” A rainbow was created with unique and different colours; together they standout as one whole beautiful thing. So are we.” Katya Bertrand
You’ll be joining a diverse list of parents with different aged babies and children who are at varying ages and stages of practicing EC. That is the key point to keep in mind – `stages of EC’. You may feel overwhelmed that everyone posting is `better’ at EC than you are as they are nappy free or nearly diaper free, seem to ‘know’ their baby’s signs when you have no idea, can have long ‘dry streaks’ when you are catching intermittently with no seeming pattern…
They fumbled all over the place, mis-timed offers by moments for day after day it seemed at times, felt they had NO intuition, felt they would never catch their baby’s poops as they were such ‘stealth’ poops! (They WILL become more regular in time.) Some are practicing EC the second or third time around – these folks are quite likely to have more confidence than someone doing it for the first time.
As your baby looks up at you after a ‘catch’ and you see that “Wow, How amazing am I, Mum? You GOT it!” expression on their face – BAM! It is SOOOO addictive when you get the whole connection thing going on!
People get more chatty and experienced about EC as they become an ‘expert’ with their own child, and from absorbing the wisdom from other parents on the lists. They talk more online, and it can seem only the full-on EC Mammas are talking about and doing EC – but there are all sorts! Your EC confidence will grow…you will become an “EC Expert” on your own child, and be able to share those experiences with others.
Of course, if you are focussing on a more diaper/ nappy-free stage of EC, (because your baby is now older or a toddler) you will have more questions and chatter than if you are happily sailing along catching poops to reduce your diaper / nappy washing burden or disposables budget! This can seem daunting, but don’t worry, you will get there too, inevitably.
It may seem intimidating that they are doing night time EC, or that everyone talks about bed sharing and baby wearing. These things can help our EC connection, and if you are co-sleeping, night EC is a natural extension to try at some point. Baby wearing is a great way to learn baby’s subtle messages, that is why it is often discussed in EC forums, as it is a natural parenting or attachment parenting concept – in other words, something that is traditionally practiced throughout time. It is a common practice with babies after all. Perhaps it seems everyone is changing their diet? Some Mums find it extremely helpful, others that they need to do nothing (lucky them!)
No one HAS to do anything, you are just having fun learning with your bubba or tot and sharing it with others in a safe place. (Most lists are private, all are ‘registered posters only’ to keep out the weirdos.)
Plenty of parents are happily using timing for catching wees and poos at Prime Times, such as at nappy changes (or if the baby’s nappy is dry when you check it) and when baby wakes up – and find the ones between very elusive. Everyone has ‘rainy days’ – just power through those pees. All this is very normal as some babies are very subtle in their wee signs – plus there are so many of them – always more time to ‘practise.’
“Do something. If it doesn’t work, do something else. No idea is too crazy.” – Jim Hightower.
Practise is all experience for you and your baby – they learn and learn and observe – even if at stages seem to go static with their EC cooperation. It is amazing how in time, one day something you have been doing now and then for months suddenly `clicks’ and you’ve got a new way to communicate! (Such as using a sign at potty times)
Often people find it easier to ‘catch’ before baby becomes mobile – then it all goes up in the air for a while as mobility develops. This stage passes too. Keep in mind that:
There is always SOMETHING happening that fluffs up `Perfect EC’ – this is because there is no such thing! Life happens – it gets in the way!
NO-ONE catches all the wees and poos – EC is a way of life, an approach to gradual toilet learning, you can do it to whatever degree of attention you like at different stages, it is still practicing EC.
I think this quote is very relevant to extending ourselves now and then with EC:
‘If you are ever going to see a rainbow, you have got to stand a little rain’ – Anon.
You are attempting to communicate with your little one about their elimination needs on a regular basis, and helping them learn about their bodies during your pottying moments together.
People are using nappies full time while ECing full time. They are part time diaper free. They are using disposables. They are using modern cloth. They are ECing at home, but diapering/ nappying when out. They are ECing in the day but using nappies at night. They are no longer needing to use nappies as they are past that stage (but they may go back to them now and then, use them in certain situations.) They are practicing EC with one child, or with a houseful of children. They are experimenting with what works and doesn’t for their family and their particular ECing baby. All sorts. All are ECing. Your personal goals for EC are whatever you like, and what suit your family and child.
I ask them still! Share your insights – they will help others. Don’t worry that it may have been said before –it may not have been. Even if it has, people benefit from reminders, and you can be sure there are others on the lists who haven’t heard or thought of your insight – you can help them.
People are on the elimination communication support forums as they want to learn more – even if you have only a little EC experience – something you know will help other mums on the lists – I see it all the time, I am CONSTANTLY helped in my parenting / ECing journey by little gems of insights from parents on the lists – even if they have ONLY been doing EC a month.
Remember this quote when you hit a rough patch in practicing EC:
‘A problem well stated is a problem half solved.’ -Charles Franklin Kettering
Simply writing your question / query / issue down can give you a clearer perspective and has been known to make it go away. Be sure to check out the Search function or Archives for responses on Frequently Asked Questions.
Have fun connecting,
THAT is the thing to focus on!
P.S. Always keep in mind that you are ‘practising EC’ – you get it ‘right’ as often as you get it ‘wrong’ – this is why they don’t matter and that EC is about the journey with your baby. Keep practicing – they will use the toilet independently in time – EC is an enjoyable way to connect with them about such a big part of their experience, something we can do many times a day or once a day.
Discover More about My Elimination Communication eBook: Part Time EC: A Personal Guide to Developing Your Elimination Communication Confidence…