Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Aware Connection - Elimination Communication

Wow, it has been over a month since my last post! This delay is definitely not due to lack of material. As any new mother can attest, there is plenty of fodder to write about... the oohs, awws, "this wasn't in the baby book" and "did she really just do that?".

Bronwyn is now four months old and I have so much I want to share that I've forced myself to choose to go with one topic, and that is....elimination communication. Also known as EC, infant potty training (IPT) or a diaper free baby.

We started practicing this when Bronwyn was two weeks old. Our plan was to wait for a bit until we got onto more firm ground as new parents, but every time we changed her, she would pee. Well, if it's going to be this easy, I thought, why not just start now? So, we did.

I feel very lucky to have been introduced to this by my friend Ambra. I saw her put her baby Sonia on the potty and thought (to be totally honest), she was crazy. As with all narrow-mindedness I had to think it was crazy otherwise I must have been the crazy one, right? Because I was initially skeptical, I also give all my friends who to come to visit a free pass to make fun after they leave.

The most awesome aspect about practicing EC is that I know my baby that much more intimately and am able to meet her needs. As with many babies, Bronwyn does very clear communication with me when she has to go pee or poop. About two months ago I had her on the potty and thought she was done. I started to lift her off, much to her complaints of, "uh, uh, uh, uh." I then put her back on and she finished going poop.

Along with getting fussy when there's no other explanation, the other most obvious sign is when Bronwyn goes on and off my breast several times during breast feeding. About two weeks ago she did this and proceeded to sign "potty" to me. I never would have believed my eyes if my husband hadn't been a witness and affirmed what I saw as well.

Bronwyn has gone pee outside at many venues, including at the beach and in the Golden Gate Park (watering some redwoods), and over adult-sized potties at several restaurants, stores, and friends' homes. At first I was shy to potty her outside the house, but once I did it, I felt that I was ridiculous for caring in the first place. I mean, would I not breastfeed her if she was hungry? It's also been reaffirming to belong to a mom's group where at least half the women do EC as well.

Another highlight about EC is that I don't have to clean poop all over her back, legs and bum. I truly believe that reactions that parents have when they're doing this leads to issues that children have about themselves and their bodily functions (can we say constipation...). Besides, with everything changing all the time with her body, celebrating herself and her body's natural functions is exactly what she needs right now. Yahoo for pooh!

If you interested in learning more, I highly recommend the DiaperFreeBaby site as well as Chrisine Gross-Loh's book, The Diaper Free Baby.


lindsay said...

Wow - that is so amazing! I was impressed with my son being trained before really does make you think! My little one does indicate poo, but I have NO idea when he pees. I think that is so awesome that you are doing this, great job!

Charndra at Part Time Diaper Free said...

A lovely post about how you began EC!

Great photo on the beach, too.

You know, I'm doing this the 2nd time around, and the 'OOh's" and "Ahhh's" are still the same!

I'd like to invite you to my site too, I am sure you'd enjoy it. My baby is 10 months old atm and gong great.


Anonymous said...

yay! I love the you brought the potty to the beach!

I wanted to add, since you might have other readers (I am the EC friend mentioned), that after 8 months or so we totally fell off the wagon and diapered like most. Our girl is now potty trained (24 mos), and it was a total breeze. I really believe those early months stuck with her.

Thanks for the news J! xxoo

HLM said...

Hooray for a new post! I liked learning more about this idea, by reading this and also visiting you last month, that it isn't some hairbrained idea that you read about in a hippie journal. :) It really does seem natural and healthy, and it is much easier clean-up, that's for sure. My favorite part is that it doesn't waste earth's resources since it cuts down on diaper washing, and nothing is going to the landfill. AND I'm so impressed that she finally signed!!!! That is really something.