Have You Discovered Your Elimination Communication Confidence?

Adventures in Part Time Baby Pottying: Rebecca and Jonah

Adventures in Part Time Baby Pottying: Rebecca and Jonah

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?

Rebecca and her son Jonah, in the United States of America…

“Doing EC with my younger son has helped me to understand and be more connected with my older son so that he can be diaper free as well!”

We started EC when Jonah was around 4 days old, basically when he would fuss we would lay him on the change table, take off his diaper and hold him over the baby bjorn little potty (bblp) which was right next to the change table. To start off we caught a few pees and poos a day and that felt exhilarating. We used the cueing sound “psss” for pee and “hmmmm” for poo.

After a few days it was really apparent that he knew when he was going and that he could even hold it a little. After a while I began to pick up patterns: when he was nursing and would start fussing, when he cried about 10 minutes after nursing, as soon as he woke up, if the idea of him peeing popped into my head, if my toddler mentioned that Jonah had to pee (If Cai said it he was ALWAYS right!), I also relied a lot on instinct: if I felt that he needed to go I took him and usually he went.

Jonah pretty much never fully pooped in his diaper and just went when we held him over the potty; I never really knew when he would. By combining all these things we were able to catch almost everything after a while.At first we used disposables full time because I did not feel healed enough to deal with the extra laundry. After about 2 weeks we switched to cloth prefolds and wool wrap covers. This worked really well because we would refold the prefold to hide the tiny poop squirts if the diaper was still dry.

When Jonah was seven weeks old we moved from Montreal, Canada to Middletown, Connecticut, USA. We stayed in two different hotels and did a lot of driving. For this time we switched back to disposables because the move was stressful and we wanted to be able to focus on all the details, including keeping our toddler happy!

As soon as we got to our new house we went back to cloth. When Jonah was 4 months he pretty much stopped having poop squirts and we went to totally diaper free when he was awake. This transition happened without us really noticing it; all of a sudden I realized that Jonah never really wore a diaper because it was so much easier to take him to pee without having to take the diaper on and off each time. Of course sometimes we had to change our shirt or wipe up a miss but only a few times a day.

When Jonah is playing on the floor or sitting in his high chair to eat I always put a prefold under him just in case! It’s kind of like diapering his world instead of diapering him. At least it gives him a lot more freedom of movement. When he starts crawling and is more mobile I might use more training pants at home.

Currently Jonah is 5 months and he is still diaper free when he is awake, we use a prefold and cover for naps because I don’t always get there in time to get his first pee, we use a prefold and cover for night times as well because when Jonah was a round 3 months he no longer wanted to go pee in the middle of the nights and so I respected that! Maybe that will change later.

When we go out I use training pants that I made that have 4 layers of flannel and one layer of waterproof material. They catch one pee, which is all I need because I always change him right away. When we’re out I really try to get him to the bathroom when I know he has to go.

I always keep a potty in the car and try to visit the bathroom wherever we are (at the mall, grocery store…) I use the training pants as back up, they are a lot easier to pull on and off than a diaper and don’t require Jonah to lie down, which is not always convenient inside a stall.

After beginning EC I noticed that when Jonah did poop he would usually have a big poop but let it out over a few minutes so I would hold him over the potty and he would let out some, then I would lie him on the change table and play a little and then hold him over the potty again. I would keep repeating this until nothing came out any more; sometimes he went on for 15 minutes. He definitely seemed happier and I certainly feel that I understood him a lot better than my older, non-eced son.

I feel like I have a closer connection with Jonah, he is much calmer and I can enjoy him a lot more because I can meet his needs so that he doesn’t really fuss much at all. I want to hold him all the time because he is so happy and friendly. He is not upset and struggling to get me to understand him.

When Jonah was 3 1/2 months I really felt like we had established good communication. This was when we started to keep Jonah diaper free during the day. I started to learn how to manage housework and looking after my toddler while keeping track of when Jonah had to go.

In really busy times like when I’m trying to clean up the kitchen, I wait for Jonah to pee then I put him down with some toys on a prefold. That way I know he won’t have to go for a while and if he does, the prefold will absorb the miss. That way I don’t actually have to put a diaper on and he is still covered.

When he is more mobile I guess I will figure out some other technique. If ever we have a ton of misses I usually put a diaper on him because I start to get stressed out about catching and that stresses him out which results in more misses. I try to remind myself the EC is about communication and not catching!

We recently made a new monthly budget and it was great not to have to include a diaper section on it at all! We have a bunch of disposables left over from my toddler son (to be used when traveling) and use the cloth that I have already purchased.

Really the prefolds are now used for naps, nighttime and to mop up misses. Sometimes we go through only 3 or 4 a day! (Sometimes a lot more!) So the laundry has really decreased as well.

Doing EC has allowed me to be really creative with sewing. I have always liked sewing but never really enjoyed using store bought patterns. I have been able to sew my own diapers, training pants, and split crotch pants and really enjoyed developing the patterns and techniques lead by ideas I have found online.

I have been able to toilet train (EC based) my toddler at 24 months. I’m so glad that he doesn’t have to be dependent on diapers and now I kind of practice EC with him as well. He still occasionally has accidents, often my 5 month old is dry for a whole outing and my toddler wets his underwear a bit before telling me he has to pee!

Doing EC with my younger son has helped me to understand and be more connected with my older son so that he can be diaper free as well!

Definitely being lighthearted is the key to EC. You need to do your best, not get stressed out and just try to communicate with your baby. Your baby knows you are trying to meet their elimination needs the best you can and if you mis-communicate they will always forgive you.

Don’t worry about what other people think of you because you are trying something non-mainstream. Do what is right for you and your family. Don’t worry about getting a little pee or poop on (or all over!) you, everything can be washed and cleaned. Figure out what techniques will work for you by trying different things.

If diaper free stresses you out don’t do it until you want to, maybe try it for an hour a day at first – when you do start don’t take your baby to pee with every cry otherwise you will drive both of you crazy and miss more!

Just remember that a miss only results in you both getting a little wet and you can always dry off . If your baby is never diaper-free but you still take him to the potty you are still practicing EC and still give him the option of not going in his diaper!

I really think that EC is the way we were intended to look after our babies’ elimination needs, its not about when they are toilet trained but about allowing them to go somewhere other than all over themselves.

With another baby I actually wouldn’t do much differently from the way I am practicing EC now. I feel really comfortable with the communication I have with Jonah.

One thing I will try to change is how I practice EC when visiting relatives. Practicing EC when we are visiting relatives is always difficult because other people want to hold Jonah and not only are they not in tune with his elimination needs they are not necessarily supportive of me taking him out of their arms every 15 minutes to take him potty.

The next time we stay with relatives I will try to be there for Jonah more than the previous time. I really want to keep up the communication so that he knows that no matter where we are we can communicate.

Rebecca in the USA.

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