Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Elimination Communication

*This is a total mom post. Just FYI. Lots of pee and poop talk.

When I first heard of Elimination Communication, I thought the parents that did it were crazy.
I thought that was too much pressure to put on a baby.
Which, if you know my thoughts on babies is really odd for me.
I believe babies are fully aware of their surroundings.
Fully present in their births.
Thinking deeply about the world.

So why would elimination communication be too much for them?
When I actually started to research it and read up on it, it fascinated me.
Babies ARE aware of their pottying needs.
They are constantly trying to tell us what they need from us.
Would you like to sit in your own waste?
Why do we think babies are born being okay with the idea and practice of soiling themselves?

Ever notice how with a newborn, when you take off their diaper they start to pee or poop?
I noticed this with Leena and then it started to all make sense when I looked back on her life as a newborn.
After a while of diapering they then get used to the practice of soiling themselves.
Which then creates the frustrating practice of potty training where toddlers don't want to go potty in the toilet and only in the diaper.

For the first three days of Penelope's life, we cloth diapered her, which made the first few nights a bit difficult.
We were both a bit hesitant with starting the ec-ing.
After I got a pep talk from a friend on facebook, I decided to dive in.
The first week or so she went through about 5 prefolds at night between her pooping and peeing.
We still at this point would diaper her when we would go out and about.
As week two started the prefolds she would go through at night would dwindle down and the number of "catches" we had went up.
During feedings I'd have her sitting on the potty while breastfeeding sitting up.
She'd potty while eating.
During the day we just keep have a prefold and wool pad between her legs in case of any misses.

It seems the only times we really miss now, besides the occasional one at night, is when you are questioning whether or not she has to go.
Which I think we've all been peed on at least once because of this, including my sister in law. :D

While she's sleeping, if I notice her start to fuss a bit it generally means she needs to potty.
This holds true for if she's peacefully content while awake and starts to fuss.

I now don't feed her with the potty under her bottom. Instead I keep the prefold and soaker combo under her and if she starts to get really fussy or starts to pop off and on the breast, generally she needs to potty.

She's holding her pee longer to give us a bit of time to get the potty under her or to get her into a position where she can pee, whether it be in the big potty, sink or outside in the yard.
She's gone potty in the yard twice. Starting her early for camping trips. ;)

Last night she peed once because I took too long to respond to her cues.
Then she started to poop in a prefold but I was quick enough to get her on the potty to finish.

When we go out in the car we still do the prefold and soaker between her legs in the car seat. When we get to our destination we try to potty her on her baby potty first.
If she shows signs of needing to go while we are there we'll find a bathroom to potty her in.
Then we give her the chance to potty again before heading home.

When I've had her in her wrap, I will occasionally put her in totally bare bottomed while at home.
While out and about I will keep the prefold/soaker combo there just in case.

It's crazy to see how this works.

Penelope is so super happy and content.

And did I mention, I'm getting WAY more sleep than I did with Leena and even from the first few days of life with Penelope.
Changing her diaper those first few nights got her pretty riled up and it took a little more time to calm her down.
Now she potties, eats and then goes back to sleep.
I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 3 week old and I'm pretty well rested.
That's something!
Looking at Christmas lights while peeing.
In the wrap before a pee in the yard incident.
Sprawled out with the wool soaker/prefold combo.
Multitasking. Eating and pottying.
Comfy on her potty.
Daddy pottying Penelope.

If you are interested in this more check out this website.
I read the Diaper Free Baby book but I hear the EC Simplified book is great as well.
Here's a little trailer for a documentary about it as well.

Hope this helps those of you that were curious and leads you to look into it.

Remember, as with life, ec-ing is not all or nothing.
Any diaper-free time to observe your baby's cues is great!

Peace and Love.


bonfire of my vanity said...

i did that with my oldest. he did not potty train early. it sucked and i will never again spend my days focused on poo or pee. but some people really like it. whatever works, man.

Hit My Dreamy Eyes said...

Wow, I have never heard of this method. Very interesting and awesome. Penelope is so precious!

Laurie said...

We used it with our third child and much preferred it to traditional delayed toilet training. We finished sooner and needed fewer diapers. The two main things that attracted us were the awesome communication with our baby (he "got it" from the start at 3 months) and the environmental benefits.

Here are some resources for further info: