Written by Maria
Elimination Communication may be an answer to colicky babies. Most babies can express the need to eliminate through various cries: latching relatching on the breast, popping off, squirming during their sleep... When the cries are not responded to in the proper manner, it may cause a baby distress.
A baby, just like us, is very much aware of the pressure associated with full bladder and the rumble tumble of a stinky on the way. They cry out in discomfort, their only form of communication those early months, through the breast, unexplained fussiness, waking during sleep to get help, comfort, from this distress. If not met, they must pee on themselves.
EC may reduce gas and bloating in babies. The Basic Under Thigh Hold infant pottying position holds the baby's legs up to its tummy, applying pressure, and thus allowing for gas to be released. Before I read about EC, I recall pushing my babies knees up to her chest while she laid on the floor ("as grandma said to do") because she would never burp.
|Image: bbaunach on Flickr|
In our society, it is common place to leave a baby in a wet, urine filled diaper for hours. This too, may be causing great discomfort for infants. First of all, they are sitting on something wet. No matter how expensive and state of the art your disposable is, if you pour water (or urine) on it, it is wet. Water doesn't evaporate from it. This wetness is uncomfortable. I imagine it would feel rather like walking around in a wet bathing suit, soaked maxi pad, or soaked adult diaper.
Two, the urine could be burning the baby's skin. Maybe the baby doesn't develop full blown diaper rash but does that mean that urine - which is an ammonia based substance (something we, as adults handle with gloves) - isn't burning their skin? Infants, with the most fragile and delicate of skin, are obviously going to be more sensitive to the corrosive properties of urine.
The smell of the urine could be causing distress in babies. As tiny human beings, they desire instinctively what we desire: a clean environment. As adults, we know that peeing and pooping where we eat and drink and sleep is undesirable, unhealthy, and unsanitary. To survive as a species, we have learned to pee and poop away from our living areas. It shouldn't come as a surprise that our babies want the same.
The disposable diapers of our time are a chemical cocktail. I have heard of babies getting diaper rash simply from the diaper. I can only imagine the chemical cocktail created inside one of those when ammonia based urine is added to the mixture. It is constantly recommended not to use chemicals, dyes, perfumes (such as in washing detergent, lotions, shampoos) on our babies as they may be irritants. Yet, we don't think twice about what our chemical filled disposables diapers may be doing to our babies bottoms. The diapers could be burning their skin, itching, causing discomfort even if they don't get full blown diaper rash. Same, may be true for the diaper wipes and diaper rash creams. When we use a new facial cleanser on our face, sometimes it burns and we don't use it anymore. The diapers, creams, and wipes could cause a similar reaction in an infant. All they can do is scream in pain. What we don't know is, is the diaper, creams, the wipes, or the urine or the combination causing distress in a baby, burning its skin, thus an explanation for colic?
I use cloth diapers and a sink, faucet, or sprayer of water. On the road, a sports bottle of fresh water and a wash cloth will suffice. And, other than the diaper rash she came home from the hospital with, once in cloth diapers, my DD has never had one since (17 months old now). And, never needed to use diaper rash creams to protect her from her own urine, she was never left to sit in it. Nor, did I use store bought diaper wipes. I rarely scrubbed, wiped, cleaned her skin with any kind of cloth as the baby skin is so sensitive that would be needlessly abrasive. I have read, and believe because of my own baby, that EC makes baby's more efficient poopers. I noticed with my baby, if I didn't get her to the potty quick enough, she would poop some in her diaper then stop. Then later in the day, she would then go to the potty to get the rest out. If I did get her to the potty on time, then that was all her poopy for a day or even three. She gets it all out in one big push. Because you hold the baby in a "squat" position versus allowing them to poopy laying down, they can use gravity and the pressure placed on their bellies by their legs to excrete all that needs to be pushed out. And, very little if any poopy gets on the baby. Simply hold their bum under the water for some rinsing or use the sprayer.