Infant Pottying Today - Issue No. 4
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A Publication about Elimination Communication from DiaperFreeBaby
Questions and Surveys
Responses to: Why do you EC?
Vivienne (Boulder, Colorado) :
At first I was drawn to EC because I wanted to do something good for the earth. I hated the fact that babies generate so much waste and I already had a moral issue with adding another consumer to our population. I was also horrified by the current trend of children remaining in diapers into their third and fourth year of life. As I ventured down the EC path with my then 2 1/2 month-old son, I discovered more reasons to EC.
I noticed the way diapered babies never had access to their own bodies, how they always seemed off balance when trying to sit or walk, how their bodies were covered with layers of fabric and chemicals. Like all parents, I marveled at the perfection of my growing son and I was so happy that he could be naked and free to explore his body and the world. I didn't want his bodily functions to be a mystery to him. I want my son to appreciate his body and never feel ashamed about it. I like being able to respond to him and anticipate his needs. I also love not having to wash tons of diapers!
I have a zillion reasons! Off the top of my head, here are a few:
I used cloth with my older daughter and got into the habit of changing her the moment she peed. I was checking her constantly. It seems kind of silly in hindsight to put something on in which to pee once you have the knowledge that babies can tell you BEFORE they have to pee and also that they can hold it a fairly long time. Once I realized these facts, it was obvious to me that training my daughter to pee in her own clothing was something I'd only have to undo later so why not work on teaching her to pee while NOT wearing something in the first place?
My older daughter had a diaper rash for the better part of her first year. I did not want to repeat this!
I have never had to change my second daughter lying down. Whenever we missed, I simply washed her off in a sink, wherever we were. As I like to travel light, this meant I didn't need to worry about wipes.
EC's been a great exercise in relaxation for me. I was a bit too uptight as a new mom about the whole process. I have come to accept this part of being human as a result of EC.
I value the lessons taught by EC. It is not about controlling my daughter. It's about listening and watching for her cues and sometimes making suggestions but being okay with allowing her to choose when and where she pees and trusting her.
It's been amazing to see the process from the start and realize how much control babies have. If they have this level of control from the beginning, what other assumptions have we gotten wrong? It has opened me up to a new way of thinking about what we assume to be true.
I love that in warm weather, I can dress my girl so simply, in just a dress and undies. In fact, I love seeing my little girl in undies as diapers have come to look so bulky to me.
Liza (Raleigh, North Carolina):
I EC for a cleaner, healthier baby, for a better environment with less going to the landfill, and so my baby will remain aware of his elimination needs. Learning how to communicate with a four-month-old has been incredible!
A Davis (Calgary, Alberta Canada):
1) This sounds quite selfish but I didn't want to deal with too many dirty diapers.
2) Then when I found Ingrid Bauer's Diaper Free! book while looking for cloth diapers on the web I became curious. I also thought about why I never saw cloths or diapers hanging to dry when I traveled to other countries After reading the book, I realized how wonderfully anthropological it was to be joined with other mothers throughout the world and time via EC.
3) Also I was drawn to the idea that it would lead my daughter to more independence as I hoped she would be able to move towards the potty on her own, in her own time when she was ready.
4) I wanted her to be confident in her bodily functions, in listening to her body and learning appropriate responses to her internal rhythms.
5) I liked how EC enabled me to trust my intuitions about being a mom just like breastfeeding did.
NEW Question: What are your favorite strategies for public pottying?
Please send your responses to Infant Pottying Today
. We'll publish them in a future issue.