanup – potties to rinse and sanitize, etc.
The other signal that I think I have finally learned to recognize is the “I’m finished” signal. For the first several months, I would just decide she must be finished based on what I saw. Unfortunately, I was quite often wrong and ended up with several clothes changes and floor clean-ups because of it. I have learned now that Annabelle will arch her back and/or kick her legs when she’s finished if I’m holding her, or use my legs or whatever is nearby to pull up on if she’s on her potty. It finally feels like we’re in a rhythm and I’m so happy that we stuck with it to get here!