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Author Topic: Elimination communication (EC)  (Read 9015 times)
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« on: August 31, 2008, 09:54:10 PM »

I discovered about infant potty training by accident about two weeks ago.  The thought of my baby's gentle skin not having to be in contact with diapers 24/7 made me think about it. 
In the Wikipedia:
"Elimination communication (EC) is a process by which a caregiver uses timing, signals, cues, and intuition to address an infant's excretive needs, partially or completely avoiding the use of diapers. Diapers can be used but usually tend to become extraneous and unnecessary after a point. The emphasis of EC is placed on communication. When one practices EC, they are in essence trying to communicate as much as possible with their child about the elimination process, helping the child to become aware of their own body. The term "elimination communication" was inspired by traditional practices of diaper-less baby care in less industrialized countries and hunter-gatherer cultures.[1] EC can begin at birth and is usually started before six months of age, although it can be practiced at any age. If started in the later months or after age one, babies are more likely to be "diaper trained," and may be less aware of and/or able to communicate their elimination needs.  The main components of EC are timing, signals, cueing, and intuition."

After carefuly researching the subject I gave it a try.  We went bathroom (as soon as I noticed the signs) and held him over the sink.  He laughed at the baby in the mirror then at me and started wondering what is going to happen.  I started prompting him with "pss-pss".  I just begun feeling a bit stupid and doubting my matternal insticts and a gentle stream begun flowing down the sink.  He stoped for a moment seeing the baby in the mirror peeing, but continued right on.  I felt incredible happiness and was reassured of my deep connection with my son.
I repeated this later after we got back from our usual walk and this time he didn't pee.  Instead he went poo-poo in less than 15 sec.  I discovered that this position helps also with the elimination of the gasses.
I decided to continue with my experiment by using diapers only at night and when we go out.  I got him a specialy designed nappy covers for when we are at home.  We do get accidents once in a while, but my confidence as a mom grows stronger and our connection with my DS gets deeper.   smile

Here are some useful sites:

« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 10:58:08 PM by Fileneviana » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2008, 10:37:10 PM »

Hi  smile

Yes! to me the term EC sounded strange when I first heard it - then after a while (several years after actually) I realised that up until the advent of good disposables - most mothers used the technique of learning when their baby was likely to wee and/or poo and "held them out"  in anticipation making appropriate noises as you described. I don't think we gave it a name - it was just part of bringing up children.
When I had my three children I found that if I got it right - then I saved a lot of washing LOL
I used to take off the nappy before feeding, and pop him/her on a small potty immediately after - make pss-pss and grunt noises - (I agree that the position you hold them in helps quite a lot). In between feeds I kept checking the nappy and kept a potty (or bowl for very little babies)handy and could often catch a pee. It was amazing how soon they learned the routine, and would respond with making the appropriate sounds themselves as they used the potty certainly by 9 months. Mothers did this as a routine - we never had to force the child - but always showed how delighted we were after sucesses.
Another advantage of pottying was that babies rarely had nappy rash after the first 3 or 4 months, they spent more and more time without a nappy at all. We were always looking forward to the summer months when they could run about with just a Tshirt. Then by the time the cold weather came - we aimed to have them out of nappies altogether.
My two boys were clean and dry day and night by 14 mths - my daughter was during the day but not dry at night till she was nearly 4. I didn't like to tell people that she was not dry at night - I even thought there might be something wrong with her.
One night a friend gave me an incontinence pad that she had spare after her child had had surgery. Stephanie said she didn't like it - but I said she had to have it under her to save the bedsheet from getting wet. From that night on she was totally dry.

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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2008, 02:59:36 AM »

This is a very intriguing concept.  I have heard of starting it with very young babies, but has anyone tried this with an older baby? My daughter is now 15 months.

thanks for your response


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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2008, 09:30:29 AM »

Yep absolutely!  smile
My grandson aged 2 1/2 is doing it with me - he gets a little sweet (smartie) if he does well in a pottie - and his little brother 18 mths is doing the same. I havent started taking Benji's nappy off for this - but he gets the (wicked) reward for just sitting on the pottie. They are with me for 3 days a week - I discovered that when they are at their Mum's house they both are in nappies full time. But when with me Joaeph manages to wear proper underwear and is proud of staying dry. I reckon that investing in lots of easy wash cotton underwear pays dividends. It takes a few days of puddles and really watching for the signs (pausing for a moment - faraway look etc 'pushing and/or grunting) mean you can catch them - then then loads of praise. Kids haven't changed over the years - its the conventions that have changed  LOL
Good luck - keep us informed on how you and DD get on.

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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2008, 07:46:44 PM »

Dear Carpe_Diem,

Thanks for the feedback smile
I had stopped EC for a while because we were going to the pool all of last week.  Today I restarted and had no problem at all - we get better and better, i.e. no accidens smile  If your daughter is working may be she doesn't have much time at her disposal to watch for the cues.  Because it is time and effort consuming as well.  This is the reason why most moms prefer diepies and the industry is thriving Wink  I read that initially diapers were invented only for the disabled children.
Btw, what did you by DD?

Dear Kmum,
The term EC is specificaly for younger babies.  Between the age of one and three a potty training is supposed to be done.  I believe that your daughter may be signaling in some ways when it is time to go.  May be you can try and teach her to point at the potty smile


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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2008, 10:16:08 PM »

Dear Fileneviana smile

DD = dear daughter - its a useful abbreviation when typing in a hurry   
DS = dear son
DH = dear husband
DIL = daughter in law
SIL = son in law

Actually my DIL has the boys 4 days a week because she has split up with my DS, he has the three boys at our house for the remaining three days.
She is doing a part time course for a diploma or something but not on the days when she has the kids. Basically she can't bother to do training with them - they return in nappies - quite uncontrolled and have to re-learn how to behave in an acceptable way.    ( you can tell that she and I don't get on nowadays Sad   )

What is interesting is that when they are here they soon remember the potty routine, so that is the same experience as with you when you took your break for the pool last week - I used to do the EC when they were tiny on a sort of part time basis  LOL  - and it worked. So there is a lot of association with who is doing the caregiving involved and babies can resume without losing what they had learned before. 
In fact I like the term 'potty learning' better than 'potty training' - I think it sounds more gentle somehow Wink what do you feel?

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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2008, 11:17:03 PM »

Thank you for the legend it will be quite useful smile

I am sorry to hear that you and your DIL don't get along nowadays.  I gather she is still in her twenties?  I realised that it is crutial to give birth to your child only when you feel ready.  Parenting is the most important job in the world and if you don't do it right a real life of a person is jeopardised.  I am now 30 and happy I have waited so long (here in BG most people give birth in their 20's).  I know more about myself, I am done fulling around, I am done with schooling and became accomplished at work, so baby was really welcome in my life.
Regarding the notion of children behaving according to their caregivers I agree.  They are really good at it, too.  I can see this even now with my DS, who is only five months old.  He responds quite differently to him, my MIL, my sister and me.  The way he coos also varies smile

« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 10:54:21 PM by Fileneviana » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2008, 11:51:36 PM »

Thanks for your reply Fileneviana, Kay just turned 15 months yesterday.  She just seems so young to me still.  I guess I can only remember seeing potty learning ( in support of your word change!), in kids at 2 or 21/2.


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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2008, 01:28:00 AM »

Hi Fileneviana, I can understand your happy feelings at watching your baby pee on the sink. I'm feeling the same way.  laugh  laugh I read your post some days ago while I was trying without any success the elimination comunication, and I thought it was far for happening to me, as my baby didn't want to sit on the sink  Sad , but tonight my baby has done it , I have taken him to the sink and  surprise!  Wink he has done a poo there. What I don't understand quite well is how your little one has started to pee, before doing a poo on the sink . I thought they first starting controlling poos. 

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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2008, 03:26:14 AM »

My DS is 14 months and earlier this week he had started to really be tugging on his diaper all the time.  He also was always very interested in watching me go to the bathroom too.  So I thought it was time to start potty training.  I went to the library and got us both some books and video's to check out.  Within my research, I had never heard of EC.  I did learn about early training which I now wish I had done.  But either way, I went and bought him a potty chair today and the first time he sat on it...he went pee.  Oh how excited I am!!!  yes  yes I do know that it's just the beginning of a long process but it really encourages me to make that commitment with him.  Together we can do it! smile


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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2008, 03:59:24 AM »

My dd is 15 months & went when I put her on the potty yesterday.  I tried several times today (was too busy to try more often) and nothing.  Oh well, I'll keep trying.


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