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#1 of 35 Old 11-06-2007, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Since I am new to EC, I thought I wold go back and look through old posts. A recurring theme seems to be fear of what others will think if they see/ hear about a baby being offered a toilet opportunity.

I also feel nervous about telling others about my EC experiences and offering my daughter a potty in public. I feel great about our decision to EC and feel it is right for my daughter, so I can't figure out why I am scared to tell others about it.

I have "come out" with a few friends. Some think it is crazy, but one decided to try it and is having success. This makes me think that instead of being discreet and hiding EC, I ought to spread the word.

Any insight? Any other closet ECers out there?
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#2 of 35 Old 11-06-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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I have met with much hostility with many of my parenting choices. I try to stay in the closet and just appear "normal", but I'm not very good at keeping my opinions to myself. I also try to "share" when I think I've met an open-minded person.
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#3 of 35 Old 11-06-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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I'm pretty open about it... just like I am with all my other "crazy" parenting ideas.

My friends think I'm nutso for CDing and ECing. I think they are nutso for not!

It's like any other, not so popular AP thing, if you ask me.
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#4 of 35 Old 11-06-2007, 04:28 PM
 
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I tend to be pretty quiet about EC unless talking to someone I think would be receptive to the idea. We just generally "change his diaper" (or hopefully potty and put the same diaper back on!) in a bathroom instead of a bedroom or changing area. Something interesting, though is that my MIL was in underwear by the time she was 1 - it wasn't long ago that washing clothes was much more complicated and it was in peoples' best interest to have children using the potty at an early age. It was neat that MIL was familiar with this, I figured she'd think I was crazy!

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#5 of 35 Old 11-06-2007, 04:55 PM
 
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We've been "closet" EC'ers for 4 months or so. Then we just had a bunch of friends and family over for dd's 1st birthday and they did think we were nuts for having a little potty in every room. And she's one already! My grandma was supportive though and said that her 3 kids were pretty much "potty learned" by one.

I sort of keep quiet about it to friends unless they happen to mention something ec'ish or see that dd's in underwear not diapers. I've also found that a simple explanation is good, such as saying that she's much more comfortable using the potty than sitting in a wet dipe.

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#6 of 35 Old 11-06-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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I am sort of in the closet. My mom's friend heard me asking dh where the potty was and she asked me if I was putting her on the potty (she was 6 weeks) and I just said yes and that it is going really well and any less diapers is great with me and she just left it at that. At this point with my 2 1/2 yo in diapers (and stubbornly resisting all PL) if I can get Dahlia out of diapers earlier I don't care what anyone thinks. I wish I would have done EC with all my kids but apparently I am a bit slow in the realm apparently.
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#7 of 35 Old 11-06-2007, 06:59 PM
 
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Well... I try to be very careful if I EC out in public (I usually do it in the car, before going into a building or out in a park) because peeing and pooping in public is illegal. Many people would be VERY grossed out about it too.

But I do like the idea of ECing him on a toilet out in public, that would be a good comprimise.

I've casually mentioned it to other mamas and they seemed surprised and interested. I think most do not even realize that babies CAN control their bowels from birth.
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#8 of 35 Old 11-07-2007, 01:56 AM
 
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It's easier to tell people once your baby is jsut about graduated or is totally done b/c any miss on your part is considered a total failure of the process by outsiders.
some people actually think it is borderline child abuse to train them young b/c they think you are training the baby to go on YOUR schedule.

I never really told anyone outside my immediate circle but when DS graduted and was signing potty people were interested b/c 1) He was a potty trained boy under the age of 2 which is apparently unheard of
and 2) He couldn't talk.
Once he graduated I felt I had a stronger leg to stand on and when people asked me I told them all about EC.

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#9 of 35 Old 11-07-2007, 10:20 AM
 
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I'm a closet EC'r. DH thinks its great fun to "out" me to everyone. "Hey show them how you take baby G to the potty!" He could care less what anyone thinks.

But, I've tried to explain that other moms aren't so accepting. Everyone already thinks I'm wierd for nursing my older kids as long as I did. (2 1/2 and 4 1/2 yrs ) I also don't want people to act like its some trick she does and watch and wait for her to go. So, I started putting the potty in our bathroom when we get company. My SIL showed up with my 10 mo niece the other day and I whipped dd off the potty and back into her diaper. Then hid the potty in the bathroom. But, 1/2 hour after they got their dd was still dry so I took her in the bathroom and she used the potty. Our changing table is in the bathroom so people think I'm just changing her diaper. I also do that when we are visiting friends. Tell them I'm changing her diaper, but really take her to use the potty. I wish I wasn't so sensitive to what others think, but I am. I also don't want to have to defend my choice everytime I turn around either. So, I'll stay in the closet a little bit longer.
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#10 of 35 Old 11-07-2007, 02:01 PM
 
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I am in the closet too, except for close family. My family thinks it's cool, my in-laws think it's weird and laughed at us. I also do the "change diaper in the bathroom" thing, though I probably would even if we weren't using the potty, because even though DS is only 4.5 mo old, I think he still deserves a little privacy. Probably the same reason I get freaked out when DH wants us to do a "demonstration" like when his sister and her DH were over. I did but I felt uncomfortable and they just laughed.

So that's part of it, but it does seem odd to want to hide it. I mean, I've researched it, I've seen that it works, I'm totally on board with it, and I don't mind being perceived as "weird" in other ways. So I'm not exactly sure why I don't want people to know about EC. I mean, I wish everyone knew about EC, but maybe I'm just waiting for when he's about 2 years old and everyone asks if I've started potty training and I can say, "he's been out of diapers for x months" and explain EC to them and watch them be all impressed.

I don't know. It's just so different from what everyone else does.

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#11 of 35 Old 11-07-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hipumpkins View Post
It's easier to tell people once your baby is jsut about graduated or is totally done b/c any miss on your part is considered a total failure of the process by outsiders.
:
At 21 months we have about 3 misses a week during our waking hours and no misses on the poops. I'm on board with that and it sure beats diapers, but when I have to change her undies my fellow moms just see it as "she's not ready" as they watch their 2.5 yo poop his pants and "wait" till he's ready for a change. And I'm a failure?
And isn't it crazy if you talk to our grandmothers they are the ones who are on board. It's our peers who think we're nuts.
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#12 of 35 Old 11-07-2007, 04:18 PM
 
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Yup, that's a big part of it. You even see that from people trying EC... "we still have misses every day, what are we doing wrong???" It's a mis-perception that it's a system to perfectly catch every single elimination.

If it's true that you and your baby are able to communicate about elimination, fine and dandy. But every miss is "proof" that it doesn't really work and that it's only "luck" and constant "vigilance" (ie pottying every 10 minutes" or "parent training" that gets us any catches at all.

There's that, and there's the idea that it is a rigid, "training" system, like what might have been used in the past.

I have "come out" to tons of people and nearly everyone has found it at least interesting. I still have the fear though, of "that" kind of reaction.

I'm a semi-evangelist, in that I carry a bag that says "I (heart) EC" and a bumper sticker that says "Babies are born potty-trained". But I usually wait for someone to ask me, rather than bring it up myself.

This morning at my baby signing class, a mom went to change her baby's diaper. At least, I noticed, it was a cloth diaper. He had just woken up from a nap, and to her surprise he was dry! She was pleasantly shocked and velcroed him back up.

I was *so* close to saying "of course he's dry, babies actually don't pee in their sleep. Now that he's awake, though, he will probably have to pee very soon. If you go hold him over the toilet you'll probably catch it!"

But, I said nothing. I don't really know these moms yet. Meanwhile, DD was crawling around with her bright-bots bum wiggling very purple-y in the air under her skirt lol...

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#13 of 35 Old 11-07-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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I simply dont tell people because their thoughts on it are often very negative. (I have gotten 'so you force your child to use a toilet! *gasp*' and 'but then you must have no time to play and have fun' and even the 'well I think ill just wait until my child is ready' - I guess people just cant help their own ignorance though can they?)...And thought I shouldnt really care what other people choose to think about me (as I know the truth lol...) I do care when their negative thoughts about my actions with my child turn into just plain negative thoughts towards me causing them to act differently around me and treat me differently. It has and does happen - and not just about EC, but about other things I do as well!
On the other hand, if people want to know then I am more than willing to share with them as I think EC is an amazing wonderful thing... I have become very good though at spotting those with an open mind to share with and avoiding those with narrow minds as those are the type of people that feel threatened by me and critis me and it just becomes unpleasant for all of us.
My family know though...in fact it was my MIL who first told me about EC. She didnt know it was called that though and even I thought she was 'crazy' lol...But I am so glad she did and so glad I finally put aside what the world would think of me and just did it!
As for my friends who do know...I mean, its kinda hard to hide especially when your ds has a miss on thier carpet lol... Though they still call me 'crazy', I can only smile with smuggness as their 3 years olds are still in nappies and wont go anywhere near a potty! lol

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#14 of 35 Old 11-07-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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but maybe I'm just waiting for when he's about 2 years old and everyone asks if I've started potty training and I can say, "he's been out of diapers for x months" and explain EC to them and watch them be all impressed.
Lol!!!..thats pretty much what I did with my son! (there does come a time when you just cant avoid it - I have found this to be the case at baby/toddler& mother groups!)....But be careful with this one. At first they are impressed. And some just let you leave it at that. But then of course some may call you crazy and then it all comes back to the idea that you 'forced' your child. My only come back to this is just that that its no different from simply forcing their child to wear a nappy! lol

Though sadly I also feel a bit left out. My son was out of nappies way before anyone considered 'potty training' (despite I was a late starter!)... So now that they are all talking about their new task at hand, I can only sit there quiety as I have nothing to say on the matter and would know not what to say as I have no experience in 'potty training' .... lol

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#15 of 35 Old 11-07-2007, 07:45 PM
 
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I read a book that my sister has about potty training that had a short section about "early potty training" that talked about how it could be psychologically damaging to put pressure on children before they were ready and that babies have no control over their bladders or sphincters until something like 2 or 3 years. My sister actually encouraged me to read it because she was worried for her nephew! I explained to her that while I agree with the pressure statement, that its not about that at ALL rather its about learning to communicate about a need, and that regarding the abilities to control bladder and sphincter, well just observe for yourself! I think a lot of people are scared by those kinds of statements from "experts" (who may be getting funding from Pampers? NO! Never! LOL!) which is really too bad. I was surprised at how negative this author seemed and I can see why people would be scared if they didn't have much additional information.

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#16 of 35 Old 11-07-2007, 11:48 PM
 
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I have "come out" to tons of people and nearly everyone has found it at least interesting. I still have the fear though, of "that" kind of reaction.
That's how I am... I have brought it up with friends when I'm in a one-on-one situation and have the opportunity to explain. The message I usually get across is that he is still in diapers, but babies have a natural awareness of their elimination needs and every time I catch a pee or poop, it saves washing one diaper. Also, that "potty training" (i.e. graduation) will be easier because he will be used to the sensation of going without a diaper on and will never have to ask to have a diaper put back on in order to be comfortable going, like some kids.

In my family, there is a history of boys (three generations) having bed wetting problems long past toddlerhood. These days, my 5-month-old wakes up dry almost every morning while my 7-year-old nephew wakes up wet every morning. No one in my family can dispute the validity of what I am doing.
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This morning at my baby signing class, a mom went to change her baby's diaper. At least, I noticed, it was a cloth diaper. He had just woken up from a nap, and to her surprise he was dry! She was pleasantly shocked and velcroed him back up.

I was *so* close to saying "of course he's dry, babies actually don't pee in their sleep. Now that he's awake, though, he will probably have to pee very soon. If you go hold him over the toilet you'll probably catch it!"
I think I would have appreciated such a comment if I wasn't aware of EC -- can't speak for anyone else, but there are lots of open-minded moms out there willing to try something new. I think it probably just doesn't occur to most people since society is so... diaper-centric??

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#17 of 35 Old 11-08-2007, 11:38 AM
 
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I find that I hide about this too, although I am hiding less and less. My husband could care less though, he'll potty the baby wherever and whenever, even when he's at my office. The looks on the faces of the men leaving the bathroom while watching my son use the urinal are classic!
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#18 of 35 Old 11-08-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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I've found that DH is a lot less discrete than I am as well. And I really just don't care anymore, even though I just don't want to go through the bother of explaining it. I do fear the negative comments, but I do that about everything, and I just remind myself that I'm being a good mommy, and DS's needs are what's important. I was at Disneyland last month, and wanted to use the potty's in the baby care center, and I jsut said I needed the bathroom and the nursing room, and they were like, oh the potties are only for kids, so I thought they just being stubborn, so I LEFT and went to the real bathroom, found out the lines were SOOO long and returned and explained to them about EC and that the baby had to use the potty. Turns out they're just in the room with the changing tables, and only have little saloon doors, but I didn't know that! And I was SO embarassed, I'm sure my face was 8 billion shades of red when I explained it. But, I just kept reminding myself that it was what DS needed (even though he didn't go...grrr) and I was being a good mommy by taking him!

It is hard though, but I think it's hard doing anything outside the realm of "normal". I don't hide it though, I just explain it quickly and move on. So people think I'm weird, they already do! I have found that when I'm around people who are insisting that I'm just potty trained (Why yes I am, thank you very much, it has been quite awhile since I was in diapers...) I get kind of flustered and really embarassed about misses, and probably actually miss more because of that. I actually have one of those doubting relatives coming in this weekend...fun...

Mama of two... DS born at 35w5d (11/06) and DD : born full term 38w3d (5/09) on what would have been my dad's 64th birthday. Always missing my dad who died of oral cancer 3/11/09.
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#19 of 35 Old 11-08-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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"I was *so* close to saying "of course he's dry, babies actually don't pee in their sleep. Now that he's awake, though, he will probably have to pee very soon. If you go hold him over the toilet you'll probably catch it!"

Yes I agree that I would not have said something, however as someone who came across EC accidentally, I would have appreciated the info. I knew when DD was little she would pee just after I took her wet dipe off, so I would hold a CD under her until she went then put a fresh one on so that I didn't have to do up the snappy twice or waste a 'sposie if we were going out. But truly I had no idea what EC was until I checked out Diaper Free Baby when she was 10 months old and had been using the potty for a couple of months. Not everyone is closed minded, but in my town it's hard to remember that.
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#20 of 35 Old 11-08-2007, 02:05 PM
 
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I go with "every poopy in the potty is one I don't have to clean up... better for him, and better for me" People seem to get that. Mentioning how expensive diapers are goes a long way, too.

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#21 of 35 Old 11-08-2007, 02:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by L'lee View Post
I read a book that my sister has about potty training that had a short section about "early potty training" that talked about how it could be psychologically damaging to put pressure on children before they were ready and that babies have no control over their bladders or sphincters until something like 2 or 3 years. My sister actually encouraged me to read it because she was worried for her nephew! I explained to her that while I agree with the pressure statement, that its not about that at ALL rather its about learning to communicate about a need, and that regarding the abilities to control bladder and sphincter, well just observe for yourself! I think a lot of people are scared by those kinds of statements from "experts" (who may be getting funding from Pampers? NO! Never! LOL!) which is really too bad. I was surprised at how negative this author seemed and I can see why people would be scared if they didn't have much additional information.
Interesting... I actually read a book (called "potty free before 3") that sort of advocates a late EC... which is what we did w/my DD. it's a very low pressure approach, and we haven't put any pressure on her to go, really, just sort of treat it like a part of life as we have with, say, eating solids. She's really into it, though and gets SO excited when she potties. She's been having good days lately, I call them "one diaper days" but she also took a LONG potty pause for about 4 months. Before that she was going 3 or 4 times a day... whenever I put her on the potty. *shrug* I don't really approve of most of the "mainstream" parenting practices... for instance, my husband's cousin was actually PROUD of the fact that her completely non-pottying 2 year old only gets 3 diapers a day. To me, that sounds like child abuse, but who am I to say, I guess : ew.

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#22 of 35 Old 11-08-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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Lexmas, I relate to the anxiety over the non-accepting relatives making you have more misses. I guess I feel like I have something to "prove" to them, so I'm really focused on that rather than on actually listening to my son and taking him potty when he needs to go, YKWIM?
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#23 of 35 Old 11-08-2007, 04:20 PM
 
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Most of the moms in my mom's group know I do a modified EC. My dd just turned one and our first outing in underwear was to story time at the library where she both peed and pooped in her pants.

I had never done it in public because I don't want anyone thinking EC is dumb, doesn't work or I am pushing my child to do something for which she is not ready.

I have decided, though, to start slowly and keep her in the underwear for short outings like story hour.

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#24 of 35 Old 11-08-2007, 05:04 PM
 
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savienu- you know, I think I worry that they'll think I'm taking ds to the bathroom too much, and when he has to go I dismiss it, like, oh, he just went. If they weren't there, I certainly wouldn't do that! And then I feel bad lol. I think I just hate feeling like I'm the ONLY exposure these people are ever going to get to EC, and I want to do a good job! Which is rediculous, since the people who just think I'm trained aren't going to believe it anyway. But it just makes me mad, if I was the only one trained, he wouldn't go when I take him to the bathroom. Or he would just pee in little bits all day, not all at once. Or any number of things that show that we're communicating! I feel like it belittles the wonderful job my ds does at naturally communicating with me when they think EC is stupid or not working. And, honestly, it just hurts my feelings! Lol, I'm too sensitive about these things!

As for mentioning it to other people, sometimes my friend says, "I wonder what my ds would do if I held him over the toilet" when she's holding her son and knows he's pooping. That frustrates me...and I want to take him and hold him over the toilet so he doesn't have to poop on himself. If only MY ds was that obvious of a pooper!

I think it's just hard because we know other mom's might judge us, because we all know mom's love to play the game of who's a better parent. And no one likes to be criticized for doing something that we truly feel is better for our children. I think it's especially hard at the beginning, when you're not sure this actually works at all! It's probably easier when you can just point to your other kid, and be like, well, we did it with him and he turned out great! But maybe that's just wishful thinking, lol...

Mama of two... DS born at 35w5d (11/06) and DD : born full term 38w3d (5/09) on what would have been my dad's 64th birthday. Always missing my dad who died of oral cancer 3/11/09.
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#25 of 35 Old 11-08-2007, 07:55 PM
 
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My DS has been peeing a lot less for quite some time now, generally only every 2-3 hours(with exceptions) since he was no more than 12 mos. That really helps with relatives, because its not uncommon to change a diaper that often. (Though, 3 diapers a day... You sure they don't EC? ) Our close family all know what we're doing anyways. We visited my aunt and uncle recently (stayed in a hotel - DH had a work conference and we went along for the ride) and I took DS to the potty at their house several times and they had no clue!

I agree that it will be easier the second time around, not necessarily just b/c you can point to your grad but b/c you will have the internal security and confidence.

Lexmas, you should say to you friend "why don't you try and see what happens?" Maybe she is just looking for someone to say that's not such a crazy idea after all. Or maybe I'm just being optimistic.

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#26 of 35 Old 11-12-2007, 06:34 AM
 
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I'm neither one to flaunt it or to hide it, really. When DS was an infant, I'd ask where the bathroom was, and sometimes people would offer to hold him. Then I'd explain that he was the one who needed it, then they'd offer a spot to change him in. *Then* I'd say "No, actually, he hasn't gone yet, but he needs to... so I'd like to take him to the toilet."

I've honestly never gotten an out-and-out NEGATIVE reaction, and I've told tons and tons of people about EC by now. ;-) I've had people say things like "Wow! That's amazing! I could NEVER do that!" which I really, really don't get. ;-) People who don't have kids and don't have much experience with kids seem to be even more open-minded about it.

The line my husband came up with, which I've adopted, is "Well, as it turns out, babies are born with an instinct to NOT pee and poop in their pants." From there, EC makes perfect sense. Once you explain how diaper-training works, people at least get from a theoretical perspective that EC is more logical. Then it's just the details of how you adapt it to *your* life.

Another point that's come up more in the last year or so is that it really IS developmentally appropriate. While my son was a grad in underwear full-time by 14 months, he did not start taking *responsibility* for his elimination until maybe the last six months or so. Just like his friends who were newly potty-trained, we'd have to ask him if he needed to go, remind him to go at key times (before bed, before leaving the house, etc.) and if we didn't mention it for long enough, he'd have "uh-oh pants" before he noticed he needed to go. Even though we could totally get all the pee and poop in the potty (barring illness or allergy exposure), it was still up to us to keep track of it.

Even though he's at an age now where most of his peers are out of diapers, he's still ahead of the curve, though. His preschool teacher was commenting the other day at what good "control" he has, and how amazing it is that he's never had wet pants as long as he's been there (he started at this school in July, just after his 3rd birthday). Well, duh. He's been doing this his WHOLE LIFE!
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#27 of 35 Old 11-13-2007, 05:27 AM
 
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I just don't get the "you're the one who's trained" comment. Well, duh, of course parents are trained to respond to their childrens' needs! Are you telling me that people who don't EC aren't trained to change diapers?

Me, my Sweetie , DD 1 (Dec 07),  and DD 2 (Dec 09). Co-sleeping, delayed-vaxing, quia Lutherans!
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#28 of 35 Old 11-13-2007, 09:03 AM
 
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HappyFox05...while that makes sense to US, I think they think that since they can do that at their own leisure instead of when their child needs it, they're less trained. Not that I would be proud of responding to my child in MY time not HIS time, but seems to be the norm. It just frustrates me because they think my ds just happens to pee when I take him to the bathroom, and that he's not participating. Even after they see it. Drives. Me. Crazy.

Mama of two... DS born at 35w5d (11/06) and DD : born full term 38w3d (5/09) on what would have been my dad's 64th birthday. Always missing my dad who died of oral cancer 3/11/09.
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#29 of 35 Old 11-13-2007, 09:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lexmas View Post
HappyFox05...while that makes sense to US, I think they think that since they can do that at their own leisure instead of when their child needs it, they're less trained. Not that I would be proud of responding to my child in MY time not HIS time, but seems to be the norm. It just frustrates me because they think my ds just happens to pee when I take him to the bathroom, and that he's not participating. Even after they see it. Drives. Me. Crazy.
Ah, ok, makes sense. I've told DH about EC & he's very supportive. I've also mentioned it to two crunchy friends, but that's it. I like some of your responses, such as "every poo or pee I catch is one we don't have to clean up and one diaper we've saved". I'll have to remember that when "Why?" comes up.

Me, my Sweetie , DD 1 (Dec 07),  and DD 2 (Dec 09). Co-sleeping, delayed-vaxing, quia Lutherans!
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#30 of 35 Old 11-17-2007, 06:17 PM
 
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I have a friend/neighbor who has raised several children. When he first saw my DD use the potty, he thought it was amazing, and asked how I knew she was going to go. Then another of his friends has a baby they are doing EC with (they are also friends of ours.)

THey said our friend said "Oh, I see you're doing the three year potty training. You know, it only takes two weeks if you wait until they're ready." : Maybe his wife changed all the poopy diapers?! And I have a hard time believing that traditional PL takes two weeks. Kids have accidents for years. At least our total time dealing iwth it will be less!

I was also VERY shy about it when out in public at first, but now I don't really care. It works for us and for DD, and we have accidents, but so do older kids we know, 2, 3, and 4 yo. I was a little sad, though, when my aunt asked me to bring some "pee protection" for DD when we visit next week, so she doesn't "christen the rugs". I'm a little sad that i will need to honor her request by using backup diapers on DD, when normally she is naked or in underwear. We will adapt, and it will work out, but getting the dipes on and off again to do the EC is SO much more difficult. I have struggled, too, with how DD is more likely to have accidents at home. If people visit us here, they see her peeing on the floor allt he time, but when we're not at home, she is usually dry.

Anyway, I'm rambling, but suffice it to say, everyone has an opinion, about EC or any other parenting choice. We just have to do what's right for us and our babies, or at least what we THINK it right, and that's that.

Amanda, DW to Drew, mom to Ella, 7, Gardner, 2, homesteading on the edge of the continent on the Lost Coast.
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