Those pictures are priceless and I love her commentary on them!!! You look stunning!
Sarah, those pictures are gorgeous! I love how it was a whole family shoot! And I loved your inclusion of the lion too.
Mama to Kostas with the Mostest, born 07/10/07
and Marek "Cricket" Joshua, born 12/07/12
Thanks ALL! I love the photos too - I can't wait to see the rest of them!
I know I haven’t posted my birth story from Reed’s which I planned to do yesterday, but I did post the photos which I planned to put up today or tomorrow. So maybe later today I’ll get to Reed’s birth story. In the meantime, I’m going to do a summary of Elimination Communication (EC) and the more extreme Diaper Free.
A little bit on EC:
Before Reed was born, DH and I had the typical discussion of diapering, i.e. shall we use cloth or disposable? Being the researcher, I figured out that cost-wise, they are about the same if you start out with new cloth diapers for each kid. If you have more than one, generally you come out ahead with cloth. Also, that kids tend to toilet train sooner with cloth, so that would decrease the cost as well. However, hauling around poopy cloth diapers, and us losing them because we’re both prone to that sort of thing, is definitely a consideration. I was veering towards cloth, and DH was veering towards cloth, but having some disposables on hand for going out. They are just so convenient. Plus you can fit a couple in your pocket instead of carrying a diaper bag.
About that time, our MW asked if we had ever heard of “Diaper Free”. It is a book written by Ingrid Bauer (now a web group called http://www.diaperfreebaby.org/ with many other yahoo and other groups) who decided that she was going to take the approach that babies are born knowing when they have to pee or poop, and she was going to avoid using diapers altogether. My MW was so enthralled that she wanted to have another baby (she had 5) just to try it out.
DH and I were instantly on board. DH was more intrigued because he’d spent time in India and no babies wore diapers there – and there were never any accidents either. This must be what they did there! Being more of a wildlife type, it made complete sense to me because animal babies don’t pee/poop in their nest or den, so why would humans (supposedly so much more evolved, ahem! LOL ) be any different?
So, when Reed was born, whenever he cried, the first thing we would do was take him to the sink and hold him over it. 90% of the time, he would pee and poop! Then I would feed him. It was amazing! He KNEW he had to go. He would tell us! And he was only hours old! I would never believe another person who said that babies don’t know whether they have to eliminate or not.
Fast forward a bit, and I can tell you that the same thing happened for signing. They say to start signing at 6-8 months because that’s when babies can really understand… well at about 1 month, DH and I started signing the sign for ‘toilet’ before I took Reed to the toilet. At 3 months, Reed signed to us that he needed to go to the toilet!
Do babies know when they need to eliminate? Do they know how to communicate? I was starting to think that books are silly about the timing of development in babies – especially regarding toileting.
I even showed my family doctor – and he was just pleased as punch. He’d never heard about it before, but he started telling all his pregnant moms about it. Not that he thought they should all do EC for the toilet training reasons, but because the bond of understanding and communication between baby and mom was hugely improved from those that were constantly in diapers that were changed at the caregiver’s convenience.
In any case, with Reed, EC was easy, except for a few times when he went through a short phase of non-communication (usually related to learning something like crawling or sitting or something). We had about 30-40 poopy diapers in his life (he passed at 14.5 months) – mostly when he was sick. He was pretty much dry at home, though he would consistently get 1 wet diaper a day at the dayhome – where he started when he was 1yo.
When Ivy was born, it was a no-brainer to do EC with her. Ivy, however, was completely different. As much as she peed and pooped when we took her to the sink, she had an attitude. She would refuse, sometimes, before 6mo. She absolutely refused after 6 months – unless she was nursing at the same time. It wasn’t that she didn’t know that she had to go, it’s that she didn’t WANT to. We tried to persist gently, but it became a fight, with little benefit. We decided to stop, except for the rare occasion – more to remind her (and us) that she knew that she had to go. Finally, at about 14mo, we went on holiday and just completely gave up for a month. We put her in disposable diapers for 3 weeks. We came home and didn’t even bother trying for another week. Both DH and I figured that she would just decide one day that she was going to pee in the potty or toilet instead of in her diaper. It would have to be her choice, though. Not ours.
Then IT happened. I don’t know what it was. I noticed, however, that for two days at the day home that we had not received any poopy diapers. That night I put her on the toilet insert – and she smiled, clapped, and peed! She did the same the next morning!
It’s now been almost a month since we came home, and she has been peeing almost every time we put her on the potty. For the past 3 nights she’s even pooped!
The frequency of washing diapers (and their filthiness) is decreasing! It’s wonderful. It’s also great timing since baby should be here in a couple weeks. I'm sure we will probably have some setbacks, but for now, it's WONDERFUL! And it's amazing how just a couple positive experiences makes EVERYONE want to help her. She understands so much that if you tell her to go to the bathroom and you'll be right there, that she'll do it! Dry diaper and all! And then she goes to the bedroom and grabs a clean diaper (even if her previous one was still clean)!
NOTE: Lots of people believe that EC means to go without a diaper, and lots of messes to clean up. As much as we’ve done that on occasion, both Reed and Ivy were in diapers about 99% of the time. The difference is that we would try to keep the diaper clean. We would anticipate when they needed to eliminate, and prevent them from soiling the diaper, rather than cleaning them and the diaper AFTER they peed. It can be time consuming, frustrating, gratifying, astounding, and any number of other adjectives. I was amazed when at 2 months old, Reed held his poop voluntarily (I never thought he would) for about an hour! I had been caught in traffic and figured he would poop in his diaper and I’d just change him when I got home. Nope, when I went to change his poopy diaper he was dry! But he let loose almost as soon as I took it off (in the sink we were using as a toilet). Of course, there can be many misses, but I can also tell you that knowing that baby’s cry is “I have to pee/poop” is a completely different level of communication than I ever expected with a new born!
And yes, we will be doing our best to EC this little one too!
I need to sneak this picture in here!
1) You can start anytime, though I have only started at birth - before a baby can learn that to ignore the elimination signals.
2) Babies can do it with only a certain person - i.e not everyone has to be on board... though it has helped us to have both DH and I do it.
3) You can do it in only certain places. We generally do it just at home and at the day home (Ivy and Reed started at 1yo at the day home and I simply asked them to take them to the toilet with the big kids whenever anyone had to go). When we go out we generally use disposables.
4) Do EC in conjunction with hand signing.
5) If you are having trouble, try some diaper-free time in a safe place (hardwood floor, lino, tiles, or garden) and try to re-learn baby's cues.
6) DON'T BE HARD ON YOURSELF! I totally stressed out when Reed would take an EC "holiday". It wasn't worth the stress. With Ivy, I simply told myself "I'll try again in a couple days. I know she hasn't forgotten, she just doesn't want to". Lo and behold, even after a couple months, she hadn't forgotten. I think she's just so busy that she didn't want to do something else.
Last edited by sarahsunshine; 08-25-2010 at 10:44 PM.