Many months ago I was looking at diapering options and came across EC. EC is short for Elimination Communication (possibly the stupidest name ever), and basically it means you potty train your newborn. At first I was bemused and perused the site for fun, but as I read it started to make sense to me. I mean if infants are capable of learning to hold their bladders, why would you untrain that by putting them in diapers and basically teaching them to stop paying attention to their body? It makes for a hell of a time at age 3-5 when you’re trying to teach them to tune back in to their bodies and use the potty! What if it really was possible to skip that? At first it would mean I would have to tune into her cues and give her lots of opportunities to go potty in the “right” place, but honestly, that is pretty much exactly what housebreaking a puppy is. Over time you build up the habit, but at first you just give lots of opportunities and pay close attention. Seemed doable.
After giving birth to baby girl I was knocked out. Very exhausted from a long labor and lots of blood loss. But when baby girl was almost 4 weeks old, I ordered a potty from Amazon. I figured, hey, why not try? I wouldn’t be religious about it, but if it worked, great! I’d just give her the opportunity to go every time I changed her diaper, when she was already naked. Everyone knows how babies love to pee on you when the air hits them. It was a good time to try and “catch” an elimination.
The first try she peed in the potty. I was elated! How cool! Then she didn’t for me for the rest of the day. But the next day, she did again. And the next day, three times!
Within about 5 days every time I held baby girl over the potty in position and made the “tsssss” sound she would begin to try to go potty. Usually she did if I gave her a few minutes.
Within a couple days after that she would go potty almost instantly upon being given the chance. And if there was anything more in her system, she’d keep trying until it was all out.
It’s been just over a week, now, and if I’m paying attention I can use the same diaper for hours and hours with it staying clean and dry! I still haven’t really figured out her cues as to when she has to go potty, but I’m just giving her opportunities. And she seems to be starting to wait for them. She used to go potty while breastfeeding regularly. Now she doesn’t. She will sometimes go long stretches (a few hours) without going potty, and then go a lot when I give her the opportunity at the potty. It’s nowhere near reliable, but funnily, she seems to prefer NOT having her waste all over her private parts!
I’m sure we could be doing better, but right now we aren’t ECing at night. Or in the mornings when we’re chilling in bed. Because our only potty is downstairs. So that means it’s only about 8-10 hours a day when we are ECing, and she’s STILL getting it this well!
I am blown away by my one-month-old’s ability to control her elimination. We’ll keep her in diapers for a good long while, but hopefully this way we can use a lot fewer of them. And if we’re using fewer, maybe we can even switch over to cloth and I’d be OK with that! And hopefully, even if we stay in diapers until she is several years old, potty training will be much easier since she won’t have lost the ability to tune in to her own body’s needs.
I thought this was crazy-woo-woo. I certainly am not telling others in real life we’re doing it. But so far…I am impressed. I’m glad I heard about it, EC was definitely worth giving a try!