Have You Discovered Your Elimination Communication Confidence?

Wearing your Baby is a Powerful Tool to Reduce Your Reliance on Nappies.

Wearing your Baby is a Powerful Tool to Reduce Your Reliance on Nappies.

Baby Wearing and Learning Infant Pottying are a Great Combination for Enhancing Your Communication with Your Baby in Many Ways.

(Imagine every time you picked up your baby you whipped off their diaper – as you just KNEW it wouldn’t be needed…)

Baby wearing is a key aid to developing your nappy-free confidence. Basically, the more you hold your baby, the less you will need to use diapers. They simply become a hindrance to your connection.

We spend a lot of time holding, moving, carrying our babies here and there. They often simply NEED to be held. Baby Wearing is a way to make that easier – to give your arms a break. When wearing a baby who is part time diaper free, you can more easily ‘tune’ your baby radar to sense their need to go – as you are right there in close contact with them.

5 simple keys to success when wearing your baby

Baby wearing helps me care for my baby in so many ways. Early morning, he ‘wakes up’ in the sling before going abut his day. On outings, it is a boon to quick trips in and out of the shops, keeping baby (now toddler) held close and safe.

The close contact, non verbal communication, conversations and kisses enable me to fully enjoy the in arms stage of his life. We share warmth, touch, viewpoints, conversations with others and life’s experiences. As humans are a carrying species, carrying our babies is what they expect, and they soon relax so close to our bodies – even after a full emotional storm or big bump on the head. We are just as soothed by smoothing them in the sling and kissing their snuggled in head.

Baby Wearing Builds Your Elimination Communication Confidence

Wearing your baby really helps you to be in tune with your baby’s needs. It turns up the volume on your ‘baby radar’ and kicks into action your motherly or fatherly intuition. You simply learn, and then begin to ‘know’ when your baby needs to go to the toilet. Parenting becomes simpler – you need your baby and a sling, that is all. That sense of being a primal mother/infant ‘dyad’ really becomes the truth. Babies need to be in their parents arms, and toddlers love to be there just as much.

Baby wearing is my number one solution to a ‘missy’ day.

These days he’ll practically pitch a fit before peeing on me in a carrier. Many a day I have worn him just to avoid having misses. I had to wear him for an entire week at 10 months as we had workmen renovating our ensuite – I only had a miss during the few times he was on the floor, and had several completely EC perfect days – so COOL.

Baby wearing is an excellent way to boost your EC confidence through the mobile stage when baby starts crawling and there are more misses with their changing signals and patterns.

Whichever sling or carrier you use, expect to have a stage of adjustment as you learn to recognise baby’s signs and signals, and then to react in time.

Baby Wearing and Elimination Communication is easier than you might think by following these 5 simple keys to success:

1. Choose a carrier that has good ‘poppability’ – that is, you can fairly easily work out your own system of quickly popping baby out and back in for a wee break. Use more structured or snug wraps for when baby is sleeping on you or is wearing a diaper.

2. Practice at home. Pop baby in and walk around when baby is feeling calm and in a good general frame of mind, so they don’t get spooked by the new contraption. A good first time for using a new carrier is when they are due for a sleep – pop them in and head out for a walk so they fall asleep and wake up in there and you can pop them out for a timing wee when they awaken.

3. When learning baby’s signs, ALWAYS put them in the carrier AFTER they have just done a wee – this way you know they are more likely to be relaxed and feel comfortable. Plus, you will have a space of time of this ‘normal’ behaviour before the need to wee changes their behaviour.

4. At first, use a cloth nappy on the baby to protect the carrier, perhaps loosely on the baby so you can remove them swiftly for a pee-op, or wrapped around or sitting under them (though it is tricky to arrange at first. You might even settle baby in the sling, make a note where their bottom is by looking in the mirror and marking the area with some chalk, then putting a backup cloth in that area for a time.

5. Be aware of sudden changes in baby’s behaviour that may indicate their need to go. Based on your feel of their patterns and timing, pull them out and offer a wee…

There is a simple equation with practicing EC and baby wearing:

The more you hold your baby, the less you will need to use nappies.

This is because we are a carrying species, that is, baby expects to be carried and it aids in their normal development.

Before long wearing a baby simply means nappy-free time, as it is SO much easier to respond, and diapers just get in the way.

5 common signs for a need to go while in the sling (and it will depend on the type of carrier)

• changes in baby’s body tension, general body language (use your awareness)

• sudden noises, uncomfortable noises from smaller babies, Vocal calls from older babies and toddlers

• twitching, tensing, straightening legs, pulling up their legs, straining at the sling.

• A feeling of warmth on your own body – as if baby has had an accident (yet no accident there.) – this is known as the ‘chi-pee’, ‘psychic pee’ or ‘phantom wee’.

• Facial tension changes, eye contact, frowning.

Recommended Carriers For Elimination Communication Ease:

A ring sling, The Ergo, Pouches

My Story of Learning to Wear My First Baby:

Well, I love baby wearing, love the philosophy, the reasons behind it, the benefits, and the closeness. However, I found it tricky. Many a time I threw the sling against the wall in frustration. Having no help in real life was a major bummer. Reading instructions on the internet and looking at photos wasn’t enough for me – there was always some little bit I didn’t get. I’m sure seasoned baby-wearing experts would have laughed at the dramas I had. Turns out they are pretty common.

We had very good success with the red polar fleece sling – only when going for a walk would he go off to sleep in it – so we did this every day. Then I made a wrap sling, and that was useful for a while. I used an ABA Simplicity Sling for some months – didn’t realise it could be a back carry until I’d moved to a ring sling. I managed the kangaroo carry at last with the ring sling – he was happy in it, but not so good for EC as he is sort of in the classic position that way. At seven months I could do the hip carry (after wrenching my back trying it at 6 months.) and that was the revelation stage for us – I could carry him diaper free in it, and respond SO EASILY to the warmth signal on my hip.

Of course, in time I DID learn how to use carriers, and eventually even met others who used them.. I went to a baby wearing class run by Jenny who founded The Baby Wearer and Kate of WildSlings, learnt all the little minutiae I needed, tried a bunch of different carriers, lovely.

Find Online Discussion Forums full of Baby Wearers

Online babywearing forums are great to learn about types of ‘holds’, though it is really hard not to catch the ‘stash bug’ and start buying more and more carriers – ugh, they are so beautiful, and textural, and one just wants MORE. People chat endlessly about ‘ties’ to use, fine-tuning carriers, their new acquisitions and arrange local meet-ups, advocacy and arrange co-ops to buy unusual carriers at group discount prices. Occasionally you become ‘Stash Happy’, meaning you aren’t buying more carriers… I only have about 10 or so I guess – but I’d love to have a few more…

The ‘In-arms’ Phase

This stage, during the baby’s first year in particular is so important for many many reasons. It is hardly surprising then that practising EC with a babe in-arms, and ‘attached’ is easier and the way to go in building confidence and a strong connection, and in getting your connection back on a ‘rainy’ day.

The Importance of the In-Arms Phase

Wearing Baby

When he was little I’d wait until he had done a pee before putting him in the sling. After a while he’d begin to squirm uncomfortably – I’d take him out and he’d pee – I had good success learning his signs this way – I remember the first time I was successful – it was SO exciting.

Carrying Your Baby – Why Wear Your Baby?

Baby Wearing and Elimination Communication: Improving His Muscles
I’m certain being in the sling improved his muscle control faster, and helped him have a better awareness of his body sensations, and so he signalled strongly in the slings. Perhaps due to fewer distractions, the closeness or the natural desire not to pee on Mum.

Baby Wearing and Elimination Communication: Responding To Signs
At first I found he just peed when I put him in, as I couldn’t tell what were ‘pee sign’ and what were ‘I’m pissed off in this weird contraption’ grumbles. Over time it improved. I’d be aware he was making little noises and squirming, and sure enough – he’d pee when I took him out for a pee break. At last, a new sign and a new way to respond and communicate.

Baby Wearing and Elimination Communication: Pee Frequency while Wearing Baby
When I wear him, instead of going half hourly or less while wandering the floor, he will go once per hour, even to the minute – it is odd pulling him out at twelve minutes past the hour for three hours in a row. I often feel very relaxed with him in a carrier as I know he will clearly signal me, so I just carry on…

Baby Wearing and Elimination Communication: Adapting Your EC Senses to Different Carriers
I spend a bit of focussed time learning how his signs feel differently in each new carrier I get, usually over a couple of days, which always means a few misses.

5 Tips for Practicing Elimination Communication with a Sling:

  1. Practise around the house.
  2. Practise when baby is happy.
  3. Wait until baby has had a pee, then put them in the carrier so that you have some ‘normal’ behaviour with a relaxed baby to compare to. When the babe gets anxious or squirmy, you can be aware of the change and respond to a possible ‘pee sign’
  4. Have a waterproof nappy on for a while when learning. Who wants to wash the sling all the time?
  5. When feeling more confident after responding well for a while, use a cloth diaper, or a flannel between their legs – although I found this tricky to arrange. Wrapping a cloth around them is ok too.

Check out YouTube for great Baby Wearing Videos.

For instance, The Chitenge is the name of a piece of fabric that is used for many different purposes – one is for wearing the baby. Here is a video of how it is done from YouTube: Chitenge Back Carry.
Browse from this video to see other baby wearing videos, to help you gain familiarity in doing the wraps and ties.

Online resources supporting baby wearing that have helped me:
Wear your Baby – The Mamatoto Project

So, is it time to ‘Upgrade’ to a more comfortable carrier?

Do you want to ‘upgrade’ your carrier from one of those cumbersome front-carry things with hooks and straps and dubious back and hip support that often give people a sore back and then put them off baby wearing? Start at The Baby Wearer.

The Rebozo Way Project, in particular the articles section has valuable insights and evidence about the importance of in arms parenting. – This article about how important it is to pass the baby around to other carers for one’s own balance is one I read before my son was even born, when I was reading everything related to in-arms parenting. It is called Reflections on Constant Carrying.

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Discover the 7 Secrets to Elimination Communication FREE eBook

Build Your EC Confidence With Ease! Download my FREE eBook:
Discover the 7 Secrets to Elimination Communication

The 7 Secrets are the introductory section of my eBook:

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


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