I’m so pleased with how well this EC’ing thing (elimination communication) is working for us.
We started EC’ing Joshi (holding him over the lid of a potty) when he was 10 days old. For some unknown reason it didn’t work straight away, but we kept at it. Four days later we had our first successful EC’ing experience. We simply held Joshi under his thighs, hovering above the potty lid, with his back resting on our tummy and made the sound of a wee, “psssshhh.” And he weed! We were so excited!
Between then and now our journey with EC’ing has been ever-changing. Joshi is now just over 4.5 months old, 21 weeks to be exact, and I finally feel that we’ve nailed this EC thing. Of course that too may change at any moment, as things do on this unpredictable path of mammahood, but for now we’re celebrating EC success!
To give you an idea of how it is, last night Joshi slept from 6pm to 8pm. At 8pm when he woke up I gave him a feed. After his feed was quietly playful and pretty alert. So I EC’d him. He did a big wee and fell asleep. Four and a half hours later he woke for another feed. I didn’t EC him after that because we both fell asleep straight away. Then at 4am, three hours later, he woke again. Before feeding him I checked his nappy – it was completely dry. It had been dry for 7.5 hours! … When I EC’d him he did a huge wee in the potty (we keep one beside the bed for these in-the-middle-of-the night toilet occasions). I put his dry nappy back on, fed him and we went back to sleep. Wonderful.
One day later…
Joshi went through a total of three cloth nappy liners today, even though we were out from 10.30am to 6pm. If I wasn’t EC’ing him it would have been about 20 wet nappies, easily. And it wasn’t hard work. Au contraire it was lots of fun and massively satisfying. I EC’d him just before we left home. With a 20 minute car drive ahead it helps if he’s not wet. A dry nappy means there’s a much higher chance of us having a peaceful journey. Once we reached our destination I put him in the ergo carrier and we walked to my osteo appointment. While we were waiting at the reception he started wriggling around and pushing as though he wanted to get out of the carrier. (It’s unusual behaviour because he’s typically really content being carried in the ergo. He just loves it in there). The receptionist looked a little confused when I asked Joshi if he needed the loo and wanted me to take him. And off we went to the bathroom. I held him over the basin and made the sound, ‘pssssssss.’ He did a big wee. Terrific. I put his still dry nappy back on and went for my treatment while Joshi chilled out with the receptionist. Afterwards we did a big fruit and veg shop and leisurely walked back to the car. Again Josh started wriggling and pushing and making a few objectionable (is there such a word?) sounds. So I quickly took him out of the ergo carrier, whipped his nappy off and held him down by the curb. ‘Psssshhhh….’ Again he did a big wee and I put his dry nappy back on … And off we went.
Two days later …
Today was our first day of having absolutely no wet nappies. It was particularly easy to EC him coz he had heaps of nappy free time as we chilled out in the park with some friends. Joshi got EC’d regularly (not only be me) and remained dry. When we went for a beach walk Joshi slept in the ergo carrier. On the way back he started wriggling, so I EC’d him. He weed and then on went the same dry nappy. When I got home at 4.30pm he was still dry. I took him to the loo straight away and he weed. Happy days … A whole day without having created not only no nappy landfill but also no nappy laundry! Yippee!
I’m so glad that we heard about EC’ing and that we started doing it from the time Josh was born. Especially when I read about mums whose toddlers simply refuse to do a poo until and unless their mums put their nappy back on! OMG. Yes, its true! They’re so used to pooing in their nappies that they can’t conceive of doing it any other way! Oooooo. When I read such stories it really solidifies for me that EC’ing is the easier approach, both in the short-term and the long-term. In the short-term it saves you from having to wash heaps of cloth nappies (or buy heaps of disposable nappies) … and in the long-term you don’t have to deal with toilet training your kid after you’ve spent the last couple of years indirectly teaching them that it’s ok to poo and wee in your pants. And if you’re going to be hanging out with your baby anyway, why not spend some of that time helping them be comfortable by staying dry?
Look, we still miss catching some wees and poos … usually if we’re distracted we miss them, but if we’re not distracted we definitely catch most of them. We’ve got used to reading and recognising the signs. Often when Josh seems to be complaining it’s not because he’s wet or because he’s done a poo and doesn’t want to sit in it, it’s because he needs to go to the loo and wants us to take him. In those moments one of us will quickly whip his nappy off, either sit him on the potty or hold him over the sink or garden bed or whatever it may be and make the sound of a wee. Joshi will then either do nothing (seldom) or he’ll wee, (almost always) or he’ll wee and poo (sometimes) or just poo (occasionally). Most of the time it’s a wee. I’ve noticed with babies that you can almost always catch a wee, even if they haven’t signalled that they need to go … or if you haven’t read their signal. And I figure that in those moments they can manage to squeeze one out because they’re being held in a squat-like position, which means that their little thighs are pressing into their bladder and squeezing out whatever’s in there. They just haven’t asked for it because their bladder hasn’t been busting.
We’re still doing a lot if laundry on a regular basis, you just do when you have a baby … but the amount of nappies we now wash has reduced hugely. Not only does it mean smaller laundry loads, it almost means I don’t have to spend time brushing poo off a cloth nappy liners.
And if course … From Joshua’s perspective it means he’s not sitting I his own wee and poo and getting nappy rash. Yay!
Thanks Kate for telling us about EC’ing! It’s made such a difference to us, to Joshi, to the laundry and to the landfill. xx