Re: Share how you got started ECing and EC tips
I'd heard of EC but with all the intensity of the first few weeks, didn't really look into it until DD was a couple of months old. We really started right around 3 mths, when she had a terrible diaper "rash" (turned out to be a reaction to our laundry detergent) that was so painful she screamed when I tried to put on her diaper. Good time for going diaper-free lol. It took a couple of days but then I figured out she liked to go while standing up -- I cue'd her halfheartedly while she was standing in my lap over a towel, and she went! I was giddy. I think she was, too. Like, yeah mom, you finally get it!
From near the beginning I caught most of her poo's. Pee's were harder, she didn't really signal at all that I could see, but I started to get a sense of when she had to go. (No "psychic pees" yet, but I did learn that I should trust my intuition, not the clock.)
Even after switching to a clean-rinsing detergent and learning that dairy was off-limits (another rash trigger) she still had trouble with diaper rashes, especially at nights, even doing changes at night. If she sat in a wet diaper for even a few minutes her skin would start to turn red. So at 5 mths I figured I could do away with diapers at night, just lay her on a prefold with a layer of waterproof fabric beneath, and if she pee'd, she pee'd, and if she didn't, I thought I could cue her while she lay there. Well, she didn't want any of that, she didn't want to pee laying down, cued or not. I took to holding her over the edge of the diaper pail by the bed and cueing her -- it worked! I had a 5 mth old who went all night w/o diapers. The only times she wet the bed were on rare occasions when she'd had an especially hard day or wasn't feeling well. Mornings were still hard, though, because she'd have to go several (some days 5 +) times in the space of the first hour or so after waking... It's just hard to catch all those pees!
And we had kind of a rough patch between oh 6-8 mths or so. Previously she would hold it for at least a few moments and fuss a bit before going in the carriers, or in my lap. But for several weeks it was pretty, well, "hit or miss." I'd offer the potty all the time but she's squawk at me sometimes for doing it, then go five minutes later. (Laugh it off!) She'd go wherever she happened to be, without any warning. We learned to laugh it off and keep a prefold diaper under her as much as possible. I still didn't like putting diapers ON her and pretty much saved that for out of the house. Just kept her naked-bottomed but over a prefold most of the rest of the time.
Then right around the 8 mth mark, it's like something clicked for her. All of a sudden she was holding it, and fussing when she needed to go. If I put her on the potty and she squawked at me or squirmed to get off, it was because she really didn't have to go. Even the early morning pee-fests came under control. She's past 9 mths now and we go days and days without "misses" at all, and when they do happen it's usually because she was clearly letting me know but I didn't listen. I don't bother to diaper her out of the house any more, there's really no use, she hates going in the diaper, and with the hot weather we've been having she started to get red skin even in a DRY diaper. We went all day at a local historical attraction recently. She still doesn't do public restrooms well (who does?!) so I bring a little potty with us everywhere. *shrug* It's better than diapers!
Tips: Chill out. Get peed on and laugh at it. If you're feeling pressured or frustrated, you're doing it wrong and need to take a step back and gain some objectivity. Really, that's the ONLY way to do it wrong. So long as there's no pressure, everything else will sort itself out if you just keep trying. Second tip: Go ahead and try it if you're still on the fence. If you follow tip #1, there is absolutely no harm that can come from trying it, and I promise it's easier and less intimidating than it seems. I wish I'd got started sooner, just to have avoided those nasty rashes I put her through.
Tip #3: Prefolds. Well, they worked really, really well for me, anyway. Prefolds in the bottom of the carriers, prefolds on our laps. One thing that for us was a prefold in the bottom of the potty when spills are a concern -- prefold soaks up the mess, no spills. (You can even use them for multiple pees so you don't have to clean the potty out every single time. Yeah, I did that, and I don't feel ashamed... At least she wasn't SITTING IN IT!) Prefolds everywhere. Love them.