Elimination communication

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mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781
Elimination communication

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/19/nyregion/babys-latest-going-diaperless-at-home-or-even-in-the-park.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1&

Baby?s Latest: Going Diaperless
By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS

When Jada Shapiro decided to raise her daughter from birth without diapers, for the most part, not everyone was amused. Ms. Shapiro scattered little bowls around the house to catch her daughter?s offerings, and her sister insisted that she use a big, dark marker to mark the bowls so that they could never find their way back to the kitchen.

?My sister wasn?t a huge fan,? she said on Thursday.

But ?elimination communication,? as the diaper-free method of child-rearing is called, is finding an audience in the hipper precincts of New York City.

Ms. Shapiro, who is a doula, a birth and child-rearing coach, says it is practically now a job qualification to at least be able to offer diaper-free training as an option to clients. Caribou Baby, an ?eco-friendly maternity, baby and lifestyle store? on the border of artsy Greenpoint and Williamsburg, has been drawing capacity crowds to its diaper-free ?Meetups,? where parents exchange tips like how to get a baby to urinate on the street between parked cars.

Parents are drawn to the method as a way of preserving the environment from the ravages of disposable diapers, as well as reducing the laundering of cloth diapers and preventing diaper rash. Many of them like the thought that they are rediscovering an ancient practice used in other cultures, though they tend to gloss over the fact that many of those cultures had never heard of Pampers. But mostly, they say, they like feeling more in touch with their babies? most intimate functions.

?I think for a lot of parents, the motivation is just to be more in tune with what their kids? needs are,? Adriane Stare, proprietor of Caribou Baby and herself a diaper-free mother, said on Thursday, about a week after holding her most recent meetup. Another meeting was written about on Thursday on the news Web site dnainfo.com; the next is May 14.

Ms. Stare said she ?E.C.?d? her oldest son, Damien, who is now almost 4, and is doing it again with her second boy, Loren, who is almost 4 months old. Ms. Stare watched for cues that meant her baby needed to go to the bathroom or was going to the bathroom, like a certain cry or squirming or a grimace. Then, she began associating those cues with her own noises, like ?sss,? or grunting. After a while she could make those noises ? the elimination communication ? to the baby while holding him over the toilet or the sink for perhaps 20 seconds, and he would go to the bathroom on command or refuse if he was not ready.

There are misses, she admits, but even cleaning up a small mess on the floor is easier, she says, than laundering diapers.

Some pediatricians are skeptical that children under a year old are actually capable of controlling their own toileting behavior. ?I?ve certainly heard in other countries that they do toilet train babies earlier,? said Dr. Robin Jacobson, chief of outpatient pediatrics at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan. ?But from what I?ve heard it?s at about a year of age, not at two months of age.?

Toilet training, she said, is a matter of conditioning, ?just like Pavlov?s dog,? but in the United States parents begin talking about it around 18 months, with most children being potty-trained around ages 3 or even 4.

The diaper-free mothers said it was rare for their babies to go without diapers all the time. They usually put them on at night and for trips to stores, restaurants and the like, though not necessarily for naps or going to the park, where it is easier to go on the ground or behind a tree. But their children often have been weaned of their diapers by 18 months.

Asked whether the practice was a health hazard, Jean Weinberg, a spokeswoman for the New York City health department, said: ?Really, the only infectious disease problem at hand has to do with hand washing. Otherwise, it?s just a general sanitation issue.?

Ms. Shapiro, a founder of Birth Day Presence, a childbirth education studio in Park Slope and SoHo, said most clients laughed when they heard about elimination communication, but one or two in every group signed up. At three weeks, her daughter could hold her bowel movements until she was put over the bowl, she said.

?I have absolutely been at parties and witnessed people putting their baby over the sink,? she said. One client took her baby and her bowl to a party, held her naked baby over the bowl, ?and she just did it at this person?s party in the corner, but obviously they were close friends,? Ms. Shapiro said.

Still, even the most ardent practitioners observe some limits. ?I don?t think you can walk down Fifth Avenue and just let your baby poop on the sidewalk,? she said.

Have you done this or would you do it? Is it sanitary? What are your thoughts?

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

Remind me not to go to any of their meet-ups. Smile

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Why am I having a hard time believing a 3 week old knew not to go to the bathroom until the bowl was there?

Not for me. Baby pee and poop don't really bother me sanitation wise so that part isn't a big deal.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Its parent training. Not for me. I'm way too lazy and don't want my babies to poop in bowls. This also would be a pain in the butt living in our cold climate. Ick.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

We did it for the most part with my second son. Started a week after birth. I did diaper him for naps, or if I thought I wouldn't be paying attention.. It is interesting, especially with boys.. When you take the diaper off they pee. I used that and it worked great, saved lots of diapers! We were actually better at not missing pee's when out in public though I would put a diaper on anyway.
He did rebel a bit when teething, so I stopped for awhile. I had two I potty training at the same time though, as my boys were only 13 months apart and I didn't start potty training my first till he was 8 months old.. So yes I had potties in the front room. And the boys would go without diapers a lot in the house..I hardly had any misses. My oldest always went and sat on the toilet if he didn't have a diaper on.. My kids struggled with taking off clothes and getting over the gate.. took too long to get to our bathroom.. and onto the toilet. So having a baby potty, we used Bjorn's was great! They didn't have to worry about skills other than potty training.. like dressing and undressing etc.

When out I used cloth, or disposables, depending on where we were going and how long.
Oh and I hardly ever had poopy diapers.. I can't remember cleaning them much with my second son.
Sorry for the rambling post.
I think it is a great idea! The concept of a diaper is a new invention for the comfort of the parent. For the most part if you are doing Attached Parenting methods you can do this effectively with most children.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

This is not an option for me, but whatever floats a parents boat. I do not think putting kids over a sink at a restaurant is an acceptable option, or pooping behind a tree though.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

We did it for the most part with my second son. Started a week after birth. I did diaper him for naps, or if I thought I wouldn't be paying attention.. It is interesting, especially with boys.. When you take the diaper off they pee. I used that and it worked great, saved lots of diapers! We were actually better at not missing pee's when out in public though I would put a diaper on anyway.
He did rebel a bit when teething, so I stopped for awhile. I had two I potty training at the same time though, as my boys were only 13 months apart and I didn't start potty training my first till he was 8 months old.. So yes I had potties in the front room. And the boys would go without diapers a lot in the house..I hardly had any misses. My oldest always went and sat on the toilet if he didn't have a diaper on.. My kids struggled with taking off clothes and getting over the gate.. took too long to get to our bathroom.. and onto the toilet. So having a baby potty, we used Bjorn's was great! They didn't have to worry about skills other than potty training.. like dressing and undressing etc.

When out I used cloth, or disposables, depending on where we were going and how long.
Oh and I hardly ever had poopy diapers.. I can't remember cleaning them much with my second son.
Sorry for the rambling post.
I think it is a great idea! The concept of a diaper is a new invention for the comfort of the parent. For the most part if you are doing Attached Parenting methods you can do this effectively with most children.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

To me it is silly and unnecessary, but I am basically of the theory "to each his own". I don't really like the idea of eliminating waste in parking lots and parks.....yuck!

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

I don't even understand buying a "potty"...I do not want to be cleaning out some container with pee or poop in it. I'll clean my babies, but not bowls or pots or buckets. Yech.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

We have good friends that lived in China for several years after college. All three of their kids were born in China. That is what is most common there and they did not have a choice as it was very expensive to buy American diapers (They did still use them some, and people would send them from the US). I agree that it is more parent training then baby training. Although it is not what I want to do or did, if I lived in a part of the world that it was the custom, I would do my best to go with it.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

I held DS over the toilet from a young age and if he went he went. I saw when they started toilet training at daycare lots of the kids were scared of the toilet, so I worked on getting rid of that fear early. I live in a warm climate so during the early toilet training stages he did run around bottomless, and I had a spray bottle of disinfectant and paper towel handy at all times.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I also disagree with the notion that lots of 4 year olds in America are running around in diapers. My daughter was in underwear full time before 2 and my sons both by 2.5- I don't even know anyone whose kids were in diapers past 3 I don't believe.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"Potter75" wrote:

I also disagree with the notion that lots of 4 year olds in America are running around in diapers. My daughter was in underwear full time before 2 and my sons both by 2.5- I don't even know anyone whose kids were in diapers past 3 I don't believe.

While none of my girls were in diapers past 3, I know several kids that were. Some kids just develop differently than others.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

My oldest is still trying to do it consistently but that's related to her communication issues.

My youngest is 3 and is training half heartedly and I know a lot of people in the same boat.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

I'm just still wrapping my head around wanting bowls full of pee and/or poo around your home. Yes, diapers exist for the parents, and they're a wonderful invention. They exist for the parents who don't want a bowl of pee in the living room.

I remember a friend of mine kept their potty in the living room when they were toilet training their oldest. I didn't say anything as it was none of my business, but I couldn't imagine why you'd want to train your child to pee in the living room. That has zero appeal for me.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

We put a potty in the living room when we started training. I really didn't see it as a big deal. My kids did better when the potty was closer to their toys and play area. It wasn't like we left it full of poop/pee or anything.....

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

I just don't really understand it, though. For me, part of toilet training was teaching them that you poo and pee in the bathroom.

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

Although I am totally okay with whatever people do in their own home, there's a reason why public urination is illegal- it is dirty and spreads disease. Parents should not have a plan to get their kids to pee between two other people's cars.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

My first goal of potty training was getting them comfortable sitting on their potty. They were most comfortable in the living room because that is where we spent time together as a family. Maybe my kids were just slow to catch on, but those first few days weren't extremely productive and I spent a lot of time pretending that the potty was this really neat thing that "big girls do".

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

To each their own.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

All three of my girls were potty trained in 1-2 weeks. Alyssa was 18 months, Brianna was just turned 3, and Caitlyn was just turned 3. We did have a potty chair that was low to the ground. We dedicated one week to it. We stayed home for the most part and wore panties. To learn what the potty meant, they sat on it all the time. While eating dinner, while watching TV, while I read to them. Then when the magic first time happens, then we cheer and make a big deal about it when they go. The potty is emptied by the child right after they went. After they understood what they were supposed to do, we moved the potty seat to the bathroom. Once they had that down we moved to using the big girl potty.

I know this is not how everyone does it, but it is what worked for us. I would much rather have the process over and done with in just a few weeks.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

While eating dinner?

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

We used a potty chair too. It was just more convenient for them to use it when they were so little. With all the girls they were real little but we were on the big toilet within a week. I really hated cleaning out that potty seat. Carson is still peeing on a potty seat, but he cleans it out. We still have him sitting to pee because his aim is terrible

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

While eating dinner?

"To each their own!" LOL

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

While eating dinner?

Yes. A few times we replaced the booster seat with the potty chair.

ETA - I believe we only did this with Caitlyn, and she has birth defects that made her have a lot of problems with her BMs.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

I'm trying to think of it as not that different from a kid peeing in a diaper at the dinner table, but honestly, I go back to "to each their own", because part of the training to me is to go to the actual bathroom.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I'm trying to think of it as not that different from a kid peeing in a diaper at the dinner table, but honestly, I go back to "to each their own", because part of the training to me is to go to the actual bathroom.

I agree with you that part of the training is actually going into the bathroom, but I know a lot of people that kept a potty around for at least the first few days so that they had more luck catching that first few pottys.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

BTW I was telling Dh about EC last night and he asked about breastfed babies. My babies would poop 2 or 3 times per feeding until we started solids after 6 months. He asked if I would have had to have a bowl next to me every time I fed them. As we were talking I realized how hard this would have been, I never would have stuck with breastfeeding if I had another thing to deal with

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I've known a number of ECers over the years. I don't know of anyone who lets their kid pee on the street or who leaves bowls of pee & poop lying around. Most of them use their toilet or bathroom sink when baby is little, a couple of regular potties when baby starts walking, and a travel potty when out & about. The reason you use multiple potties for ECing is because babies don't have the physical skills to "hold it" after they realize they need to go, and they also can't multi-task (needing to go but needing to figure out *where* to go) so you need to always have a potty close by.

I wasn't interested in trying this at all, but when Tiven started walking she would stop & squat when she needed to poop, so I started taking her in to the toilet when she started squatting. After a while, even DH started getting her to the toilet to catch many of her poops, but she always wore a diaper for pee. We did a "diaper-free toddlers" class and she was fully day-trained well before she was two. Weston OTOH completely resisted potty training. His only cue for poop was when he started stinking, LOL. We did the same technique that we used with Tiven, and he just ignored it. He wouldn't stop playing to go potty even with a lump in his pants, he just refused to use the potty. He was just happy as a clam pooping in a diaper even when he was close to three. He's 3.5 and he's pretty good about peeing now but he still poops in his pants a few times a week. And there are at least two 4yo boys at preschool who are in pullups, which says to me they aren't potty trained very well. I have no idea how we could have done EC with him.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

A friend of mine did EC. She would put her wee little itty bitty thing on the potty WHILE she was nursing. All I could think was how uncomfortable that looked and that I really did not have the will or patience for that. I stuck with stinky dipe laundry.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

I agree with everyone else it is the parent that is trained not the child. If anyone wants their life to revolve around that more power to them but it is not for me. I did do naked potty training for my 2 youngest boys but they were about 3 years old when I did it. It worked great because it only took a few days for them to be trained except for a few accidents.

Joined: 05/13/02
Posts: 414

Luckily mine are way past potty-training, but even back then I never would have done EC. I agree with many others who say it's really parent-training, especially when they are super young babies.

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

SOOO not for me. Ew. The idea of a baby peeing or pooing in my bathroom sink or a bowl is just so gross to me. That is what the toilet is for. I would WAY rather change diapers.