Written by Melissa Kemendo
By the time I reached my third trimester, I felt completely prepared to practice Elimination Communication (EC) with my daughter. After reading about the concept in various places around the blogosphere, I had devoured Ingrid Bauer's Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygeine. I had purchased two little potties and several waterproof pads, both for our family bed, and for my lap. I had a small assortment of cloth diapers to use for outings, which I had chosen over disposables not only for environmental reasons, but also because I wanted to be sure my baby would be aware when she was wet. I had thought everything through, was determined to start practicing EC right away, and fully expected to be in a beautiful rhythm with my new baby by the end of the first month. I was ready.
Then came the birth. I was completely taken with my new daughter the moment she arrived, and also overwhelmed with initiating breastfeeding, monitoring my bleeding, and simply gazing at her incredible face. Caught up in the moment, my desire to practice EC from the very start took a backseat to the more visible issues at hand. I thought about it, but was too distracted to turn that thought to action. It was my husband, who had read no book and formulated no plans, who "caught" the first pee and set us moving on our EC journey.
|Shortly after our first 'catch'|
Fourteen months in, I am convinced that reading books and formulating a plan is really not all that important. All one needs in order to EC from birth is a desire to communicate with their newborn, and a desire to meet all of their needs in a timely and sensitive manner. EC flows naturally from the connection we instinctually form with our babies, and that connection is all we really need.
For those who like to prepare, however, it doesn't hurt to:
- Get a little potty. There are even biodegradable options! You can use the sink, or hold your newborn over the toilet, too, so there's no need to stress about getting this right away.
- Invest in a small stash of cloth diapers. There are the brave few who go completely diaper free all day every day, and that's marvelous. Most like to have backup, however.
- Relax. Trust yourself and your baby. There will be misses. Misses are okay. We get busy, cues change, and babies become distracted by other things. This does not diminish the parent-child connection, or mean you're doing it wrong.