Elimination communication fun
So continuing in my efforts to totally out myself (to anyone who doesn’t already know) as a mama who leans in the
crazy natural direction, today for the first time my baby signed potty before she needed to go pee (yes my ten month old baby). I know from personal experience, that if this is the first time you are hearing about elimination communication you have no idea what I am talking about and are perhaps looking to send a concerned e-mail to someone who loves me so they can find me some good help. Here is a brief synopsis.
According to Diaper Free Baby ‘It is a gentle, natural, non-coercive process by which a baby, preferably beginning in early infancy, learns with the loving assistance of parents and caregivers to communicate about and address his or her elimination needs. This practice makes conventional potty training unnecessary.’ Surprisingly to those of us here in North American, most of the world does practice some form of diaper free baby pottying (by most I mean population not area, although it is close on area too).
I first met someone who practiced ec when Liam (my oldest) was about six months old. I thought she was nice but totally cookoo! I mentioned it to my mother who said ‘oh yes I did something like that with all of you when you were just about a year old’. (What my mom did was lots of naked time and taking us to the potty at common pee times, like when you just wake up.) So I though what the heck – lets give it a try. And by let’s I mean when I told my husband he thought I had finally truly gone off the deep end. I remember the conversation going something like this: ‘Babe you have had some crazy ideas but really this is too much. This is really crazy – I mean really. REALLY. There is no way that is going to work. Please stop being so crazy and turn back into that normal girl I married so many years ago.’ (Okay that was all true except for the last sentence. – I have never been 100% normal – ‘grin’.) This same man will now preach the amazingness of ecing to anyone and everyone, including coworkers, friends, relatives, people at church, people at McDonald’s playplace…
Our ecing with Haven has been pretty laid back. Our schedule is busy so we haven’t been very consistent with offering to pee her but I have always tried to keep her dry (we use cloth diapers with often no cover but you can ec with disposables.) The last few weeks we have really been meshing though so I started showing her the sign for potty while she was peeing/pooping. And today my genius baby (all babies are geniuses, I’m not playing favourites :)) signed it while I was nursing her at bedtime. I was skeptical, but we went to the bathroom and sure enough – success! And while yes it is a little more work when they are little as I changed my girls or offered to let them pee more often than I changed Liam who wore disposables for the first year of his life, personally I have found it is so worth it. My girls often would be ‘fussing’ because they had to pee, take them pee and voila – happy baby. Also they were out of diapers really young – so any extra work early on pays off by having a kid out of diapers much, much sooner than a traditionally diapered kid. Truly it feels a bit rebellious too – not supporting the diaper industry that is not only bad for the earth but have a vested (financial) interest in keeping kids in diapers/pullups as long as possible. Mommy counter consumer movement = a fun little bit of sticking it to the man. Which frankly, is one of my favourite types of fun.