by Kimberlee Stevens
(Mountain Home, ID, USA)
My daughter is 4 months now and we've been ECing her since she was 8 days. I still use disposables when we are going out and sleeping.
She seems to have to go so often that I almost feel I can't get anything done around the house when we are home. I have never really read up on ECing but was wondering how specifically it's done.
We go diaperless in the mornings and she seems to have to go about every 5 minutes at first then it stretches to 10 or 15 minutes. Poops being the easy ones to catch.
I feel like a slave to the potty, but won't let that stop me from ECing her. I have told myself that ECing is just going to make me to slow down and really pay attention to her… while my house and errands and dinners go the way of the buffalo. Is this how it is?
If it helps to know… I am almost constantly holding her. I don't put her down often, only when I am in one room for a while. She seems to hold her pees better when she is not being held. I don't know if this is really true or a misobservation on my part.
I would like to know if there are better methods to this than what I am doing. Any help or advise is much appreciated.
The little ones do seem to go a whole lot – every 15 to 20 minutes is about what my Brennan and Galen (the two I EC'd from newborn) went in their early months.
I've always held my babies a lot too, especially in their early months. Galen was held pretty much non-stop.
Are you taking her to the bathroom each time she needs to go? Some moms really prefer to do that and if that's the case, keep doing that. But if you don't mind having a potty (or some sort of container) in each room, that could make things a lot easier for you. Just hold on the container in whatever room you're in, empty it quickly, and go about your day.
It may help to plan things that can easily be interrupted while she's awake and needing to go a lot. Plan to take it easy when she first wakes up in the morning.
Then do things like your housework – washing dishes, making the beds, or whatnot can easily be stopped for a moment while she potties, and you can get a lot done between pees/poops.
If you have paperwork/computer work that you need to get done, and you want to focus on it, it may be easiest to do these things when she's napping (either on her own or in the baby carrier). I was often able to get articles written while Galen slept in a carrier on me (and I still use his sleeping times to do most of my writing).
If you have a big job you want to get done (say organizing a room) just think about doing tasks in 15 minute or so chunks. You'll be surprised just how quickly the job gets done in these chunks if you simply work hard for that time, instead of worrying that you don't have a solid hour (or three!) to do it.
For meal preparation you could try putting her in a bouncy seat, or another baby-safe seat, since you said she seems to go less frequently when not being held. She could be near enough to see you, but safe as you cook – and you could have a more solid block of time to get food ready. You can also break food prep into smaller tasks – do all the chopping at one time, for instance, then come back after a potty and nursing break and get the meal cooking.
I find that one of the best things for us to do as mothers is to adjust our expectations, and to learn to break tasks down. I also feel frustrated and that I'm “getting nothing done” sometimes – but in reality we are getting things done. Maybe not so fast as we would if we didn't have an infant (but hey, we are bringing up an adorable baby, too!)
One of the beautiful things about elimination communication is there really is no “right way” (or wrong way) to do it. You do what works for you and your baby. If that's different than another mom or an “expert” says – well, that OK.
Remember too that she's not always going to need to potty so frequently – as she gets older she'll go longer and longer between pees. As she spaces out nursing she'll go longer, too. So you won't always feel so tied to the potty.
One more tip for “getting things done” – if you really have something you need a longer, uninterrupted stretch to work on, see if you can arrange to do that while someone else attends to her potty needs. On the weekend when Daddy is home to take her potty, for instance.
I think you're looking at it in a good way – she's having you slow down. And that's a good thing. It's hard to slow down and remember that they'll only be tiny babies for a very short time, but it's a good thing to remind ourselves. Before you know it she will be off and running and you'll be chasing her down to go potty 😉 Then getting things done will be a completely different challenge!
I have lots of basic info on my EC pages and bits from my own experiences EC'ing, take a look if you think they would be helpful!
There are several other great resources you can check out:
My favorite is Go Diaper Free – it's completely practical and will get you back on the right track with EC'ing today.
a href=”http://amzn.to/2lI8GLx”>Infant Potty Training – this is the book that introduced me to EC. It has many, many, may stories from families, great pictures, and lots of practical advice.
Diaper Free – the author of this book also carried her babies most of the time. It's a great book on EC and I love her thoughts on parenting in general.
If you like to see things you may like Potty Whispering – it's a good DVD on EC'ing.
Best of luck to you and your little one 🙂 Let me know if you need anything else!
(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.)