written by Maria
Just as our babies know their own bodies, and their needs for food and breast, they also know the bodily sensations that go with the need to pee and poop, and they can, and usually do, communicate these needs. A baby is very much aware of the pressure associated with full bladder and the rumble tumble of a stinky on the way.*
|Image: Tostadophoto on Flickr|
I can recall that from birth my baby was clearly expressing her need to go pee or poopy. Or, if I was too late, that she had just eliminated (excreted biological wastes, urine or feces). Grandma and her father were cramming pacifiers in her mouth every time she whimpered, cried, or mildly complained those first three weeks of life (when Grandma was visiting). I would promptly go behind them, and try to determine the cause instead of allowing them to "shut her up" with this artificial device without trying to determine the cause of her distress. Guess what? Each and every time, her diaper was HOT from her fresh urine. So, I changed her diaper and she was happy.
Within the first two weeks of my baby's life, I learned that every cry means something. She can communicate that she has a wet diaper and quite clearly. My baby doesn't want to sit in her own urine for any length of time and she was clearly expressing this. I just had to listen.
It took a few more weeks for me to realize that she was communicating that she needed to go pee/poopy BEFORE she actually went (not merely after the fact). At 8 weeks old, I was sitting on the toilet with her as she made a stinky. 2 or 3 times later, I determined I needed an infant size potty. Sadly, it didn't occur to me on my own to take her to the potty for Pee Pee also. It is so engrained in Western Culture to allow babies to pee on themselves in their portable sewage containment system that I didn't think twice about it. I put her on the toilet for stinkies so I didn't have to clean and wash a horribly soiled cloth diaper.
EC began for me for selfish reasons yet, at the same time, I was also trusting my instincts. So, when my daughter was 12 weeks old, I asked on a local website where to find an infant size potty and was lead down the path of elimination communication.
*Mothering mindfulness and baby's bottom on Peaceful Parenting