Catching Sleepy Wees: Night Time Elimination Communication

Posted on Oct 4 2012 - 9:37pm by megganmamma

Night-time Potty Trip

For the first few months after birthing my baby boy my back really hurt.  I mean really hurt. I found it difficult to move and especially difficult to stand up.  Sometimes I’d literally be stuck on the couch, unable to stand up without help.  And even with help it really hurt and had to happen ultra slowly.  By the end of each day I was simply knackered.  By 4pm I’d really be hanging out for Simon to come home so he could take over the lifting-and-putting-down-thing that comes with taking care of a baby.

Bedtime was such a relief … finally I could down and rest.  A night’s sleep (despite the fact that sleep was and still is somewhat intermittent) made such a difference to my back, mostly because I got to be horizontal for a good few hours.  So by the time morning came I was ready for another day of picking up and putting down my gorgeous baby.

Because it was easier on my back, night feeds were always done in bed, lying down. (In those days even just sitting in a normal sitting position was intensely uncomfortable for me.  My sacroiliac joints had become highly sensitive and that area of my back would hurt).  Anyway, because Joshi sleeps in bed between us, with fairly minimal effort I was able to slide the little organic changing mat that he sleeps on into position and then feed him.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with EC’ing (Elimination Communciation), it’s basically just reading and responding to your baby’s/child’s “I need the toilet’ signals.  Although we started EC’ing Joshi from 10 days old, we only did it during the day because my bad back situation really put me off taking Joshi to the potty during the night.

And then… two weeks ago, when Joshi was just over 5.2months old, I decided to give it a go, the whole night time elimination communication thing, because my back was feeling strong again.  (I’ve been going to this really great osteopath, a very gifted one, who said that my back issues were because my internal organs had all shuffled about and he’s helped put them back in the proper places again!  It may sound a bit wacky, but since seeing him my back has healed really quickly and is now feeling strong again).

So each time Joshi woke for a feed I took him to the potty first.  I was literally amazed … every time I took his nappy off it was dry.  So I can now say, from experience, that it’s true what I’ve heard – babies wake when they need to go to the loo, not because they’ve already gone!   The first night I EC’d him Joshi went to the potty twice in total and both times when I removed his nappy it was dry.

The next night I did it again and the same thing happened … and then again the night after that.  I honestly thought it was going to be way harder than this.  I believed that night time elimination communication was for the die hards.  But as it turns out, EC’ing has been much easier for us through the night than during the day.  It’s really a no-brainer: all I need to do is take him to the potty whenever he wakes up.

9 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Valerie October 4, 2012 at 10:23 pm -

    Wow, that’s amazing! The whole EC thing is new to me but I’m interested in learning because my son is almost 13 months old and has been showing signs of wanting to be “alone” and “private” when pooping for the last few weeks (well, just before his birthday) and I think it would be a shame to wait until he can literally tell me he has to go before starting to potty training! We use cloth diapers and it’d be awesome to be able to be done, iykwim! He is very smart and I know he could do it if I learned the right way. I’m going to go check out your other post on EC. Thanks for all the info! 🙂

    • megganmamma October 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm -

      That’s great that you’re up for starting it now. The way I see it is that it’s never too early. There’s a lot of misinformation saying they can’t do it before a certain age but its just not true. Do let me know how it goes!! X

    • Emma October 6, 2012 at 11:54 am -

      Hi Valerie, at that age I’d recommend giving the Baby Signs potty training kit a go. I started with my son at 12 months and he was signing when he needed to go within a few weeks. Good luck! 🙂

  2. katesurfs October 4, 2012 at 10:58 pm -

    Love this one! Yes, I agree, EC at night is much easier at night than during the day! Sounds crazy, but true. So… do you still think I’m a die hard ECer? haha 😛

    • megganmamma October 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm -

      I think you’re amazing. I also have realised that most of the blocks we have around things are in our minds. I could have started night time ECing earlier but didn’t coz I thought it would be hard… Mind stuff!!!

  3. Kathy's Chronicles October 5, 2012 at 1:19 am -

    Love to here stories about EC. I’ve read about it, but have never done it with my four kids. Somehow it always seemed like “magic” that couldn’t really happen to me, silly, I know. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • megganmamma October 5, 2012 at 5:01 pm -

      I know what you mean. Before I started it I wondered if it would work for us. And of course you just don’t know until you give it a go. Now I can’t get my head around people choosing not to do it because it’s just so much better for everyone concerned … It’s better for baby because they don’t have to be in their own faeces and urine and it’s better for parents because they don’t have to wash poo off cloth nappies or waste money on disposables which end up in landfill.

  4. Diana October 30, 2013 at 2:07 am -

    Hi Meggan. I’ve just come across your blog and I love all that you write about. I’m particularly intrigued with this EC technique (first time ever hearing about it!) and I can’t wait to start it with our 26 month old son. He’s nappy free in the day but not at night just yet. My question is at what point in the night do I take him for a wee now that he’s hasn’t woken up in the night for awhile now? He’s been sleeping through 8pm to 7am since he was 9 months old. I would appreciate any tips you can give me.

    • megganmamma October 31, 2013 at 3:11 pm -

      Hi Diana, here are a few things you could do:

      1. Keep track of when he does his wee. He might hold it till morning and then go just after waking. I firmly believe that babies wake when they need to go.

      2. Get him to go to the loo before bed.

      3. You may want to start by reading the Diaper Free Baby

      Also, do you co-sleep? Coz night time ECing is easier if you do, as you’re more likely to be aware of when your little one’s stirring (and needing a wee).

      Let me know how you go. All the best!