Two people at the baby fair noticed that Ada wasn’t wearing a diaper. With just underwear or little leggings on, she looks quite a bit skinnier than most babies walking around. Funny, her little bottom and thighs look chunky to me, but again, without a diaper the usual noticable bulge isn’t there.
One person asked if I was doing Elimination Communication and knew what it was, and another just asked me if I had potty trained her already. But both were very positive. It’s nice when people are positive about a choice that you have made with your parenting that isn’t the norm or that they have never heard of.
When I first heard of raising babies without diapers I pretty much thought it sounded crazy. It was nice that the lady who had heard of it completely got it– she said “well it’s about communication not potty training, right?”.
A gold star to her, because yes, raising babies diaper free is not about potty training. I think that is why many prefer the term elimination communication, because it is about communicating with your infant about their waste elimination needs.
I didn’t really get that it wasn’t like potty training at first… I thought that one of the benefits MUST be that you have a child potty trained much earlier. But actually, I think, potty training has more to do with the way our toilets are too big for babies… pulling up and down clothes… personal hygience… the mechanics of it.
I know several moms through the yahoo Elimination Communication group— a wonderful resource if you are considering trying EC even part time– whose kids have been sitting on their little potties since they could sit, as early as 5 months.
I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little jealous, since Ada is 16 months and still won’t sit on hers. She prefers me to hold her above the toilet or potty bowl. But that is who she is. And parenting choices, especially EC, are about respecting who your child is.
Many kids signal, do a hand sign or repeat the “ssss” cue for pottying. Ada responds to the cue by peeing, and has since she was 6 weeks old, when she really caught on, but does not make that cue to tell me when she needs to go. She may have tried a few times, but I guess she just got used to be picking up on her more subtle cues.
She gets clingy. Ha. That is her signal for needing to go! She wants to be held, out of nowhere, in the middle of playing. Or she wants to come to me after being happy with her dad. I’ve heard of other kids who happily eliminate their waste for any caregiver.
But that’s not Ada. She doesn’t want her dad, and she expects me to read her little mind when she wants up and down and up and down that she needs to use the restroom.
So now I get it. I get why diaper free is not early potty training. And, of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
With all of her GI issues, believe it or not, her potty habits have been an important part of her telling me how she feels and our communication of when her tummy hurts. And since peeing frequently is one way that the body rids itself of toxins, I’ve actually been able to understand with her that when she pees 5 times a night as opposed to 1, it is a symptom.
I’d be willing to bet, especially from talking to other moms who EC, that EC helps you pick up on foods that affect your children and be more in tune with their bodies.
So even if she doesn’t use her potty yet, that was so, so very worth the effort. And the effort evens out so much anyway, I don’t ever spend time worrying about diapers or cleaning up every little inch of mushed up dirty diaper bottoms. I know you need that visual.
I’m going to take it like I did with Azita. Show her the potty, continue to talk about it with her. She’ll start using it, and be out of my arms before I know it.