05 May 2008

Loving EC

We’ve been practising elimination communication (EC) with Little V since he was born. EC works on the premise that babies are born with the ability to communicate their need to wee or poo, in the same way they can tell us when they are hungry or tired. In many cultures across the world babies do not wear nappies and yet they manage to stay clean. This is facilitated by a communication process between the infant and parent usually involving careful observation by the parent coupled with an elimination cue for the baby. The cue is what tells the baby that it is time to wee/poo. It can be a specific sound, a gentle tickle on the tummy or some other signal.

On the day Little V was born we began making a cue sound (“psspsspss”) every time he weed or pooed. Newborns often wee or poo as soon as their nappy is taken off, so timing the sound accurately was quite easy. The purpose of this early cueing was to allow Little V to associate the cue sound with toiletting. After three days I suspected he had worked out the association because he had started to wait until I cued him before he began to wee, so I decided to try popping him on the potty bowl I’d bought while I was pregnant. I sat him on the potty bowl, made the cue sound, and he weed! I was so excited! The following day I caught five wees and one poo in the potty. I was hooked. It was so simple.

In addition to cueing we’ve been aware of the timing of Little V's toileting needs. We always pop him on the potty when he wakes from a sleep and after a feed because we know he’ll need to go then. It’s a two-way communication process, so we also watch him for signs that he needs to use the potty, eg. a concerned facial expression, a sudden stillness, grizzling for no apparent reason, or grunting. Now, at three months old we manage to catch around 50-80% of Little V’s wees and 90% of his poos in his potty. Potty poos are so much easy to clean up than nappy poos.

For the first 6 weeks of Little V's life he wore nappies full time, but we gave him frequent opportunities to use the potty, at least once every hour during the day. Since 6 weeks he has worn tiny training pants during the day while we are at home, and nappies while we are out and overnight. Our next step is to ditch the nappies for daytime outings. We are taking things slowly with him, and don’t expect him to be out of nappies completely until he’s a little older, but we are well on the way to having a very toilet aware little boy.

I am continually astounded by how right elimination communication is for our family.

Visit Tribal Baby to read more about elimination communication.


Lith said...

Always awesome to read about other people's experiences with EC xoxox

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