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#181 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 04:07 AM
 
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DISCLAIMER: I don't really know much about whether all infants are aware etc of their need to urinate/defecate or if they all "cue", or whatever, so I'm not really commenting on that. I also don't know lots about EC, so I'm not really commenting on that either-- I just wanted to address some physiological issues.

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Originally Posted by Tjej View Post
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
The above is a misconception about involuntary sphincters--they still function as sphincters. An infant wouldn't "leak" all day, when the bladder is full, the voiding reflex centers in the lower spinal cord would signal for the bladder to release by relaxing the internal urethral sphincter, just like in an adult--the difference is in older humans, where the external urethral sphincter is what you are "holding" when you have to urinate. The internal sphincter is just smooth (involuntary) muscle, whereas there would be some skeletal (voluntary) muscle in the external sphincter, which allows you to "hold it."

Now, eventually, your brain and spinal cord kind of make a connection, for lack of a simpler term, so that you realize, "hey--I need to pee". The mechanism for how this switch is made is not exactly known yet--so I can see how people who practice EC may be helping their infants along-and how the infants could have the capability to "get it" earlier.

Defecation is different, but still the same type of mechanism.

Anyway, interesting discussion-I've enjoyed reading it.

Kara: on a journey with DH, Mama to DS 2/2010
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#182 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 12:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ambystoma View Post
DISCLAIMER: I don't really know much about whether all infants are aware etc of their need to urinate/defecate or if they all "cue", or whatever, so I'm not really commenting on that. I also don't know lots about EC, so I'm not really commenting on that either-- I just wanted to address some physiological issues.



The above is a misconception about involuntary sphincters--they still function as sphincters. An infant wouldn't "leak" all day, when the bladder is full, the voiding reflex centers in the lower spinal cord would signal for the bladder to release by relaxing the internal urethral sphincter, just like in an adult--the difference is in older humans, where the external urethral sphincter is what you are "holding" when you have to urinate. The internal sphincter is just smooth (involuntary) muscle, whereas there would be some skeletal (voluntary) muscle in the external sphincter, which allows you to "hold it."

Now, eventually, your brain and spinal cord kind of make a connection, for lack of a simpler term, so that you realize, "hey--I need to pee". The mechanism for how this switch is made is not exactly known yet--so I can see how people who practice EC may be helping their infants along-and how the infants could have the capability to "get it" earlier.

Defecation is different, but still the same type of mechanism.

Anyway, interesting discussion-I've enjoyed reading it.
this is what is so fascinating about EC and why I wish someone would do a real scientific study about it. my mom has a PhD in developmental psychology and she originally thought that EC was just a trained pavlovian type response to the parental cue ("pssss") and physical position. But in observing my youngest especially, clearly letting us know at 2 weeks old that she had to go, and observing her over the last 19 months, she completely changed her mind. I believe this is definitely an area where eventually science will catch up with the reality and we will see a big shift in how people view what babies understand and can communicate, as well as what they are physically capable of. it makes total sense that the studies to-date show that kids can't hold it until they are at least 18 months... but those are toddlers who were never given an opportunity to develop sphincter control as newborns. my 19 month old potties at about the same frequency as everyone else in the house - much, much less frequent than most diapered 3 year olds i know - because she has developed the ability gradually since birth.

my experience (and that of many, many millions of people all over the world) is that very tiny babies can and do hold their pee and poo just like adults do. my youngest exhibited a very strong preference, for example, for peeing and pooing at home. and by the time she was 4 months old,if we would go out to the nearest big town (45 minutes away) and go shopping for an hour or two and then come home, she would often not go at all, or go only once, the entire time we were gone, and then pee and poo a massive load as soon as i put her on the potty when we got home. During a similar period of time (similar time of day, similar amount of nursing and sleeping) if we were at home she would've pottied at least 5 or 6 times, smaller amounts each time. she was clearly and intentionally holding her pee and poo until she could get to a comfy and familiar place - just like I'd prefer to do.

as for the early potty learning... my mom was a very gentle parent who never punished for really anything, let alone potty stuff. and my brother and i were both "potty trained" by around 18 months of age. What she did with us is essentially what we now refer to as late-start, part-time EC - starting to put us on the potty around a year of age or a little earlier, at times that were known to be common times of need (ie upon waking) and at regular intervals like when she was going to the bathroom or a half-hour after we ate, and of course any time we expressed a desire or need. Not all early potty-learning of the past was strap a baby to a potty and smack them if they don't go. in fact of the people I have spoken with (older generations in both my family and DH's, as well as random people I meet when this conversation arises because i'm taking my infant or young toddler off to the toilet) I haven't found anyone who actually did that. I'm sure there were people who were abusive to their kids in general who did (and still do) use punishment with potty learning, but I really don't think it has ever been the norm the way some people imagine that it was. i think the family's over-all approach to child-rearing has more to do with how they PT than anything, if they are super-punitive, PT'ing is going to be punitive. that was true in the past and it's true now, regardless of what the pediatrician might recommend.
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#183 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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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!
if you recognize a sign, take off the diaper and hold them over something (toilet, little potty, bucket, whatever you want to use), at the age of your baby the 'classic' EC hold where you put your hands under the baby's knees, with baby's back to your chest is probably going to be the most supportive and comfortable. make a cue sound (a popular one is "pssssss") and the baby will probably pee and/or poo. if they don't within, say, 30 seconds, put the diaper back on and go about your business. sometimes it takes a handful of attempts before the baby figures out what you are wanting and that is OK for them to relax their sphincters and go. it is helpful if you keep your baby in a diaper without a cover when it's convenient, and make the cue sound whenever you observe the diaper getting wet or hear baby pooping, so they can associate the cue sound with the feeling, which will help them make the connection between your cue and their release, so that it becomes easier for them to release when they hear you cue. first thing in the morning or after a nap is always a good time to try because we all pee when we wake up.

night-time... everyone's experience at night is different. for me, night time was the worst with the baby i EC'd the least (started at 9 months and was very PT about it) and whom I didn't attempt to EC at night... because i nursed her back down every time she stirred, which meant more milk in her belly/bladder and thus more need to pee, so it was a vicious cycle that kept her waking up a lot at night and i had a hell of a time keeping her (and the family bed) dry because she peed so much. and though she was a daytime EC grad right around age 2, it was another several months before she was consistently dry at night. as a contrast, the baby that i FT EC'd and EC'd at night from basically the beginning would only wake up a couple times at night to pee, and within a few months rarely woke up at all to pee (though she still did, and still does wake up to nurse at least once at 19 months. last night because she has a cold, she nursed 3x, and peed an absolute flood on the potty this morning ). some people don't EC at night and prefer to use a feel-dry diaper like a pocket or sposie because they do find it disruptive... in large part it depends on the baby (mine always went right back to sleep after peeing, some wake up and want to party ).

there is some great info at diaperfreebaby.org and here on MDC in the EC forum, if you want to learn more or have any questions.
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#184 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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And isn't getting up at night a hassle?
not for me it wasn't. i kept dd's tiny potty by my bed...i did not even get out of bed to let her pee. she was waking up - because she had to pee, and i could have let her pee in her toilet when she wanted or cry and fuss and pee in her diaper and then change her. granted, this was after we had established daytime ec and she had developed a clear and strong preference to peeing in the toilet.

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#185 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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1. I knew many people who did EC. I never knew any who had it work "as advertised" ie few accidents and early potty independence.

2. I tried it with 2 babies, briefly, and found it to be time consuming, messy, stressful. It doesn't seem to be fully compatible with an indoor, clothed lifestyle.

3. My babies didn't mind wearing diapers and never expressed any strong need or desire to use the toilet as infants. The common talk of potty strikes and regressions among ECers leads me to believe that such "needs" are more imagined than real (not the need for hygiene which is obvious, but the "need" for excretion to be managed in a particular way).
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#186 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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Neither of my sons seemed to dislike wearing diapers, and both potty trained easily around 20 months. I did very part-time EC my oldest a bit (he's almost 7 now, I hadn't even heard of EC) because there were clear cues when he was going to poop (every couple days) and it was easier for it to go in the potty than a diaper.
I have seen people EC at playgroups who will just have their kid pee/poop on a potty right out in the middle of a room full of people, and that's gross. I also feel this way about people changing poopy diapers in front of others. Ick.
I wear my babies on my back so that I can go about my life, which I feel is good for child development. I don't have the time or desire to watch them for cues. Once they are mobile (my youngest crawled at 5 mos. and walked at 8.5 mos) they have free roam of the house and go off and play with their toys or spend time near me as they choose.
I think there are a lot of contradictions between the "diapering is ignoring baby's cues, it's so gross and uncomfortable for them to go in their pants, etc" and the claim that you can use diapers for "backup" and go about your life. What's the point to "catching" a couple pees a day? Your kid is still in diapers.
And if EC'd babies don't potty train earlier, what on earth would I gain from doing this thing that is inconvenient and with no generally recognized health benefits? I can't imagine my kids potty training any earlier than they do post-diapers because they couldn't even get their pants up and down before a year and a half.
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#187 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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And if EC'd babies don't potty train earlier, what on earth would I gain from doing this thing that is inconvenient and with no generally recognized health benefits? I can't imagine my kids potty training any earlier than they do post-diapers because they couldn't even get their pants up and down before a year and a half.
This is sorta where I am coming from. To me, it's easier to change diapers along the way, for the first two years. I, personally, wouldn't find it any more convenient (in fact, I am assuming it would be inconvenient) to EC when chances are the resulting truly 'diaper free age' is about the same. For instance, my DD, now 8, was completly out of diapers, day and night, at 24 months. We did not practice EC (in fact, she was in disposables most of her first year) but around her first b-day I did start putting her in cotton training pants while at home some of the time, introduced her to a small potty, and had a basket of underwear next to the potty. When she was wet, I walked her to the bathroom, helped her take the undies off, she sat on the potty, and then put a dry pair on. This is how we did it in my Montessori classroom, and I did see LO's using the toilet between 18-24 mos as a result.

When reading the EC threads that ask, "if you EC'd from birth, when was your child potty learned?'(or a variation of this question) it seems like the answer is still 18 mos+, and more likely 2-2.5 yrs old. The latter is actually similar to the average age for toileting for non-EC'ers.

I'm not knocking EC'ing as being helpful for independent toileting later on - or saying there is no immediate/future benefits.... just that for me, personally, it seems like just a bit more work than changing a diaper after the fact. And as it turns out, I happened to have four LO's who didn't seem to mind whether they were wet or dry, which is why I don't feel the least bit bad about having them sit in a soiled diaper for a few seconds/minutes until I was able to change them (and actually, as I said way upthread, one child in particular I am positive would have been greatly opposed to being held over a toilet as an infant every time he had to go - he also has sensory issues, so that may be part of it).

I guess I am just commenting yet again so that EC'ers realize that it truly isn't for every parent and every baby, and as others have said, there is even a chance that it won't work (even when done correctly) for every LO. I know most EC'ers aren't putting down those who don't EC, but it does seem like there are those who don't understand WHY on earth one wouldn't desire to do this with their infant when they themselves think it's a wonderful form of 'communication'.

I for one have learned a lot on this thread, so I thank those who have participated... I just hope since the question was "why don't you EC?" others have truly learned why some of us don't EC, and are understanding of that, instead of thinking we just don't know how it is supposed to work, and what the potential benefits are.

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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#188 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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I did EC with my DD, and she was about 25 months when she finally reached the point where she would consistently tell us if she needed to go, and pretty much never had an accident. According to my baby book, I was potty trained at about the same age, without EC. But when I asked myself whether EC would still seem worthwhile, even if I knew my kid would potty train around 2 either way, I concluded that it was definitely worthwhile.

The lack of poopy diapers alone would have made it worthwhile. I caught almost every poop from the time DD was 2 months old. And I was able to stop using diapers long before she was what I would call a graduate. (She was out of diapers by 8 months.) So I saved a lot of money on diapers and diaper laundry, and had less of an impact on the environment. And I liked the way EC made me more aware of everything that was going on with her. I liked knowing how often she typically peed, and seeing how needing to pee or having a wet diaper affected her behavior.

And of course, if I hadn't done EC, she might not have potty trained at 2. Although some kids potty train easily at 2 or younger without EC, it doesn't work out that way for every kid. Doing EC may not guarantee your kid will be out of diapers as a 1 year old, but I think it pretty much guarantees your kid won't be one of those 4 year olds who are still resisting using the potty. My DS turned out to be a much more difficult case than DD. He may have some physical problem that makes bladder control harder for him. At 4, he still pees a little bit in his pants pretty often. Without EC, I suspect he would have been one of those kids who just didn't seem ready to potty learn even at 3 or 3 1/2. With EC, we've been able to get by without diapers since he was about 1 1/2 (and he was totally reliable about pooping in the toilet by that age.)

At first, EC was more work than diapering would have been, but later on it was definitely easier. Popping into a bathroom stall, pulling down her pants, and pulling them up again was a lot easier than going through the whole diaper changing process (and it's easier to find places to pee than to find places to change diapers.) And even at first, I'm not sure it was really that much more work. I think partly it just felt like a lot of extra work, because it was different work than what I saw or read about other parents doing. At times, I did get a bit stressed about it, worrying about possible misses. But I don't think that stress would have been there if it weren't for the fact that I was doing something "odd" that no one else I knew had tried. I wasn't sure it would really work in the long run, and if it didn't work, I was afraid of looking foolish for having tried it. And in the short run, I was afraid of what people would think if my baby had an obvious accident. If EC were the norm, I don't think many people would find it stressful. (By the time DS came along, after I had seen for myself that EC definitely worked, I felt way more relaxed about it.)
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#189 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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This is sorta where I am coming from. To me, it's easier to change diapers along the way, for the first two years. I, personally, wouldn't find it any more convenient (in fact, I am assuming it would be inconvenient) to EC when chances are the resulting truly 'diaper free age' is about the same. For instance, my DD, now 8, was completly out of diapers, day and night, at 24 months. We did not practice EC (in fact, she was in disposables most of her first year) but around her first b-day I did start putting her in cotton training pants while at home some of the time, introduced her to a small potty, and had a basket of underwear next to the potty. When she was wet, I walked her to the bathroom, helped her take the undies off, she sat on the potty, and then put a dry pair on. This is how we did it in my Montessori classroom, and I did see LO's using the toilet between 18-24 mos as a result.

When reading the EC threads that ask, "if you EC'd from birth, when was your child potty learned?'(or a variation of this question) it seems like the answer is still 18 mos+, and more likely 2-2.5 yrs old. The latter is actually similar to the average age for toileting for non-EC'ers.

I'm not knocking EC'ing as being helpful for independent toileting later on - or saying there is no immediate/future benefits.... just that for me, personally, it seems like just a bit more work than changing a diaper after the fact. And as it turns out, I happened to have four LO's who didn't seem to mind whether they were wet or dry, which is why I don't feel the least bit bad about having them sit in a soiled diaper for a few seconds/minutes until I was able to change them (and actually, as I said way upthread, one child in particular I am positive would have been greatly opposed to being held over a toilet as an infant every time he had to go - he also has sensory issues, so that may be part of it).

I guess I am just commenting yet again so that EC'ers realize that it truly isn't for every parent and every baby, and as others have said, there is even a chance that it won't work (even when done correctly) for every LO. I know most EC'ers aren't putting down those who don't EC, but it does seem like there are those who don't understand WHY on earth one wouldn't desire to do this with their infant when they themselves think it's a wonderful form of 'communication'.

I for one have learned a lot on this thread, so I thank those who have participated... I just hope since the question was "why don't you EC?" others have truly learned why some of us don't EC, and are understanding of that, instead of thinking we just don't know how it is supposed to work, and what the potential benefits are.

You said this much better then I could. And I really hope that the ECers have come to understand why EC doesn't work for everyone and that some babies are almost impossible to EC.

Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker. - Linus
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#190 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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i think to some extent the reason it seems like some kids are potty independent when EC'd at the sage age as PL'ing is semantic. while it is true that true independence usually comes between 12-24 months, most EC'd babies don't poop anywhere but the potty from a very early age. often long before they are mobile. for me, who is massively icked out by poop and having it smeared from stem to stern, that in and of itself would have been a reason to continue. and while it is certainly true that some kids PL before two, I haven't met very many. most diapered kids I know are not out of diapers until 3, many even older. there are way more PL'ing threads of The Childhood Years forum than in the Toddler one, IME.

Independence also depends a lot on how you practice EC - if you start late and do it part-time (like i did with my oldest) you're not going to probably see the same results and doing it FT from birth. i know i didn't.

as for the diaper back-up thing... the point of the diapers, at least for me, is that if you can't get to a toilet you don't have a mess. i'm big on the hygienic aspects of EC, i don't want poop all over me nor do many people i know who EC. it is not used in the same way as diapers are typically used, and most EC'd babies do not dirty anywhere near the number of diapers per day that a diapered baby does. i remember very clearly when DD2 was 2 months old changing her diaper because she'd been in it more than 24 hours, rather than because it was wet. that was the first of many, many experiences like that, which were more the norm than the exception. i never owned more than about 18 diapers, never had them all dirty at the same time, and rarely did wash more than 1x a week. some people rely on them more than others, but for me they were simply a fail-safe to keep messes at bay because i don't like messes.
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#191 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 06:31 PM
 
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*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.
No, I don't think babies tug at their ear for foot pain. They tug at their ears for ear pain, teething which causes ear pain, and probably acid reflux since that'd also refer to the ears.

Lina frequently wants to nurse when she has to pee because she feels uncomfortable in her tummy. No interest in nursing after the first few sucks that help her relax enough to relax her sphincter and pee. There is definitely some confusion about what's going on, but isn't all that far apart.
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#192 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 06:40 PM
 
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What I think is awesome is how many people who aren't ECing did consider it. Back when I started on MDC, I'd see a TON of posts like "I really wish I'd known about this with my first DC" or "I really wish I'd know about this when my DC was born". In just 4 years people are able to make a complete decision with full information.
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#193 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 06:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ambystoma View Post

The above is a misconception about involuntary sphincters--they still function as sphincters. An infant wouldn't "leak" all day, when the bladder is full, the voiding reflex centers in the lower spinal cord would signal for the bladder to release by relaxing the internal urethral sphincter, just like in an adult--the difference is in older humans, where the external urethral sphincter is what you are "holding" when you have to urinate. The internal sphincter is just smooth (involuntary) muscle, whereas there would be some skeletal (voluntary) muscle in the external sphincter, which allows you to "hold it."

Now, eventually, your brain and spinal cord kind of make a connection, for lack of a simpler term, so that you realize, "hey--I need to pee". The mechanism for how this switch is made is not exactly known yet--so I can see how people who practice EC may be helping their infants along-and how the infants could have the capability to "get it" earlier.

Defecation is different, but still the same type of mechanism.
Ok, I should have phrased what I said differently. I don't understand why a child would not be able to feel the pressure and the subesquent release when the sphincter opens. I should have separated that arguement from the dribbling one (as the voluntary vs. involuntary muscle explaination removes that issue). Mea culpa.

Having EC'd my son from so young, it was very obvious with him that he would "hold it" right away. He didn't always make it until we got to the bathroom, but it's AMAZING what they can do.

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#194 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 09:13 PM
 
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And I really hope that the ECers have come to understand why EC doesn't work for everyone and that some babies are almost impossible to EC.
We've certainly seen examples of why it doesn't work for everyone - but I'll say again, as several people have said before, that a lot of them seem to be examples of how better information and support could have made it work better. For instance, the idea that "some babies are almost impossible to EC" - to me, that's an idea based on lack of information and real-life experience. You mean babies who don't signal? I had one of those babies, and she was out of diapers by 8 months. I relied mostly on timing, and that worked just fine. It's possible I could also have gotten help from experienced parents who were better at recognizing subtle signals - if I had known any such parents. Maybe DD was signalling and I just didn't pick up on it. I did seem to notice more signals from my second baby, but whether that was due to experience or just a different baby, I don't know. I could easily believe that most of us who didn't see any signals just didn't know how to recognize them - but I don't think it even matters whether or not that's the case, because I've seen for myself that EC can work beautifully even when you don't see signals.
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#195 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 09:55 PM
 
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We've certainly seen examples of why it doesn't work for everyone - but I'll say again, as several people have said before, that a lot of them seem to be examples of how better information and support could have made it work better. For instance, the idea that "some babies are almost impossible to EC" - to me, that's an idea based on lack of information and real-life experience. You mean babies who don't signal? I had one of those babies, and she was out of diapers by 8 months. I relied mostly on timing, and that worked just fine. It's possible I could also have gotten help from experienced parents who were better at recognizing subtle signals - if I had known any such parents. Maybe DD was signalling and I just didn't pick up on it. I did seem to notice more signals from my second baby, but whether that was due to experience or just a different baby, I don't know. I could easily believe that most of us who didn't see any signals just didn't know how to recognize them - but I don't think it even matters whether or not that's the case, because I've seen for myself that EC can work beautifully even when you don't see signals.
I'm glad timing worked for you, but it didn't really work out that well for me. I would take her and she wouldn't do anything. She would either pee/poop on me or the diaper. There was no schedule for when she went and I couldn't live my life holding her over the potty.

Now that she is over a year and a little more regular, I've started trying again and it is going better. But as a tiny baby, it was impossible.

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#196 of 260 Old 12-12-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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doing this thing that is inconvenient
and this is why i am so excited about ec...because it is so CONVENIENT for me...and it has made things so easy as far as dd 'eliminating' goes.

for me, using diapers as back up after dd was six months or so was just laziness...like i mentioned earlier, if we were out and about and i did not know that i would offer her a chance to go in the toilet...i just used diapers. but thats weird you know? you would not do that with a five year old who was potty trained but when they need to use the bathroom they need to use it NOW.

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#197 of 260 Old 12-13-2009, 01:19 AM
 
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What I don't get is why part time ECing isn't more popular?

It seems super easy to me, as a full-time ECing parent, to hold the baby over a potty when they wake up dry in the morning or after a diaper doesn't have quite as much poop as expected.

Or do people who "don't EC" already do that sort of thing to avoid having to change diapers immediately after putting a fresh diaper on the baby?

Oh, and since the definition of being successful at ECing is one catch, there are plenty of posters in this thread who were successful at ECing.
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#198 of 260 Old 12-13-2009, 01:47 AM
 
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<snip> I should have separated that arguement from the dribbling one (as the voluntary vs. involuntary muscle explaination removes that issue). Mea culpa.
Meh, I just literally taught my Anatomy students about this at their last lecture (mainly nursing students) and most of them had a whole slew of misconceptions about the sphincters, so I thought it might help other people who were confused understand better more than anything.

Again, I am an EC dummy, so I'm learning lots from this thread. I wish more studies were done on it. It seems like an interesting mechanism-but I think it would have to be those neuropsychologists or neurobiologists that do research out of my realm of awareness.

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<snip> Or do people who "don't EC" already do that sort of thing to avoid having to change diapers immediately after putting a fresh diaper on the baby?

Oh, and since the definition of being successful at ECing is one catch, there are plenty of posters in this thread who were successful at ECing.
Well, then I may be able to label myself as a part time ECer when the kid gets here. It really does make sense to try that after the diaper change, etc. So, that may be much more popular-even among mainstream people. I know I saw my aunt do that at least once when she saw her baby was about to poo again mid-diaper change.

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#199 of 260 Old 12-13-2009, 09:54 AM
 
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holding her over the potty worked until she got mobile around 11mo. then she wanted to do her own thing. she would literally scream when i offered the potty. i backed off but was never able to get her back on the potty. i tried everything in the potty strike threads on the EC board.

i really do hope that people realize that toddlerhood really throws a wrench into EC. a baby who was really into it may turn pottying into a control issue, which is what happened with my DD. i honestly believed that we would be in trainers between 12-18 months, but here we are still in diapers. i have not backed off of offering the potty, but respect her when she says "no."

sometimes the benefits of very beneficial AP practices get touted too strongly, making some moms feel like failures when their baby doesn't follow the textbook. like babies who are worn never cry, or EC'ed babies always prefer the potty, or cosleeping moms always get more sleep. i think when we focus on the outcome & insist that there's one right way to do something, we do a real disservice to the individuality of our children, and fail our fellow moms.

i also want to ask a question of the moms who EC their babies outside. do you live in urban or rural areas? how do you feel about strangers seeing your child's genitals? what about groundwater contamination from waste matter? the latter is a real problem in developing countries.

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#200 of 260 Old 12-13-2009, 11:41 AM
 
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i also want to ask a question of the moms who EC their babies outside. do you live in urban or rural areas? how do you feel about strangers seeing your child's genitals? what about groundwater contamination from waste matter? the latter is a real problem in developing countries.
If there's no one around to see the baby pee, is any flashing going on?

Yes, groundwater contamination is a concern. And by having my baby poop in the toilet 90% of the time (and dumping the poop out into the toilet for a large portion of the remaining time), and having her pee into a toilet or sink (or pouring the potty into one of the above) for most of the time (and having her pee onto asphalt some of the other times) I really do a lot more to keep waste matter out of the groundwater than the average dog owner or disposable diapering parent.

I'll worry about the impact of my baby's waste on groundwater when people start peeing their dogs into composting toilets.

Until then, I'll just stick to having less impact on the groundwater than livestock.

As for the developing country part of the equation, it isn't people eliminating in the street that's the problem, it's the absence of a good sewage system. Doesn't matter if you use a toilet if it just drains straight out to the local rivers.
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#201 of 260 Old 12-13-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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holding her over the potty worked until she got mobile around 11mo. then she wanted to do her own thing. she would literally scream when i offered the potty. i backed off but was never able to get her back on the potty. i tried everything in the potty strike threads on the EC board.

i really do hope that people realize that toddlerhood really throws a wrench into EC. a baby who was really into it may turn pottying into a control issue, which is what happened with my DD. i honestly believed that we would be in trainers between 12-18 months, but here we are still in diapers. i have not backed off of offering the potty, but respect her when she says "no."

sometimes the benefits of very beneficial AP practices get touted too strongly, making some moms feel like failures when their baby doesn't follow the textbook. like babies who are worn never cry, or EC'ed babies always prefer the potty, or cosleeping moms always get more sleep. i think when we focus on the outcome & insist that there's one right way to do something, we do a real disservice to the individuality of our children, and fail our fellow moms.

i also want to ask a question of the moms who EC their babies outside. do you live in urban or rural areas? how do you feel about strangers seeing your child's genitals? what about groundwater contamination from waste matter? the latter is a real problem in developing countries.
ITA with that. and when i talk about EC i try to talk more about the bonding and communication aspects which, for me, were far more important to me than the outcome of getting all poop and pee in a potty or having a one year old in underpants. for me, EC meant listening to what my child was communicating about his/her potty needs - which sometimes meant "damn it i don't want to sit on the potty right now!" and I respect *all* the communication my child makes about eliminating, even if it's not the communication I would have preferred to hear. but then of course you get the responses of "why would I do it if I'm not even going to get a kid out of diapers earlier?" well.... OK, it's been said over and over what other benefits are, but people do seem to be totally hung up on "when are they potty trained" just like many people will want to know why they should co-sleep if it's not going to help them get more sleep or why would they babywear if their kid is still going to cry. for the answer to all those questions is *respect* for my child. I try as a parent to treat my children as i would want to be treated. I want to be held when i'm sad, fed when i'm hungry, and if i were not able to get myself to a toilet i'd want someone to help me even if it wasn't as convenient as putting me in a diaper.

as for the pottying outside... I have lived in both a city and a rural area (city when my oldest two were tiny, rural with littlest one). I don't have a problem with pee outside. I mean people walk their dogs all over the city and they pee on the ground, squirrels and rats and cats and birds and every other animal pees and poos outside. that said, if i think there's a chance of a poo with a tiny baby, i hold them over their diaper and then wash the diaper. if i'm totally surprised by a poo, i take my water bottle and try and clean it up. with an older child who has a solid poo, if they did it outside i'd pick it up and throw it away just like i would if my dog pooped outside (i'm talking city here... i don't follow my dog around our 45 acres and pick up her poop ). now i live in a rural area but the answer is the same. i don't want poop all over my yard, animal or human, but i'm not fussed about the occasional pee considering that the deer and our dog and racoons and skunks and foxes and occasionally bears do their business in my yard too. I personally prefer that everyone in my family pee and poo in a toilet when it's available, so from the early days that's what i did for the most part, and i carry a little potty in the trunk of my car and lay a prefold in it so we don't have to go outside terribly often.
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#202 of 260 Old 12-13-2009, 12:56 PM
 
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I tried it with my first -- I was very idealistic and motivated to be the best darn natural mama I could be then -- but she never discernably signaled, and timing didn't work for me. I spent months getting peed on, which didn't gross me out (just good clean baby pee ) but was certainly discouraging after a while. I had ONE catch the whole time, and just kept telling myself that we were "getting the hang of it" and would soon be having more catches, it was just a matter of sticking it out and somehow, some way, it would begin to click for us. And then she learned to crawl and it wasn't long after that that I began to feel like any progress we'd made towards that "click" were either completely undone, or fabricated in my imagination to begin with. I was a member of online EC groups, did tons of reading, and was all for it, but finally just kind of had to throw in the towel and stop focusing so much on something that wasn't working.

I wanted to when I had my second, since I felt I had failed so completely with my first, and read the books to fortify myself and be armed with motivation and information. She also didn't really seem to signal, and timing just doesn't work for me. If I had to know when to breastfeed by timing alone, I don't know how on earth that would work out, TBH! Fortunately, infant hunger cues are pretty clear; I really did watch my girls as much as I could to see "Wait, did she squinch up her left eye there? Is that a cue? Oh, guess not." It stands to reason that hunger cues would be much clearer (and become far more intense the longer they are not responded to, as I'm sure we've all seen with others' babies!) because that need is 100% dependent on someone else responding to it. For peeing or pooping, even if no one responds to that need, it will fulfill itself - so the biological need for mama to know is significantly less.

At any rate, I ended up shelving EC (I still support it as an option for parents to consider, and actually talked one set of expectant parents into it, just a few months ago) in the "not for me" category. On the one hand, I felt like a failure, because obviously I was doing it wrong or was constitutionally unable to have that communication with my sweet babies. But at the same time, I was getting stressed out, discouraged, and rather than being a connecting, communicating, bonding thing, it was just a stay-positive-while-getting-peed-on thing that was starting to make me feel like a bad mama, and I wanted to just ENJOY my baby. I realize that for many, EC contributes to that - but that wasn't my experience, and I'm okay with that. I also am open to the idea of ECing (each time I'm pg I think about it) and if it is more successful this time I'll be glad - I'm all about using less dipes! - but if it doesn't work for us I'm not going to beat myself up for depriving my children and myself of some otherwise unattainable benefits because I personally don't think that's the case. I used to, but not anymore. I respect it, and I confess I still feel twinges of envy around my ECing friends from time to time, but I don't feel EC is necessary or that anyone should force themselves to do it just on principle.

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#203 of 260 Old 12-14-2009, 12:04 AM
 
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I don't feel EC is necessary or that anyone should force themselves to do it just on principle.
well, of course not!

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#204 of 260 Old 12-14-2009, 05:08 AM
 
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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.
This was the biggest shock to me when I started ecing my dd. Here were all the experts, the peds, and the books (including Sears) telling me that babies couldn't control their sphincters before 18 months, and my FOUR MONTH OLD was clearly, clearly holding it. Really holding it. Looking back, she was holding it before I even started ec at 3 months old (she was one of those babies who would hold it and then poop up a STORM on the changing table...a TOTAL mess). I started to wonder what other things my pediatrician was telling me that were just wrong. A scary thought.

No judgment here on anyone who does or doesn't do ec. I think you can diaper and potty train "normally" with huge amounts of love and communication, and I think you can ec with huge amounts of stress and shame. And vice versa.

I do hope that this thread has helped people see that there are plenty of valid reasons to NOT ec, and that ec:

1. doesn't need to be a huge disgusting mess (for some of us it was MUCH cleaner than relying solely on diapers)

2. doesn't necessarily mean watching your baby like a hawk all the time (some of the people who said that they don't ec were really doing a modified part-time ec in my book--introducing your baby gently to the potty at 1 year old is pretty counter-culture to today's diapering practices in the US, you know?)

3. isn't limited to stay at home parents (offer once a morning--hey! you're ecing!)

Interesting discussion...

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#205 of 260 Old 12-14-2009, 02:21 PM
 
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hello there well my daughters almost 6 months and my only concerne about it is that , ive hearde from other moms that there baby was pron at night to hold it in and be totally unconfortable because the mom in question just wanted to sleep the little time she has so whats the solution because i dont want to teach my kid tha its ok to hold it in , it can bring health problemes in the futur...
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#206 of 260 Old 12-14-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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except that you do want want to teach young kids not to pee in bed...unless they will wear pull ups or whatever...

i don't encourage my dd to "hold it" at night (or ever really - except for a moment or two, long enough to get to a toilet) but she usually pees at bedtime and then again when she wakes up in the am. if she occasionally does have to pee in the night, she does not hold it, she wakes up to pee and the goes right back to sleep.

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#207 of 260 Old 12-14-2009, 03:20 PM
 
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We did EC, but DD was also one of those babies who never seemed to mind being wet at all. They definitely do exist. When she was a tiny baby she would get really active before she went - just wiggling a lot and maybe even fussing a little. However, by the time she was maybe 5 or 6 months old, she wasn't giving any kind of indication that she needed to go. We just took her when we thought she had to go, kept her in diapers or little trainers the rest of the time and definitely did not exist in a house where there was pee and poop all over the floor.

Actually, DD used to poop on me regularly when she was pooping in diapers and I had to change her. Her poop was explosive and sometimes I'd think she was done before she was, then I'd get the diaper off and more poop would come flying out of her butt and generally land right on the front of my shirt. Once she was pooping in the potty all the time (6 months) I never got pooped on again, nor did I ever get poop on my floors, walls, clothing, furniture, etc. That literally only happened when she was pooping in diapers. There were a few times where she peed and it went right through the trainers onto the floor, but mostly the trainers or diapers caught the pee and that was that. I really don't see how that's any different from someone helping their 3-year-old potty train by letting them run around naked and having them pee all over the floor, other than at least with a baby in trainers, the majority of it is absorbed by the trainers. My SIL potty trained her kids that way and they had lots of accidents on the floors.

Honestly, I don't think much about whether people EC or not. I don't get why people get so upset about it or why, no matter what you tell people, they still insist that it must be some awful thing where you stare at your baby every second of every day, just waiting for a cue, and still end up with pee and poop all over everything. People are telling some of you that's not the way it is for them. Who is a stranger on the internet to insist that it must be? lol That's just as offensive as me telling a diaper user that their child HAS to be giving signals they're missing or MUST feel disrespected by being left to soil themselves. (I don't actually believe either of those things.)

I think EC is cool and it works for some people, but I also think cloth diapers are adorable and I've just invested at least a couple hundred dollars on a newborn stash that's guaranteed not to fit for more than a month. (Hey, I can sell them when I'm done, right? ) EC doesn't work for soe people. It can make them feel like they are spending too much time worrying about elimination. I get it. It hasn't been my experience, but I get it. What I don't get is why some insist that people who do it must be employing some noble savage theory or must be doing xyz. I don't really care who in the world did or didn't EC at what point in human development. It works for a lot of people, so I do it. So what?
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#208 of 260 Old 12-14-2009, 04:55 PM
 
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This has been interesting. I wasn't for ec. I'm busy with 4 kids and we homeschool. I have spent tons of $$ on cloth diapers. But reading this thread has me curious and so I was surprised to see that my library had the diaper free book.

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#209 of 260 Old 12-14-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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This has been interesting. I wasn't for ec. I'm busy with 4 kids and we homeschool. I have spent tons of $$ on cloth diapers. But reading this thread has me curious and so I was surprised to see that my library had the diaper free book.
For people skeptical about EC, I'd recommend "Diaper Free BABY" by Christine Gross Loh, and definitely NOT NOT NOT "Diaper Free" by Ingrid Bauer. Gross Loh's book (from what I've heard) does a great job of encouraging part time ec and is very laid back. Ingrid Bauer's book (I've read it) seems likely to press your buttons like you won't believe (based on all of the comments on here already about why people don't ec or are annoyed by the people who do ec). In my opinion, Bauer's book is very "this is the right and natural way" in tone, and puts it forth in an all or nothing approach. I think it would turn people off. But I've heard that Gross Loh's book is really good. Enjoy!

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#210 of 260 Old 12-14-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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I never read any of the EC books. My college roommate had told me about women in some parts of Africa doing it and I just filed that away as interesting, but not something possible in America. Then when I was pg with DD, I heard about EC and realized it was the same thing. I figured I'd try it and go with the flow. DD wore diapers full time for the first probably 7 months, then after that she always wore them when we weren't home and for bed and sometimes wore them around the house, coverless. She had some naked time, but I don't think it was much more than any diapered baby normally has, because like most people, I didn't want to be cleaning pee up off the floors all the time. For another thing, I was afraid my dogs might get the wrong idea and think, Hey, if she's peeing in the house.... I wasn't interested in finding out how that scenario would play out. lol

There were accidents and there was a "potty pause" at around 9ish months, where we were missing all the time and there was more than just a little pee getting past those trainers, so we switched her back to diapers without covers full time until she was using the potty consistently again, which was maybe 2 months later. There were times where it was frustrating, but I do not at all believe it was any more frustrating for us than potty training the old-fashioned way would've been. Sure there are stories of 2.5-year-olds getting up one day and deciding to use the potty full time all on their own, but the majority of people I know who don't EC and do potty train their kids the "regular" way have found many aspects of it very frustrating.

If people are honest, diapering a toddler and especially potty training a toddler or young child are generally not enjoyable experiences, no matter how cute your cloth diapers are. Holding down a 2.5 year old whose rear end is covered in poop, as she tries to escape because she hates having her diaper changed is not fun or cute, and I've seen at least a hundred posts at MDC with moms asking how they can make this exact scenario less disgusting, less messy and less upsetting for all involved, so I'm pretty sure they're finding it stressful. Therefore, pretending that diapering prevents some sort of universal stress experienced only by those who EC is either dishonest or misinformed. BOTH scenarios have their own stressful moments. It's up to each individual family to decide which will be less stressful for them, but it's simply not true that EC universally increases stress levels and workloads for parents.
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