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Thread: Eliminaton Communication

  1. #1

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    Default Eliminaton Communication

    i went to a discussion on this with Dr Sarah Buckley at the sustainable living festivale. i have been doing it for oscar's pooh but have yet to catch his wees. i haven't had to wash a poohy nappy for two weeks yay. just wondering if anyone else uses this method?



    love beckles

  2. #2
    katanya Guest

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    I dont, I found out about too late..but I know several people who use this method very effectively, one who uses it almost exclusively, and the other in combo with cloth..

    GREAT practice, I will be looking further into with my next bub

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    When I read about this I did find it interesting. Just not sure where to start. I was able to get DD to wee this morning. Everytime I have caught her weeing I have said to her "piddle". So this morning I said "piddle" and followed it with a psst and she wee'd! Would love to do it for poos though.

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    omg astrid that is fantastic. does she grunt or show that she is poohing. you could try wiping off her nappy and sitting her on her potty/toilet/icecream container and hold her in the position. that's what i do and now oscar kinda grunts before he pushes, he waits for me to get his nappy off and then he poohs. i keep trying for the wees i might have to just bite the bullet and not put a nappy on him at all.

    beckles

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    Beckles,
    Can you please explain more indepth about it?
    Thanks.......

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    She makes more noise for a fart than a poo. Her poos tend to be "secretive", I only find out about them from the smell!

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    hi tracey,

    this is how i understood it from sarah buckley's explaination of it.

    in lots of cultures they do not use nappys. the babys are carried around and the mothers seem to be able to lift them off them when the baby needs to wee or pooh. so how do they know. sarah suggests that the baby can indicate to you from newborn that they are going to wee or pooh. this is by means of grunting, looking off into the distance, conscientrating or even crying. when this happens the mother starts to notice her baby's cues to wee and pooh and responds to them by pulling them away so they wee on the ground or in our culture putting them on a potty or toilet etc. when the mum does this she makes a noise to associate the action for the baby and the noise such as psssttttt or as astrid says 'piddle'. i say pooh pooh for oscar. the baby will then start to indicate earlier that she/he needs to wee/pooh and you can respond. she also then said that after a few months you can make the sounds and the baby will wee/pooh on command for times like before a car journey etc. i hope this info helps trace. i'm happy to answer questions if i can.

    ps indah is soooo cute.

    love beckles

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    I've never heard of this Elimination Communication, but from what Shannon just wrote, it sounds like what my MIL did with DH. She reckons he was toilet trained by 1, and is horrified that I'd consider letting our kids go to 2 or 2 1/2 in nappies! The opinion I got of her 'training' tho, was that she had trained herself to read the signs and rush him to the loo... not that he was trained to go to the loo himself. Did that make sense?

    Is this what this topic is about? I'm interested (even tho it's a way off for me yet.. I'm still looking forward to even getting to use my cloth nappies yet!! hehe) because it might explain MIL's methods a little more clearly to me, and perhaps there is something in it?

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    shannon it is not toilet timing because you are listening to your baby's cues not just sitting them on the loo say every hour or two.

    beckles

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    I guess the theory behind it Fletch would be that you could use the word or sound -before- he goes for his nap, so he's done his poo before sleeping? I'm not sure I'd like to have word association with going to the loo.. you'd only have to say the word in conversation, and your kid will need to go! hehe.

    I do know that when I was little, altho I think this was after being toilet trained, that mum always sat me on the loo before going to bed and MADE me go. Running the bathroom tap usually helped too. Even now, it's my habit to go to the loo before bed, even if I'd only gone 10mins before, I just HAVE to go before bed. LOL.

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    Haven't read anything on actual toilet training/timing, I probably should now. Maggie tends to wee not long after getting the nappy off, so for ease of cleaning I want to be in control of that. I know she is going to, so I would like to atleast get a cloth under her before she does. If EC helps with that, then I'm happy.

    I'm like you Ivana, I have to go to the toilet before sleeping.

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    Thanks Beckles Re: Indah & also for your explanation...

    As it is very similar to what my inlaws do in Bali & having lived there & watched some of the babies/kids in the village I often wondered if it was just some part of their Genes or something... hee hee
    They wear cute little thick knitted type underpants from newborn & it works for them...
    So I was interested when I saw the thing at Fed square was havinga talk about it...

    With Maddy she was fully out of nappies day & night at about 20 months of age...
    I knew what time of day she was regularly pooing, so we would read books & sing etc at that time of day with her sitting on the potty (which she loved anyways) we caught poos from probably about 8 months of age once she was able to sit I would sit her on potty, it was never forced & it was always fun...
    She would yell 'YAY!" as soon as she had done something & I'd clap & cheer etc... As she got older she would take her nappy off & go on the potty, sometimes she'd do something & others she would sit for 5 mins & get up with having done nothing.
    I never had a problem even though the MCHN swore we would have created a problem & make her go backwards & start wetting etc again, but she never did.
    Whenever we were in Bali I'd ask if she wanted a nappy or undies & she would wear the Bali pants & we brought some home too...

    I guess in Bali the entire village raises the kids too so there are more people aware of the kids needing to go to toilet etc...? The kids are always outside too, so if there are accidents it's easier to clean?

    But I already have a pretty potty for Indah & once she can sit, we will introduce the potty to her too...

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    shannon maybe i didn't explain it very well but ec is not about making the baby pooh/wee on demand - sarah just said she did that before a car trip. it's more about listening and being more in tune with your baby to pick up cues. i would never 'make' oscar poo when it suited me. i'm not into toilet 'training' so don't know much about how it could affect that. so sorry you thought i meant that i was training oscar to pooh on command, it is not that at all.

    re the toddler thing yes you do need to be near your child 24/7 but that's ok with me and in style to how i parent. my kids are never babysat by anyone until they are around 4 when they start kinda, so i guess that's why it will suit our family but i understand this is not for everyone.

    thanks for your input
    beckles

  14. #14

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    This is quite a fascinating discussion. I had never really thought of it before. I have noticed that at lunchtime, every time I sit Pup in his high chair and we are half way through his meal, he starts grunting and staring off into the distance and also occasionally goes red from pushing (I think he might be a bit consitpated 8-[ ). Sure enough, he's pooing!!

    So I take it formt he conversation that there is an "ideal" age to start this and then once you miss that age, it is too late??? Is this right?

    My mum says that I was a dream to "toilet train" because I did it myself. At about 12 - 14 months old, I refused to wear my nappy. Mum used to tenpin bowl in a comp back in those days and because she was running late, she just took a nappy and another pair of pants for me, anticiapting the inevitable. Which never came.

    I myslef, can remember the night I stopped wetting the bed. I was not quite 2 and I used to have a plstic sheet ont he bed (because I refused nappies at night by then too) and I remember getting up, stripping the blankets off and feeling the sheet. I ran and got mum and made her feel the sheet too. I DEMANDED no plastic sheet the following night and while mum humoured me, thinking that it was short lived, I never wet the bed again.

    Hope Pup is like that [-o<

    (ooh sorry about that "trumpeting" of my own acheivements.)

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    OOOH Clevergirl Hayseed!

    I think it's great that we can all post our different experiences. As I say in bali in the villages they dont afford the luxury of nappies & so new borns go straight into under pants...
    I have never seen a Mother with poo/wee on her hip....
    I guess as it is viallge life aswell, it is more acceptable as such for kids to be kids & poo/wee in the grass/ground....?
    Although it's not like youy have to watch where you walk etc, as I have never seen poo all over the place...???? :-k
    When we go back in August I may have to investigate & ask my sister in laws how they go about all of this!!!!

  16. #16

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    beckles, how's this going for you? Have you kept it up?

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    hi dach, sorry i didn't see this post earlier, yeah we have, we have some miss days now that oscar is older and not in the sling as much but mostly he will crawl to the potty now when he wants to pooh. when we are out sometimes he pats me in the sling a certain way and i go to the toilet with him but i sometimes miss his cues early enough out and at home, so he will pooh in his nappy but that's ok, neither of us worry about it. he really loves his potty and loves to crawl off when he has finished and have a good look at his pooh. i must admit it is lovely not having to wash alot of poohy nappies. so yeah it has worked out well for us. thanks for asking.

    love beckles

  18. #18

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    Here's Dr Sarah Buckley's article on it:

    Mothering, Mindfulness and a Baby’s Bottom: An introduction to Elimination Communication
    © Dr Sarah J Buckley 2005 www.sarahjbuckley.com

    This article was originally written for The Mother magazine, UK, issue number 3, autumn 2002 www.themothermagazine.co.uk

    Elimination Communication (EC)- also known as Infant Potty Training (IPT), Elimination Timing (ET) and Natural Infant Hygiene- is how most babies are brought up around the world. This ‘method’, which is so obvious in most cultures that it needs no name, involves the mother and baby becoming attuned and communicative so that the mother knows when the baby needs to eliminate- wee or poo.

    I first heard the phrase Elimination Communication when my fourth baby Maia Rose was 3 months old, and a friend pointed me towards the EC website- see below. I was very excited about it as I had read in a letter to Mothering magazine (US) a few years earlier, that African women cue their babies to eliminate with a ‘psss’ sound, and I had begun to do this with Maia from birth. I was drawn to the idea of a deeper physical and psychic connection with my baby, and EC felt closer to our genetic imprint. The first time I tried it, I held Maia (aged 3 months) over the laundry tub, and made the psss noise. To my delight, she weed straight away, and we have been doing it ever since.

    It has been more rewarding for our family than I could have imagined. It has given us more skin-to-skin contact, less washing, no nappy rash, and, best of all, a deeper respect for Maia's abilities and a finer attunement to her rhythms. There is obviously less waste and a better time for Mother Earth; and it's fun! After having three babies in nappies, I have been constantly delighted at Maia's ability to communicate her needs, and to keep telling me until I get it.

    Elimination Communication also makes a beautiful contribution to my experience of mindfulness in my mothering. Like breastfeeding, it keeps me close to my baby, physically and psychologically, and provides very immediate feedback when I am not tuned in.

    From the start, I’ve had a lot of support from Emma (then 10), Zoe (7) and Jacob (5), who tell me how much they disliked sitting in wet or soiled nappies as babies. Some believe that our society’s sexual problems may begin when our babies learn to switch off from their genital area because of the unpleasant sensations of wearing a "walking toilet." My partner Nicholas wondered about the extra effort that I went to in the first year, but has been very happy to reap the benefits of a nappy-free toddler.

    Reflecting on my babies with and without EC, I think that probably ALL babies signal their elimination needs from an early age, but because we're not expecting it, we misinterpret, and don’t reinforce, their signals, especially when we use nappies and can’t actually see the connection with eliminating. In the first few months, I learnt Maia’s signals by carrying her around bare-bottomed and observing her closely. I discovered that she would squirm and become unsettled, sometimes with a bit of crying, especially if it took me a while to "get it."

    At other times, it was more psychic, and I found myself heading for the laundry tub, where we usually eliminated, without really thinking. When I was distracted, or delayed acting on my hunch, I usually got weed on. (However, she very seldom weed on me when I carried her in a sling) Her signal for poo was usually few farts, or sometimes she'd even pull off the breast as a means of signalling that she needed to go. She didn't want to sit in her own poo!

    Learning Maia's daily pattern was also useful. She usually pooed first thing in the morning, and, as a baby, tended to wee frequently (about every 10 minutes) in the first few hours after arising. (My husband found this really tricky when he was ‘on duty’ in the morning.) I noticed that she would also wee about 10 minutes after breastfeeding or drinking. She still almost always wees on awaking; I think it is the need to eliminate that actually wakens her.

    In her first year, we used the laundry tub by preference. I'd hold her upright by her thighs, with her back resting on my belly. A small sandpit-type bucket with a conveniently concave lip was also useful; I’d sit and hold it between my thighs, supporting Maia above it. The blue bucket- now a family icon- has been very well travelled, and also came into its own at night later on- see below. As she got older and heavier, I found that sitting her on the toilet in front of me worked well- sometimes we’d have a ‘double wee’, which was always successful if nothing else worked! Along with the position, I cued her with my "psss" noise, and sometimes at the tub, when she was slow to start, I'd turn on the tap as well.

    After 3 months or so of doing this, I became more sure of my interpretation and I would sometimes gently persist, even when she was reluctant, and usually she'd eliminate. However it's a fine line, and it's vital to have cooperation, and not a battle of wills, which can sometimes develop around "toileting." EC is a dance of togetherness that develops, as with breastfeeding, from love and respect for each other.

    On a practical level, I used nappies when we were out and about (I love those Weenies pilchers!), and weed her as much as I could, but I didn't expect to be perfect in these, or any, circumstances. We used toilets or took the bucket (or a plastic container with a tight lid) in the car. When we missed a wee, my reaction was just, "Oh well, missed that one." On hot days, I would lay a nappy on the car seat. If it wasn't convenient to stop, I'd say to her, "Oh, Maia, you'll have to pee in the nappy, and I'll change it as soon as we stop." Maia didn't like to be disturbed at night in the early months, so I'd lie her on a bunny rug and just let her wee. I changed this whenever I woke up. (I also had a hot-washed woollen blanket underneath, to protect the mattress.) Or I'd wrap a cloth nappy loosely around her bum and change it when wet. I found that, as with naps, she usually weed on awaking and then nursed.

    Around 6 to 7 months, Maia went ‘on strike’, coinciding with teething and beginning to crawl. She stopped signalling clearly and at times actively resisted being "weed." I took it gently, offering opportunities to eliminate when it felt right and not getting upset when, after refusing to go in the laundry tub, she went on the floor. Even on "bad days," though, we still had most poos in a bowl, bucket or the toilet.

    At nearly 10 months, we were back on track. I noticed that as she became more independent and engrossed in her activity, she was not keen to be removed to eliminate, so I started to bring a receptacle to her. She preferred a bowl or bucket on my lap, and later we began to use a potty: I initially held her while she used it. At night time, I started sitting her up on the blue bucket (and on the breast at the same time; tricky to lie down afterwards and not spill the bucket!). When I was less alert, she weed on a nappy between her legs and/or the bunny rug underneath her.

    There was a marked shift soon after she began walking at 12 months, and by 14 months, to my amazement, Maia was out of nappies completely. She now was able to communicate her needs very clearly, both verbally and non-verbally, and her ability to "hold on" was also enhanced. When she needed to eliminate, she said "wee" and/or headed for the potty--we had several around the house. She began to be very interested in the fate of her body products, and joined me as we tipped it onto the garden or into the toilet. (Now she wants to ‘tip it’ herself) She even began to get a cloth and wipe up after herself!

    With this change, I stopped using nappies altogether, and switched to trainer pants for outings- the Bright Bots brand are great, and come in small sizes. Dresses are great too, for summer outings with bare-bottomed girls. By the middle of her second year, Maia was totally autonomous in her day-time elimination. She could tell us her needs (with lots of warning) and/or go to the potty herself.

    Night times continued to be busy for us, with lots of feeding and weeing, but, unless she was unwell, or I was very tired, we had very few "misses", and sitting up at night to wee her seemed to me a small effort in return for the benefits we were reaping. It seems, from other stories, that many EC babies stop weeing at night even in the first year, or have a predictable pattern (eg not weeing after midnight).

    Compared to my other babies, Maia has been a very light sleeper, day and night. I have recently begun to persuade her to wake less frequently (by refusing to feed her until early morning), and with this, she has stopped weeing most nights. She is now 26 months.

    For me, the beauty of elimination communication has been in the process, not in the outcome. Yes, it's been great to do less than a full load of washing each day for a family of six, but much more significant is the learning that mothers and babies are connected very deeply--at a "gut level"--and that babies (and mothers) are much more capable and smart than our society credits.

    I have experienced EC with only one baby, starting at a young age. Many women in many places have done it differently- started from birth or with an older baby, made less or more use of nappies, taken a long time or a short time to catch on, done EC part-time or full time and some women have even begun work outside the home and trained their baby’s carers in EC. (For wonderful accounts of EC all over the world, see the book Infant Potty Training, as below)

    If you feel drawn to EC, I encourage you to have a go. Look on the internet- it’s all I needed to get started, as well as invaluable on-going support. There are also two great books- see below-and you can ask other Mums (including myself) and mothers from cultures such as India and China where this practice is still widespread. Although it can be more complex for older babies, some of whom may have already learned to ignore their body’s signals, others may welcome the chance to communicate their elimination needs.

    I wish you ease, pleasure and mindfulness in your mothering.

    RESOURCES
    Websites
    Diaper free baby- local groups, resources and links
    www.diaperfreebaby.org

    Elimination Communication yahoo group
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eliminationcommunication/

    Ingrid Bauer’s Natural Infant Hygiene site and Diaper Free book, plus links
    http://www.natural-wisdom.com

    Laurie Boucke’s site, books and the Infant Potty Training Webring
    http://www.timl.com/ipt/

    Natec’s Elimination Timing article, excerpt from her original booklet
    http://www.timl.com/natec_1.htm

    Books
    Diaper Free!: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene, by Ingrid Bauer 2001
    available from Natural Wisdom Press: 115 Forest Ridge Road, Saltspring Island, BC, V8K 1W4 CANADA
    email: [email protected]

    Infant Potty Training- A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living. Laurie Boucke, 2000 White-Boucke Publishing
    Box 400, Lafayette, CO 80026, USA.
    email: [email protected]
    Elimination Timing by Natec. HCR2 Box 6838, Keaau, HI 96749, USA. $6 US each.email [email protected]
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

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