Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 9 - Elimination Communication

By popular request (OK, only one person asked for it. BUT THAT'S POPULAR REQUEST DAMMIT).

In a nutshell, elimination communication (henceforth known as "EC") is the practice of using your baby's cues to determine when she is eliminating, and then taking action based on those cues. Action for most people is to hold the baby over the toilet or sink, or to put them on a baby potty. Picking up on cues is easy for some kids and not at all easy for others. It's totally dependent on the baby. When you catch the baby in the act, you make a sound for them to associate with it. Most of the ones I know who EC do a "Ssssss" sound for peeing, and a raspberry sound for pooping. Then, as time goes on, you make the sound while holding them over the appropriate receptacle, and they eliminate. As far as undergarments go, there seem to be two categories. Many don't use diapers at all; they use cotton training pants or underwear, sometimes with a wool cover just in case of an accident. Others still use diapers, but use one diaper the whole day unless there's an accident.

I had thought about doing EC with Cecilia, but after researching it and talking with a few local parents who EC, I decided it was too much work for us. But, as I have discovered with many things, Cecilia had a different idea.

First, I noticed that Cecilia was only pooping when she was sitting up. She never poops overnight; I think in the hospital with meconium was the last time she did that. She also very, very rarely poops when nursing. Mostly it happens in a sitting position on my lap. She has been like this from the start, and has also been a once or twice a day pooper from the start.

So I picked up a little potty on Amazon. The first time I tried to put Cece on it, I thought she'd poop on it, and I'd have one less poopy diaper to wash. Instead, she peed in the potty. "Well, that's cool," I thought, and went about wiping and diapering her. The same thing happened the next three times I tried. No poop, but yes pee.

About a month ago, she began waking up from naps with a dry diaper. That surprised me. I didn't think that babies could naturally (as in, without EC training) hold their pee until they were way older. But Cecilia was doing it, every nap, without fail.

So I can only surmise that she actually prefers to pee on the potty and holds it during her naps. Even overnight she has a barely wet, if at all, diaper. If I put her on the potty right after she wakes up, she always pees. If I wait, she generally goes in her diaper, but she still will pee some if I put her on the potty. So I guess she has sort of EC'ed herself!

Addendum: On her 4th monthday, Cece pooped in her potty for the first time! Big girl! Man, is it easy to clean off the tush of a baby who hasn't been sitting in her poop!!

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