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#121 of 260 Old 11-24-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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Wow, I don't think I ever would have responded to this thread if I had known what it was going to turn into. Unfortunately it seems as though it went from asking what peoples reasons are for EC'ing, to telling people why all those reasons are wrong and why EC'ing is so much better. Despite using disposable diapers I have always had an interest in CD'ing and EC'ng, thinking I may try with my next baby. However, I can now say for certain I am completely turned off of EC. It really sems to me like a lot of posters (EC'ers) have taken over this thread to use it to give themselves a pat on the back for doing the "right" thing, and I find it hurtful. I find it hurtful that it has been implied that I'm ignoring my dd's needs by not EC'ing, or even changing her diaper the second she wets is hurtful. Dismissing hurt feelings because you think you are right, or thinking you are just telling the truth doesn't make it ok IMO. Everyone does the best they can, I know I did. If that means I don't EC and my baby sits in a wet diaper for a short amount of time because I just haven't noticed it's wet, then so be it. I can see that EC would have added stress to my life (from reading your posts/various sites promoting EC), especially since no one would have helped me with it, unlike the help I did get with diapering. It was stress I just didn't need when I was on the verge of breaking down.
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#122 of 260 Old 11-24-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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I have four children, and I honestly think one of them in particular would have been much more comfortable - and preferred - sitting in a wet/soiled cloth diaper for a few minutes over being dangled over a toilet/sink/pot multiple times per day (regardless of if he would have been able to signal his need to urinate/poo). So, I guess I"m just saying that while I get that most people, myself included, would not want to have a dirty diaper pressed against my skin, there may very well be plenty of infants who would be upset with being bare bummed to do their business.

I still don't think anything badly (or think it's weird, or gross, or whatever) to practice EC -- just that it may not only be mothers like myself who are unwilling to try it, but there may very well be babies that are non-receptive, too. Of course, you won't know unless you give it a decent shot, but it was just something I was thinking of.

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#123 of 260 Old 11-24-2009, 06:59 PM
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In response to the original question, basically, we knew DS would be starting daycare at a year and didn't want to have to add "willing to EC" to our already lengthy list of daycare requirements in a place where waiting lists are typically years long.

We did try it briefly out of interest/curiosity, but never really gave it a serious effort. It sounds cool, but just wasn't that important to us.

Also, I'm not always great with signals. DH is the observant parent who got to the point where he could tell when the babe was about to poop. I never did. (Then again, DH did most of the diaper changes and all the diaper laundry, so maybe he was just more motivated! )

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Originally Posted by Limabean1975 View Post
I'm amazed to hear of babies who only pee 5 or 6 times a day - WOW! Any baby I've known has peed way more than that- but I have not been *that* intimate with very many babies. The 5 or 6 prefolds I go through in a day have one pee each in them - I probably catch another 8-12 pees, maybe more? Sounds like those 5-6 pee a day babies are holding it a long time! Or maybe my kids are just frequent pee-ers - I do remember changing DS's diaper much more often than his peers, and not because I was super-vigilant about it, but because they were soaked.
Different people have different bladder sizes. I drink tons of water but can still pee just once or twice a day. (I make myself to go more often to avoid UTIs.)

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Originally Posted by Juliacat View Post
This. It's none of my business if someone else doesn't breastfeed. And "it didn't work for our family" and "I don't want someone sucking on me" are perfectly legitimate reasons not to breastfeed, IMO. That said, I still think breastfeeding is way more beneficial to babies than ECing, so I still think it's a false comparison.

[...]

I do appreciate folks saying they EC for its own sake and not with an end goal in mind (earlier potty training or long-term health). That makes more sense to me than making exaggerated claims. And I do understand that when something is working really well for you, you wish other people would at least consider it, because it might work really well for them, too. I'm certainly not against EC. I just think some of the arguments in favor of it aren't very good.

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#124 of 260 Old 11-24-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BarefootScientist View Post
Jess, I think you are on to something there. Maybe we can still continue this interesting discussion in a respectful way if we start agreeing/disagreeing on certain premises.

So let's see...as I see it, the basic premises of EC (and you other ECers might have to help me refine or add to this list, heck, even you non-ECers may have to help):

1. Babies are aware of when they need to eliminate from birth.
2. They prefer to eliminate in open air unless "taught" otherwise.
3. Babies typically have ways to communicate their need to eliminate.
4. It is possible to pick up on those signals (or regular timing, or an intuition) and take them to pee/poop in an appropriate place.
5. It is preferable to do this rather than change a diaper after the fact.
6. It is feasible.
7. It is personally desirable.

So, now we can decide which tenants we agree with and which we don't.
I'm not sure I completely agree with #2. I'd probably add the word "often." My babies often seemed to prefer eliminating in open air, but there were certainly times they eliminated in their diapers and didn't seem to mind it a bit.

I'd probably substitute "often" for "typically" in #3. Actually, I might change the whole thing to "Babies often show that they need to eliminate." I think it's inaccurate to imply that they're always deliberately communicating their need, because in my experience there was not much deliberate signalling until they were toddlers. And especially with my DD, there often weren't any noticeable signals at all.
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#125 of 260 Old 11-24-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pixiepunk View Post
as for the mama who expressed that it wasn't true that all babies are aware... well, i think her experience is actually the exception that proves that rule. it is biologically normal for babies to have that awareness. just as it is biologically normal for babies to want to nurse and be able to latch onto the breast with little difficulty immediate after birth. but there are babies who can't latch. babies who don't signal when they are hungry. these are babies who have issues that need attention. this is not normal. the mama above whose baby didn't signal has autism and sensory issues. the fact that she didn't signal at all when needing to pee or when wet was probably one of the very first indicators that something was not right.
Hmmm...I can't really argue the validity of what you've said here. I just feel like in this paragraph, and many others, you just don't seem to be very sensitive to other posters feelings in an effort to get your point across. There's nothing like reading about how my child is not the biological norm and was apparently showing it from day one, lol.

I really should step away from this thread now, since I'm having a bad day and I'm super hormonal! Peace and love to all of you, diaper users and ECers alike

Sabrina loving wife to Nate , frazzled mom to Gabriella (1-23-07) and Robert (2-9-10) My bed and heart are overflowing!
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#126 of 260 Old 11-24-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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Agreed. That could not have been easy to read. I'm sorry.
Jessica

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#127 of 260 Old 11-24-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BarefootScientist View Post
Jess, I think you are on to something there. Maybe we can still continue this interesting discussion in a respectful way if we start agreeing/disagreeing on certain premises.

So let's see...as I see it, the basic premises of EC (and you other ECers might have to help me refine or add to this list, heck, even you non-ECers may have to help):

1. Babies are aware of when they need to eliminate from birth.
2. They prefer to eliminate in open air unless "taught" otherwise.
3. Babies typically have ways to communicate their need to eliminate.
4. It is possible to pick up on those signals (or regular timing, or an intuition) and take them to pee/poop in an appropriate place.
5. It is preferable to do this rather than change a diaper after the fact.
6. It is feasible.
7. It is personally desirable.

So, now we can decide which tenants we agree with and which we don't.
I'm wondering what sort of science there is to back this up? I'm not talking about the sort of anthropology I alluded to in my original response on this thread, but actual science about cognitive development? Because I've done quite a bit of reading on the subject, and a few items on this list go against basically everything known about infant brain development: specifically how infants localize sensations and how they react to certain stimuli.

Since I actually disagree with every single item on that list for one reason or another, except for #4 which I'll agree is true for some children, it doesn't actually work to convince me of much of anything!

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#128 of 260 Old 11-24-2009, 07:32 PM
 
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1. Babies are aware of when they eliminate from birth
2. They prefer to eliminate away from their bodies, sleeping spaces
3. Babies typically have ways to communicate their need to eliminate.
4. It is possible to pick up on those signals or use regular timingand take them to pee/poop in an appropriate place.
5. Over time, a relationship between timing, signals, and ability to control/hold develops (lacking a great way to finish this one up)

I think the following ones I'd agree with, but I kinda squirm at having them on this kind of list
5. It is preferable to do this rather than change a diaper after the fact.
6. It is feasible.
7. It is personally desirable.

Ok, gotta go and start getting ready for T-giving. Wishing everyone a warm and wonderful holiday or if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving a wonderful week.

Jessica

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#129 of 260 Old 11-24-2009, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by lach View Post
I'm wondering what sort of science there is to back this up? I'm not talking about the sort of anthropology I alluded to in my original response on this thread, but actual science about cognitive development? Because I've done quite a bit of reading on the subject, and a few items on this list go against basically everything known about infant brain development: specifically how infants localize sensations and how they react to certain stimuli.

Since I actually disagree with every single item on that list for one reason or another, except for #4 which I'll agree is true for some children, it doesn't actually work to convince me of much of anything!
I'd be interested as well.

As for things below #4, note that the list is (I believe, based on BarefootScientist's text) a premise for EC. So 5, 6, and 7 are personal value statements. If you don't share those values, they aren't true for you.

professor & maman de DS1 (6) & DS2 (1)

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#130 of 260 Old 11-24-2009, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
I'm not sure I completely agree with #2. I'd probably add the word "often." My babies often seemed to prefer eliminating in open air, but there were certainly times they eliminated in their diapers and didn't seem to mind it a bit.

I'd probably substitute "often" for "typically" in #3. Actually, I might change the whole thing to "Babies often show that they need to eliminate." I think it's inaccurate to imply that they're always deliberately communicating their need, because in my experience there was not much deliberate signalling until they were toddlers. And especially with my DD, there often weren't any noticeable signals at all.
Those sound like good changes, I'll go edit it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
I'm wondering what sort of science there is to back this up? I'm not talking about the sort of anthropology I alluded to in my original response on this thread, but actual science about cognitive development? Because I've done quite a bit of reading on the subject, and a few items on this list go against basically everything known about infant brain development: specifically how infants localize sensations and how they react to certain stimuli.

Since I actually disagree with every single item on that list for one reason or another, except for #4 which I'll agree is true for some children, it doesn't actually work to convince me of much of anything!
I don't think there really has been any studies done on this. Can you explain which items go against child development and how? I am not very knowledgeable about child development. And once again, not trying to convince, this list is an attempt to find out where we part ways.

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Originally Posted by jessjgh1 View Post
1. Babies are aware of when they eliminate from birth
2. They prefer to eliminate away from their bodies, sleeping spaces
3. Babies typically have ways to communicate their need to eliminate.
4. It is possible to pick up on those signals or use regular timingand take them to pee/poop in an appropriate place.
5. Over time, a relationship between timing, signals, and ability to control/hold develops (lacking a great way to finish this one up)

I think the following ones I'd agree with, but I kinda squirm at having them on this kind of list
5. It is preferable to do this rather than change a diaper after the fact.
6. It is feasible.
7. It is personally desirable.
Well, the reason I included them is that we're trying to see where people disagree. If they agree with everything 1-5 for example, but just don't think it's preferable to EC over changing the diaper, that would be totally valid, but then we know they don't argue with the theory of EC but the desirability of it, ykwim? Just to find out where everyone stands.

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#131 of 260 Old 11-24-2009, 08:11 PM
 
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I've removed some posts for UAV's and also responses to those posts. I'm in the process of contacting people, but thought I'd get this back on the boards.

If there are any more UAV's, this thread will be permanently removed. (that sounds a lot more harsh than I intend it to. Just think of it being said in a friendly way )

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#132 of 260 Old 12-07-2009, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bump!




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#133 of 260 Old 12-07-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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This thread had me wondering whether I might be doing my daughter a disservice by not EC'ing, so I've spent a few days lurking on the EC forum. Here are my 'barefoot anthropologist' findings.

1) I see a number of posts from people whose older babies or toddlers, despite having EC'ed from very early on, prefer *not* to use the potty but will instead go in their underwear or in a diaper if the person is using backup. This doesn't suggest to me that babies have a universal aversion to going in their pants.

2) I saw a discussion of 'signals' in which the majority of the EC moms said they relied largely on timing (eg taking their kids potty every hour by the clock) because their children never really showed any clear specific signals, despite having EC'ed since very early on for many of them.

Actually a lot of the EC moms seemed really frustrated with their EC experiences (perhaps having expected, but not realized, early PL as a reward for their efforts). There was a whole long, very interesting thread about EC in more traditional societies and how/why it works better there. A lot of it seemed to be about society's not minding accidents, and little kids being able to "pop a squat" outside most of the time. So again, this seems to suggest that infants and toddlers are mostly about eliminating when/where it is convenient, rather than specifically choosing to avoid soiling themselves. If they're outside in split-crotch pants, they'll do it there. If they're inside wearing a diaper, they'll do it there.

So nothing I've read on the EC forum convinces me that the children themselves generally have a preference other than convenience. (Not to say that *some* children don't prefer it one way or the other - obviously every child has his/her individual preferences - but that the comments in the EC forum don't convince me of a *general tendency* on the part of babies to prefer EC over diapers.)

3) I see a lot of posts from people who are wiping multiple pees/poops off their floors every day, and who say that diaper backup is not very effective EC and if you really want to do it correctly, you have to take your child out of diapers. This does not accord with what's been said earlier in this thread.

I understand that diaper backup is a personal choice but it really sounds to me that many posters on the EC board agree that the EC is significantly less effective with diaper backup.

4) I also see posts from moms who *did* put a whole lot of time, effort, and thought into 'catching pees,' and actually found it a little exhausting. (Taking the kid potty every hour by the clock does sound exhausting to me, I have to say.) Again, suggesting that while maybe the EC reps on this thread don't find the EC burdensome, a lot of committed EC'ers do (probably depends on your personal threshold as well as your child's behavior).

So honestly, what I've gleaned from lurking over the past few days doesn't suggest that the experiences of other EC'ers accord 100% with the glowing personal reports of the few EC'ers posting here.

It sounds to me like the reps here have had very positive experiences with EC, which is great and may have to do with the particular elimination personalities of their children. I can see why they would want to share something that worked so well for them. BUT it doesn't sound like everyone's experiences with EC are so uniformly positive.

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#134 of 260 Old 12-07-2009, 05:20 PM
 
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As someone who has promoted EC for the past 4 years, and practiced EC for nearly 7 years, I am deeply saddened by some of the comments here. There seems to be some anger and unfair misconceptions, such as that ECers think we are better mothers or that it is just a gimmick. I have long said that I promote EC to let people know what they *could* do, not what they *should* do. Making comments like that not only hurts me because of all the countless hours I've put in as an EC advocate, but it hurts me deeply as a parent.

My background is that I have 6 children. My first 2 were diapered full time and conventionally toilet trained. My 3rd was a late late start ECer, and my youngest 3 have full-time ECed since birth.

I have also breastfed all of them between 1 1/2 and 4 years, and I'm currently nursing my youngest. Infact I have been breastfeeding continuously for the past 10 1/2 years. As a breastfeeding advocate and breastffeding support person it makes me sad to hear that comparing EC and breastfeeding is offensive. I know that many mothers have had their breastfeeding difficulties resolved or helped because of learning some EC techniques (for example popping on and off the breast is a sign of needing to pee or poop and many babies will not settle down to nurse until after they have been pottied). For more on EC and breastfeeding check out this link:

http://www.diaperfreebaby.org/index....ion=295:14:242

Several people have asked about the benefits of EC. I don't think you can truly understand some of them unless you try EC, but 75 reasons are listed on the DiaperFreeBaby website. Here is the link:

http://www.diaperfreebaby.org/index....osition=251:14

I don't even know where to start on all the misconceptions. I guess I will just address a few that I can remember. About that idea that you need to watch your baby for cues all day to EC, you don't need to do this anymore than you need to stay home all day to watch for signs of hunger to breastfeed on cue. It is the exact same concept as breastfeeding on cue, and there is nothing offensive about that.

About all mammals nurse their young the same, but handle their eliminations differently, I would suggest reading If My Mom Were A Platypus which descibes how nursing varies amongst mammals.

About the messiness factor, in my experience EC is less messy than both full-time diapering (both cloth and sposies) and conventional toilet training.

I have been thinking a lot lately that I think one of the biggest reasons mothers don't want to try EC is fear of failure. I think there is a misconception that ECing ccaregivers have to catch everything and never use back-up, etc. There is no such thing as perfect EC, not even in indigenous cultures. EC is also not outcome based. The goal of EC is not potty training in the same way that the goal of breastfeeding isn't to wean as quickly as possible. In both instances you meet the need until the child outgrows it, and as long as mother and child desires.

Anyway, I just really want to encourage everyone to check out sites like www.diaperfreebaby.org, www,diaperfreechallenge.org, and www.cleanearthhappybaby.org and read about how EC has impacted parents and babies, or give it a try, before dismissing not only the practice of EC but the experiences of the families practicing it.

Warmly,
Elizabeth


Thank you!... Elizabeth

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#135 of 260 Old 12-07-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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I don't full time EC (but I think I'll try to step it up a little bit, as long as it's relatively convenient to do so).

The main reason I part time EC is that if I diaper ds right after he pees in the potty, then I know that he'll spend the longest time possible in a dry diaper afterwards That's probably my main motivation. Oh, and it's WAY WAY less gross when he poops in the potty than in his diaper.

He actually started it- when he was way little (weeks old) he started pottying on the changing table after his diaper was off. At that point, I just always put a prefold under him so he could go and I could clean it up easily. We got a little potty, and he LOVES sitting on it. I think he likes the change of view. lol. If he didn't seem to like pottying, I wouldn't do it. We're going based on how he seems to feel about it.

The reasons that I really don't think I'll end up full time EC are:
With ds1 I got frustrated that it wasn't "working." I was too caught up in how well it was going, and not focusing on what was working for ds and for me.
I'm no good at reading cues
I'm not sure how easy it would be to get him to the potty and get his diaper off in time for him to go. I don't know how much I'd like doing that 12 times a day (which is how often he pees), or how I'd feel if I tried and he didn't end up going. Though...I do change his diaper that often, and try to change right after he pees, so it might not be any different.

I use coverless fitteds (with fleece pants) to get an idea of how often he goes. I personally would not be down with him going diaperless just running around the house unless it was right after he pee'd in the potty and only for a short amount of time, and I was almost certain he wouldn't poop. Bare butt time is good.

eta- a side note. When I first read this thread, halfway through, he pooped in his diaper. I think it was about the time I was reading that EC was gross. So I went to change his diaper, and there was poop all over. Well, he reached his hand down so he had poo all over his hand. I was trying to keep his hand out of his mouth, and his feet out of the poo AND clean off his hand at the same time. Then I noticed that the poo had escaped the diaper, and was all over his jammies and t-shirt. So I had a dirty diaper, dirty clothes, and the changing pad got all dirty. lol. When he goes in the potty, it's just a matter of dump and rinse, or better yet if he goes in the big potty- I just flush!
I just had a laugh about the timing of it all.

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#136 of 260 Old 12-07-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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Going back to the question in the OP...

I did not know the concept of EC existed with my first. I had never heard of such a thing! When pregnant with DD - who is now 4 months old - I started reading about it, mostly out of curiosity. It seems kind of confusing to me and I am not sure I could really read the cues very well... having a toddler to chase around takes up so much time and energy! I think if I could attend some type of seminar or lecture about it instead of reading about it I would be more inclined to try it. I'm a hands-on kind of learner.

And, really, I don't mind the diapers all that much. DS is 26 months and he is leading the way with PL so I think we will be there sooner rather than later.

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#137 of 260 Old 12-07-2009, 08:09 PM
 
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ITA, Mambera.

I don't think ec is harmful at all and I'm glad people have positive experiences with it. I just don't think a baby that spent 9 months in fluid cares about being dry.

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I do what works and when it stops working, then I do something else.
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#138 of 260 Old 12-07-2009, 09:09 PM
 
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Mambera, without meaning to offend my fellow ECers. I dont read EC boards. I got fed up with the general attitude of most of the posts. None of the EC boards I have read resonated with how EC fits in with our family. (now I havent read the MDC one- I havent had any interest to) But I found that the people who had difficulties either misunderstood the concept or were making there own difficulities. What I mean by that is that it was their approach that was causing them frustrations not the actual EC.

We're pretty hardcore about EC, but that said I dont have any expectations of what it will be. I have said in a previous reply, for me it is about meeting my child's needs for what they tell me they need. NOT about 'potty training'. This is where a lot of new ECers get mixed up I feel. For me it has nothing to do with the actual thing (pee) just like burping my baby has nothing to do milk. I EC because she has a need and is uncomfortable, peeing is what meets that need. I burp her because her belly is hurting and she is uncomfortable and burping meets that need. I dont have some underlying desire to get her gas-free earlier than her peers

The majority of post I have read on every EC forum/group etc I have been on have been about "catches" and "misses". Ie. "We are having so many misses" or similar. That to me has nothing to do with EC. If I expected to have my newborn pee and poop exclusively in the toilet then I would be setting myself up for frustration! Its never gonna happen.

I find that too many ECers on the board see it as failure if the baby pees in their diaper and success if they 'catch' it before. I do not look at EC that way even remotely. I see it as failure if my baby screams for half an hour because I have missed that they are trying to signal me, then if they scream again for half an hour because they're wet and I havent bothered to check (not that those would happen- unless I didnt know about EC, but...) I see it as success if my child is telling me something and I meet that need. Even if that need is that they need milk more than the toilet and so they feed and pee in the meantime and I change the diaper once wet.

Am I making sense?

I hesitate to say you can get EC wrong, but honestly it seems to me a lot of people approach it the wrong way. As 'early potty learning' instead of just listening to your child. Some things I have seen a lot on EC boards which irk me the wrong way are:

-Sitting the child on the potty for more than 30 seconds (especially if they have signalled they dont need to go)- even if they are happy to do this they dont need to go, this is trying to 'catch' a wee on the potty. Its for you, not for them.

-Feeling bad/guilty/disheartened/like a failure if you dont catch every single wee. EC is not about how much or how little they pee on the toilet. Its about *connection* and needs being met.

-*Constantly* offering the potty to the detriment of everything else. Even when they havent signalled, are getting annoyed/upset by the offering and dont need to go. If its consuming your attention to the exclusion of other important things, like playing , you've gone to far.

I hope I am explaining this properly. But I find even some ECers seem to have the wrong idea about the purpose of EC.

I expected my newborn to pee often in her nappy. So my expectation was met. If I had expected EC to 'catch' them all, I would have been disappointed.

I expect that as my child grows she learns to trust that I will respond to her signals and therefore signal me more clearly. That expectation is met. If I expected her to learn how to signal perfectly at half hour intervals, and to never be distracted, nor signal when it was impossible for me to take her then I would be disappointed.

I expect that she will let me know when she needs to go and respect her negative signals if I misinterpret a cue. If I expected her to pee just because *I* thought she hadnt in a while and needed to, I would have been disappointed.

But there is no winning and losing in EC as I see it. If I am responding to her needs as quickly and diligently as I can then there's really nothing to get wrong. And there's nothing to be disappointed about because I dont have any false expectations about what EC means. But if there is an end goal for me, or if I see my child weeing in a nappy as a failure, or if I start to place any kind of agenda on my child, then I have deviated from EC and moved into early toilet training. And early toilet training is damaging for the child and your relationship with them. EC is the opposite. It strengthens the bond and brings joy to our relationship.
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#139 of 260 Old 12-07-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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Logan, if you were my introduction to ec I probably would've tried it.

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#140 of 260 Old 12-07-2009, 11:36 PM
 
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Mambera, without meaning to offend my fellow ECers. I dont read EC boards. I got fed up with the general attitude of most of the posts. None of the EC boards I have read resonated with how EC fits in with our family. (now I havent read the MDC one- I havent had any interest to) But I found that the people who had difficulties either misunderstood the concept or were making there own difficulities. What I mean by that is that it was their approach that was causing them frustrations not the actual EC.

We're pretty hardcore about EC, but that said I dont have any expectations of what it will be. I have said in a previous reply, for me it is about meeting my child's needs for what they tell me they need. NOT about 'potty training'. This is where a lot of new ECers get mixed up I feel. For me it has nothing to do with the actual thing (pee) just like burping my baby has nothing to do milk. I EC because she has a need and is uncomfortable, peeing is what meets that need. I burp her because her belly is hurting and she is uncomfortable and burping meets that need. I dont have some underlying desire to get her gas-free earlier than her peers

The majority of post I have read on every EC forum/group etc I have been on have been about "catches" and "misses". Ie. "We are having so many misses" or similar. That to me has nothing to do with EC. If I expected to have my newborn pee and poop exclusively in the toilet then I would be setting myself up for frustration! Its never gonna happen.

I find that too many ECers on the board see it as failure if the baby pees in their diaper and success if they 'catch' it before. I do not look at EC that way even remotely. I see it as failure if my baby screams for half an hour because I have missed that they are trying to signal me, then if they scream again for half an hour because they're wet and I havent bothered to check (not that those would happen- unless I didnt know about EC, but...) I see it as success if my child is telling me something and I meet that need. Even if that need is that they need milk more than the toilet and so they feed and pee in the meantime and I change the diaper once wet.

Am I making sense?

I hesitate to say you can get EC wrong, but honestly it seems to me a lot of people approach it the wrong way. As 'early potty learning' instead of just listening to your child. Some things I have seen a lot on EC boards which irk me the wrong way are:

-Sitting the child on the potty for more than 30 seconds (especially if they have signalled they dont need to go)- even if they are happy to do this they dont need to go, this is trying to 'catch' a wee on the potty. Its for you, not for them.

-Feeling bad/guilty/disheartened/like a failure if you dont catch every single wee. EC is not about how much or how little they pee on the toilet. Its about *connection* and needs being met.

-*Constantly* offering the potty to the detriment of everything else. Even when they havent signalled, are getting annoyed/upset by the offering and dont need to go. If its consuming your attention to the exclusion of other important things, like playing , you've gone to far.

I hope I am explaining this properly. But I find even some ECers seem to have the wrong idea about the purpose of EC.

I expected my newborn to pee often in her nappy. So my expectation was met. If I had expected EC to 'catch' them all, I would have been disappointed.

I expect that as my child grows she learns to trust that I will respond to her signals and therefore signal me more clearly. That expectation is met. If I expected her to learn how to signal perfectly at half hour intervals, and to never be distracted, nor signal when it was impossible for me to take her then I would be disappointed.

I expect that she will let me know when she needs to go and respect her negative signals if I misinterpret a cue. If I expected her to pee just because *I* thought she hadnt in a while and needed to, I would have been disappointed.

But there is no winning and losing in EC as I see it. If I am responding to her needs as quickly and diligently as I can then there's really nothing to get wrong. And there's nothing to be disappointed about because I dont have any false expectations about what EC means. But if there is an end goal for me, or if I see my child weeing in a nappy as a failure, or if I start to place any kind of agenda on my child, then I have deviated from EC and moved into early toilet training. And early toilet training is damaging for the child and your relationship with them. EC is the opposite. It strengthens the bond and brings joy to our relationship.

Checking to see if the baby's diaper needs to be changed when they are crying isn't an EC thing, it's a pretty mainstream technique. Even people who have never heard of EC know to check the diaper first if the baby is crying.

Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker. - Linus
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#141 of 260 Old 12-07-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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Checking to see if the baby's diaper needs to be changed when they are crying isn't an EC thing, it's a pretty mainstream technique. Even people who have never heard of EC know to check the diaper first if the baby is crying.
What I meant was I wouldnt have known why she was fussing in the first place and would have been trying to placate her instead of acting on it. Then once she wet I may not have known that she was then crying for a different reason as she had now wet.
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#142 of 260 Old 12-08-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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Must confess that when I first heard of EC (about 10 yrs ago) I thought it sounded completely loopy -- but I'll happily concede now that it may work very well for some people.

I don;t do it because want to be that aware of my baby's bodily functions -- no thanks, I am not that interested. And I have too much else going on, and I don't want to risk the mess.

I don't know anyone irl who does EC or has even tried it. BUT

I used to live in a poor immigrant neighbourhood. My Bangladeshi neighbours were overjoyed to have the luxury of disposable diapers. "Back home" their relatives had to deal with cloth or (for them) very expensive disps, they did EC out of economic necesity as early as possible.

I'm afraid my neighbour Bengali Mums unintentionally did an excellent job of persuading me that EC was too much work!

OTOH, when a child turned 2yo exactly these mothers expected to toilet train overnight -- no patience about it & I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of smacking went on in their potty training.

I find the statement that babes-toddlers don't like being wet a bit amusing. I've known toddlers, even a 5yo, who positively reveled in the familiar comfort of a warm wet nappy.

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#143 of 260 Old 12-08-2009, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I find the statement that babes-toddlers don't like being wet a bit amusing. I've known toddlers, even a 5yo, who positively reveled in the familiar comfort of a warm wet nappy.
Well, the idea is that they do get used to it and that at first they don't like being wet. Every baby is different of course. And especially with sposies I'm sure some babies don't even notice when they are wet because they're really not WET. Even some cloth diapers are hard to tell when they're wet.

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#144 of 260 Old 12-08-2009, 03:08 PM
 
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What I meant was I wouldnt have known why she was fussing in the first place and would have been trying to placate her instead of acting on it. Then once she wet I may not have known that she was then crying for a different reason as she had now wet.

When I was 13 and babysitting, I took a class and one of the points was when a baby keeps crying, to check their diaper several times, because it might become wet at sometime. Yes, at that point I wouldn't know that the orignal cry was for using the bathroom (neither of my girls have done that, but I guess some do) but as the crying continued, I knew to check several times to see if they were wet. So, I still don't think checking the diaper several times during a crying spell is just an EC thing.

Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker. - Linus
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#145 of 260 Old 12-08-2009, 03:37 PM
 
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So nothing I've read on the EC forum convinces me that the children themselves generally have a preference other than convenience. (Not to say that *some* children don't prefer it one way or the other - obviously every child has his/her individual preferences - but that the comments in the EC forum don't convince me of a *general tendency* on the part of babies to prefer EC over diapers.)
I'm a big EC proponent, but I'd have to say I mostly tend to agree. I think to a certain extent, babies who use diapers may not mind peeing in them because they've been trained not to mind, but that training generally seems to happen pretty easily and without much unhappiness.

Even so, EC seems like the most baby-and-kid-friendly method to me. Toddlers who are happy peeing and pooping in diapers may NOT be happy about switching to the potty. The transition to pooping in the toilet, particularly, seems to be really difficult for a lot of kids. I think EC can cut down on a lot of the stress that diapered kids and their parents may experience with potty training. It also cuts down on the diaper-changing struggles that seem to be a huge problem for a lot of toddlers and their parents.

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Actually a lot of the EC moms seemed really frustrated with their EC experiences (perhaps having expected, but not realized, early PL as a reward for their efforts).
I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that most people have no personal experience with EC, no one in real life to give them good advice about it, and very little support for it.

I also think a lot of frustration comes from the expectation that a baby or toddler will prefer not to pee in her pants and will want to signal you when she needs to go. I think that just doesn't happen as much as people would like to believe, and it works best if you just focus on getting pee in the potty instead of on following your baby's lead. Which, interestingly, is sort of the opposite of what Logan is saying. (Now, I'm not saying at all that EC should be about forcing your baby to sit on the potty or anything like that. I see it as ideally very gentle. I just think it works best - if you take "working" to mean getting the least amount of pee and poop on clothes or the floor - if parents take the lead sometimes.)
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#146 of 260 Old 12-08-2009, 04:21 PM
 
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the vast majority of forums, IME, are places to complain and/or ask for help. if you are trying to understand what EC is about, reading the EC forum really isn't the way to go. go take an 'objective' look at the night time parenting forum - you're not going to find a lot of "we love co-sleeping!" threads, mostly threads of desperation from people exhausted and miserable. if i thought that's what co-sleeping was like for most everyone, no way on earth would i sign up for it. it's the same with the breastfeeding forums - thread upon thread of people having a horrible time - thrush, cracked nipples, toddlers who twiddle nipples and wake you up screaming 10x a night. forget about tandem nursing

if you want to know what EC is actually like, find someone who is actually doing it. No one who has ever spent time with my family has ever done anything but exclaim how wonderful EC is after watching it in action. Interestingly, my mother is a developmental psychologist who at first completely challeneged that EC could work based on all the books she's read that say that babies don't have the awareness or the ability to control their sphincter muscles. after spending a week with my then 2 week old baby, she was infuriated at the misinformation, busily reading my EC books to learn more about the little bit of science that was out there, and and pondering the possibility of doing a study herself on the subject. she now talks about EC in the developmental psychology classes she teaches (as well as natural chidlbirth and extended nursing... i've completely corrupted her )

if you don't have access to anyone IRL, it might be a good idea to grab a book on the subject. Christine Gross-Loh writes a very approachable, accessible book, and Laurie Boucke and Ingrid Bauer have both written books with lots of interesting historical, anthropological and scientific information included. most larger libraries have them or can get them on loan

as for the awareness/discomfort with being wet... i think people are really missing the point. obviously we all know plenty of toddlers who have been diaper-trained that don't care about being wet. in fact it's quite the unique child that can maintain their awareness and discomfort over that span of time, though there are some that do. but i don't think this is because babies and kids "don't mind being wet.' most people who do CIO/sleep-training with their kids will say "they only cried for a few nights, and it was less each time." i'm sure we've all seen the case studies of children who were completely neglected who don't respond to stimuli at all, don't fuss when they're hungry or tired, don't smile. at some point (which is going to be very quickly with some babies and take much longer with others), babies are just going to shut off that awareness. nothing happens when i say i have to pee, so i'm going to pee in my pants. nothing happens when i say i'm tired, lonely and scared, so i'm just going to go to sleep.
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#147 of 260 Old 12-08-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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most people who do CIO/sleep-training with their kids will say "they only cried for a few nights, and it was less each time." i'm sure we've all seen the case studies of children who were completely neglected who don't respond to stimuli at all, don't fuss when they're hungry or tired, don't smile. at some point (which is going to be very quickly with some babies and take much longer with others), babies are just going to shut off that awareness. nothing happens when i say i have to pee, so i'm going to pee in my pants. nothing happens when i say i'm tired, lonely and scared, so i'm just going to go to sleep.
How can diapering be compared to CIO? When the child cries and lets us know they are wet we change them. CIO is intentionally letting them cry themselves to sleep. I haven't met a baby yet that will cry when they need to pee unless they have a UTI. Although, I will fully admit I have never met a baby that has been or is being EC'd.

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#148 of 260 Old 12-08-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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the vast majority of forums, IME, are places to complain and/or ask for help. if you are trying to understand what EC is about, reading the EC forum really isn't the way to go. go take an 'objective' look at the night time parenting forum - you're not going to find a lot of "we love co-sleeping!" threads, mostly threads of desperation from people exhausted and miserable. if i thought that's what co-sleeping was like for most everyone, no way on earth would i sign up for it. it's the same with the breastfeeding forums - thread upon thread of people having a horrible time - thrush, cracked nipples, toddlers who twiddle nipples and wake you up screaming 10x a night. forget about tandem nursing

if you want to know what EC is actually like, find someone who is actually doing it. No one who has ever spent time with my family has ever done anything but exclaim how wonderful EC is after watching it in action. Interestingly, my mother is a developmental psychologist who at first completely challeneged that EC could work based on all the books she's read that say that babies don't have the awareness or the ability to control their sphincter muscles. after spending a week with my then 2 week old baby, she was infuriated at the misinformation, busily reading my EC books to learn more about the little bit of science that was out there, and and pondering the possibility of doing a study herself on the subject. she now talks about EC in the developmental psychology classes she teaches (as well as natural chidlbirth and extended nursing... i've completely corrupted her )

if you don't have access to anyone IRL, it might be a good idea to grab a book on the subject. Christine Gross-Loh writes a very approachable, accessible book, and Laurie Boucke and Ingrid Bauer have both written books with lots of interesting historical, anthropological and scientific information included. most larger libraries have them or can get them on loan

as for the awareness/discomfort with being wet... i think people are really missing the point. obviously we all know plenty of toddlers who have been diaper-trained that don't care about being wet. in fact it's quite the unique child that can maintain their awareness and discomfort over that span of time, though there are some that do. but i don't think this is because babies and kids "don't mind being wet.' most people who do CIO/sleep-training with their kids will say "they only cried for a few nights, and it was less each time." i'm sure we've all seen the case studies of children who were completely neglected who don't respond to stimuli at all, don't fuss when they're hungry or tired, don't smile. at some point (which is going to be very quickly with some babies and take much longer with others), babies are just going to shut off that awareness. nothing happens when i say i have to pee, so i'm going to pee in my pants. nothing happens when i say i'm tired, lonely and scared, so i'm just going to go to sleep.
But that isn't true for all babies. I watched dd2 very closely from birth on and she never cried before or after she peed/pooped. The only time she fussed was when I changed her diaper. She never gave any signals like it was claimed she would do.

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#149 of 260 Old 12-08-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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at some point (which is going to be very quickly with some babies and take much longer with others), babies are just going to shut off that awareness. nothing happens when i say i have to pee, so i'm going to pee in my pants.
Did you miss the part where these are EC'ed babies who don't give signals and don't mind peeing in their pants?

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if you want to know what EC is actually like, find someone who is actually doing it.
I know a family who are doing it. They do it by timing, just like lots of the moms on the forum. Signals are not very prominent.

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But that isn't true for all babies. I watched dd2 very closely from birth on and she never cried before or after she peed/pooped. The only time she fussed was when I changed her diaper. She never gave any signals like it was claimed she would do.
Exactly. I had read about EC prior to giving birth and I did and do watch my dd for signals - we do lots of naked time anyway to avert diaper rash. There are NO SIGNALS for pee, nor for sitting in a wet diaper. Maybe if dd had been a signaler we would have gone down the EC road. She isn't, so we didn't (though I have caught a couple of poos in the potty just to get her used to the whole idea).

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#150 of 260 Old 12-08-2009, 09:48 PM
 
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Not all EC'ed babies cry when they need to go. Some of the signals are very subtle but once you know them they scream out at you. Three of my daughter's most usual ones are
1) she wont make eye contact when Im talking to her
2) she pushes up on me with her legs
3) she squeals (sounds like a happy squeal if you didnt know her, but its actually a sort of frustrated call)

Crying for her, would be the last resort. If I had missed all other signals. I only know these subtle clues because I have listened to her from day one and she knows that I understand these. I didnt learn them by sitting there staring at her for cues. These were simply the ones she did that I knew to respond to and in responding she learnt that she could communicate it to me with those particular cues. If I hadnt noticed or responded to those things then she would have found other cues to tell me. If I hadnt responded at all she would have probably given up.

I dont think the way to learn the signals is to watch your baby like a hawk for any change, I think its just to know you baby really well, keep them close and learn from their response to you. The only time my daughter wets now is if she is down on the floor out of my arms. She has a strong instinct not to wet on me, and I have heard this is true for a lot of ECed babies. Also when she is in my arms I cant miss her obvious signals. Its hard for her to push up on me or for me to notice she is not making eye contact if Im not even there
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