I started Margo on Elimination Communication (EC) when she was 11 days old. I was so scared the first time I took her! Can you believe I was scared to see if my baby would do a poo or wee in a bucket. I think being a new mom, I was even scared just to hold her! Scared to let her cry for a second or two, etc. Also, scared that this cool EC thing I had heard about would never work for me. Like EC would be rocket science and I would be left changing her diapers until she was 4… Well, lucky for me, it’s not rocket science, it’s actually what people have been doing with their babies since the beginning of mankind… with an exception of the past 50 some-odd years. Whenever I have show people how my little newborns can do their business over a bucket, they say, ‘oh, what a clever baby!. A fellow ECing friend of mine and I agreed, no, it’s not my clever baby, (although, yes I must have clever babies) but the conventional system of wearing diapers and toilet training, is rather stupid.
Margo has been out of diapers for so long now, since she was about 12 months, that I don’t even consider that I am ECing with her as well. But, I guess it is still EC… Other than needing a clean up after a #2, at 2 years and 5 months, she can take herself to the toilet on her own. I still do remind her plenty of times during the day. Even though the kid can hold it for hours, I notice she gets a bit more irritated, or starts dancing if she has been holding in a wee for a while. But, she even holds it for 10 or 11 hours at night! Way longer than I can hold it!
ECing the second time around, thus far, has been a breeze. At the time I’m writing this, little Goldie is 11 days old and she’s already a pro! It’s really just a bit more confidence on my end that is making the whole process run smooth. First off, I’m not afraid of holding a newborn. Then, reading Goldie’s signals now, is like reading a book. If she starts squawking for no apparent reason, or squirming during a feed, coming on and off, or if she is trying to fall asleep and just can’t seem to settle, I take off her diaper (if she’s wearing one), hang her little bottom over our red bucket and away she goes. Margo even tells me a lot of the times when her sister needs to go. If the baby is fussy, ‘Mom, baby has to poo!’. Margo helps me get the bucket out and stands on a chair to watch. Then, she tells me when the baby is done! And, Margo is right, a lot of the time! Maybe because she went through the process not so long ago, herself, she remembers? Margo loves to help out too. She gets me a clean diaper if we need it. She gets the bucket ready. And, if little babers has spit up, she gets her a clean shirt. When she does do a wee or poo we have a little cheering squad. ‘Yay, baby did a poo! She feels better now’. It’s always a bit of excitement when we catch a big poo, the way that newborn poo comes noisily flying out always attracts attention, no matter where you are in the house!
Now, I’m not saying we are catching everything. Since we’re using mostly cloth diapers, (I am using a few disposables, gasp!) we’re constantly having to wash dirty diapers too. But, I know that’s just how it goes in the beginning, until their little bladders get bigger and bowels get better at digestion. Just now, while typing this, she was asleep on my lap and started to squirm, so I quick took her to the bucket and she did a huge wee! She’s too easy, man! Okay, I know, I do have a lot of practice from Margo, but still! A lot of times during the day, I don’t even both with a diaper cover, I just sort of wrap her up in something and put a fleecy thing underneath for a bit of water proofing. Lucky for me, Art’s off for three weeks. His main job is laundry. Since newborns eliminate something crazy like once every 20 minutes when they’re awake (or more), it’s pretty tricky to catch everything! But, I would say we are certainly on the right track. Margo is such a big helper too! She’s still running around telling everyone we meet that we had a ‘special homebirth’. When she gets tired of that, I wonder if she’ll start telling people that her baby sister poops and pees in a bucket…. I’ll have fun explaining that one!