Anyone here do/plan to do elimination communication? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 07-14-2014, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone here do/plan to do elimination communication?

I'm just now looking into it... It sounds like a dream come true!
Has anyone here tried using elimination communication, or has anyone here looked into trying it with this baby?

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#2 of 17 Old 07-14-2014, 02:45 PM
 
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I did EC with both DS 1 & 2. I wasn't hard core about it and it wasn't practical for us to do it full time but I definitely embraced the principles (learned from the book Diaper Free) and combined the approach with lots of bare bum time and exclusively cloth diapers when out. It is incredible how quickly you can learn to recognize a baby's signs and schedule within days of birth, your mama's intuition will go a long way too. I definitely encourage you to try it, it's easy and really cuts down on laundry!
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#3 of 17 Old 07-14-2014, 03:03 PM
 
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Seems nearly impossible to keep up with unless you're a stay-at-home parent...
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#4 of 17 Old 07-14-2014, 03:50 PM
 
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Seems nearly impossible to keep up with unless you're a stay-at-home parent...
I agree. The friends I know who did it most religiously often ended up having regressions (babies who were pooping on the toilet suddenly stopped for months) and with most of them the babies seemed to potty learn at around the same age as non-EC babies anyway. It's too much work for me personally, but I know friends who love it. I think it's a personal preference thing.

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#5 of 17 Old 07-14-2014, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks @JessieBird ! I definitely plan to try it. Both JB and I work from home, so we will both have plenty of attention on our first little one! I'm still going to have cloth diapers as back up, so I won't be going "all-the-way," but I really want this little guy to start using the toilet as early as possible, so I thought elimination communication sounded like the perfect way to start. It'll definitely help cut down on laundry, and I'm thinking it might allow me to have less cloth diapering supplies in general, so that's part of the appeal since cloth diapering can become expensive.
I love the idea of depending on nonverbal communication, and developing a strong connection in order to pull it off
Did you use a potty training toilet for them? Or hold them over the regular toilet? I was thinking that using a potty training toilet would help them transition quicker to doing it on their own completely.. I really don't want to be dealing with diapers and such too far into his toddler years. It seems so silly! I lived in Beijing for half a year when I was 21, so I witnessed them using the "elimination communication" technique before I was even thinking about having children. It seems SOOO much easier/quicker than dealing with diapers, and they all manage to do it even while on the go (of course their communities are set up so that children are allowed to defecate in designated ares, usually below trees that have been planted alongside the streets and have space left around them filled with dirt and one layer of pebbles, so that the babies waste can soak into the ground and presumably fertilize the tree).

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#6 of 17 Old 07-14-2014, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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@LilyTiger - I have definitely read that it is NOT really "potty training" .. As babies are not developmentally ready to be potty trained until around 18 months.. It's just a way to reduce the use of diapers. I have heard that parents who expect to be potty training through elimination communication have a tendency to get frustrated or mad at their child when they don't make it to the toilet, and that can have NEGATIVE effects on their actual potty training as well as their bowel movement schedule in general. So it's definitely just a way to reduce the amount of soiled diapers, as well as give the child some time for their bum to air out when you have time to pay attention. I just want to do it so I have less laundry to do, and so that I may be able to buy a bit less cloth diapering supplies.

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#7 of 17 Old 07-14-2014, 05:46 PM
 
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I never got into ec per se, but my girls (haven't done the boy thing so I dont know how it would be different) were naked/are naked all the time. Both were pretty much completely potty trained by two and the youngest (25 months now) doesnt even wear a diaper at night any more. I don't have anything to chalk it up to except being naked alllll the time it seems. More body awareness? i have a friend with a 1.5 year old boy who never lets him run around w/o a diaper for fear of the mess he could make, which is craziness to me. So you have to clean up a little pee or poo, who cares? btw that is awesome about what you saw in Beijing, I wish we had that here!!
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#8 of 17 Old 07-14-2014, 06:19 PM
 
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@LilyTiger - I have definitely read that it is NOT really "potty training" .. As babies are not developmentally ready to be potty trained until around 18 months.. It's just a way to reduce the use of diapers. I have heard that parents who expect to be potty training through elimination communication have a tendency to get frustrated or mad at their child when they don't make it to the toilet, and that can have NEGATIVE effects on their actual potty training as well as their bowel movement schedule in general. So it's definitely just a way to reduce the amount of soiled diapers, as well as give the child some time for their bum to air out when you have time to pay attention. I just want to do it so I have less laundry to do, and so that I may be able to buy a bit less cloth diapering supplies.
Right, I've just seen some ECers claim that it leads to early potty training, which has not been the experience of my friends. Again, if you have the time and energy to focus on looking for signs, etc., I think it can work for some people. It's not something our lifestyle supports. We let my daughter have diaper free time frequently and we just wipe up the floors when she's done.
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#9 of 17 Old 07-14-2014, 06:53 PM
 
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I tried it with my dd. I found it challenging in the early days because she usually pooped while nursing, and I couldn't figure out how to catch those poops and nurse at the same time. Around the time she was 4-6 months, I tried again, and was usually able to 'catch' most pees and poops. It was very tiring, as she was peeing 3x an hour! DD was quite regular so catches were based on my predictions. I didn't notice her giving signals or anything. I kept a basin in the room so for catching after naps. I used the sink too but exdh didn't like that. I found using the sink much easier than the toilet.

After 6-7 months, dd's pattern changed and I mainly cued whenever I see her eliminating but not running her to the bathroom/basin every time.

We just used flats (no cover) on her during the day and disposables at night. She always knew she made puddles after peeing, so was able to tell us by 12 months when she needed to go. At that time we couldn't get her to the bathroom in time. She'd basically say pee and start peeing the next second. By 18 months, she could tell us and wait long enough to be taken to the bathroom. She was diaper free during the day by then as accidents were few. She's a bit unusual in that she hardly ever pees at night, so we were able to stop diapering at night by 2.

I'm planning to try EC with this next one too, but part time. I felt just keeping the kid in cloth/undies goes a long way in their knowing when they eliminate, and they don't like to be wet/soiled. I cleaned a lot of puddles for awhile, but it was okay. Beats doing laundry and the child is out of diapers much earlier.
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#10 of 17 Old 07-14-2014, 08:02 PM
 
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Did it with my son, and went great till he started crawling. Then he stopped signaling to me when he had to go, as he was just too busy exploring the world! I will try again with baby. So many other countries all over the world do it! Never saw a diaper on any baby I saw in India
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#11 of 17 Old 07-14-2014, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so so much for your input! It is wonderful to hear about the experiences of different families, since every child is different I have no idea what I can expect! It's good to know that no matter what, I'll be able to tailor our routine to suit our little one's (and our own) lifestyle! It seems "diaper-free time" is popular amongst many mothers, even ones who aren't technically "elimination communicating"..

So, for those of you who have done EC, did you just take them to the regular toilet? Did you have a bucket? A potty-training-potty? I'm wondering what results people have had from using different things..
I'm definitely planning to have cloth diapers as backup, especially for the newborn phase as well as nighttime.

I noticed a lot of people saying that their child became more aware of their potty needs when they just wore undies/pants.. What age did you start dressing them in the undies/pants? Did you just need a bunch of clothing changes, or did they catch on pretty quick? Sorry, I have so many questions!
It sounds like being naked more does the same as wearing regular clothes instead of diapers? The more they are aware of their bodily functions, the better? Makes sense...
@Laneybug it really was pretty neat! I remember being shocked when I first saw it, since I'm so used to seeing diapered babies here in the U.S., but now thinking back I'm wishing we had it set up that way here, too!

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#12 of 17 Old 07-15-2014, 10:27 AM
 
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This is your first yes? Lucky to start at the beginning! Ask your family for gowns instead of sleepers and t-shirts instead of onesies- you won't want to be messing with snaps underneath. We started ec with #2 in 2000. I do cloth diaper back-up most of the time, often just a prefold no cover in the early weeks. I also have not found it leads to particularly early training, none of my kids have been dependably dry before 21 months (dd #2 child) and the boys were all day dry at 2, 2 of the 3 boys dry at night as well, while 1 wet the bed regularly well into his 8th year. (1 child is being left out, because he has spina bifida and bowel and bladder issues relating to paralysis below the waist. However I did EC with him anyway. Unlike many kids with his condition, he is not on medication or a catheterization schedule and can control his urine voiding well enough to empty his bladder. Could the ec be the benefit making this possible for him?) Poops were the main physical advantage, they are what make cloth diaper laundry icky to me, and most babies like to go clean; nobody pooped themselves on purpose beyond 12 mo for sure, though diarrhea can still have an effect. I really enjoy the added connection with my baby and the chance to stay more tuned in with natural rhythms. I was amazed to find that every time my dd was fussy during the day, it was pre-pee fussing. Once we started ec, no more fussing unless mama was really tuned out. It was a magical transformation. We use sink, toilet, toilet with insert, baby bjorn little potties, buckets next to the bed in the early months. At night I use wet pads (like nursing homes use, washable cloth chux) under me and new baby along with cloth diaper back-up, because I'm a heavier sleeper. Keeping the bucket and dry diapers right next to the bed helps me function at night.

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#13 of 17 Old 07-15-2014, 04:05 PM
 
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katelyrose, I think those are great questions! All of them popped up for me along the way!

I found taking baby to a regular toilet a bit difficult. I couldn't squat with the baby all the time when she was peeing 3x/day. We just never made there. It was much easier for me to use a basin near where she sleeps/nurses, or the sink when we were in the living room (indian houses often have a sink in the living/dining room outside the bathroom). I liked the basin because it was wide in diameter and not deep, so easy to aim, fewer misses, and easy to clean out. I sat on the bed and held her between my knees over the bucket.

I started using undies on dd around 3 months old. They make small undies in India for cheap, less than 50 cents apiece. When dd was mobile and indoors, I padded the underwear with folded up flat diaper to contain poop messes and minimize the puddles. The padding just made things easier for me, dd still knew she was wet when she peed. Her father didn't like her to be 'diaper-free', so underwear was worked well.

All this was easy to do in hot weather. Whenever we visited family during the winter though, I used disposables because one pee meant changing underwear, pants, socks. Seems that at least a waterproof cover would be necessary. I'd be interested to hear about what other mamas do for the winter!
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#14 of 17 Old 07-17-2014, 11:25 AM
 
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Hi Kate and everyone thinking about this -

In answer to your questions, I used a little potty not the toilet. I chose this approach so that we could have potties all over the house - I bought the cheap ones at Ikea ($3 each I think) and had several at home, as well as at grandparents. (I've also seen a similar design made out of biodegradable corn composite, an option if you are trying to limit plastic.) This meant that going potty was not a "special event" that required interrupting what they were doing for a trip down the hall - they were simply put on it or they climbed on themselves for a few moments here and there constantly throughout the day. It was much easier for #2 who saw #1 going and wanted to copy. He was reliably clean and "out of diapers" so to speak by 13 months, even before he could walk.

For nighttime, we did use diapers but as often as possible we used ones that could be easily pulled up and down (stretchy fleece covers are good for this). The key to keeping nighttimes dry is to figure out what time they wet at (by checking diapers often, or by tracking misses) and take them to the toilet about 1/2 hour before it happens. It took a while to figure this out so DS1 was in diapers at night for much longer (3.5 I think). DS2 was out of them by 2 years. I am lucky in that my boys don't wake up when we take them. Now they are 5 and 3 and we rarely take them anymore, I just do if I feel that they had a lot to drink that evening.

In my experience, EC is definitely not more work than diapers. Though I love cloth diapers and even like sewing them myself, I hate changing diapers with a passion. I hate the laundry and I especially hate having to stop what we're doing twenty times a day to go change a diaper mid-play. EC allows the day to flow more smoothly I find. I had no problem going diaper-free at grandparents' or friends' houses - we didn't make a big deal about it or preach about it, just stripped down and most of the time nobody really notices. We also got really lucky when DS had to go to daycare for a short while, from 11 -17 months. We chose a Montessori centre that just so happened to support early potty learning. Not really EC but even babies were just in padded underwear and taken on a regular schedule. They had miniature real toilets, so cute! It was very gentle and respectful I thought. I wouldn't choose care based on this alone but it was a great bonus, probably rare unfortunately.

A few random thoughts and caveats - living in a cold climate does make things trickier, we used diapers under snow suits and for extended outings to the library, museum, etc. I also used more diapers for the first 3-6 months or so, and gradually did more EC as my babies became more expressive and were able to sit by themselves. Taking a hybrid approach worked very well for us so I didn't let my commitment to EC keep us housebound or anything like that. We also live in a small crunchy town where kids going naked and peeing outside is no problem at all. We did have some regressions, and still do occasionally at night time, however all kids (and adults!) will have occasional regressions in all sorts of aspects of their development, no matter what diapers they use, foods they eat, how we parent, whatever...

The biggest challenge I encountered with EC was making it work with baby wearing during the day. DS2 needed to be carried to sleep for a long time and I've had my clothes soaked many, many times! I picked up an extra Ergo so that I could rotate when one needed washing. Have you come across any tips related to baby wearing?
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#15 of 17 Old 07-17-2014, 03:12 PM
 
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JessieBird - For baby wearing and ECing I would put a prefold between me and baby and kind of under his bum. This worked for me most times. But went full on diaper when out for long periods of times.

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#16 of 17 Old 07-18-2014, 05:57 PM
 
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I usually used a cover when wearing dd in a sling. But I found she hardly ever peed when she's in the carrier. She would pee the moment she's out of it.

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#17 of 17 Old 07-19-2014, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ALL so much for your input! It is helping me prepare to do EC with this little one (probably a sort of hybrid-EC experience just like many of you have done, since it seems the most practical) @JessieBird - thanks for the tip about the ikea potties! I would love the environmentally friendly version but the $3 ikea one is pretty darn enticing because of the price.
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