Galen is 11 weeks old now and we've been EC'ing since his first days. I am really, really glad we made the choice to use elimination communication. Galen does not have dirty diapers. It's such a blessing! I'm still awed by the fact that he goes when I set him over the potty bowl or the sink. But go he does.
I wanted to write an update now, however, because it's a good time to remember that EC'ing isn't always perfect – you can't always get your baby over the pot in time. And sometimes you miss signals or your baby doesn't signal. A week or so ago I got peed on not once…not twice…but three times. I was a grumpy mama.
It helps me remember to put it in perspective – he's just a baby and there are going to be wet diapers and even a wet mama from time to time. It comes with the “diaper free” territory.
I have begun to make sure I put a diaper on Galen if A. I know I may be distracted or B. when he's upset and I can't calm him enough to go. It's much easier to know the diaper is there if he does decide to go.
Oftentimes I'll put him in a diaper in the evening when the big kids have gone to bed and I'm trying to focus more on work or planning and he'll stay dry. But it's good to know that if I miss a cue there's a diaper.
He's still mostly diaper-less during the day. My project over the next few days is to work on trying to make him some tiny undies – trimmer than a diaper but with a few absorbent layers. Basically training pants, since they don't make baby-sized trainers. Galen actually doesn't much like diapers but I think he'd be ok with some trim undies – and Scott would like him to have something covering the little fountain. I could use the undies rather than diapers at times when I may be distracted.
I've found a pattern online for smaller undies. It's a 0-6 month size so I've scaled it down just a bit more for a trimmer fit between his legs. I don't have any PUL right now for the outside so I'm just making them covered with fleece and prevent fountain effects. It'll let me perfect the design while I wait on PUL to make them waterproof 🙂
I'm still really enjoying having an EC-d baby. We end up with a few wet diapers most days and that's ok with me. Galen obviously dislikes being wet (and just dislikes diapers, period), and he waits until he's on the pot to poop, so his awareness of his elimination is wonderful. It feels good for me too, to be able to read his cues and know when he needs to go. I do still “catch” his pees mostly by timing – he goes every 30 minutes, or after waking up. He often starts to pass a lot of gas or bear down slightly when he needs to poop and I'll know to put him on the potty, or continue to hold him over it if he's already on it.
It's very rewarding and feels as natural to me as nursing him. I'll keep giving updates about how it goes as he continues to grow… I'm not sure how well I'll keep up my track record of “catches” when he's mobile! I'll also post when I finish his trainers.
(NOTE: Want proven, practical strategies to make elimination communication work for you? Use these 5 proven techniques to connect when your baby and have EC success! Get them here.)
If you want, I can ask on the diaper sewing board that I belong to if there are any recommendations for a good infant sized trainer out there. I know that the trimsies pattern is VERY trim and since its mainly an AIO/AI2 pattern, that one might be pretty easy to convert to a trainer pattern (just take out the external soaker).
Either way, awesome job!! I am so in awe of this!
That would be great if you could ask about a good pattern!
I’m still in awe of how well EC’ing works too – it’s amazing that babies are so aware of their elimination needs. It’s nice to know I can help him go, and it’s also nice to have diapers if I need them. I think the trainers would be nice b/c they’d hold like one pee in case I miss his cues. Diapers are fine for when we’re going out and about though!
Hi Kristin, I accidently came across this subject ‘elimination communication’ and was really impressed with it. I am 27 weeks pregnant with my first baby and the thought of long term dirty nappies makes me nauscious. So I am keen to follow through with this technique. I would like to do this from the beginning but I was wondering how often you put the little one on a small potty in the beginnning. any help here would be great.
ps. I mentioned this to a few of my friends the other day and they laughed at me so I am even more keen to prove them wrong.
In the beginning Galen would pee pretty frequently – I would hold him over the potty every 15-20 minutes and cue him. Their little bladders fill and empty pretty often. He was always in my lap and it was very much second nature to me just to hold him over the potty every little bit.
I would keep him on top of a flat cloth diaper in my lap then hold him over his little pot.
It is very do-able and you can prove your friends wrong; it’s pretty amazing!
This is such an interesting concept that I find myself saying “why didn’t anyone tell me this”! With my first child Ian (7 yrs) I did what everyone I knew did (listen to their doctor, magazines, and other young moms) I used disposable diapers dealt with rashes constantly and a child who didn’t use the toilet on his own till 3 1/2 years old! My second child Oliver (3 1/2) was a completely different situation! (live and learn) I spent the 9 months of pregnancy researching healthier alternatives and changing our lifestyle to a much more “GREEN” one! We went organic, eco-friendly, planted a garden, purchased organic cloth diapers, wool wraps and I breast fed for 18 months! If and when I have another child I will be using this method for sure and I will be sure to let everyone I know about it as well! Do you have any recommendations for the “pot” to use, and where to find these “split pants” you talk about?? Thank you so much for the great blog
I really think you can use absolutely anything for a pot. Some moms prefer to always hold their baby over a toilet from the get-go, others like using a little pot (or both). I have always used a little pot.
I have two potties that we use – one you can’t get anymore, but the other is the BABYBJÖRN Little Potty. I liked using it starting when Galen was able to sit up on his own.
Until then I liked just using a smaller container (like a Tupperware/Gladware container) with curved edges, or a little chamber pot I got from Nova Naturals. I think the tupperware works just fine. It’s easy to clean and portable, so it’s good for a tiny baby.
I recommend ECWear for split pants. It’s a work-at-home-mom owned business and Marija, the owner is wonderful. She stocks many different styles of split pants, and most of those are made by work-at-home-moms.
I also made some split pants before Galen was born, you can read about those here: Split Pants!