Wednesday, September 17, 2008

2008: A Potty-sey

I first heard about Elimination Communication when I was in my second trimester of pregnancy. Also known as infant pottying, EC somehow came up in conversation over dinner with friends. One of them had a brother who'd practiced EC with his two sons. He began when they were newborns, and both kids were diaper-free by their first birthdays. In a nutshell, EC is the process by which a parent uses timing, cues, and intuition to know when his or her infant needs to use the toilet. The goal is not to potty train the child per se, but to expand communication and respond to one of your child's basic needs by increasing bodily awareness. Sounds crazy, huh? If not crazy, it certainly seems like a whole heckuva lot of extra work, right? That's what I thought, too.

Fast forward one year later. I had noticed that Benjamin was making it increasingly clearer through his facial expressions and vocalizations whenever he needed to, um... use the facilities. Vince joked that we should just dangle him over the loo and save a diaper, and that's when it hit me - I was seeing Benjamin's EC cues! So even though in the world of EC, Benjamin would be considered to be late starter, I decided to give it a try. I purchased a Baby Bjorn potty and a copy of The Diaper-Free Baby (by Christine Gross-Loh), and got to work. To ensure that I don't gross you out, I'm going to employ the use of some euphemisms. We'll refer to pee as "polliwogs" and the other stuff as "shalalalas."
Various potties in our EC Arsenal. Would you believe that there's a tiny collapsable potty in that little blue bag? What will they think of next??
To our surprise, Benjamin took to EC really quickly. By the second day of our Potty-sey, he'd gotten about five polliwogs in his Baby Bjorn potty as well as all of his shalalalas. To be sure, we've had a few "off" days in which it seems I'm reading his cues just moments too late, or when I'm not positioning him quite right on the potty and getting sprayed with polliwogs. Also, practicing EC is definitely more work than just slapping a diaper on Benjamin and calling it a day. But the joy of being able to communicate with and respond to my little baby on a new level makes it all worth it. Not having to scrub shalalalas out of his clothes after a blow-out diaper is nice, too.


Catherine (aka Lucy's Mommy) said...

I'm so impressed by you, you tuned-in mama! And who knew they made fold-up toilets?

chesterbear said...

Wow - this is very impressive! I'm not sure I'm ready to go down this road yet (and I guess by EC standards, I'm too late)...but its a great idea!