Saturday, November 17, 2012

Elimination Communication

Alright friends, open up your minds.  Take a deep breath in, and let it out slowly.  Now read on.

Who?  The Moody's!  (And the rest of the unindustrialized world.)

What? Elimination Communication.  Infant Potty Training.  Natural Infant Hygiene.

Why?  It is all about better communication with your infant.  Just like meeting her needs when she is hungry or tired, her elimination needs need the same kind of attention.  I was first introduced to this idea by Mayim Bialik's book Beyond the Sling Chapter 7 "Baby Needs Potty" (a book I highly recommend by the way).  Chris is very open to all/any new ideas so he was all for trying it so we did!   

When?  Started Cleo at 6 weeks.  And we don't practice this at night right now, though if we did I know Cleo would sleep better.  She wakes up a few times each night really squirmy and I know she has to go, but I feed her instead to get her back to sleep.

Where?  Anywhere and everywhere.  It is most easily done at home, because we can leave Cleo's bum bare and catch 90% of her going, but we do it at church, at my mom's, at The Browning Center during Nutcracker.  It's hard not to do it when she is uncomfortable and I know why!  We have her in a diaper when we're out and about just in case, but if there is a bathroom nearby we try her.

How?  Tri-fold cloth diaper, elastic around the waist, leg warmers and socks.  Fall/Winter doesn't seem like the best time to start, but we did it anyway.  I tried her twice with nothing no results, but third times the charm!!  Once we started there was really no turning back.  And here we are 5 weeks later.

EC Day 1 - Cleo 6 weeks - 10/8/12

 Cleo 8/5 weeks - 10/23/12

One cool thing that we noticed was an immediate change in Cleo's demeanor after starting this.  It is all about having good communication with your child and meeting their needs as quickly as you can, which is why it was a pillar in Malim Bialik's book on Attachment Parenting.  I feel like it was a piece of the puzzle we were missing, and so Cleo would cry often where she didn't seem hungry and she didn't seem tired, but after EC (Elimination Communication) her temperament improved dramatically.  The idea is that infant's never want to be sitting in their own waste, so they instinctively don't like going in a diaper.  We train them to go in a diaper then 2 or 3 or 4 years later we retrain them not to go in the diaper, where if they stay aware of their elimination needs they end up being more comfortable and a bonus is that you end up spending less on diapers in the long run.  I don't feel like I am saving tons of $$ on diaper usage yet, but if she is mostly out of diapers by age 1 instead of 2 or 3 that's a good chunk of money.

We are now on week 5 of this method and it is great.  She still pees in a diaper often, during naps and in the night, but she pretty much hasn't pooped in a diaper since mid-October and based on cleanup duty alone it has been totally worth it.

Of course, there are skeptics and people who think we are crazy but nobody has voiced their opinion too strongly and we've kind of gotten used to some people thinking how we live our lives is incorrect, so we've gotten over it.


Boucke, Laurie. (2000) Infant Potty Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living

Bauer, Ingrid. (2001) Diaper Free!  The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene


Circe said...

I wish I had done some research on this for Xanthe when we trained her TO diapers at age 13 months! It must have been traumatic for her. She hated going in diapers. And she was impossible to potty train! Where were you six years ago?! But I'm not doing it with Tizzy. No way. Too lazy!! But they say nine months is a good age to potty train, so...

Whit,Tiff and B said...

135Oh my gosh, that sound like lots of work... I'm excited to see if she is potty trained by the age of 1.

HDVB said...

must try this...hoping my nanny will be on board :) I think it's a great idea.