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Adventures in Part Time Baby Pottying: Janey and Nelly

Adventures in Part Time Baby Pottying: Janey and Nelly

Discover Valuable Insights in The Stories of Parents Practicing EC!  How do they combine their busy modern lives with being part time diaper free?

What can your learn from someone who has a similar story to yours?

Janey and her daughter Nelly, in the United States of America.

“I never put diapers on Nelly intending for her to use them (although she *did* quite a bit!) The diapers were for my sanity, sometimes I felt more relaxed when she was wearing the diapers because I knew if I missed her cues, there wouldn’t be a mess. Whenever I noticed her cues, I would try to get her to the potty.”

I knew about EC before I was even pregnant and was very eager to prove to my nay-saying friends (who already had children and “knew EC was impossible”) that it *could* be done. I of course didn’t tell anyone about it except my husband in case it didn’t work.

When Nelly was first born, I was focused on being a new mom, getting the breastfeeding thing down, and simply paid attention to when I thought Nelly needed to go. I usually knew when she needed to poop when I was breastfeeding, because she’d stop sucking, her eyes would get *really* wide, then I’d hear a loud “phhhhllllp!” At those times I’d grunt with her and say “ssss.”
One time my husband was changing her diaper and he said “Oh! She’s peeing!” “Say “sssss!” I said. There was another time when I thought she was needing to poop, but I wasn’t sure, so I held her in the classic position (her back against my chest, my hands under her thighs) and grunted with her. She did need to poop, but I had left her diaper on, cuz I just wasn’t sure! Even though she went in her diaper, it was kind of a catch!

The morning Nelly was 9 days old, I took her diaper off first thing after she woke up, held her over a little bowl and said “ssssss” and she peed!!!! I was so excited. I called my husband, I called my mom! This was great! Later that day, I caught a pee over the big toilet AT THE CHIROPRACTORS!!! Wow! How great was that?
Which diapers and alternatives did you use in the process?
I started out with disposables on her all the time, and just took them off when I thought she needed to pee. I used the ‘sposies never intending to have her use them, but just incase I didn’t understand her cues, there wouldn’t be a mess.

At about 3 months, we started going diaper free at night with a waterproof pad under Nelly. She was amazing and stayed dry through the night most nights. (I used to joke with my husband that *I* wet the bed more than *she* did with my leaky breasts!) I slowly became more confident in our ability to communicate and let her go “nakey butt” at home, but I still used disposable diapers when I went out. I would also put on a ‘sposie at home if I knew I was going to be busy and might not be able to immediately respond to a cue (like when I was making dinner).

There was also a time for diapers at home if we were just having an “off” day and we’d had several misses. When Nelly was 6 months I got about 6 cloth diapers, various brands, from Craigslist and started using those at home instead of disposables.

At about 9 months I started I got really brave and started using cloth out of the home. I realized that a miss, even in cloth diapers, is not that bad. I never used covers, but the cloth diapers were thick enough that one pee just seeped through enough to let me know she was wet, and I would change her. That didn’t happen very often, though, because I had become very good at reading her cues, plus I always gave her more opportunities to use the potty when we were out.

I noticed that Nelly did NOT like being wet and especially in the morning would wait for me to take her to the toilet.

I don’t really ever remember NOT doing EC, it’s always been a part of our life. I believe the tuning in and extra communication in regards to going potty has helped in our communication in other areas, like when she wants to eat, and what her preferences are.

As I said before, I never put diapers on Nelly intending for her to use them (although she *did* quite a bit!) The diapers were for my sanity, sometimes I felt more relaxed when she was wearing the diapers because I knew if I missed her cues, there wouldn’t be a mess. Whenever I noticed her cues, I would try to get her to the potty.

In really busy times,  I used disposable diapers! (well, till about 10 months). If I knew I’d be busy and might not be able to respond right away, I’d put her in a diaper. I am a dance instructor and when Nelly was little, I would take her to work with me and just wear her in the sling while I taught. Since I didn’t want to interrupt class to take a pee break, she wore ‘sposies during that time.

After 10 months, whenever she is in *my* care (or my mother’s for that matter!) and I know I’m going to be busy, I put her in cloth diapers. She’s 13 months now and if I leave her with someone else, I put her in a disposable. The other day, I asked my 15 year old neighbor if she could watch Nelly for a little while. she said “SURE!” then said “Is she wearing a a diaper?” “I’ll put one on her,” I said.

What impact has reducing diapers had on your budget?

Wow! We bought maybe 6 or 7 packages of newborn diapers, 3 or 4 packages of size 1, then only one package of size 2, 3, and 4. Nelly is still in 4s right now. I re-use the disposables. You know, I’d put her in one “just in case” and she wouldn’t use it, so I’d save it for next time we needed one!
When Nelly was in size 3, I bought about 1/2 a package of size 5 at a garage sale for $.50. I don’t think I’ll need them! But that has just saved so much money. My friends are buying one package of diapers a week!
I remember when I bought my Baby Bjorn Little Potty. It was $10 plus s&h; about the price of a pack of diapers. I thought “Well, she has to use it at least 36 times to make it work while.” She’s used it more than 36 times!
I also bought some cloth diapers (used from Craigslist) and calculated the cost the same way (how much am I saving on disposables buying these?) I haven’t had that much extra laundry, either (except basic new baby laundry). Nelly wets herself so rarely that it’s no big deal to toss the damp diaper in the next load of laundry.

I just love the fact that my daughter is not sitting in her own waste. *Every* time she poops in the potty, I think “I am *so* glad that is not smeared all over her girly parts!” I’m not a huge environmentalist, but I am glad that I am not contributing to the landfills as much as a “normal” baby would.

What message do you have to share with parents beginning their Elimination Communication journey?

Just Do It! Remember that the goal is communication, so even if you miss everything at first, that’s ok. Stay relaxed. It’s not a race or a contest. It’s about what’s best for your baby and YOU!
I think with my next baby I will start sooner (not that 9 days is so long). I will probably be more confident to have my next baby in cloth diapers sooner.

Janey in the USA.
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