A few days shy of her 4-week date, I held our baby girl’s butt over a potty chair for the first time and out came the all-knowing ass “SPLART!” I managed to catch all but two pees and half a poop this night and guess what? She slept soundly through the night and woke up with a bit of wetness and to then pee and poop the following morning. WTF am I doing, you may ask. I started what’s called elimination communication with our infant. Elimination communication isn’t what you may think it is. It’s not “potty training” a newborn nor is it “diaper free time.” It has elements of each but elimination communication is actually just an extension of my (sometimes failed) attempt at peaceful parenting.
Elimination communication (EC) is when the caregiver (it is I) responds to their baby’s (that’d be Lanoy’s) elimination needs (i.e., when they need to pee or poop) rather than let them just go in a diaper. I guess it’s more like ‘potty training‘ the adult, who has to learn the baby’s elimination behavior. When this trust is instilled between parent and child, the baby will continue to communicate this trust and will associate their elimination needs with a potty and their parent to help them. EC is a practice that is used in hunter-gatherer societies or less industrialized areas where diapers are unheard of, unnecessary, or unavailable. A couple vain benefits of EC is avoiding the hassle of potty training at a later (perhaps more difficult) age and less waste of diapers (disposable and cloth, alike). While those are awesome reasons for EC, the important one is the deep level of understanding in a parent-child bond. This blog wouldn’t be this blog if I just didn’t want to deal with pull-ups in a couple years though.
I am no potty expert as I am testing out her cues and signals just as I am learning my intuition with a newborn’s behavior. So far, it’s just me getting the idea that after she breastfeeds and doesn’t fall asleep, she will need to pee after a few minutes. It’s also me recognizing that those adorable little grunts and leg kicks are precursor to her next assplosion. It’s also me making sure I don’t get it all over the walls, myself, or her. It’s all a learning process for everybody and that’s exactly what elimination communication means- learning more about your child’s needs as a basic element of active parenting.
Please expect much more detailed posts about our EC journey (including Humnoy) in the future so make sure to follow the blog!
How do you handle your kid’(s) elimination needs?
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