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I really, really think EC is a lot like breastfeeding - way more natural, normal, and biologically appropriate. That said, I don't get it. All my default baby images revolve around or at least include diapers (and I'm honestly not sure I'm ready to give that up). DP doesn't get it either - he thinks it seems kinda cool, but probably too much work, and doesn't really get how it would fit into our "normal"/postpartum crazy life. Well, me neither.

So, in that it is like breastfeeding, we've grown up in a formula culture. More so than the US is (I nursed until 2). We literally have NO CLUE what this looks like in daily life. I firmly believe that breastfeeding is 95% a confidence game - so is the same true for EC? Does it just come down to hanging out with ECers, building a mental image of what life with EC is like, getting really really committed to it, not just "well, we might try that, but we'll have all these diapers/cans of formula just in case"?

That said, breastfeeding/formula feeding is (and I'm sure always will be) a more important issue for me. I'm not sure I'll ever become as passionate about the importance of EC as I am about mother's milk. And that's ok - I don't care as much about cloth diapers v. disposables as I do about, say, cosleeping v. CIO. Sure, one's obviously better, but using disposables doesn't do the same biological harm as CIO.

Ok, that was a tangent due to too little sleep. Ignore that - who cares which is more important, they're both important. So -

What do you recommend we do to "get" EC?
 

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I don't think you have to start out super committed to it to make it work. With my DD, I thought it sounded like a good idea, but I wondered if it would really work, and I didn't want other people to think I was weird - and leaving a baby diaperless just seemed like it would be so messy. But I gave it a try (using diapers almost all the time at first, and not trying to catch every pee), and at first it seemed like a lot more work, and my baby didn't seem to signal as clearly as I thought she was supposed to, and I still wasn't sure it was going to work in the long run. But it gradually began to work better and better for us, and it also began to seem really natural and no harder than using diapers - maybe even easier.

I think the best way to "get" it is just to give it a try. I think it's okay to have diapers and plan to use them a lot at first. I think it's okay if you haven't seen a lot of other people doing it. (I had never met anyone else who did EC before I tried it.) I think it's fine to start out by just trying to see if you can catch a few pees and teach your baby to pee on cue, and then gradually try to include more and more diaper-free time and make more and more of an effort to catch pees.

I'm doing it for the second time now, and it has helped a little to already have an image of how it would work and how I'd fit it into my life. (One of the most helpful things I learned the first time around was that accidents aren't usually the house-wrecking disasters I had pictured. I was a lot less nervous about diaper-free time with #2.) But, really, having prior experience hasn't made it all that much easier, because I ended up "getting" it pretty quickly the first time.
 

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To get EC... the same thing we need to do to get BF. More exposure. I have never met anyone who does EC, and yet I live in a very crunchy area. I know several people who CD, nearly everyone BF's, I have a few friends who homebirth or at least have NCB in the hospital... but nobody who EC's. This is all so new to me, and I'm only doing it out of necessity because my girls aren't meant for diapers. After nearly two years of struggling with rashes with DD1, they finally went away with potty training. Once rashes started with DD2, I had had enough with them. We catch about half the pees now and I have yet to catch a poop, but we're working and I'm learning her cues better every day. I'm keeping her diaperless as much as possible because she still has rashes-- I sleep too deeply to take care of her diapering needs at night. DH has to wake me up sometimes to feed her, and she's sleeping inches away from me!

Anyway, the more people that do it and don't hide the fact that they EC, the more normal it will seem.
 

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The absolute best way to "get" EC is to live it. To really get into the mindset, you have to be around it as much as possible, get into the EC community, talk to families who do it. It took me probably about a year before I really got my head around it to the point that I stopped thinking of babies needing diapers.

You are very lucky to find out about EC before you've had your first babe. So many mommas find out once their babes are bigger and that can be so frustrating.

I recommend you go over to www.diaperfreebaby.org and find a group near you.If you can't find a group very close to you, join a group that's at least in your state. I also recommend joining the "big" EC Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eliminationcommunication/ Then hang out with ECing mommas
Ask all your questions, read the links page on the EC list (has links to posts on all the topics you could think of), read all the blogs listed on the DiaperFreeBaby links page.

And, like Daffodil said, you don't really need to "get" it to do it. It's one of those things that you can just go through the motions of without really even believing it and it can still work
 

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I agree with the others, you have to try it to get it! I did not EC my first baby because I did not know about it and did not plan to EC my second (though I was where you are now when she was born). It sounded intersting, I understood it in enviromental/natural terms, an extension or AP and agreed it was good. But... I felt like I had about all I could handle as a mom. Once more thing to "do" might just unravel everything. Plus, I *loved* my cloth stash.

When my second was 6 weeks old I was at a playgroup with a friend that ECe'd. My DD was fussy and I was trying to nurse her and she was still fussing at the breat (had just napped, etc). I kind of off hand said to my baby why are you so fussy? and my EC friend said "She has to pee." Well I took her to the bathroom sink and in about 15 seconds she started to pee and was then content! It was at that point that I realized I *had* to do this. It felt wrong to be an AP parent and not follow my babies cues.

Once you experience the level of communication your baby is sending you it is hard to ignore it. It would be like being a BFing mom who didn't feed on demand even though your baby was crying from hunger.
 

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I was sceptical until dd got a really bad diaper rash at 2 weeks. I commited myself to keeping the diaper off for the whole day and caught 4 pees easilly! The next day I caught four more and was off and running! I say "take of the diaper!!"
 

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Definitely just try it
It takes a lot of courage to hold a baby over something and give a signal and expect elimination... I was scared that dd wouldn't pee when I tried the first time. I waited a couple weeks longer than I would have if I had been more confident because I didn't want to "fail." Whatever that means
I thought that if she didn't pee the first time then I was kidding myself and that I was somewhat looney. And I was very very very committed to it from the beginning too


Then I realised that if I never tried then she'd never do it and that would be worse than "failing" by trying. So I tried. And she did it. And the rest is history


love and peace.
 

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would you ever suggest that perhaps a fussy babe needs to pee to a mom you don't know well?? I've thought it many times and never say anything
I'd never usually tell a mom what her baby needs (ie he's hungry, cold, hot, etc....that's her call) but most mamas DON'T consider that maybe they just have to pee as even being an option.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by eirual
would you ever suggest that perhaps a fussy babe needs to pee to a mom you don't know well?? I've thought it many times and never say anything
I'd never usually tell a mom what her baby needs (ie he's hungry, cold, hot, etc....that's her call) but most mamas DON'T consider that maybe they just have to pee as even being an option.
Depends on who the mom is and the circumstances. If it was someone 100% mainstream I wouldn't bother, but if she were slightly crunchy-leaning and sort-of *asking* for help. Like my above post, I was sort of saying to noone "why are you still fussy?" and my friend said "she probably has to pee!". I wasn't outright asking her for help, but I did give the opportunity her to remind me about EC. I don't think moms generally appreciate being told how to mother their babies, but if they give you a window, I say go for it!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rubelin
The absolute best way to "get" EC is to live it. To really get into the mindset, you have to be around it as much as possible, get into the EC community, talk to families who do it. It took me probably about a year before I really got my head around it to the point that I stopped thinking of babies needing diapers.
:

It is really a matter of submitting to the "culture" of it so that you start to see diapering the kiddos for years as the oddity. I really did go from thinking I was doing something quite "out there" in doing EC to having a hard time understanding the concept of just letting a child go in their dipes - even when you know they have to go!
 

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For me, I don't know ANYONE who EC's all my friends are "mainstream." We keep our parenting styles out of our friendship, it's safer that way.
. I had heard of the diaperfree.org website when I was pregnant, read about it some more when DS was 3 mos. old, caught my first poop the next day, then, ILs came to town for 2 1/2 months
: , stopped EC totally and used disposables. Started up again 2 weeks ago.. why? because once I learned about it, I couldn't consciously leave him to poo/pee on himself, it just didn't feel right. Even changing the diaper right away didn't help, the point was for me he's sitting there peeing on himself, I wouldn't want it for myself, why would I want it for my son? It went from there and 2 weeks after starting I can tell you our nursing relationship, that I thought was PERFECT, is even BETTER! Why? When he keeps popping off my breast I know he needs to pee. So, we go take care of his business and return to nursing and he can relax, be clean, and he nurses for longer sessions then pre-EC. He was a BIG TIME snacker before, and now I know why, he wanted to pee/poo then nurse. So now before nursing him, I let him pee in his potty, clean up, relax and we nurse... the whole communication between us feels complete.

Good luck to you!
 
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