Featured Diaper Free Baby Groups
South Broward County, North Dade County
By Ellen Sandoval (Contact, Florida)
My daughter is 19 months old and we've been practicing Elimination Communication (EC) since birth. At first, I found it overwhelming because I felt driven by internal pressure due to a misconception on my part that there was some competition to be "out of diapers" by some super early date. Then later I found it overwhelming because after a period of really getting it, we were back to square one. She was crawling and I couldn't manage to catch anything.
So, when I was approached by a local mom and asked to begin running a EC meeting, I felt a total fraud. What could I possibly have to say to other parents that would help them on their journey to success with EC?
Well, quite a bit, it turns out.
Let me just back up to a recent insight.
On a month-long trip while staying with family, after two weeks of things suddenly getting back on track and really tasting EC "success", we lost the plot entirely. My daughter would not go for any of my usual and quite varied techniques. I found myself beginning to feel quite irritated. Why, after proving she could do it, would my daughter stop signaling and stop cooperating?
Well, I don't pretend to be an expert on child development and so I don't need to analyze all the reasons she might have had for this apparent regression. However, what I could analyze was why I was having this reaction. What I realized was that I was not respecting her needs and was wishing to impose my will, in this case that she'd pee when and where I thought appropriate, upon her. And further that I felt judged if I failed to succeed in this endeavor.
With this insight, I was able to relax about what was happening, back off, become much more positive, respectful and communicative, and trust the process. Within a few weeks, we were gradually finding ourselves back on track.
So, back to my original question of what I could possibly have to say to other parents looking for support with EC: Quite a bit! I am now very clear that the point is not to coerce our babies into performing a party trick nor to prove our own self-worth by having a child who's the first kid on the block to be self-sufficient at potty use. And I can share this learning to the best of my ability from my heart.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
By Arie Brentnall-Compton (Group Member, Edmonton)
In a matter of only a few short months, our new group has grown tremendously! Nancy, our DFB leader and organizer, has been the area contact for DFB for quite some time, fielding the occasional email and phone call. After a popular local playgroup held an EC'ing information session, several women expressed interest in meeting regularly to discuss EC. Nancy quickly created a Yahoo group for DFB Edmonton and made plans for the first meeting. We were able to use the child friendly office space belonging to an area midwifery consumers' group at very low cost.
The first meeting was held in October 2005, with several Moms & their babies in attendance. Attendees' EC'ing experience ranged from "hadn't really figured it out yet" to "diaper free baby!" Everyone was excited to hear about the other's experiences, having had very few peers to discuss the topic with face to face. Plans were made to continue to meet once a month.
The Yahoo group has been an excellent tool, used by members to introduce themselves and to ask between meeting questions as well as by several people interested in DFB and/or practicing EC who are unable to attend meetings. Membership has grown steadily and is now nearing twenty.
Some national media coverage on EC prompted a local reporter to contact Nancy with a request to do a health segment feature on an EC'ing family. I did a positive 2-3 minute piece on the local news, ending with DFB contact information. The result was new interest in the email & in person groups by local women thrilled to learn that there was an active EC'ing community in town!
Additional advertising has been done through a local alternative parenting magazine and of course, word of mouth.
Just three meetings have been held so far, with more new and returning moms at each one. The group has an encouraging and supportive culture which certainly contributes to this success. It's exciting to see how sharing their EC experiences with others is increasing the women's confidence in their abilities to respectfully meet their babies' needs!