Baby, Parents, The Environment

Why should I practice Elimination Communication?

It’s good for Baby:

* EC builds trust – by responding to your babies pottying cues, you are letting him know you are there for him and available to help no matter what the issue is. 

* EC is clean – We are so used to diapers. But really, peeing and pooping in your pants? Everyday? Sitting in poop? Even for a few moments? Adults wouldn’t do it! Why is our society so okay with babies doing it? What parent truly enjoys wiping poo out of every nook and cranny of a baby’s adorable bottom? Let’s play instead!

* EC is natural – babies have a natural desire to stay dry, to not wet themselves. By not responding to this desire, we actually “train” our babies to get used to being wet and to be okay with using a diaper. 

     Here’s how it works :) – Babies don’t want to pee in their diaper. But eventually they have to because most babies wear one all the time (mine did – I thought that’s what babies did – babies and diapers. They go together! Or so I thought.), but they don’t want to…so they just pee a little. Hoping and waiting for that dipe to come off. (changing table pees, anyone?!) When that doesn’t happen, eventually they pee just a little more. Just a little more, just a little more. Until eventually it’s just habit. They’re not bothered by it, per say, it’s just what they’re used to – peeing a little bit all day long!

     Babies who have been given the opportunity to use a receptacle outside of their diaper from a young age will be able to “hold it” much longer than their conventionally diapered peers. This isn’t a milestone, or great achievement, it’s just what they’re used to. They’ve never gotten in the habit of the all-day peeing, so they don’t have to relearn how to “hold it” later.

* EC is normal – the USA is the leading country in the world for oldest age of children still in diapers. Doesn’t that say something? There are many many countries for which they don’t have to call it “EC” or “Natural Infant Hygiene” or any other fancy name, because they just call it “normal”. India, China, etc – the list goes on. Often these babies are being EC’d from birth – they just don’t have the label. :)

* EC heightens awareness – the less time your baby spends in diapers, and the more time you devote to paying attention to everything about your baby – the earlier you can catch (and avoid) problems like UTI’s, skin sensitivities, dehydration, constipation, etc.  -now, that’s good for Baby!

* EC sets Baby up for life – Adults use the toilet. Do we do that because someone will be there with an m&m when we’re done?  Or do a happy dance to cheer us on? Nope. At least not for me (maybe I’m missing out!) We use the bathroom because WE WANT to. By showing babies how and where to eliminate in a clean, convenient manner – we’re just teaching them what we already do.

         Conventionally diapering means to teach the baby to use the diaper as a toilet, and then around age 2 or 3, we tell them that’s crazy and that they should use this big, loud, flushy thing instead. :) Why not just do that from the beginning? Cut out the “middle-man”?  (In our experience, the “big, loud, flushy thing” was not so scary since my daughter had seen it and known it’s purpose since she was 4 months old!)

It’s good for the Parent:

* EC builds trust – just as the baby trusts us to help her in life, we can build a trust that she will communicate back. Eventually you’ll know that when your child says she doesn’t have to “go” – she really means it. She’s listening to and trusting her body – just like you taught her to. You don’t have to guess whether or not she’s just trying to avoid leaving her toys.

* EC is easy – it really is. Much easier to flush a toilet than fight a wiggly toddler who would rather be anywhere else than laying on his back.

* EC is fast – using a potty chair or toilet is much faster than wiping and changing a diaper. Even cleaning up the floor is quicker than a regular diaper change!

* EC means less stuff – Less $$ spent on diapers. Less diapers to haul around. Smaller diaper bag. Less garbage.

* EC is an opportunity – Have fun! This is a chance to be face to face with your little one. Which, as they get older, those times get further and farther between! Sing songs, play with her toes, tickle her chin, let her brush your hair, just spend a few short moments eye to eye. You won’t regret it. 

It’s good for Both:

* EC is a chance to bond with your baby in a way that parents in our culture have forgotten about. To someone who is interested in helping their baby use the toilet – poop isn’t gross. Siblings won’t (usually) say “eeew! Baby is STINKY!” Bodily functions are normal and come and go with every passing day. There’s no need to avoid Baby or play the infamous parent game of “I got the last one! Your turn!”  By doing this communicating thing together, going to the bathroom or using a little potty is FUN! It gives you one more way to tell your baby that you’re there, that you’re listening, that you care and are aware.

And amazingly enough, the babies respond! You will *know* that your baby appreciates the effort and often babies will become little masters of communicating back! 

In my experience EC built a bond that was different from anything else. Maybe because I was so against the idea at first? I don’t know. But the EC bond is something different from breastfeeding, different from napping on each other – different from normal play. It’s indescribable! (it’s not “better” than anything else – just unique!)


 * EC can also be an opportunity for parents of adopted children to bond in one more way, or a way for Daddy and siblings to be more involved! 


 It’s good for the Environment:

* Less waste = a happier environment! 

* EC reduces the amount of disposable diapers in landfills

* EC reduces the amount of wipes and plastic bags (to dispose of diapers in) in landfills

* EC’ers often use cloth diapers which also reduce waste in landfills and provides the parents the opportunity to reuse diapers with multiple children. – EC also reduced the amount of water needed to wash cloth diapers. (because you’ll eventually be using fewer diapers, remember?!)

The One Major CON:

* If you are already addicted to cloth diapers, you won’t be using your favorite cute dipes as much! How sad! (although you can easily transfer that  addiction to special EC pants, undies, leg warmers, etc! No worries!)

16 Comments on Baby, Parents, The Environment

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