As Jonah gets older, we are beginning to move from elimination communication to full time "potty training." We have not been as consistent with the EC as I would have liked. We were beginning to get really consistent at home, and even often times out in public. Then I dropped the ball. I began putting him back in diapers. At first it was just for evaluations and doctors' appointments. There were several times when I knew he had to go- he told me he had to go. But in the middle of an evaluation, you can't just interrupt everything to take a child that is wearing a diaper to the toilet.
First of all, when I tried to explain that he does use the toilet, and explain the fundamentals of EC to them, they looked at me like I had two heads. I probably would have looked at me like I had two heads too, before I saw for myself that it actually works. The problem is, they won't let me show them that it works.
Jonah began to learn that he can go in his pants and not have to stop playing. We started to have several misses even at home. As I grew more and more pregnant, my patience grew more and more thin with the potty situation until he was back in diapers full time. A week or so after Evie arrived, Jonah started telling me if he had to pee or poop, just like he had before. He wouldn't go on the potty though; I'd sit him on the toilet, and he would fuss and fidget until I took him off and put his diaper back on. I wouldn't even be done washing our hands, and he'd gone in his diaper.
Then there was the day he stood outside the bathroom door signing "change." I said "What do you need in the bathroom??" To which he replied "ingy!" (stinky.) He opened up the door, laid on the floor, and stuck his legs in the air for me to change him. "ingy.. ingy!" he yelled. I decided then that it was time. I was going to declare no more diapers once again.
I've written before about how there are times I just have to get the courage up to say "no diapers today." and I truly believe that it really works. It focuses us on noticing when Jonah has to go and what he is communicating to us. This is overall a very good practice for the whole family, because he still cannot verbally communicate much of anything. Sometimes I fear that I am the only one who understands what he wants and needs at any given moment.
Potty training after using EC for any amount of time is a little different then traditional potty training. For one thing, the child already knows what the potty is for, and already has an awareness of when to use it. It is becoming very obvious now that our problem is getting Jonah away from his activity to go to the bathroom. He will let me know when he has to go, but is more than reluctant to leave his toys to come with me. I've found that a good way to alleviate this is to let him take a small toy or book with him, so it doesn't seem like a punishment to go to the potty and leave his toys. I also really try to soup up the coolness of what is in the bathroom. He loves to get a few pieces of toilet paper after he's gone, and to flush the toilet. I remind him that we're going to go do these things as we're leaving his toys behind.
I've been calling our little venture "Operation Underwears." We've had quite a good success rate. There have been several days without any misses or accidents. When they do occur, I've noticed that it's during a time when someone else is watching him, or if I'm distracted by something else (like feeding Evie or making lunch.) I've also noticed that it does help to take him even if he isn't telling me he has to go, or showing signs of needing to go. I always put him on the potty before and shortly after we eat, before going outside to play, and before bed/nap. He will go, and it cuts down on the risk of us having a miss during something that will distract me or something that he won't want to leave.
We've been using our Motherease fitteds as "underwear" and they work quite well. They feel like cloth underwear to him, yet are absorbent enough to keep any messes controlled. They also snap on and off very easily. Last week I went to the store and bought real underwear. I was very disappointed in the choices of characters they had. Jonah has no idea who Buzz Lightyear or Lightning McQueen are. And the other characters seem too violent for a two year old. He would love a pair of Dora and Boots underwear, but they only make Dora underwear for girls. I wonder why that is- just because Dora is a girl? I know several little boys who just adore Dora. We settled for some Thomas the Tank Engine, and a pack of three different disney characters. For some reason, Jonah has fallen in love with the Wall-E pair.