Have You Discovered Your Elimination Communication Confidence?

Adventures in Part Time Baby Pottying: Shell and Tommy

Adventures in Part Time Baby Pottying: Shell and Tommy

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?

Shell, Ben and Tommy, in New Zealand…

“All up, I spent nearly 4 years cleaning poopy diapers with my first 2 children. With Tommy I had months of not cleaning *any* poop!”

Shell and Ben live in Auckland, NZ with their 3 children. Tommy is their first EC’ed child. They planned to do EC in pregnancy, and used predominantly (old-fashioned) cloth diapers with a splattering of biodegradable “disposables”. They decided to go diaper-free at home when he was 7 weeks (completely when he was 12 weeks).
Oh The Thinks You Can Think! is their family blog.

When did you begin practicing EC with your little one and how did this look?

I began making the cueing sound (“sssss-pssss”) in the first week if I noticed him peeing (when his diaper was off). He wore diapers full-time from the start. I had intended to be diaper-free right away, but when he arrived- I really couldn’t imagine how that could work, so I didn’t object when the midwife put a disposable on him.

I offered him a “pottytunity” when he was 15 days old, and he went immediately the very first time it was offered. He didn’t want to know about it for the next few weeks, but picked up again at 6 weeks.
Which diapers and alternatives did you use in the process?
We used 2 packs of biodegradable disposable diapers over his first 3 months. Mostly though, we used cloth diapers, and had him in them full-time. At 6 weeks, we had a full day away from home (in a different town), and only 2 disposables left. When we got home after a 5 hr drive, at 11pm- his disposable was still dry! That week, I decided he really didn’t need diapers…and I was tending to be a bit lazy about ignoring signs, because I knew a diaper meant no drama.

When he was 3 months I bought 2 pairs of tiny training pants, which could hold one pee without it going through to his clothes.
What differences/changes did you notice in your baby after beginning EC?
Tommy wasn’t a very happy boy in his early months- I didn’t notice much difference when he went diaper-free, except possibly that he was more mobile than other babies. When we worked out he had food sensitivities, and eliminated them from my diet, he became a much happier baby.

Actually, one thing was that he seemed to be able to hold on a lot longer after he woke up- initially, he needed to pee right away, later he could wit up to 45 minutes, so long as I was holding him.
What difference did EC make to your day-to-day life and your relationship with your baby?
I felt really close to him, I held him often because that was a good way to keep him dry. I loved that he could “tell” me about his need, even though he couldn’t speak or control his movements properly.

The biggest difference though, was with Ben- he was so much more involved with Tommy, because he wasn’t just changing diapers (which is pretty dull, especially for dads)…but he was really tuning in to his tiny boy. Also, we had both noticed before that a Dad doesn’t have as much to do with a breastfed baby as his Mum.
With EC, Ben could take care of one of Tommy’s most basic needs, every bit as well as I could…he couldn’t feed him, but it didn’t matter (whereas with our older children, I had pumped in order to give him a chance at feeding- he was perfectly happy to have his “turn” when Tommy started eating solid food).

How long before you were feeling confident including a few ‘pee breaks’ into your day?

We seemed to go from “not much” to “everything” all at once…it began on Boxing day, when I had not brought enough diapers to the family Christmas…it was kind of out of necessity- but it gave me the inspiration to really make a go of it, when I had probably only dabbled before then. That was also the time when my in-laws showed their support in very cool ways, and Ben got fully on-board with the whole thing. Tommy was 6 weeks old.

In really busy times, what do you do?

The easiest thing for me to do in really busy times once we were diaper-free was to put Tommy in a sling- that way, he could hold on for so much longer.
When he was very little, and I knew he would need to pee, but didn’t have time to wait for it- I put a folded diaper under him. He started rolling at 7 weeks, so I needed a few around him, and often got that wrong- I bought a waterproof (big) mat for him to lie on, but it wasn’t long before he could get off that and pee on the carpet.

I just figured if life was busy, then that was that- and a little puddle on the floor was no big deal.

What impact has reducing diapers had on your budget?

Well, we never really got in to buying diapers, so I haven’t noticed anything much. But, we must be saving plenty compared to parents of diapers children.

What else has been significant to you?

It has made me see how often my older two children tried to communicate with me, but I just didn’t get it. If I had been told about this when my first son was born, I wouldn’t have believed it.

Working out which foods he is sensitive to, has been brilliant for us. I wish I had had that info when my older two were tiny (we discovered their issues when they were 5 and 2). It was because of EC that I was able to see the different ways food affected him.

Nights with a diaper-free baby are brilliant- I still get excited about a dry night in the morning, even though it is the norm, rather than an exception. However, if I eat wheat, Tommy *will* pee the bed…usually not just once either, more like 3 times. I am reasonably certain he has no idea it is happening- he wakes for feeding and is wet. The same thing happens through the day- he can pee 3 times in 10 minutes, which is very unusual normally.

What message do you have to share with parents beginning their part time diaper free journey?

Being a parent is hard work, so go easy on yourself. EC can be started much later, and still be “successful” if it is all too much. If you find EC is stressing you out, then stop…it should be a pleasure for you both.

Don’t worry if other people think it’s odd…it used to be normal in any society, and still is in much of the world. It’s so cool to have a naked baby on the furniture, for instance, and be certain it will be safe. I didn’t have my other 2 naked inside for very long until they were 2 years old!

That’s another thing…all up, I spent nearly 4 years cleaning poopy diapers with my first 2 children. With Tommy I had months of not cleaning *any* poop!

How would you practise EC with another baby?

We would definitely do EC again. I would like to try from the very start, and I see now how that could be done. I would have the potty already there, and probably just use the toilet as soon as possible. I think I would probably buy some of the nicely fitted cloth diapers, and not buy *any* disposables.

I also have a much better sling now, that I didn’t get until Tommy was 6 months old- I would use that from the start (skin-to-skin and as often as possible) with the next baby to encourage closeness, and also work out the new baby’s signs more easily.

Shell in New Zealand
Back to Adventures in Elimination Communication List…

Discover More about My Elimination Communication eBook:

Part Time EC: A Personal Guide to Developing Your Elimination Communication Confidence…

Elimination Communication eBook

Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes