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Elimination Communication - Have you tried it? - Page 3

Poll Results: Elimination Communication Success?

  • 16% (21)
    Never heard of it
  • 21% (27)
    Never tried it, think it's a crazy idea
  • 13% (17)
    Tried it with no/limited success
  • 47% (59)
    Tried it and was successful
124 Total Votes  
post #41 of 159
After reading this thread for the last several days, and of course laughing at the crazy concept at first, today I held 14.5 mos ds over the toilet and made the psss, pssss sound. I let him run around with a naked butt for about 15 or so minutes, then tried again, and still nothing. I'll have to look into that site for older babies. My dh walked in, while he was running around with a naked butt, and told me to put his diaper on him. LOL I didnt tell him what I was doing. I'll maybe wait and see if I can get ds to pee on the potty, then show dh.

Mama to almost 15 mos old ds.
post #42 of 159
Darshani, I can't remember how old your dd was when you stopped ECing regularly, but usually the time between pees gets much longer around about 5 or 6 months. I think it's partially due to their bodies maturing and the bladder having greater capacity, but also many have noted that when the baby knows they will get a chance to pee on a regular basis, they try to hold it just a little longer

I've missed you on the EC list, glad you know you are doing well

wife to Dan since 8/98
momma to Benjamin since 6/00 (ECed from 2 mo, graduate at 22 mo)
post #43 of 159
I love EC. My sweet daughter, 8 months, is diaper free and has been for quite some time. EC seems to be a natural extension of AP. I found Ingrid Bauer's book "Diaper Free" to be an enourmous help. I am new to the site and am so happy to see EC is not so strange here. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I might find undies that fit a 20 pound baby? We have only four pairs that are quickly becoming to small!
post #44 of 159
Surya, we used the Gerber training pants, size 2. They were a bit too big and I had to roll them at the top but they stayed on just fine. It was actually nice to have them too big, because they were easier to get on and off. The only reason I had her wear them was to feel if they were damp, then I'd missed a pee and could start looking for the wet spot to clean up.

post #45 of 159
Thread Starter 
Here's my current EC problem that maybe some of you can help me with -

I find that in order to "catch the pees," I have to devote a huge amount of time to 1. taking off the diaper 2. holding baby over the sink and 3. putting back on the diaper. Part of me feels like this is just too much time to give in a day to excretions... I don't know. Sitting on a diaper won't work - my baby is such a huge wiggle that she doesn't stay still for very long.

Does this get any better? I'm assuming that after a few weeks, baby learns and this whole process takes less time...
post #46 of 159

Enjoyed it and successful with two children

Great to see another thread on this topic. I have practiced EC (I also call it Natural Infant Hygiene) successfully with my 2 youngest children, now 5.5 years and 16 months old (while working out of my home). I just love it, especially the close bond and communication, and the respect and empowerment it gives my child. It comes as natural now as nursing my baby when they need it, and feels very much a part of the same natural process.

Both were virtually diaperless from birth with some exceptions on outings. My motive was never less work, but frankly I'm grateful that I have had to change only very few (less than 20) poopy diapers/pants in the last 6 years as it means I can focus my energy towards more meaningful things.

With my first EC'd ds, I found it took a bit of learning and observing and some setbacks to get the hang of things. With my youngest child, I found I barely think about it and just do it, the way I just nurse when she asks--it's a very intuitive process.

Now at 16 months, she often climbs onto her own potty independently, or brings it to me, or tells me "bee-bee". She would never pee on me and will climb off furniture if she has to go. When we're out, she'll signal her need by beginning to remove her pants.
She's never worn a diaper at night and has been dry at night for many months--before that I peed her at night in a potty by the bed.

For those who are just beginning--it definitely does get much easier and the time you put in now pays off as things will keep changing and your baby will go longer between pees (dd now can be dry for hours). My recommendation is to just focus on the communication aspect and forget the counting unless it's motivating rather than discouraging you. Many mothers have said they would do it again even if it took as many months/years as conventional potty training (which it doesn't). Be gentle with yourselves and watch your own progress rather than going for "perfect" or measuring yourselves against others.

I sure wish I'd known about with my first child 17 years ago and feel disappointed Mothering never let me know as I was a faithful subscriber and counted on them to be on the cutting edge of natural parenting. The book I wrote about EC/NIH actually grew out of an article I wrote for Mothering which they eventually turned down. So I can be grateful for that . By the way, EC has gotten good coverage in large mainstream magazines and newspapers in Germany, Canada, Croatia, Sweden and the U. K.
Hurry up, America!

In my small community, there are now at least 15 mothers practising EC, and that's only the ones I've met! This grass-roots movement is growing, folks, as more and more mothers decide to give themselves and their babies the gift of EC. It might seem crazy at first but for millions of mothers in non-Western countries, it's a normal part of infantcare.

post #47 of 159
Ingrid - just got your book early this week and am loving it! Still expecting #1 (in 8 weeks) but looking forward to trying EC/NIH/IPT from day one...
post #48 of 159
Jjquilter - putting back the diaper on is the most annoying and time-consuming part. The rest gets pretty quick and routine. I forgo the diapers at night (don't know if I could deal with them even if I weren't ec'ing). I have begun looking into alternative pants, because of the diaper annoyance, and because ds is now at an age where he is getting more reliable.
It'll all get smoother, and kudos to you for giving it a go!
post #49 of 159
We are still having alot of success with this!!! I'm amazed!
As far as dealing with putting the diaper on and off again thruout the day...I usually just leave her bare. She sleeps in those open ended gowns. I have her in the slling with me in the morings and I don't diaper her then. With her so close, I can read her signals that she has to go. If I have to go out with her or put her down for any length of time, I either diaper her or put her on a waterproof flannel sheet with a cloth diaper under her in case I miss her communication. This usually happens when she is under her play mat/archway toy and I'm trying to sneak off to get some housework done while she's entertained.
post #50 of 159

DIaper substitutes


Aside from letting her go diaperless at times, you could try small training pants, Poquito Pants or Snug-to-Fits.

http://wonderbabydesigns.com (Poquito Pants)
http://www.bareware.net/diaper.htm#hempfitted (Snug-to-Fit diaper 8-20 lbs)

post #51 of 159

Putting diaper back on

I eventually got so annoyed with the diapers that I:

At home: left him naked

While out: put a dipe under his naked bum in the sling
Just went without! :-) It's amazing how motivated I was once that diaper came off for good... At 6 months I kicked the diaper habit and our in-tune-ness kicked up a BIG notch!

When out, while I was still using back-up diapers, I would try to use an All-in-One, to facilitate easy up and down in a bathroom stall or wherever.


Ahleemah (glad to see Ingrid, whose book I adore and am convincing my local LLL to purchase, as it's on the approved bibliography...)
post #52 of 159
I didn't vote because my vote would be: got Laurie and Ingrid's books before DS was born, definitely want to try it, but I've just felt too overwhelmed dealing with breastfeeding problems (mostly under control now) to start! These boards have been a wonderful education for me, especially the links to other EC'ing moms' sites.

My DS is now 6 weeks old. I've been thinking of starting out by trying to catch poops (he pees so many times a day!!) but it seems he still only poops at the breast, and I just don't have the coordination/mastery yet to spare a hand to hold the pot while trying to keep him properly at the breast, etc. He also doesn't ever seem too unhappy doing it - it just happens - so it doesn't seem that he needs to nurse to soothe himself while pooping, just that he's got the gastrocolic reflex thing going.

We'll see how it goes!
post #53 of 159

Take your sweet time :-)


-- definitely want to try it, but I've just felt too overwhelmed dealing with breastfeeding problems . . . My DS is now 6 weeks old. I've been thinking of starting out by trying to catch poops --

Take your time. Fortunately, you learned about this far earlier than most and there is no hurry if you do not feel ready now. The best time for you to start is when you feel ready, when the other things are reasonably sorted out and you feel inspired and eager to try.

I didn't learn about ec until my son was 3 months old, and we did really well startinig at that age.

One easy thing you could do if you want to make a gradual start--you could begin to make a cue sound (such as "sssss") when you see your baby eliminate, or immediately afterwards. This will make him aware that you are aware of what he is doing. You will make a connection. After that, when you feel like it, you could occasionally try for some poos or pees. It can be quite fun and inspiring!

post #54 of 159
I heard of EC when dd was 8mo, and I tried it. She did pee and occassionally poop in the sink or toilet when I held her, but she never did start letting me know when she needed to go. I did get better at reading her signs than before, though.

I got her a Bjorn potty, and we continued to try to "go" a couple of times a day. Now she is 15mo, and I put her on the potty about 4 - 5 times a day. She goes if she needs to. I also teach her sign language, and I show her the "potty" sign when we go to the bathroom or when I ask her if she needs to go. Once she actually nodded her head yes when I asked if she needed to potty! She still uses her diaper without telling me. But I think toilet training is going to be a ton easier since we started this at 8months. I'm very pleased and wish I'd heard of it when dd was a tiny baby.
post #55 of 159
We started EC when DS was about 2 1/2 months old, and it's one of the best decisions I think I've made as a mother. Every baby is different, but you get a system figured out that works for you, after a few weeks getting the diaper on and off and even holding them over a pot while nursing goes smoothly.
post #56 of 159
Thread Starter 

I quit

Helen and I had a little talk and I appologised to her for quitting the attempts at EC. We've tried twice, each for a week, and we're just not getting it. I've told her that I love her anyway and we'll figure out potty training when we get to it. The whole thing was stressing me out too much (and I don't usually get stressed). Helen smiled and told me that she forgave me and was happy with her mummy-made diapers.

Oh well. Thanks to all of you for your advice! It seems that it would be great if it worked, but I guess in this respect, I'll have to be behind the times...
post #57 of 159
-- it would be great if it worked, but I guess in this respect, I'll have to be behind the times. --

No one claims that ec is the way for everyone. Speaking for myself, I want families to know it is a viable option. If it resonates, they can give it a try (like you did). If it works out, great. If it doesn't work out, so be it. Perhaps you'll come back to it someday, perhaps Helen will lead you back, or maybe you'll find another way. In the big picture, what matters is that you are finding the best way for you and your child.

Best Regards,

post #58 of 159
post #59 of 159
I am currently reading Ingrid Bauer's book, Diaper Free! The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene.

The book is amazing and its message is inspiring, but I find myself being filled with regret over what I didn't know and didn't do instead of focusing on what I now know and will do. Anyone else feel like this? Anyone a little sad that their little one's potty cues went unnoticed? Or am I a big weirdo?

On a more positive note, we've started making short diaper-free outings. 1-year-old Dd won't pee or poo into a receptacle, and she won't pee or poo on cue per se, but she will wait until she's home to relieve herself. It's very encouraging.
post #60 of 159

Mother guilt

Hi Dodo!

Please don't feel bad....we all make the best decisions we can for our children based on the information we have at the time. If you never knew that there was another option besides having your child eliminate into diapers, then you can't really blame yourself! EC is something that is only now really becoming known in the Western world.

Interestingly, Mothering mag turned down an article 20 years ago from one of the EC pioneers, Natec.... because they felt that they didn't want moms to feel guilty, since we all have so much to worry about anyway. (Which doesn't stop them from doing articles on breastfeeding, circumcision, natural childbirth, vaccinations, etc which could all make moms "feel guilty"...but anyway...) I would rather feel guilty but KNOW my options, rather than blissfully stay in the dark.... but that's just me.

It's great that your horizons are expanding... there's a quote I stole from somewhere and put on my site that says "Once your consciousness has been raised, it cannot be lowered". 'Nuff said...


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