Friday, October 12, 2007

Elimination Communication

Have you ever seen those naked babies in developing countries and wondered about the mess? Elimination Communication is the name give to the system of knowing your baby so well that you know when they are going to eliminate and taking them to the toilet instead of letting them fill a diaper.

When I read about this years ago, I wondered how it was possible but I was anxious to give it a try. Why on earth would I want to do such a thing? Because I like spending time with my baby and I can. God has given me a wonderful capacity to learn new things and I won't let that go to waste.

So, here's the scoop. I planned to use cloth diapers to cut costs in both the cost of diapers and the cost of disposal. I was able to get a good sense of when Amanda would eliminate and began sitting her on the potty between my legs. The were certain things she would do; twist and turn while nursing, latch on and off, grunt and get red in the face. We've had great success for about a week and a half. I haven't had to wash out any dirty diapers. They've only been wet.

We are on such a good routine of eating and sleeping that is doesn't mean extra time or energy. She usually nurses through half a feeding. We sit on the potty while she burps. I sing to her, talk to her and she looks in my eyes and smiles. She also gets practice sitting up. I noticed that she was getting stronger and supporting herself more. After a bit, we finish the feeding. I use warm water to encourage her to urinate before going to bed and upon waking. So, that's two or three trips to the potty in the hour that she's awake. Then she's in bed for two hours.

During the day, I put her in cloth diapers for naps, but as soon as she wakes up I remove the diaper and just have her sit on a cloth diaper. If she urinates before going to bed and I wake her up her diaper will be dry. More often her diaper is wet and she often awakes from her nap because it's wet. As soon as I change it, she falls back asleep. When we go out and at night we still put her disposables.

I am not trying to "potty train" my infant. I'm simply following her cues so that I don't have to wash out a dirty diaper. The added bonus will be that when she is capable of controlling her bowel and bladder the potty will already be a normal part of her life.

P.S. I have had to wash out a dirty diaper since this original post, but far fewer you'd expect.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Wow, I've never heard of that, but it sounds like a wonderful idea!