Infant Pottying Today - Issue No. 3
A Publication about Elimination Communication from DiaperFreeBaby
Xaviour, 5 months, started EC at 2 months
All I Really Need to Know I Learned From EC
by Elizabeth Parise (Mentor, Massachusetts)
Before I started practicing EC with my 4th child I related much of life to two of my favorite things, breastfeeding and ballet. I would say, "Learning is like breastfeeding...you can't see it going in, but you have to trust in it coming out," and "Don't 'over-think' things. It's like in ballet when you take a beginner's class, but you are at an advanced level, you start to make mistakes because you are over-thinking." But more and more I would use EC as an example, "Just be patient and 'ride it out'. It's like EC where there is a 'storm before the calm' just prior to completion."Or "Maybe if your daughter is acting 'hyper' after school she needs to go to the bathroom. From practicing EC I know that hyperactivity is a sign of needing to urinate. Perhaps she doesn't like to go at school and has a full bladder when she gets home."
EC became more than just "handling eliminations"; I was learning lessons that carried through to the rest of my parenting and my life. Once I saw how smoothly toilet learning went after laying a solid foundation through EC, I wondered if it would work with other parental teachings. I remembered the 1980's essay-turned-book All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum (http://www.peace.ca/kindergarten.htm). I thought, " I should write one about EC!" Below is a what I came up with, lessons that are as true for EC as they are for life.
(And if you're wondering what happened to breastfeeding and ballet... breastfeeding already had its own essay All I Really Need To Know About Parenting, I Learned From Breastfeeding, and I'm working on one for ballet...)
Be patient- EC is a process. There is no need to rush. You are simply laying the foundation for future toilet independence, not expecting it right away. If you are patient with yourself and others, life will be a lot more rewarding too.
Stay relaxed- EC doesn't work if you're not relaxed. Babies need to relax in order to eliminate. They will pick up on your relaxation and relax too. Staying relaxed helps you physically and emotionally in every aspect of life. Having to stay relaxed when practicing EC has helped me learn to stay relaxed no matter what I'm doing.
Communicate- EC is more about the communication than the elimination. Learning to communicate is one of the most helpful things one can learn in life.
Love your body/Respect your body - EC teaches babies to love and respect their bodies. By treating their bodies with the same respect adults show their own bodies, it teaches them that they are important and their bodies are important. By honoring children's natural bodily awarenesses by offering the potty if they need to eliminate or taking them off if they signal "no," we are teaching them that we respect their bodies and they should, too. They learn that they deserve a say in how their bodies are treated. They learn how amazing their bodies are.
Have empathy- Empathy could be another "E" in "EC" because it is so much a part of the process. The word itself has its roots in the German psycoanalytic term Einfühlung, meaning "to feel as one with." Empathy is important in the development of healthy morals and EC fosters empathy in parent, child and all those around. Don't be surprised if older siblings have a heightened sense of when an ECing baby needs to eliminate or if an ECed child grows up to be sensitive to the needs of others.
Express expectations- EC is the perfect example of expressing expectations. The adults in our society don't use diapers to handle their eliminations. Why would we tell our babies that we expect their eliminations to go in diapers, only to change this expectation on them years later. Many problems in life could be eliminated (no pun intended) if we started off expressing the appropriate expectations.
Be a role model- Modeling is a powerful teaching tool. After seeing how placing my baby on the potty while I used the toilet was an easy time to catch eliminations during an otherwise distractable time, I started to carry this into all other parenting practices. Now I make sure I always pick up my 10-month-old's toys before moving into something new. I do it with joy and include him by holding him or placing him nearby. He is already starting to pick up his toys with me. My older children bring their dishes to the sink unprompted because they see us doing it. My three-year-old will get into bed and take a nap if she is tired.
Dress for success- EC is easier when your baby wears clothes that you can get him out of easily or that he can get himself out of. Cloth diapers, training pants, underwear or nothing at all, all help your baby learn from each elimination, even a miss. It is true in all aspects of life that you should dress for the success you want to achieve.
Cooperation, not competition- With EC the emphasis is on cooperation. It doesn't work if it is a viewed as a competition to get your baby out of diapers the fastest or have the most catches. Through DiaperFreeBaby support groups a caregiver gains the encouragement and problem solving wisdom of others and has the opportunity to share their own knowledge. Think of how many more things could be accomplished if the idea of cooperation over competition was applied.
Find rhythms- With EC you often use timing to predict your child's need to eliminate. You may also create predictable elimination times by offering pottytunities at certain times throughout the day. Creating these same types of rhythms with other aspects of life can be helpful too. For example, we don't have bedtime struggles in my house. My children fall asleep at roughly the same time each day after the same bedtime routine. We don't have a set schedule, but we do have common rhythms to the day.
Expect change, but not right away - Change can be a profound feeling. EC brings about a gradual change at a pace that is comfortable for you and your baby. This is the reason that "two steps forward, one step back" rings true, for EC and in life.
Trust in yourself/Trust in others- EC is most successful when you trust in yourself and trust in your baby. You will pick up on signs, you will get to know your baby. Your baby is born aware of the feeling of needing to eliminate. She will express this need to you.
Surround yourself with supportive people- Surrounding yourself with positive people who have your best interest in mind can make your journey in life easier, this is especially true with a "lost art" like EC. This is the basis of the DiaperFreeBaby support groups.
There is a storm before the calm- We've all heard the expression, "The calm before the storm"; but through EC we realize that it is also the reverse in life. Before and during a period of great change there is a period of unrest. Your baby cues her need to go to the bathroom by getting fussy, your newly mobile baby has a "potty pause." I know my house is always craziest during daily transitions. It explains the toddler years, the teenage years, the mid- life crisis... So now, when things get a little hectic, I think of the period of calm to come. I welcome a new stage in life.
Life goes in stages/cycles- EC shows us that there are many stages to life. Embrace these stages. When again in your child's life will you be able to laugh because he peed on the floor or cheer because she used the toilet?
Learn something new everyday- Learning is one of the most rewarding parts of life. With EC you have opportunities all the time.
Build foundations- Anything is easier when you lay the proper foundation. strong foundations build things that last. EC lays the foundation for future toilet learning making it a smooth process.
Life is a process- Have you ever heard the expression, "Getting there is half the fun?" Well, this applies to life as much as it applies to EC.
Use all your senses - We think of communication as happening with words, and of course it does; but, most communication is actually non-verbal.
Look for cues- Today I came across an article about looking for non-verbal cues that someone is attracted to you. People are interested in this stuff as a way to crack a code, delve into another's mind. When you tune into your baby's cues through EC you start to become more aware of cues in all aspects of life.
Think of misses, not accidents- In EC we call a potty accident a "miss". Accident sounds so catastrophic, like a train wreck. A miss is more like a missed communication, like you missed a friend's phone call. No big deal. you'll catch it next time.
When misses happen, clean up and move on- Misses happen, big deal. Treat them matter-of-factly.
Find magic in the mundane- You'll never have so much fun, laughter and joy over something so everyday as when practicing EC. Try to carry this into all the other aspects of your life.
EC in Practice
EC the Second Time Around
by Kylene Grell (Mentor, Portland, Oregon, and mother to 3 children)
I have 3 children, 2 boys and 1 girl. I did not begin Elimination Communication (EC) with my first boy, but started with my second son and continued with the birth of my daughter. I found out about EC before I became pregnant with my second son. I had great dreams of having a potty independent 1 year old which did not unfold as I had planned. I have been ECing my daughter since her birth, and I have noticed some differences in my approach and results.
Personality does play a part in the second time around, having a third baby makes me realize this every day. My daughter has a very particular personality and she lets you know when she does not like something. Consequently, wet and dirty diapers will not be tolerated and she gives ample warning signals before nearly all of her elimination. My son did not give such clear signals and tolerated wet diapers more than his sister.
I never used disposables with my daughter. She does not pee as frequently as my first did, she seems to hold her pee for quite a while and generally poops only once a day. She is still very young, sleeps a great deal of the time, she is not mobile yet so there are less opportunities for misses.
When my son was born I used disposables until the meconium passed. I got hooked on using them and was afraid of using my pile of brand new cloth diapers and ended up using the disposables for three weeks. With my daughter's birth I was adamant about only using cloth. I was rewarded with catching all but one of the meconiums and most of the pees in those early days. I waited for several weeks to physically put my son on a potty. Up to that point I cued him when he eliminated in his cloth diaper. With my daughter, I didn't wait until it was easy for me to start. I plunged right in as soon as I recognized the first signal when she was about 5 hours old.
My VPPS (very portable potty system) is getting much more use this time because when we are away from home I am more confident in my ability to listen to her signals and I am not relying on her waterproof clothing to do the job. I am much more apt to pull out the VPPS whenever the need arises. We often return from an outing of even several hours clean and dry.
I find having a small potty bowl very useful. I keep one near me wherever we are so there is no excuse for allowing my daughter to go in her diaper. This way we don't have any misses because I'm unable to get up and potty the baby in the bathroom.
The first time I did EC I experimented with many diaper and diaper alternatives until I found items I was comfortable using. I am now less focused on finding the perfect training pants, small undies, or waterproof gadget. I now know what I like and don't need to spend time thinking about underwear, because the perfect underwear isn't as important as the communication.
Communication is half of the term "elimination communication" and it is at least as important as the elimination if not more. I don't feel like I really achieved the kind of communication with my son that was necessary for the kind of EC success I now enjoy with my daughter.
Now that the newness, excitement, and novelty of a baby peeing in the potty has passed I am more able to focus on the real communication. When my daughter was born, instead of having no outside help, my mother came to stay for 2 weeks. This allowed me to focus on the baby and not worry about my other children and the household. I took the advice of my midwife and actually stayed in bed for 7 days allowing me time to really rest and focus on the baby. We really established a good communication in those first weeks and I feel it would be hard to break that bond.
Having three children keeps me very busy and at times it feels like my daughter isn't getting the concentrated attention that my sons did. Sometimes I feel badly about this and wish I could change it. I have realized that our communication is much stronger than with the older children even though they received more one on one time. I no longer feel like I have to be holding the baby to recognize her signals. Our connection is such that I just need to be in the vicinity to know she needs to go or needs another type of attention. My hope is that by the time she is mobile, our communication skills will be well established and pottying associations will be solid, so that pottying will be just a part of life, not a challenge.
My mindset has changed with each child. Today as I gabbed on the phone; I recognized my baby's cue, pottied her, re-dressed her, emptied and rinsed the potty. I didn't even realize what I had done until it was over. It has become that routine to me. With my son I would have had to be waiting vigilantly for a cue, wait excitedly for a pee, then grin all the way to the sink...never mind talking on the phone.
Another value ECing a second child has brought me is insight into other cultures. I think I can more fully understand how in other cultures pottying a baby is a natural part of life. Just as my mindset has so changed with each of three children (conventionally diapered, ECd from a young age and ECd literally from birth); I can only imagine how one's mind would be different if one lived in a culture where EC was the norm.
ECing my son took so much concentration. All I thought about was pottying. There were great thrills when we had a catch and despair when we missed. I was so proud of our little trick. I looked for opportunities for people to see us pottying or to show off our cute undies. This time we are taking it easy and staying ultra mellow. Misses are no big deal, hey, they happen! There aren't many of them either, or maybe it just feels that way. I also don't take every miss as a personal failure. I apologize to my daughter for being so obtuse and ignoring her yelps and violent writhing or call her on not telling me at all; then I change her and we move on.
I had always hear "just relax" from other more experienced ECers. I thought I was relaxed, now I know that I was not. I really relaxed and just do it. No more anxiety over misses and catches. I repeat the sage advice given me,"RELAX!"
The sight of a one day old relieving herself on the potty is still an awe inspiring event, but to me the communication is just as awesome, and more valuable than dry pants.
I still like to show off the cute undies!
Featured Diaper Free Baby Group
By Diana Steele (Group member)
The "Cleveland" chapter of DiaperFreeBaby actually spans a wide geographic area, stretching more than 100 miles from east to west, and 30+ miles to the south. Only Lake Erie prevents us from having members to the north (so far, we haven't heard from any Great-Lakes-sailin' satellite-Internet-connected diaper-free mamas—hey are you out there?).
We debuted with a great feature article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer ("Diaper-free babies," 1/12/06), which covered our very first actual meeting in January 2006. A color photo of Lauren (at six months) on a Baby Bjorn Little Potty, with her mama Lisa Wilkins, was splashed across the front of the Arts and Life section. Needless to say, the favorable publicity has generated quite a bit of interest in our group.
For me, getting together with other mamas who share many of the same parenting philosophies as I do has made me feel less isolated in the sea of bottle-feeding, stroller-pushing, 'sposie-diapering culture that surrounds me. And the wisdom of several of our moms who have EC'd more than one child is both helpful and inspiring.
To accommodate the geographical diaspora of our members, we have been meeting monthly in rotating fashion on the east, south, and west sides of Cleveland. Our next meeting, on May 4 at 10 a.m., will be on the near west side, in Ohio City. (If you're anywhere in Northeast Ohio -or even out on Lake Erie- and would like more information about our group, contact Lisa Wilkins, or find us on the Web at groups.yahoo.com/clevelanddiaperfreebaby.
And if you have a yacht on Lake Erie and would like to host any of our summer meetings on the north side of Cleveland, we'll bring the refreshments!
Question from an EC Family
Q: My son is 17 months old and we have been doing EC with him since he was 2 weeks old. It doesn't seem to be working the way we expected. He has been naked at home and wears a diaper when out. Most of the time he tells us before he poops, but with only seconds to spare. Although sometimes he tells us he has to pee before he does, he usually tells us as he is going. He often doesn't want to be bothered when I know he needs to go, refuses, then pees on the floor a minute later. Am I doing something wrong? Sometimes I feel very frustrated with the situation.
A: First of all let me commend you on being so close with your child and so dedicated to EC. I'm glad to see that you acknowledge the importance of not pressuring the child. To me it sounds like you guys have a pretty good EC relationship. He is in an age of explosion of knowlege of his environment. There is a lot for him to do and think about- it might be hard for him to keep his bladder in mind when he is so busy. That could explain why he sometimes waits until the last minute to communicate what is happening- and sometimes not at all. Also, I am curious what his non-elimination communication is like. Does he talk or sign a lot? When does he talk the most? How does he let you know he is hungry? I think a lot of parents of children the same age as yours feel frustration because they know their kids know certain things, yet the kids aren't using communication very effectively yet.
If you are feeling like the periodic offering of the potty is pressuring- then back off a little and see if there is a change. If you don't offer the potty except when he communicates what happens - how do you feel? How do you think he feels? Do you have more misses or does it stay about the same? If you decide that periodically offering the potty is not increasing the amount of pressure felt then continue to do it as he is going to need a little help keeping his bladder in mind. When offering, try to do so when he is in between tasks. Right after he drops one toy and before he goes for the next is a good time. Some mothers don't fully offer the potty either- just ask him how his bladder is doing- you can judge by his reaction what the next step needs to be.
I am also curious what happens when he does pee just standing there looking at you or when he says pee as he pees. How do you react? What do you say? What is that moment like? Have you ever asked him to "hold it" while you get him to a receptical or get a receptical to him? The moment he looks at you when he goes is an amazing opportunity for communication. He is communuicating with you- the fact that he looks at you tells me that, it's just that the communication was too late.
Now that my own son is becomming a toddler I occasionally take a day where I do nothing but play with him and communicate. I try to get in tune with his patterns again. I always feel better after a day like that and my son always communicates more and I understand more. This isn't a practical suggestion for everyone, it's just something that I use when I feel like things aren't flowing well.
I agree that with communication it will all fall in to place eventually.
Have a question about the DFB lifestyle? We'll address your questions in future issues. Please send your suggestions to Infant Pottying Today
Frequently Asked Question
Q: Is it possible to practice EC at night? What if my baby sleeps in a separate room? How do I protect the bed or crib? Can we use diapers at night?
A: Yes. Whether you sleep in the same room or in a separate room from your baby, you can EC at night. How you deal with nighttime eliminations is your choice and depends largely on how you and your baby sleep. If you and your baby co-sleep you will likely be woken by your baby when she needs to pee or poop (although many parents report their EC'd babies do NOT poop during the night) by restless movements or wriggling. Once a baby becomes mobile, she may try to wriggle out of bed, even half-asleep, in response to her instinct to keep her bedding clean.
If your baby sleeps a distance from you, she may not cry until after she has woken enough to wet. You can still do nighttime EC even if you do not sleep in the same room as your child, but you may need to learn her schedule and anticipate wakings before they happen.
If you are breastfeeding your baby during the night she will often either need to pee before or after nursing, and many newborns like to nurse in order to relax to pee at night. You can either pee your baby lying down onto a prefold diaper or use a larger receptacle, such as a bucket or basin, kept by the bed. You can also use a small potty or bowl that can be held between your legs when sitting up and cradle your baby in your arms while you gently cue her to pee.
If you do not want to get out of bed to empty the potty, you can put a prefold diaper in the potty to absorb the pee or place the potty in a larger container so that it will not spill on the floor.
In order to protect your bed, many parents find it is helpful to put a woolen "puddle pad" beneath the baby's bedding. This protects the mattress and makes it easier to change bedding in the middle of the night if necessary. You can also keep your baby in a diaper or training pants during the night and potty her when she has to go. Cloth diapers or training pants that snap at the side are often easier to change without disturbing the baby. Also, two-piece pajamas or a sleep gown make it easier to change or potty your baby at night.
Many babies, even as young as a few months old, do not need to pee at night. This is normal. Also, most babies do not pee while sleeping so if you can pick up on cues that your baby is rousing you should have a good chance at catching the nighttime elimination.
Cleaning up misses
Here are some tips for cleaning up misses.
Pee: If your baby pees on a hardwood floor or other solid surface, wipe it up with a cloth or paper towel. You can then wipe it clean with a warm cloth or use your favorite all purpose cleaner. If the miss is on a rug or carpet, first dab up as much as you can with an absorbent cloth or cloth diaper. Then dilute the area with water and dab dry again. If you have a rug made from natural fibers and dyes such as a high quality wool rug, do not use anything harsh or chemical. If water alone doesn't seem to do the trick, use a gentle dishsoap and blot gently. Then rinse again with water and dab dry. Don't use baking soda, but let the spot dry by dabbing with the cloth and air drying. If your rug or carpet is made from synthetic fibers it might be ok to use a steam cleaner or other carpet cleaning products. Some parents have had good luck using products such as Bac-out. It is always a good idea to consult your store or manufacturer when in doubt.
Poop: On solid floor surfaces, wipe clean and wash with warm water and soap or an all purpose cleaner. On rugs or carpets, remove any solids carefully and gently blot wetness, then dilute with water and blot again. You may need to repeat this a few times, then blot dry. As with for pee, consult your store or manufacturer when in doubt.
Responses to: When out and about, where is the place you are most comfortable pottying your baby? Where are you least comfortable?
Brianna (Ely, Minnesota): I think I am most comfortable in our van or a bathroom that isn't too busy. I am least comfortable pottying either of them outside, with people around or in busy bathrooms. Especially when there is a wait and I have to talk to baby and tell him to hold it! People give the funniest looks.
Jack: I feel most comfortable pottying my baby on our farm, or on the wood's edge (outside in nature). I feel least comfortable pottying him when visiting relatives and everyone's curiousity seems to measure our "success." "Did he go?" they like to ask as soon as we exit the bathroom.
Amanda (Miami, Florida): I have a six month old son, Raven Gabriel, and we've been practicing EC since he was one month. We use our toilet at home, so he is used to sitting backwards with mum holding him from behind; this has proved convenient because our home-base is in Miami, so as is the case in big cities, we are out-&-about most days. I prefer to use the toilet as i can sit and it engenders patience because my posture is better, although his papa prefers the sink since he is much taller. In using the toilet, I am immediately reminded that this process takes time. I recall a sign on the back of a friend's yoga studio's bathroom door that read "don't just do something, sit there". So, whether on a road trip, an airplane, visiting friends, or grocery shopping, there is always a toilet near that Raven can use. We have stopped the car & used as secluded a spot as available on occasions, but my preference is still the toilet. Perhaps I can't shake the feeling of civility & ceremony in using a toilet and a bidet. the sink is a great bidet substitute for babies & that completes the elimination ceremoniously.
Anna, (Dunkirk, Maryland) : When out and about during the colder months, our favorite place to potty is in our warm van (into a potty insert). Our least favorite place to potty out of the house is any public restroom because they just are not warm enough and our littlest likes to go in a quieter place..
Response to: What led you to do Elimination Communication with your child?
Laura (Bismark, ND) : I had been searching for a sling to help me hold my 14 month old so I could save my back. I was led to Joyce's website... mamaroobabysling.com. On her website she talks about EC. She has some informative articles and personal experiences posted there. They were very intriguing, so I searched some more. I finaly made the decision to go diaper free a day later! I have not gone back since.
Vivienne (Boulder, CO) : I started EC when a friend, who had just begun, called me to tell me that she caught her first poop. I wanted to wash my own diapers and I thought this would make my life more easy. I thought I would just focus on the poops, but once you start recognizing the signals, it is impossible to ignore them.
I read Ingrid Bauer's book in one sitting. When I got to the part where she described pausing mid-conversation to pee her baby, I thought, "Wow, that's amazing, but it will never be me." I couldn't imagine being able to communicate with my son that way. We started when Casey was 2 1/2 months old and at 8 months we are diaper free during the day (including outings in the car!) and he is starting to wake up from naps dry. Now I am the person who pauses a conversation to take her baby outside for a 10 second pit stop. Nothing could be more natural or easy.
Thanks for being a catalyst!
NEW Question: Why do you EC?
Please send your responses to Infant Pottying Today
We'll publish them in a future issue.
An ABC for EC
by Joanne R. Polner (New Jersey)
I adore and assist
bond and balance
cuddle and communicate
dote and discover
enjoy and encourage
focus and facilitate
gentle and give
honor and help
individualize and indicate
join and juggle
kiss and know
listen and love
marvel and manage
nestle and nod
oversee and opine
play and plan
question and quote
rock and rally
sign and satisfy
talk and touch
understand and uplift
validate and verify
wonder and whisper
xplain and xcite
yaw and yearn
zigzag and zip
Kiley, 7 months, started EC at 3 months
Casey, 3 1/2 months, started EC at 2 1/2 months
The Language of EC
As opposed to saying their babies are "toilet trained," families practicing EC often refer to when their babies "graduated." Some people define "graduated" as being out of diapers, regardless of "misses." And others declare their babies "graduated" when they take primary responsibility for their pottying and can go several weeks without a "miss," even though they still need help with clothing and/or wiping. Some babies are "daytime" graduates before being "nighttime" graduates and yet others are the opposite.
Given the variation among definitions, some people in the EC community have begun referring to "phases of gradhood" since EC is a learning process and not a time-specific event. The following is one definition of these phases as outlined by Freddy of Germany.
Phase 1: Stays dry pretty reliably with caregiver's help
Phase 2: Signals rather consistently, needing occasional reminders
Phase 3: Independently goes to the potty
Phase 4: Is self sufficient, including wiping
Regardless of the definition, it is interesting and important to note that babies reach difference phases at different ages and there should be no expectations for any particular ability at a given age.
A Graduation Story
A Daytime Graduate at 24 Months
by Ksenia Barton
When my son was 2 years old I came to the realization one day that my son Wolfgang was a daytime graduate and had been for a while. We almost never have misses and my son takes responsibility for telling us when he has to go. We don't have to remind him or figure out the timing of the next “pottytunity.” Even during a recent very bad bout of diarrhea that lasted for a couple of weeks, there were no misses. We help him with clothing and keep him company and read during poops, but he is even starting to pull down his own pants and underwear often, and will head towards the toilet himself (we use the Freedom Trainer) if we are too slow to help him.
We started at birth but struggled to notice any signals other than his passing gas. Wolfgang peed extremely frequently and generally was "hard to EC" from what I understand from reading about other babies. Or maybe we just weren't attuned enough in spite of babywearing full time. We used full time waterproof cloth diaper backups for most of the time in the first year. Wolfgang went through months and months of complete refusal to potty anywhere starting at about 8 months and at times I truly felt like giving up were it not for support from the online EC community. Since we ditched diapers completely at 18 mo, my son’s progress with daytime pottying has been very gradual. Ditching the diapers created immediate progress and we went down to 2 or 3 misses per day. The misses gradually became fewer, but all pottying was still initiated by us. Then he gradually started letting us know about poops. And eventually he started letting us know about pees. And he started to take full responsibility for keeping track of his own elimination with no pressure from us.
At 24 months, Wolfgang is extremely strong-willed. I don't know how he would have responded to conventional potty training at this age, but I am positive that if he wasn't thrilled about the idea he would definitely not cooperate in any way at all. I am so glad that we don't have to go there. Mothering him is challenging enough, and I am grateful that I do not have the burden of diapering as well.
When I first learned that 24 months was a pretty typical graduation age for EC’d children, I thought "big deal, that's not *so* early". Looking back now, I realize that I saved hundreds of diaper washings and changes even *before* gradhood. The whole process has helped our communication and mutual understanding. On one hand, I was proactive (responding to timing, ditching diapers, offering different pottying places); on the other hand the process was very child-led, with Wolfgang gradually progressing at his own rate and participating (or not) according to his own preferences.
It is quite rare that I meet non-ECed children of his age who are not wearing disposables full time. I don't feel smug about it, but I do feel sad that those toddlers are not being given the opportunity for being in charge of their own bodies in that particular way. Being in charge of his body is *very* important to Wolfgang and we try to avoid power struggles in that area as much as possible.
I want to give lots of encouragement to all the parents out there who may not be totally in tune with their babies' every eyelid flutter, squirm, and squeak. I want to cheer on moms who look at a huge pile of wet diapers at the end of the day and wonder why they're doing this crazy EC thing. I want to say "you go!" to moms whose babies pee every 10 minutes and can't possibly catch them all. I want to say "hang in there" to moms whose babies want absolutely nothing to do with potties, toilets, sinks, or strips of lawn right now. You *are* doing something wonderful for your baby. Your gentle, loving persistence and detective work *will* pay off. EC *doesn't* have to be perfect to work. It will all click into place - I promise!
New Mentors and Contacts
Please welcome our new Mentors and Contacts:
Nicholls, Australian Capital Territory - Charndra
Edmonton, Alberta - Terra
Liverpool, Merseyside - Anna Martin
Drachten, Friesland - Christien
Kosice - Viktoria
Pretoria, Gauteng - Barbara
California (Glendale) - Reese
Colorado (Oak Creek) - Tina
Maryland (Union Bridge) - Leah
Massachusetts (Milford) - Kelley
Montana (Kalispell) - Kylene
New York (Brooklyn) - Haya
New York (Brooklyn) - Kate
New York (Kingston) - Sharron
Ohio (Kettering) - Amy
Rhode Island (Wood River Junction) - Renee
Virginia (Lynchburg) - Catherine
Washington (Bainbridge Island) - Elizabeth
Washington (Bremerton) - Kelly
Washington (Seattle) - Rachel
In the News
DiaperFreeBaby and Elimination Communication in the News
by Elizabeth Parise, Communications Manager, and Mentor, Massachusetts
The media has continued to show an amazing interest in helping us to share EC. We had a run of TV spots around "Sweeps Week" in February/March from Utah to Connecticut, Colorado to Ohio.
Many of the magazine articles are starting to be published too, so many in fact, that we have added a separate In The News category for them. Keep checking back as many more will be included soon.
We have seen interest from parenting websites increasing including Mothering and Clever Parents.
The focus has been shifting, too. There is much less in the way of "debate" and more in the way of practical information and tips. We have seen this in articles like EC Fans Ditching Diapers For Johns in the Salt Lake Tribune and Infants Use The Potty? Some Moms Say Yes in The Kingsport Times News.
Diaper-free babies: A Consumer Report CBS 12 News Missouri 7 approached the story with a fresh angle by giving us a consumer angle and several stories have included EC supportive pediatricians such as Chronicle in Boston and ABC in Denver.
Please visit In The News to see all the exciting news stories around the world. Over twenty new stories have just been added and there are many more to come.