Many times I have been asked, “How does EC possibly work at night?” So after a recent discussion with my husband of knowing H needed to go and him not wanting to mess with our “magic dream routine” by putting her on the potty.
I of course was a jerk and just thought he needed/wanted sleep more.
Then I thought about it…
It made me blush. Magic? I was magic?
He is rather supportive of all my crazy life and parenting passions.
So here it is, our version “magic EC at night” just in case you find yourself wondering what it looks like as a full time ECer.
As a newborn, it’s a little more frequent. But as a newborn EVERYTHING is more frequent. Little h. was very fussy and vocal when she needed to go. I found starting to potty her in arms beside the bed into a potty I could hold between my legs was easiest. Less interruption than heading all the way to the bathroom. Early on I didn’t have a waterproof pad, so she wore a cover and prefold. Looking back it was one extra step. Covers make EC a little more challenging at night. I think next time around I would just use a waterproof pad on the bed or co-sleeper and prefold. I found most often pottying right before bed is a great start. When you awaken to feed again try, and then again after. Little h. early on would wiggle and carry on until we pottyed or before she would be changed if we had a miss.
Now at 20 months so much has changed and so much is exactly the same. We still cosleep, so her signs are easy. She kicks and tosses repeatedly, I put her on her potty chair and signal (double throat clear sound), she goes, I gently ask if she’s done and if she is, she reaches for me. I then set her down where she sleeps, wipe and put her non waterproof trainers back on and 75% of the time she doesn’t even fully wake. If she does we nurse and she’s out. Very rarely do we have a night where she will wake and not go back to sleep almost immediately after nursing. Typical nights we wake to nurse and potty twice. We only have misses at night if I am super tired and miss her cue. Or if something developmentally is taking front seat in her mind. But in all honesty, if I were to count, I can count pee misses at night on one hand in the past 6-7 months. And number two? I seriously don’t remember the last night time one….maybe around when she was about 6 months? Not changing or cleaning diapers at night seriously is awesome!
Now if we do have a miss at night, I keep very quiet as to not awake her. I imagine she just needs sleep more than woke up at the time to eliminate. We quickly change her clothes and pants, and swap out her waterproof pad (usually we don’t even have to change the sheets!) then go right back to sleep after offering the potty again. Believe it or not, she usually goes more! Just remember it’s a journey and you have to be gentle with yourself and your child in the process. It’s not about the end result of being “potty trained”. It’s about the open communication between you and your child. If they become reliant on the potty it is simply and added bonus.
Thinking of it really, we have had better communication at night than during the day. It’s quiet. She doesn’t have all the distractions of life nor do I. It’s a great time to continue the bond of parenthood and communicate elimination and hygiene with your child. All children are different and most family situations are different as well. This is just our families take on what has worked for us at night.
Any questions? Feel free to shoot them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org or post them in the comments:)
Do you EC at night? What works for you?