Right from birth your newborn will tell you when she needs to feed, sleep, burp, move, be touched, talked to or….wee and poop.
We are taught in prenatal class to notice when our baby is hungry. Sometimes we are taught to notice when they are tired.
Why is no one talking about poop? I love talking all things poo. And wees. Wees and poos!
We are taught if everything else has been taken care of – baby is fed, well rested and warm – to check in case they have a wet or dirty nappy.
What if we were taught to know when the baby needs to wee or poo, before they fill their nappy? What would you do with that information?
For those of you still with me – virtual fist bump. Let’s talk about Elimination Communication (EC).
EC or Nappy Free is a gentle way of using timing, signals, cues, and intuition to notice when a baby needs to eliminate (gah that sounds so medical nerdy like). Parents try to recognise and respond to babies’ bodily needs and help them to eliminate (wee or poo!) somewhere other than squished in their nappy (toilet, potty, sink, bowl, car park?).
From Wikipedia: “Caregivers may use nappies as a back-up in case of “misses” some or all of the time, or not at all…EC emphasises communication between the caregiver and child, helping them both become more attuned to the child’s innate rhythms and control of urination and defecation. Some practitioners of EC begin soon after birth, the optimum window being zero to four months, although it can be started with babies of any age. The practice can be done full-time, part-time, or just occasionally. Keeping babies clean and dry without diapers is standard practice in many cultures throughout the world. ”
Our grandmas did it. My friends in India and Africa still do it. But none of them have a name for it. Why? Because it is just normal practice. It makes perfect sense to them to be nappy free – saving money, washing time, and nappy rash – and offer the baby an alternative to their nappy whenever they notice they need to go. When they “miss” the signal the baby goes in their nappy or they wipe it up, no big deal!
My beautiful friend in India says “We dont use daipers all d time in india…. as it is our hot country so babies got rashes very quickly due to diaper…. we use cotton fabric nappies….n for potty we start giving training once baby starts seating properly….”
This is not toilet training. But it does tend to make toilet training smoother and quicker once the child is mobile and able to get to a toilet themselves. EC kids tend to achieve full toilet independence earlier than other kids. There are so many wicked benefits.
Giving Nappy Freedom to Gilly has opened up a whole new level of communication and deep connection. She trusts me to meet her needs. The precious skin on her butt is smooth and dimpled with no rash in sight. Her legs are free to kick like she’s swimming away from sharks, which is great for her hip development (and super adorable). The environment is happier and my wallet is fuller (jokes – the money we save on nappies and washing gets stolen by fairies in the night, obviously). But mostly it’s about listening to my baby, my favourite little human.
I wish I knew about this sooner.
How did you discover EC?