Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Notes on Elimination Communication

When I first read about EC I was half way through my pregnancy. This being my second child I was aware of the many things I wanted to try that I hadn't before. Immediately, I was fascinated with the idea of a baby's ability to communicate his elimination needs and the parent's ability to respond effectively. My partner and I were already in agreement that I would quit my job and stay home to mother the baby and my oldest. This made the idea of consistency much easier than if I were working.

When our son was born I didn't think about ECing at all. I was just taking it all in. Nursing. Co-Bedding. I started cloth diapering him at a month old. It wasn't until at about 3 or 4 months that I started putting him on the toilet "just to see" what would happen. In many cases nothing would happened or I was just too late getting him there. My mistake in many of these situations was second guessing him.

At just before 5 months we were finally successful. When I say successful I don't just mean I got him on the pot in time. I mean, I understood what he was communicating. I knew he had to go, I didn't second guess, I got him there, cued him on what he was doing and praised him for doing so well. (I even praised myself a little too;)

Since then, we've kept it up with only two "accidents" in his diaper. Needless to say folks, I'm a certified believer. I've become so passionate about this. It definitely carries over into all aspects of my parenting journey. Listening with my heart to the needs of my children is easier than once thought. Putting that ol' Mother's Intuition into play at a constant is completely necessary in the foundation of this journey.

I totally encourage all new and experienced mamas to give it a try!!

Here are some notes on what I've observed to be useful and what I pay attention to:

  • Don't second guess---if you think he's/she's about to go make your way to the pot. This will help them establish what they already know: it feels much better to poop or pee in something other than their diaper and on themselves. The key is giving them the option!
  • Having a baby bottom sized pot seat is extremely useful/helpful if your baby is already sitting up on their own--but if not it's always easy just to hold them in between your thighs as you yourself sit on the pot.
  • Baby wipes in the bathroom are a must!
  • Giving cues like poo poo or pee pee will help synchronize with the urges they are feeling thus teaching them what exactly it is they are doing and where they should be doing it.
  • Don't forget to praise!! Babies loved to be clapped for and cheered on no matter what they are doing---so feel free to let them know how proud of them you are!!
  • And if at first you don't succeed, keep trying. Not giving up is possibly the most important advice I can give.
Developing these habits with your baby creates a sweetly shared bond while breaking out of societal/parenting norms is exactly the medicine needed in building a more progressive society.
No matter where your journey takes you, enjoy the journey and be a part of making the journey for others enjoyable.

With all my love,
♥~This Gal

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