Friday, April 20, 2012

Natural infant hygiene (EC)

   I've mentioned previously that we are practicing natural infant hygiene or as some also call "elimination communication ( EC ). We only are doing this part-time and lately its been more observing and learning than anything.  It seems like a lot of people don't understand that EC is not the same as Potty Training. With EC the parents are given cues by the baby that its time to go and the parents are helping the baby eliminate in the right spot/timing. With Potty Training the parents are teaching a diaper dependent child that they must now eliminate on the potty after being trained to go in a diaper.
  After learning about EC I have really started questioning the use of diapers. Let's really think about this for a moment; you are a baby and you have a choice to go to the bathroom all over yourself in a diaper multiple times and sit in it until its changed or simply cue someone and have them help you sit on a potty to go (you don't sit in your waste for any amount of time) which would you choose? Its pretty obvious right? After thinking about it, it seems so unnatural to allow a baby to fill up a diaper. In many countries they don't use diapers at all and caregivers are just aware of their baby's needs. In these countries the babies are independently potty trained much early than here in America. There babies are usually trained by 1 year and whereas ours 3 or 4 years! Anyway, it just sort of seemed like it would be better for my baby girl. I see Ceaghan potty training right now at 2 1/2 years and he is doing well, but its still a process for him to learn. He was trained to go in a diaper for 2 1/2 years so it makes sense that its work to undo this.
  I am going to continue to help Cesilee eliminate on the potty as much as I can and I believe she will be doing it herself earlier. Not because she is forced to, but because its a more comfortable and instinctual way than going in a diaper. We will be using backup diapers and I am not sure yet how to go about EC at night.  I have been observing her patterns and looking for cues lately. I noticed that when she wakes up suddenly from a nap she will fuss a bit. I noticed that her diaper was dry when she woke up and then she would do this fussing and then pee. So I put a prefold down (I don't have a potty bowl yet for her) and held her in a squat while making a long "sssssss" sound. You do this so they know its okay for them to release and associate it for timing in the future. And she did!! She smiled and seemed happy after this. I haven't caught a poop yet though or even had the chance because she poops only every 48 hours or so. (This is normal in exclusively breastfed babies) However we have noticed in the past that prior to pooping she will make this "poop face" where she makes a tight circle with her lips and kind of stares off into space. This is her "poop cue".
   I might be crazy, especially this early in the game but I am seriously considering selling some of my giant diaper stash so I can buy tiny training pants, some prefolds/prefold belt, and a potty for her. All of these things aren't "necessary" but make things a bit easier. I've been changing her after every pee during the day anyway, so what is the point of super absorbent diapers? All of this seems so crazy to friends. Especially those who know I have a huge cloth diaper stash and loved them so much. But as a parent who practices Attachment/Instinctual parenting, EC is feeling more instinctual than using diapers, seems to deepen the attachment, and I believe that my baby is happier this way/better off in the long run.


  1. I like to change very often as well. Funny, they are making cloth and disposable diapers more and more absorbent these days. Even advertising they last 12 hours. Meanwhile I am using the least absorbent (regular prefolds instead of premium, older less absorbent fitteds, training pants).

    Those were my observations as well; the first time I EC'd DS looked so much happier than pooing all over himself. I was sold.

  2. Do it, sell 'em! I just use pre-folds and covers and I plan to start using a pre-fold only as soon as I whip up some elastic band belts. I definitely don't want to go through potty training again (what a nightmare it's turning out to be with my older son) and I'm ready to be all in with EC. I can't believe how simple the process has turned out to be!