It’s been a while since I posted. I had my second daughter, Natalie Joelle on May 27. Big sister Isabela is now 28 months and is doing great with the potty, a huge blessing as I’m trying to get the hang of mothering two little ones. I thought I’d post an update of ECing Natalie…
Age of your EC-child
We started at…
Generally speaking we are doing…
OK. I just discovered that she relaxes better on the baby bjorn potty instead of the bowl that we were using. That has seemed to help lately. Natalie sleeps well at night, so she often wakes up dry. My issue has been figuring our how to get her to relax and pee when all she wants to do is nurse. I’m going to have to try nursing over the potty or a prefold or something.
How do you know your baby has to go? Baby’s signals? Timing? Intuition? Is there a difference for poos and pees?
I’ve tried to watch for signals, but I’m still learning there. Mainly I offer the potty at logical times (after nursing, upon waking or if it’s been a while since the last potty). Also, if she is content, but then starts to fuss I try the potty.
Which positions/receptacles do you use?
Classic position, held over the BBLP or a bowl. We’ll also use the sink or toilet at times.
Do you use diapers or training pants? On what occasions, what kind ofdiapers?
Prefold and a snappy. Wool cover or other diaper cover if we’re out.
How are you doing away from home?
Fine. I’ll offer the potty in the public restroom or the grass.
What are you doing at night?
Prefold and snappy. She sometimes wakes up dry, but I have a hard time getting her to go unless while nursing, so maybe I’ll just leave her diaper off and have something under her…gotta get around to figuring that one out…
Who takes baby to the potty?
Me or my husband.
Misses - how many do you have and what times are especially accident-prone?
Lots of misses, and I’m just trying to learn her signals and timing/get in a rhythm. Not too worried about misses right now.
Other new insights:????What do you like most about ecing at the moment?
It seems like a logical and natural part of our lives.
Do you ever wish you’d have never heard about it?
Pop over to visit “Adventures in Part Time Pottying”
Discover great new tips on how to do Baby Pottying by learning from the stories of families practicing EC part time, full time or casually.
From one baby to eight children, people are incorporating some EC into their days to reduce waste, save money and reduce washing!
From New Zealand to Australia, to The United States to Norway, families all around the world are enjoying the thrills of helping their baby to go in a baby potty or in-arms over a bowl or the toilet.
They work, they care for their children at home, they are just like you!
P.S I’d love to add your story! Contact me through my site and I’ll send you 10 suggested questions to answer, or you can simply tell your own story in your own way.
3 Ways Carrying and Wearing Your Baby Helps You to Reduce Your Diaper or Nappy Use…
Wearing your baby helps to turn on your ‘baby radar’, making you more aware of the subtle body language of your precious baby.
You can use this awareness to gradually reduce your use of diapers or nappies when practicing a little baby pottying.
When your baby is held close, cuddled to your body in a baby carrier they are relaxed, they signal strongly and they can naturally hold on easier when upright. Though EC is about helping your baby to have elimination ‘comfort’ by releasing their pee and poos consciously, not ‘holding on’ like with conventional toilet training. Being upright in a sling helps them become more aware of and in tune with the rhythms of their body, just as it helps you as their mother or father.
Consider These 3 Insights into Why Baby Wearing Makes Practicing EC Easier:
1. As we are a ‘carrying’ species babies easily relax when held. As they are close to you, it is easy to notice their subtle body language changes that may indicate it’s time to pop them out for a wee opportunity.
2. As baby is close and calm, you can go about your activities with more ease. When their demeanor changes suddenly, they start squirming or staining at the fabric, perhaps pulling their legs up or squeezing them together, your ‘baby radar’ can turn on naturally with their closeness, and you can pop them out for a potty break.
3. Physiologically, babies can hold on much more easily when upright in a sling- it’s just how our bodies work. Ever jumped up and down while waiting in a queue for the toilet? Same thing. Thus, the signs your baby needs to go will be stronger, as they don’t simply wee without warning like they often do when they are lying down flat on their back or belly.
Baby wearing. A traditional baby care technique. A great Baby Pottying ‘tool’ as well!
Practiced world wide as a way to keep baby close, happy and warm while you do your needed tasks while meeting the cuddle needs of your baby.
Now you know why mothers in counties traditionally practicing elimination communication can wear their baby without getting wet…
Wearing your baby in a sling, pouch, wrap or soft carrier will help you to discover your EC confidence as it turns on your baby radar. Give this idea a go. I do it now with my second baby son, just as I did with my first. Have your baby in a diaper or nappy and practice when at home. You might just use one less diaper or nappy each day! That’s good for the environment too.
P.S I like a Ring Sling around the house and at the shops, a wrap for when he is on my back (I still have plenty of time to get him down for a wee when he needs one) and I use soft carriers as well when out or at home, like the Ergo and also the Mai tei, though the straps can be a bit fiddly to find the right strap to pull to release it!
Which carriers do you use when you are building your EC connection?
Training pants and EC baby pants add to your confidence when helping your baby or toddler wean to regular underwear during your EC journey. There is something oh-so-cute about a baby in regular-looking underpants, with the added bit of wettness protection!
Training or Learning pants are simple to pull up and down, offer the toddler access to earlier independence, and are very convenient to switch when there are no change facilities available.
They prevent puddles, feel like regular underwear and look great. They have little bulk, and can go in the regular wash as generally by this time you are managing wet items only.
They usually work out much cheaper than cloth nappies or diapers, and as the aim with EC if for your baby to spend as little time as possible in wet pants, the need for quick changing is a bonus to your ECing.
There are many types of ready made (in stock), custom or hand-made training pants now available for the EC’ing baby or toddler. Specialist varieties are available for families practicing Elimination Communication (EC) or Infant Potty Training in smaller sizes. In this case, look for unique adaptations for baby pottying access. They are easily removed or partially open for potty access, simpler changing, or easier drying.
Consider These 10 Features When Selecting the Right Training Pants for Your Family:
- Waterproof pants, perhaps lined with laminated fabric (PUL), boost your confidence on outings
- Non-waterproof trainers, perhaps for when at home help you know just when a wetting occurs for feedback, reminders and a quick change
- Training pants with sewn in sides are the most like regular underwear. Look for varieties that have an elastic fabric side for easier pulling up and down action for a youngster, making it easier when they want to do it all themselves!
- Snap fastenings last longer, so a better environmental choice for training pants, and will last for all your children. Pants with ’snapping’ sides help in case of poo accidents- they easy to remove quickly with less smearing
- Thicker polar fleece pants delay wettness wicking onto other clothing. Polar fleece is made from recycled plastic bottles, so a choice mindful of the Earth. Though of course wicking means it’s time to change!
- Wool is absorbent. It remains warm if wet, is very natural and may also be hand knitted or crochet for a specialty fashionable one-of-a-kind choice
- Organic Hemp or Bamboo are more ecologically sustainable materials. Organic Cotton is also a better option environmentally
- Touch-tape fastenings are quick to put on - look for pants with ‘laundry tabs’ to prevent snags in the wash
- Some trainers have built-in booster padding or you can choose to add inserts for more absorbency, like with a pocket nappy or diaper. With removable padding you can use them simply as lightly padded underwear later - for the little “Uh- Oh’s” on the way to the toilet independence, for whatever myriad reasons these occur.
- A pair of woollen undies can be used as a cover for over small underwear, or as pants by themselves. They give variety in that stage of weaning to regular underwear, while still feeling the need for confidence with a little added protection in case of an accident. In the same way, a woolen soaker can be used over regular underwear for the same little confidence boost.
As you can see, there are lots of choices these days. Options to tailor to the needs of your family from price, baby or toddler confidence and dexterity, the confidence level of your child’s carers, or your environmental concerns.
Commercial varieties are often are pretty poor at puddle catching, as well as being ‘crinkly’ with plastic liners. Disposable training pants, well they just extend the time your child is wearing one-use underwear! Support a local work-at-home-parent for the smallest environmental impact and for supporting local businesses as well.
Look into cloth, washable and reusable training pants! You now know all the things to consider to make an informed choice.
P.S. I can personally recommend OneWet Pants, Bongo Baby Pants, EcaPants, Favourite EC Pants and Poquito Pants. I use and love them all for a variety of reasons! Beauty, comfort, confidence, compact storage and transport, ease of use, convenience when out and about, smaller washing load, peace of mind… I have some Continuum Family Trainers on order as well.
Which styles of EC Baby Pants or trainers do you like to use and why?
Wow, I have been paying close attention and focussing on Jett’s ‘proto sounds’ (early vocalisations / communications) for a while - in little ‘practice windows’ when we are together and focussed on each other and feeling quite connected.
Just now (I was asleep having a nap nurse with him before this) I awoke to him cooing and gooing at me and we had giggle-chats for a while. Then we were hanging out and I thought I heard him ’say’ ‘a-weeee’, so I got his bucket, showed him, and he did a wee! Then looked in great delight at his tinkle.
Was it a proto-word? We’ll have to see, and keep practicing in these moments together. Jett is four months old.
We are frequently working on ‘Milk-milk’ (+sign/point) and ‘Wee-wee’ (+sign/point) when the opportunity arises, and I am aiming to listen carefully to his proto-talking in context for communications. So, this means when he is otherwise signalling with his body language (such as frantic leg kicking, squirming, ’shouting’), I’ll observe for these sounds when responding to him. Another part of it is mimicking any of these sounds that he makes.
Even when he was tiny, his ‘word’ seemed to be “Erh” for needing to go. So I also use that sound/word.
I figure - it’s all communication, so it’s all good time well spent!
I LOVE EC!
P.S This page on Part Time Diaper Free talks about my experiences with Baby Sign Language and EC, and includes a bunch of ’sign’ choices, some of my insights learnt with Maven, and 5 tips for getting started using sign language in your EC journey.
I’d like to know your experiences of baby wearing and EC. For me, it is just fantastic at getting the whole ‘EC Thang’ going on so easily.
With Maven I used a Ring Sling from about 7 months, and learning about the ‘Chi Pee’ was an astounding turning point for me. Before then we used pouches mainly in the cradle position, so less conducive to sign spotting at a high level. I was able to notice the ‘wriggly’ signs from about 3-4 months and that was very exciting to get right!
Here’s the story:
Each day we walked to the local Shopping Mall. There were about 5 really good Parent Rooms, so we could just range around the store and nip into a Parent Room quite easily. So this is where I practiced first using OneWet Pants when we transitioned out of nappies, and later in going nappy-free totally. That’s this story, so back to it!
I remember I had him in the red ring sling I made out of a single bed cover. He was naked on his bottom half and seated on my hip. I was wandering about, when I felt this warm sensation on my hip and went “Darn! how did I miss that?” and went to the Parent Room to put some OneWets on. But… there was no wetness! I pulled him out and held him over the sink (they have these big ones I guess for impromptu baby washing) and a big wee came out! I was so proud of myself, and in awe at this experience that I had heard about yet not recognised until now.
From then on, having him nakey bottom in the sling was how we went about things - it meant I knew straight away when he needed to go, and it was very quick to pop him out and in for a tinkle wherever we were. (Meaning a toilet and not needing to use a change-table) If he was to have independent time, I popped his OneWets on, for protection of surfaces in case of the accidents that were more likely with crawling and simply the distance of independent time.
Â I’ve more information about Baby Wearing and EC here, including 7 of my insights into EC and wearing my babies.
Â With Jett, I have had the awarenesses that I developed over time with Maven right from the start, so I recommend reading a bit more about this ‘EC Tool’ to benefit from baby wearing from as early as possible!
Maven was sensitive to wheat. If I had *too much*, he would pee like a fountain for several hours.
Â One particular time when he was about 9 or 10 months old, I had wholemeal pancakes that I had made in a sour-dough style, thinking perhaps that would help. Well, and at first he would signal well (the first time he used sign language for ‘toilet’ was duringÂ this Pee Fountain Event), then he would get overwhelmed and stop signalling as there was just so much weeing going on - it would happen every 10 minutes!
This was the first and last time I tried wholemeal pancakes, I can tell you! In the end he actually hid under the table to wee as he was so distressed. We put pants on after that for a few hours, as the ‘Pee Fountain Events’ would pass in a few hours time, or by the next morning.
This incident was basically one of the last where I overloaded on wheat. I went onto rice-everything and it was great, and only started introducing it all much later. It appears at the moment (he is 3 and a half now) that he tolerates it quite well.
I’ve a bit more information about EC and Introducing FoodsÂ here, including some resources I found helpful.
Fed Up with Food Additives is well worth a look.
It’s an Australian Resource, there is this little list of additives to print out and take shopping or have on the fridge when learning (or if you keep forgetting like me!)
P.S I would love to start collecting a few stories about Food Reactions and EC and make a special page about them, as I’m sure it’s behind a good number of issues people have with their EC Journey.