As you may remember, we're practicing part-time elimination communication with Little Bit. For the most part that's meant we offer the potty when we change diapers, or if it's been awhile and she's still dry. But as she's gotten older we've made some changes, so I thought I'd update:
Nighttime: I had no plans to do nighttime EC, quite frankly, I like my sleep! BUT . . . she had other ideas. She started getting really restless during certain times of the night. At first I thought she was objecting to a wet diaper, so I pulled out the Fuzzi Bunz we used for the girls (that have a fleece inner layer that keeps baby from feeling wet) and even tried disposables at night, but neither seemed to make any difference, so I concluded that it was NEEDING to pee that was disturbing her (and therefore my) sleep. BUT she's always objected strongly to being pottied at night. After some trial and error, here's what I figured out that's working quite well . . . instead of a regular cloth diaper & cover, I just put her in a prefold held on with a prefold belt. Then I put a wool pad down under her. I made wool pads buy getting wool sweaters from Goodwill, washing them in hot water & drying them in the dryer (to "felt" them), then cutting a sweater into one long flat pad (cut the arms off, cut ONE side seam) then I put it in a king-size pillowcase so it's not scratchy. And I got a couple inexpensive fleece baby blankets & put one on top of her. Both wool and fleece work to keep any accidents from getting on the bed or blankets. I also have a felted wool blanket on the bed as a mattress pad, but by laying her on the wool pad I don't have to change the sheets if she pees, just change the pillowcase on the wool pad.
So . . . when she gets restless at night I sit up in bed, put a plastic bowl between my legs (I tailor sit, and have a bowl just the right size to fit between my legs), then I pull the front of the prefold out of the belt, and lay her in my lap w/ her butt in the bowl & the prefold behind her, then I latch her on & let her nurse while she pees. When she's done I set the bowl aside where it won't get spilled, tuck the front of the prefold back into the prefold belt, and lay back down all while she keeps on nursing. It only takes a couple minutes, because I can do it all WHILE she's nursing she never fully wakes up or cries, and once she's peed she's able to nurse back to sleep, whew!
So that was our unintentional journey into nighttime EC.
Now for daytime, honestly how many catches we have comes down to how much attention *I* am paying, although we also have "off" days where she objects to being pottied, only to pee 2 minutes later, but oh well . . .I've found that now that she's mobile, diapers are nearly impossible to put on her. She USUALLY poops in the potty, and if she does poop in a diaper, it's solid enough to be easy to dump into the potty (and she often does it standing up which means it's not all smeared around if I catch her right away). So . . . we've moved almost exclusively to training pants! I'd gotten some Gerber 2t ones and they're a little big, but work ok. I often will use the prefold belt to add just a little extra "security" around the top waistband. I found they aren't quite absorbent enough, but I have some thin doublers I'd gotten earlier which lay nicely into the trainer and make it just the amount of absorbency we need. Then, when I went to the Amish store near us to get more doublers I found that they have Gerber trainers in size 18mo which fit even better, so I got some of them too! At home I generally keep her in just a trainer/doubler (and am working on sewing the doublers into the trainers, just attached in front, so they'll dry faster when I hang them dry) when we go out, I often have a better rate of "catches" than here at home because I offer anytime we're at the car, but if we're going to be somewhere where other people might be holding her I usually put a wool pull-on cover over the trainer so that it's water proof.
I'm starting to notice a certain face she makes sometimes when she needs to potty, and sometimes she "grunts" like she would WHILE pooping, before she poops, so I can put her on the potty and then she'll poop, so I think we're getting closer to her consistently telling me when she needs to potty instead of relying on timing like I've done up until now. I'm hopeful that we'll get to a point where she makes a sound/face/sign that is easily recognizable so that the big girls, dh, etc will also be able to tell when she needs to potty. But for now, we go through 6-8 trainers a day, plus 1-2 prefolds at night, and she's definitely maintaining an awareness of her elimination which will hopefully mean easy/early "potty training".