I found some tiny knickers, and would put them on Maven so he could ‘christen’ them, and to see how they looked on him, and to dream…from about 6 months or so.
The key in negotiating the exciting transition to knickers was my confidence level, and secondly Maven’s skill level! Gradual, gradual…
At six months or whenever I got them, I’d at times put them on him while he was feeding or napping, or in a sling, just to practise removing them, and for him to feel what they were like. He’d get instant and obvious feedback on a miss, and was quite vocal about it!
At seven months we had our first outing only in normal underpants walking to and from and around the shops twice and complete success! He was in the sling – so it was a no-brainer as he doesn’t pee on us. It sure surprised people in the parent room!
I used them every so often, but usually went nakey in slings as that was just easiest. Later, (over one) when I started really experimenting with them, I’d see how he was going on a day signal wise before trying them while out.
I ‘practised’ using them in safe situations, then gradually expanded my comfort zone…
– while holding him at home, as signals were always clear, and I could practice taking them off and putting them on with him in-arms.
– during walks with him in a carrier – easy short trips, pee breaks in nature.
– during shop visits in a sling, knowing where facilities were for our usual pee breaks, no different than usual, really!
– around the house for short spells after a pee- break, until a miss occurred, then nakey again.
– during ‘clear’ signalling times at home when I could focus well on signs for an hour or two. This was in the mornings after he began clear signalling. (11 months)
– I’d arrive at activities with him in knickers, and providing he peed on arrival, I’d leave him in them a half hour, then offer a pee, if he didn’t go I’d put him in his padded undies and just observe for signs in a relaxed way and change on wet pants. (12 months)
– I could leave him in knickers for small group activities like ABA meetings for an hour, and he’d signal clearly, or go at timing opportunities happily. (30-40 minutes at exciting floor times) (13 months)
– On the day he turned 14 months, I took a plunge, and he spent over two hours at a busy new playgroup in knickers! He signalled (to the air as is usual) and I took him to wee twice during the two and a half hour session. It was a huge step, as even a month before, he’d either pee frequently at playgroup or not pee the entire time, with little way of me knowing which, hence my use of his undies at playgroup for peace of mind.
We’ve been in undies full time ever since on outings. Chris takes him everywhere with only pants on without knickers under them as he couldn’t see the point of using them really, so I also do that now, although I like using his little knickers…. Discover More about My Elimination Communication eBook: Part Time EC: A Personal Guide to Developing Your Elimination Communication Confidence…