EC’ing Galen – Seven Weeks

EC'ing Galen from birth has been a nice adventure for us.  We've planned to EC (use elimination communication)  since my pregnancy – and I EC'd with Cassidy from 6 months and with Brennan from 1 week.  So it wasn't completely new to me.  I still intended to take it easy and not worry about it until I felt ready.

I felt ready when Galen was 2 days old 😉  I held him over a small bowl, made a “psss” sound and was happily surprised when he peed!  Things have gone very well since then.

We kept Galen in diapers completely at first.  His first week I kept him in disposables (Tushies brand) while he was clearing the meconium from his digestive tract.  If I felt like he needed to go I just unstrapped the diaper and held him over his “potty bowl.”  If he wet in the diaper I made the “pss” sound and held him over the bowl, and put a dry diaper on right away.

A Clear Preference

After the first week we switched to cloth diapers.  Not long after Galen cleared all the meconium and started having normal breastfed baby bowel movements he developed a total preference for pooping over his potty bowl.

I continue to be amazed by this.  He's only had a few dirty diapers ever… The first couple of weeks he'd poop in the night, and I didn't catch those.  He quickly stopped, however – I was expecting this because I remembered my others got to where they didn't poop at night.  After he stopped going at night we pretty much stopped having dirty diapers.

He would wet diapers, but would wait for the potty bowl to poop.  He still does now, at 7 weeks.  Now he's having 1-2 bowel movements a day, skipping a day occasionally.  He goes in the potty bowls or over the sink.  Scott finds it much easier to hold him over the bathroom sink; I prefer a little potty bowl.  We keep a bottle of spray cleaner by the sink now :p

Galen would have a lot small smears on his diapers in the early weeks.  We called them “wet farts” which is a pretty accurate description.  Once I was up and about and our out-of-town visitors were gone I started keeping Galen dressed in long sleeves and leg warmers or split pants at home.  I'd just keep a prefold diaper under his bottom since he had the little smears whenever he passed gas.  Scott preferred (and still does) for me to put pocket diaper on him.  If he's fussing and Scott thinks he needs to go he just takes the diaper off and holds Galen over the sink.

Six Week Changes

At six weeks exactly there was a big change for Galen – he stopped having the wet farts.  He still passes gas, of course, but his muscles have matured to where there's no longer anything coming out with the gas.  I still keep him over a prefold but I'm pleased they stay nice and clean.

Galen also started to stay dry through the night most nights.  I try to cue him to pee when we go to bed (between 10 and 11pm) – if he goes then he's usually dry in the morning when we wake around 6:30am.  In fact some mornings I've had a hard time getting him to go even then!!  He isn't dry all nights, but he is most nights now.  That's pretty exciting!

During the day we do still have wet diapers and prefolds but I feel pretty confident about “catching” his pees.  A lot of it is based on timing – if it's been awhile since he's gone, if he's just woken or finished a long nursing.  But if he gets fussy we can often offer him the potty and he'll go.

I feel comfortable about napping with him diaperless now.  I put him on a diaper with a towel and waterproof mat underneath.  I also just drape a prefold over his private area so he doesn't spray me should he go!  But he stays dry during our nap time.  When he naps in the baby hammock next to me I still diaper him, and I do overnight as well.  I still diaper him when we go out, though I've been able to get him to pee over the potty at our children's library!

Keeping Cozy

To keep warm around the house Galen wears a hat and socks all the time.  He wears a lightweight baby t-shirt under a long-sleeved shirt and then either baby leg warmers or split pants I made for him, as I mentioned above.  He almost always either sitting/nursing right up against me or he's in mine or Scott's baby carrier so our body heat keeps him cozy too.  I'll put a blanket around him as well, if I think he needs it.  We live in northern Michigan, so keeping an EC'd baby warm while allowing easy potty access has been one of my focuses.

All in all EC'ing is going very well and I continue to be amazed just how aware he is.  Some days we get through most of the day with just one diaper.  Other days there will be a bunch of wet ones.  Rarely are there dirty diapers though.  It's clear to me that Galen wants to stay clean and dry, and has the capacity to let us know when he needs to go – and to let us know when we missed a cue and he needs a dry diaper… right away 😉

(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.)

Easy Elimination Communication

About the author 

Kristen

Kristen is childbirth educator, student midwife, and a mama to 8 - all born naturally! She has spent years helping mamas have healthy babies, give birth naturally, and enjoy the adventure of motherhood. Find her on her website NaturalBirthandBabyCare.com and helping families through her online childbirth class MamaBabyBirthing.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. That is so awesome!! I think that if I was less stressed, I would give it a more serious go. But to be honest, with our lifestyle being the way that it is, I think that I would just frustrate myself more. 🙁 Which is sad because I really see this as SO beneficial. Oh well, maybe with the next one I will be more *prepared* to give it an honest try.

  2. I am amazed! I first read about ECing in a magazine. This is the first I’ve read of someone actually using it though! I’m very new to all this. I am 13 weeks pregnant for the first time! I definitely want to try ECing with my babies! I first knew something like this must be possible when my cousin adopted from Ethiopia… she said that all the babies in the orphanage are potty trained before the age of one. This must be how! I am so excited to learn how to do this!

  3. It’s so interesting to read about your experience with Galen. My Ariel is now 8 weeks, and I’ve had a similar experience with her pooping. I knew about the diaper free concept from my bro and sis-in-law, and had read some of a book called “Diaper Free” when she was born. I wasn’t feeling like I knew everything I needed to yet, but I think at about 2 weeks I started holding her over a potty and cueing her. She pretty much started peeing and pooing in the bowl right away, so I’ve just kept it up (and have now finished the book and purchased some split pants). Basically, for probably the last 4 or 5 weeks we have had maybe three real poopy diapers, and earlier we used to get the fart smears, but no longer. She definately seems to prefer to hold it until she has a chance to poo in her bowl. I’ve had less success with pee, but as we’re moving across the country in about 10 days it’s been hard to really focus on it, other than to give her lots of opportunities, and try to pay attention to intuition. Once we’re re-settled I’m planning to work on having her in diapers less of the time.

  4. I have raised 4 children, now grown, and have 10 grandkids. I have never heard of this process. But it makes sense. I often thought, when my babies were tiny, what did people of old do. They certainly didn’t spend all day washing diaper rags. I wouldn’t be surprised if this practice is as old as the hills. We’re so modern we have forgotten all athe good stuff. But I can surely see that you must be commited to this. What do you do when you go out or travel?

  5. Susan,

    You can read some about going out and travel in my other EC updates, all listed on this page:

    https://naturalbirthandbabycare.com/elimination-communication.html

    For me it’s been simplest to use diapers when we’re out or traveling. When we’re out and about in town I’ve found places (like the library) where I can easily hold Galen over the toilets. We also keep a little potty in the van that I can set him on.

    It does take commitment but for me it doesn’t seem to be much more trouble than changing a diaper – I’m just holding him over his potty. And clean-up is a lot easier!

  6. This is really amazing. I first read about this method a year ago in a child trainging book “To Train Up A Child”, but they didn’t give a name for the method. It sounded so interesting to me, but very difficult.But they really didn’t go into much detail on it.Reading your articles has really warmed me to the idea. I am 19 and getting married in May of next year, and my fiance and I have made the decision to start a family right away.We will be using cloth diapers, and now I believe slowly beginning EC’ing.Thank you so much for documenting your results with your baby! It has been so enlightening, and you sound very relaxed about it, which makes me think with just a little effort in studying my babys,it really won’t be too hard. 🙂

  7. I am pregnant with my first baby, 17w3d. I am planning on experimenting with ECing and cloth diapers. One question I have, as I have read with many others experiences is that the babies prefer to wait or hold it in until they go on the bowl. I do not plan on making my baby wait long periods of time to go but I wonder is there a higher incidence of constipation since they must wait until someone takes them to go

  8. Hi Katrina,

    My babies haven’t ever had much trouble with constipation – not even the EC’d ones. When Galen was having trouble eating solid foods he’d sometimes go for several days between bowel movements, however that resolved as soon as he started eating more. He’s very regular now 🙂

    I haven’t heard that EC’d babies have a constipation issues, either. If they were waiting days and days between movements it might be an issue – but since the potty is offered many, many times a day there are plenty of opportunities to go. Just like diapered babies, EC’d babies often have bowel movements more than once a day, then less as they get older.

  9. i’ve been ec-ing my baby (8 wks old now), but still haven’t figured out what to do abt naps. i know she needs to go right when she wakes up, but i don’t catch them all because i don’t want to wake her in case she is just going to go back to sleep w/out waking all the way. i feel bad leaving her in a wet diaper, but i also don’t want to interrupt her sleep. she has a hard enough time sleeping for long increments as it is.

    also–anyone ever ec in an airplane bathroom? we’re going on a long flight in a couple weeks.

  10. In India EC has been a natural way of bringing up an infant. My mom brought me up virtually diaperless and I was potty trained by the time I was 1.
    Sadly we have been moving away from our age-old practices. I started ECing my babies only when they were 4 weeks old. And to my surprise, they happily went in the potty bowl! My only concerns now remain travel and night time, which we are still trying to figure out.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}