Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Elimination Communication, Day 3

It's day 3 of our venture into infant potty training.

And I am 100% absolutely convinced now. Babies don't want to pee on themselves, on us, or in their own beds. They will communicate to us that they have to go, and we either ignore them and let them go in their pants, or we take them to a place where pee pee and poo poo go! Wow!

I feel a little bad that I made Noelle cry-it-out so many times when she was young, not realizing that a lot of times she was crying because she wanted to pee/poop or because she was already soiled and needed me to change her. I just didn't know infants could communicate such things. Or that they even were aware of their elimination.

So I got interested in Elimination Communication ("EC") a while back when I read a book about how historically, infants have been potty trained before they were one year old. This was out of necessity, too, because there were no such thing as disposable diapers that could be worn for 12 hours before you could feel wet in them! Babies wore cloth diapers and parents just got plain old sick of washing them, so that was the incentive to getting your baby trained to pee in a pot and not in a piece of cloth.

I had a vague idea of EC, and I always heard my mother tell me stories about my brother who was potty trained by my Grandmother. He was out of diapers by the time he was one year old. And he's a boy! They say boys are harder to train than girls. Yet my brother could pee and poo on the potty by the time he was one. It made me think.

Despite this hearsay, I still couldn't figure out how to do it. I had no idea when the baby needed to pee or poo. There was nobody I could observe, nobody to teach me how to pee or poo a baby. So Noelle grew older and we continued our reliance on diapers. First on disposables, then we switched to cloth. Once we switched to cloth, I quickly realized how irritated I was at cleaning poops smeared all over her bottom. That's when I got motivated to at least start potty training her. She wasn't potty trained until 2 years old.

I determined with baby #2 was that, even if I didn't know quite yet how to EC, I wasn't going to let her get used to sitting in a wet or soiled diaper. I was going to change it right away. I also determined that I was never going to let her get used to pooping standing up. I was going to teach her to recognize when she was going, by making a "mmmm" sound when she went, and I would try to hold her in a position like she were sitting on the potty. That way when it came time for me to train her, she wouldn't resist and be unaccustomed to pooping sitting down.

So far, she has absolutely gotten the sound associations! And she gets the EC position. She knows when I say, "mmm, mmm" and put her in the EC potty position, that it means it's ok for her to go.

The e-book that I am reading, EC Simplified, has been awesome. Watching the videos, doing the step by steps, has been eye-opening. I am a firm believer now and probably won't be buying anymore disposables "just in case" anymore. We've got our cloth diapers and that's what I'll use between potty trips to catch the ones that I miss or am too busy to be aware of.

It's really incredible this one thought. The author, who did EC with her boy from day 1 (who had daytime dryness since he was 11 months old), estimates that 1/3 of infant's cries are cries to communicate about their elimination. Isn't that amazing? Now I understand all the "unexplained fussiness" and the "why is she crying?!?!"

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