Monday, July 28, 2008

Elimination Communication

This quaint term and I got a'quaint'ed not too long ago, but I wish it had been sooner. Known more widely as EC, it means to be able to tune into your baby's need to eliminate, by understanding your baby's communication about it.

Easier said than done if you have forced (unwittingly, I know) the little critter to become accustomed to going in a disposable diaper!

Babies actually try to signal their need to go right from birth, either by squirming or grunting or some other way, but they TRY!!! I found this piece of information astounding, but it's true. However, since most parents automatically put their babies in diapers, the baby eventually learns it's useless to signal, and resigns itself to going in the diaper. This is the stage the ChunkyMonkey was at when I first discovered EC. Since then I have read up on it, bought books about it, bought a couple of potties and of course, tried to let her know she has the opportunity to not go in her diaper. I keep her diaper free a small part of the day, and in cloth diapers the rest of the day. She is still in disposables for the night, but I think that will end soon.

The funny (actually not so funny) part is that the naughty little Chipmunk will go everywhere but in the potty! I have been trying to teach her off and on for the past few months now, but I have not been as consistent as I should have been. I also wish I had more support. We had to go to a different town just to get cloth diapering essentials! I intend to keep at it though, even if it means constantly washing diapers and cleaning up baby messes. I am sure she will get it soon. She does enjoy looking at pictures of babies on potties, many of whom are sitting on the same type of BabyBjorn potty that she has. She even knows the ASL signal for 'potty' but has so far refused to use it when she needs to go.

I'll just have to be more consistent than I've been and keep at it! In any case, just reading about what disposables do to the environment, and of course the baby, makes me wonder how I could ever have taken them from granted. But there's a new store right here in town now so I'm hoping other new parents will make the informed choice I didn't at the right time.

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