or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Diapering › If you don't EC...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

If you don't EC... - Page 9

post #161 of 260
I want to be sure that people realize that signaling/cuing does NOT = crying. yes, sometimes a child whose cues are regularly responded to will cry if their initial signal is not noticed (mine always did in the car when i couldn't see her more subtle cues). and of course some babies cry when they're wet but by that is a cry of discomfort, not of impending elimination, and as we've established, not all babies do that. for the most part babies don't start bawling when they have to pee anymore than they do when they first let you know they need to nurse or first start showing signs that they are sleepy. and just like those other biological needs, if those needs are normally attended to and subtle signals are being ignored, it might escalate to crying. but typically crying is not involved.

signals depend on the age and developmental stage of the baby, as well as the individual baby (some are more obvious/blatant than others). some signs that your tiny baby might need to potty:
- previously content and relaxed baby begins to squirm, or kick legs (this is often most apparent when you are wearing baby)
- previously content and relaxed baby suddenly seems mildly fussy and/or uncomfortable
- active baby suddenly becomes very still
- baby makes very direct eye contact or otherwise attempts to get caregiver's attention (mine would sometimes kick me in the stomach as i typed at the computer )
- passing gas is also a sign, though of course it's not them trying to tell you, just an obvious heads-up that poo (and usually a pee as well) is not far behind.

i know there are others, but these were ones that leap to mind because they are all ones i saw my small babies do. obviously as they get older and more mobile that changes, and most babies who are diaper-trained lose that awareness by the time they are mobile and stop signaling at all. some stop signaling within days or weeks of birth. again, very much dependent on the individual child.

Some signs that babies are aware that they are about to go include the previous list, but below are also some situations/signs that are easily mistaken by the caregiver (they certainly were by me with my 1st before i started EC'ing) and a baby's preference not to soil him/herself.
- baby pops on and off the breast for a while, only to relax and nurse just fine (had to pee, couldn't concentrate. finally peed, was then able to relax and nurse)
- baby wakes up "to nurse" only to fall asleep after just briefly sucking (had to pee, it woke baby up. sucking helped baby relax enough to pee, once pee is done they fall asleep because they weren't waking due to hunger)
- baby squirms suddenly in a sling/carrier, only to settle down shortly thereafter (again... had to pee, didn't want to do it on self/mom, so squirmed. gave up, peed, was able to relax again)
- baby pees the second you take off the diaper (finally! i can pee somewhere besides this diaper against my skin!)
- baby pees as soon as a fresh diaper is on (babies often stop themselves mid-pee and even mid-poo when they feel themselves getting wet/soiled. once they are dry again, they are comfortable enough to finish)
- baby tries to remove the diaper or tugs at other clothing, you check and they are dry, but shortly thereafter discover they are wet. (they are trying to remove diaper to eliminate away from body, can't, so they use diaper)

again there are lots more - perhaps other EC'ers can add the ones they have noticed or recall reading about.
post #162 of 260
also, NOBODY here has even come close to expressing that EC and breastfeeding are of equal importance. in fact if you ever read the EC boards, new mamas are always encouraged to heal from birth and get breastfeeding firmly established and make sure they are getting enough sleep and such before they worry about EC.

what HAS been said is that EC is like breastfeeding in that people have lots of misconceptions about what it actually entails, and that people who have help and support and know others who are doing it are much more likely to try it and much more likely to stick with it. when it is a normal part of your societal structure and you've been around it all your life, it seems like much less of a big deal than if it's totally foreign and you're trying to learn all you need to know about it from books and the internet with no real-life support. EC is like the part of breastfeeding that is a parenting tool - one additional way of responding to your child when they tell you they need you, and a way to enhance your closeness and deepen your bond. elimination is like hunger in that it is a basic biological occurrence, and one that babies are aware of from birth. I frankly can't understand why any of that is so contentious.
post #163 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiepunk View Post
also, NOBODY here has even come close to expressing that EC and breastfeeding are of equal importance. in fact if you ever read the EC boards, new mamas are always encouraged to heal from birth and get breastfeeding firmly established and make sure they are getting enough sleep and such before they worry about EC.

what HAS been said is that EC is like breastfeeding in that people have lots of misconceptions about what it actually entails, and that people who have help and support and know others who are doing it are much more likely to try it and much more likely to stick with it. when it is a normal part of your societal structure and you've been around it all your life, it seems like much less of a big deal than if it's totally foreign and you're trying to learn all you need to know about it from books and the internet with no real-life support. EC is like the part of breastfeeding that is a parenting tool - one additional way of responding to your child when they tell you they need you, and a way to enhance your closeness and deepen your bond. elimination is like hunger in that it is a basic biological occurrence, and one that babies are aware of from birth. I frankly can't understand why any of that is so contentious.
What I disagree with is that all babies give signals. Mine didn't, and every time I say that I just get told that I must have missed the signal somehow. She would pee on me from birth without even giving a budge, no movement, twitch, eye look, nothing.
post #164 of 260
To answer the original question:

1. Because I work full-time and day-care would have looked at me like I had two heads. I was lucky enough that they happily accepted my cloth diapers.

2. Because I EP'ed with low-supply for 10.5 months. I didn't need more on my plate. (Apparently my LO is doomed, he was one of those babies who had no interest in nursing when he was born. )

3. Because he's yet another kid who could care less if his diaper is wet or poopy, but will scream bloody murder when we need to change him. And no, no cues that I could ever tell. If I had tried it, I probably would have "failed" and I didn't need to feel like I failed yet again after BF'ing didn't work out so well for us.

I'm glad it works for some...
post #165 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix23 View Post
What I disagree with is that all babies give signals. Mine didn't, and every time I say that I just get told that I must have missed the signal somehow. She would pee on me from birth without even giving a budge, no movement, twitch, eye look, nothing.
what i actually said was that all babies have an awareness. not that they all clearly signal. being aware of something, and making it obvious to those around you aren't the same thing. do people believe that biologically normal babies have no idea that they are about to urinate or defacate at all? that they have no awareness of what is going on in that part of their body, though they seem to be aware of everything else that their bodies need to do?
post #166 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiepunk View Post
what i actually said was that all babies have an awareness. not that they all clearly signal. being aware of something, and making it obvious to those around you aren't the same thing. do people believe that biologically normal babies have no idea that they are about to urinate or defacate at all? that they have no awareness of what is going on in that part of their body, though they seem to be aware of everything else that their bodies need to do?
*raises hand*

Sorry, that's what the science suggests to me. It's a long road to localizing sensations, which ends at about 18 months when they can finally pinpoint where they're feeling a certain sensation down to the . That's why a baby crying and tugging on his ear is as much a sign that he might have an ear infection as that he might be teething, or it could even mean he just hurt his foot somehow. He just knows that he's in pain.

Now, I don't think needing to pee is painful, obviously, but pinpointing sensations in your body is all part of the same brain development. Individual babies may have some specific reflexes which their parents notice when they evacuate, but that doesn't indicate to me that the baby necessarily has any idea what it's doing.
post #167 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
*raises hand*

Sorry, that's what the science suggests to me. It's a long road to localizing sensations, which ends at about 18 months when they can finally pinpoint where they're feeling a certain sensation down to the . That's why a baby crying and tugging on his ear is as much a sign that he might have an ear infection as that he might be teething, or it could even mean he just hurt his foot somehow. He just knows that he's in pain.

Now, I don't think needing to pee is painful, obviously, but pinpointing sensations in your body is all part of the same brain development. Individual babies may have some specific reflexes which their parents notice when they evacuate, but that doesn't indicate to me that the baby necessarily has any idea what it's doing.
In my child development courses, as well as Montessori infancy training we learned that 18 mos was when they had the ability to hold their urine/bowels. But before that, not only is it involuntary, but they don't know it's coming ahead of time. Now, in Montessori, it's advocated to use cloth underwear from birth (or, in practice - from 2 months as it's when they started daycare at my Montessori school). The underwear helps make that connection that after they feel themselves release, they then feel wetness/soiled and this helps their understanding and later control of this bodily function.

While I have never EC'd - I do find it hard to believe that young infants can not only purposely signal they are about to urinate/have a BM, but that they can hold it until they are placed over a pot/toilet/sink. This is why I have always thought it was more about the parents training themselves to 'catch' a pee or poo -- but since I have never actually tried it, I guess I'll just have to trust that some babies do indeed signal/hold -otherwise there wouldn't be all these successful EC'ers, right?

Regardless, it's still not anything I have any amount of interest in doing (for reason's already explained) and I still am 100% certain that I am not doing my LO's a disservice by not giving it a try. To each their own.
post #168 of 260
Babies absolutely can hold it. Sometimes for very long times if the desire not to soil themselves is big enough.

And as for the reason that they cry when changed- thats why I started EC! My DS as a newborn used to scream bloody murder when he needed a poppy diaper changed. So at 3 weeks I finally started EC, he went the first time I held him on the toilet and he actually smiled up at me. He never again cried with a poopy diaper. But then again, Id cry too if I had to wear diapers and wet myself....
post #169 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
Babies absolutely can hold it. Sometimes for very long times if the desire not to soil themselves is big enough.
My goodness, yes. You only have to observe one EC'd baby in action to be absolutely sure, babies can and do "hold it."
post #170 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
Babies absolutely can hold it. Sometimes for very long times if the desire not to soil themselves is big enough.

And as for the reason that they cry when changed- thats why I started EC! My DS as a newborn used to scream bloody murder when he needed a poppy diaper changed. So at 3 weeks I finally started EC, he went the first time I held him on the toilet and he actually smiled up at me. He never again cried with a poopy diaper. But then again, Id cry too if I had to wear diapers and wet myself....

My girls weren't crying because they were wearing diapers and wetting themselves, that part didn't bother them at all. It was the getting undressed part that freaked them out.
post #171 of 260
it is likely true of diaper-trained babies (the only ones they've ever studied) but as pp's have said, anyone who's spent any time whatsoever with an EC'd baby knows that babies absolutely can and do hold it, and intentionally release when the appropriate location just as any adult would. my youngest daughter, who is the only one i EC'd as a newborn, was able to do that reliably by the time she was 4 months old. and by 13 months she was reliably telling me about 98% of the time that she needed to go (pee and poo).
post #172 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiepunk View Post
it is likely true of diaper-trained babies (the only ones they've ever studied) but as pp's have said, anyone who's spent any time whatsoever with an EC'd baby knows that babies absolutely can and do hold it, and intentionally release when the appropriate location just as any adult would. my youngest daughter, who is the only one i EC'd as a newborn, was able to do that reliably by the time she was 4 months old. and by 13 months she was reliably telling me about 98% of the time that she needed to go (pee and poo).
ahh, good point.

I was just mentioning that b/c many people, including child development experts and peds - simply don't believe babies are capable of that type of control (physically) until they are a bit older.
post #173 of 260
Subbing.
post #174 of 260
Also remember, in our parents day babies were fully expected and able to be trained by 12-18 months. NOW, however, the studies say sphincter control doesnt even begin to develop until 3 years. Guess who funded most of the studies which say this? Yep, disposable diaper companies. Wonder where their loyalty lies...?

I see more and more parents beginning toilet training as late as 4 years. I dont see that as inability of the child to recognize their own body signals (unless there is an underlying disorder or disability of course). I see that as convenience for the parent. Once you've 'trained' them to sleep through the night wet/weeing its very hard to 'untrain' it. A family I nannyed for flat out told me that they just couldnt be bothered getting up at night to take their boys (then 3 and a half and four and a half) to the toilet.

Toilet training is really getting off the subject, but honestly babies know when they need to go. Most parents can tell when their child is pooping! - especially after solids. So why not just hold them over the toilet? It doesnt make sense to me to watch them going and ignore it.
post #175 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
Also remember, in our parents day babies were fully expected and able to be trained by 12-18 months. NOW, however, the studies say sphincter control doesnt even begin to develop until 3 years. Guess who funded most of the studies which say this? Yep, disposable diaper companies. Wonder where their loyalty lies...?

I see more and more parents beginning toilet training as late as 4 years. I dont see that as inability of the child to recognize their own body signals (unless there is an underlying disorder or disability of course). I see that as convenience for the parent. Once you've 'trained' them to sleep through the night wet/weeing its very hard to 'untrain' it. A family I nannyed for flat out told me that they just couldnt be bothered getting up at night to take their boys (then 3 and a half and four and a half) to the toilet.

Toilet training is really getting off the subject, but honestly babies know when they need to go. Most parents can tell when their child is pooping! - especially after solids. So why not just hold them over the toilet? It doesnt make sense to me to watch them going and ignore it.
There are pictures of my mom at the age of three running around in training pants. She's in her mid-50's. My grandma has talked about helping potty train her siblings when they were able to talk. When I was trying EC I talked to my grandma and great-aunts about what they did and they didn't practice any form of EC. They thought I was crazy. What they did talk about was the flat diapers that they washed in ringer washers and hung dry and trying to get their kids to potty train so they wouldn't have to wash them anymore. But nobody fully expected their one year old to be potty trained.
post #176 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
Also remember, in our parents day babies were fully expected and able to be trained by 12-18 months. NOW, however, the studies say sphincter control doesnt even begin to develop until 3 years. Guess who funded most of the studies which say this? Yep, disposable diaper companies. Wonder where their loyalty lies...?
I know what you're referring to, but I think you might be a bit confused. No one says that sphincter control doesn't begin to develop until 3 years. Research shows that it's about 18 months. In the days when people claimed to have potty trained children at a year, that mainly involved strapping babies onto potty chairs and keeping them there until they went, and then punishing them if they went at other times.

The Proctor and Gamble study that you're referring to showed that training was easier when kids are "ready" and parents should wait until then.

I was potty trained a bit before 3, and my sister at 2.5 but she was a younger child and my mother said it's usually easier to train younger children because they want to be like their older siblings. She said between 2.5 and 3 was normal for all her friends with girls, and more like 3 was normal for the boys in my playgroup. I definitely think that people train later now, but it's more like 3-3.5 being the norm, instead of 2.5-3. I believe that Dr. Spock in the 1950's said it wasn't worth trying before 2 years.
post #177 of 260
i feel compelled to share my experience with ec. i think it's really easy and fun and interesting, and worthwhile, but i have had a very positive experience that required not much effort on my part. of course i love it!

right after dd was born i began to intentionally observe her pottying...after about a month or so i really knew when she was going to have to pee or poo. i bought her a baby bjorn little potty and started sitting her on it first thing in the morning as she would wake up dry, but then pee tons within seconds of opening her eyes. i think she quickly began to associate sitting on cold hard plastic with peeing, and i went by timing after the first morning pee, because i really did not observe any cues until she was much older and was intentionally giving me cues. (like grabbing her crotch!) the timing part was easy, and there were not many times that i offered her the potty that she did not need to use it. i was intentionally not being hypervigilant though, realizing that hypervigilance complicates things and leads to frustration on my part (and probably dd's). anyway, she was about four or five months old when she was mostly dry during the day and would wake up at night and cry when she had to pee. i would let her sit on the potty and pee and she would go right back to sleep. i quit diapering her at night at about six months because it was a pain to take a dry diaper on and off just to let her pee in the toilet anyway. and...we have probably had about two bedtime accidents since then. i work overnight shifts at a domestic violence shelter and bring dd with me so i got an extra potty to keep there...my coworkers alternately thought i was crazy and very cool. i used to hate talking to people about ec though, because they really thought i was weird and would often tell me that i was wrong. it did not work. even though i was explaining to them how exactly it did work for dd! and yes, i agree that it was mostly on me...if i did not get to dd in time, she would not wait forever to use the toilet, she would go in her pants (as would anyone if they did not have the ability to take themself) but i was often surprised at how long she would seem to hold it and then go tons in the toilet. by nine months she was only wearing a diaper if we were out and about for long periods of time and i did not know that i would be able to offer her a toilet. by 10-11 months she was totally out of diapers and i realized that i had only spent about $100 on diapers for dd for her entire diapering time! (prefolds and used wool covers)

since then she has an accident occasionally (like once a month) but not surprisingly. it's usually when she is really busy doing something fun and does not want to stop. but when she starts to dribble in her pants, she usually starts to hold it then and finish in the toilet.

i think ec was so easy for me for various reasons...for one, i did not hesitate to let her pee outside if necessary, i just hold her over the ground and she goes. but i live in a place where thats not really too weird...it's not like we are ever in the mall parking lot peeing outside the door or something. i mean, there is no mall...but really, it's not too socially unacceptable to pee outside. especially if you're a tiny kid.

i spend all of my time with dd. we are pretty busy and go lots of places, work, library, friends houses, walks, restaurants, coffee shops, music events, etc...so i don't think that for me being active and out of the home alot meant that ec would not work, but i don't know that it would have so quickly become dd's routine if we were not doing it so regularly. and dp did ec with her too. he was a little skeptical at first, and had some apprehension about the possibility of pee and poop all over our house, but that was clearly not the reality for us. he was super pumped about the reality of pee and poop in the toilet.

i think it makes sense for environmental reasons...i did very little diaper laundry. but thats not my main incentive for doing ec. my main incentive was that it sounded interesting, it made sense to me, and it worked super well and it was easy! so why wouldn't i do it, you know? but i really get that it is not going to look exactly like that for everyone else. and it KILLS me when i hear other parents say to their kids "hey look, this little girl is already potty trained and she is just a baby! why can't you do it, you're already 3" or whatever...thats so not the point for me. i mean, it was an early result, but i did not begin ec thinking that my baby would be essentially potty trained by ten months.

anyway, i think that there are some misconceptions in this thread. ec does not have to mean that you chase your kid around all day with a toilet or every 45 minutes have a potty break, or stare at them non stop trying to observe "cues" or if you ever want to leave the house you can't ec properly, or you'll just be cleaning up pee off of the floor instead of in a diaper...maybe it will work that way off and on or more consistently for some people...but it doesn't really make sense to do any of those things. that does sound crazy!

this is a terribly long post.

the point is, i think it is important to stay open minded. if it works for some great, if it does not for others, great. ec is a good idea in theory, and even specifically for some, but not necessarily everyone.
post #178 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
This. I think it's totally gimmicky. It's a modern day "noble savage" myth, and that has always squicked me out (I wrote my thesis partly on the history of noble savage mythology in American popular culture). I don't believe for a second that anyone in rural China or wherever it is that EC is supposed to be emulating wouldn't jump at the chance to use disposable diapers, if it were offered.
I lived in China for several years. EC is the norm both in the rural areas and in the largest cities. Disposal diapers are available, but most people choose to EC nonetheless. I have several Chinese friends who now live in the US and they EC their babies here.

I would say in many cases people of other cultures continue their customs because it's what they feel is right, not just because the western alternative hasn't come around yet. I read somewhere, maybe Sears, about how someone in a country where cosleeping is the norm, when asked about it, asked the interviewer "Is it really true that American mothers put their babies in a cage at night?" I'd bet that many Chinese who EC their babies probably feel similarly about the western practice of training babies to poop and pee in a diaper.
post #179 of 260
I EC'd my second quite consistently from about 1-2wks old (and had done a little with my DD before, but she was not "potty-trained" by the time DS came around). It is AMAZING what those little babies can be saying about peeing/pooping. My son was a very strong signal/cue-er, so that was helpful (but it is also hard when we did things like longer car-rides and we'd either have to ignore his signals or stop more often than we'd like).

Anyway, I am really glad we chose to try EC (we did diaper backup for a long time, straight undies by 15 months or so?). I do, however, think that it is more "work" than conventional diapering. People do not generally change a baby the instant they pee. Also, my DH was pretty clear that he felt it was more "work" to EC with our son - but he is really glad now that there is no potty struggle with an independent-minded toddler. I personally think that there is a bit more "work" up front with EC, but that in the end it is easier.

When people talk about babies not feeling or being able to control their sphincters, though, I'm sorry but they can. They don't just dribble pee all day. They don't leak poop all day. The sphincters open and close. And the idea that babies don't know any better than to go in a diaper- animals will do what they can to avoid being in their own refuse from a very young age - why would human babies be any less capable of that desire?

I think the EC board here reflects issues of 1)people post when they are frazzled 2)once your child is graduated you often don't bother to go on the board 3)a lot of first time moms (or first time ECing with no support network).

A helpful video is "Potty Whispering" - I think it gives a "hands on" view for people and it "normalizes" it.

ECing has been really good for our family and I have really been glad of it. I do not think it is for everyone, though. Our culture is not set up for EC. There are a lot of places where it isn't okay to be pottying a child, and there are a lot of things (like car-rides) that we do which make it more difficult.

Tjej
post #180 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiepunk View Post

signals depend on the age and developmental stage of the baby, as well as the individual baby (some are more obvious/blatant than others). some signs that your tiny baby might need to potty:
- previously content and relaxed baby begins to squirm, or kick legs (this is often most apparent when you are wearing baby)
- previously content and relaxed baby suddenly seems mildly fussy and/or uncomfortable
- active baby suddenly becomes very still
- baby makes very direct eye contact or otherwise attempts to get caregiver's attention (mine would sometimes kick me in the stomach as i typed at the computer )
- passing gas is also a sign, though of course it's not them trying to tell you, just an obvious heads-up that poo (and usually a pee as well) is not far behind.

- baby wakes up "to nurse" only to fall asleep after just briefly sucking (had to pee, it woke baby up. sucking helped baby relax enough to pee, once pee is done they fall asleep because they weren't waking due to hunger)
- baby squirms suddenly in a sling/carrier, only to settle down shortly thereafter (again... had to pee, didn't want to do it on self/mom, so squirmed. gave up, peed, was able to relax again)
- baby pees the second you take off the diaper (finally! i can pee somewhere besides this diaper against my skin!)
- baby pees as soon as a fresh diaper is on (babies often stop themselves mid-pee and even mid-poo when they feel themselves getting wet/soiled. once they are dry again, they are comfortable enough to finish)
- baby tries to remove the diaper or tugs at other clothing, you check and they are dry, but shortly thereafter discover they are wet. (they are trying to remove diaper to eliminate away from body, can't, so they use diaper)

again there are lots more - perhaps other EC'ers can add the ones they have noticed or recall reading about.
OK, so I think I recognize these signs, but then how do you get them to pee/poo? And isn't getting up at night a hassle? Also, dd cries after she pees when she's lying naked. I have a friend who ec'd her son and he ended up with chronic constipation. He would cry on the potty as an infant. Turned me off to EC. However I have another friend whose dd was in sposies and she still wets herself at 6!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Diapering
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Diapering › If you don't EC...