Let’s talk about Elimination Communication (EC). Some people call it “potty training a baby”, however those idiots are wrong. EC is not potty training in the traditional sense. Actually, I would describe more as potty training the parent.
Don’t start getting all weird and judgmental!
There is so much written about EC, so to keep it simple, I stole this description from Wikipedia:
“Elimination communication (EC) is a practice in which a caregiver uses timing, signals, cues, and intuition to address an infant’s need to eliminate waste. Caregivers try to recognize and respond to babies’ bodily needs and enable them to urinate and defecate in an appropriate place (e.g. a toilet). Caregivers may use diapers (nappies) as a back-up in case of misses some or all of the time, or not at all. EC emphasizes communication between the caregiver and child, helping them both become more attuned to the child’s innate rhythms and control of urination and defecation. The term “elimination communication” was inspired by traditional practices of diaper-less baby care in less industrialized countries and hunter-gatherer cultures. 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.”
I have potty trained 34 kids and one cat, but I’ve never had the opportunity to try EC. I just haven’t had the chance to be around one baby 24/7 in order to establish that relationship. But I gotta tell you, I really want to try it!
I believe wholeheartedly in Attachment Parenting…which has become a bad word for some reason…which is weird because when I hear people talk about how terrible attachment parenting is, they don’t seem to be describing attachment parenting, so much as helicopter moms…but whatever, that’s another topic. At any rate, I think people should breastfeed, co-sleep, and wear their babies, and I see Elimination Communication as an extension of that. Plus, I would LOVE to see fewer shitty diapers in landfills, and less poop stored in people’s homes.
Sure, EC is not for everyone. You need to be completely in sync with your baby, and let’s be honest, that’s hard to do with all of the crazy bullshit we have going on in our lives. However, I sincerely urge you to keep an open mind about this. If you think about it, it makes a hell of a lot more sense. And don’t worry, it’s not an all-or-nothing endeavor.
1. You introduce your child to the toilet early, which means far less fear down the road
2. You develop a relationship with your baby that most people will never have, and I imagine this makes it easier for your baby to communicate all of her needs
3. It is NOT any grosser than changing a diaper, so if that’s your deal, get over yourself
4. Imagine the savings on diapers
5. You’ll be like a fucking ninja mom, which will surely impress your friends. Be honest, you know moms live for one-upmanship
Of course, if you’re the only mom who does EC in your mommy and me group, just know that the other moms will judge you for it. Only because they’re bitchy and jealous, not because there is anything wrong with practicing EC. To them you can just say, “Bitch, I didn’t say YOU had to do it! So, why don’t you not worry about the loving, trusting relationship I have developed with my baby, and have another fucking fruit snack!?!” Wave your finger around and move your head a lot for emphasis.
There are like a billion websites out there, I encourage you to check them out, if for no other reason than to educate yourself. Look, here are some now!
If you have practiced EC, I would LOVE to hear about your experience.
PS – Before anyone gets their panties in a wad, I am NOT saying that this is what every parent should do, and if you don’t, you child will be ruined forever. I FULLY RECOGNIZE THAT DIFFERENT FAMILIES HAVE DIFFERENT NEEDS! So pipe down. I am merely sharing my thoughts and information.