The Trials and Tribulations of Elimination Communication

  Before you read on, can you please take a minute to be impressed by the number of long words I used in the title of the this post? Done? Good!

I follow the ‘Go Real! The Real Information Service’ on Facebook. I have done since we first starting using cloth nappies. They have competitions, post interesting articles and I support the work they do. Dan and I (and increasingly others members of our family, particularly my mum) love using real nappies. They are easy to use, great for the environment, kind on the bank balance (eventually) and Emily’s little bum looks so cute in them. Disposables, on the other hand, I think are crusty and smelly. But it is a choice and we made the right one for us. 

Anyway, I’m doing my usual thing of flicking through Facebook either whilst Emily has a nap during the day or mid-3 am feed, when I have woken up with an element of alertness that normally deserts me at this hour. I am casually glancing at shared ‘Lad Bible’ posts about “The Best Ever response to [insert uninteresting situation here]”, ‘Minions quotes’ that have never once been said by a Minion and the typical selfies of people I vaguely know with other people I definitely don’t know, and I notice that there is a post from ‘Go Real!’ advertising a book called “Nappy Free Baby” by Amber Hatch. My (not so) inner hippy squealed. 

I let this fall out of mind for a few hours until I am having a conversation with Dan over the choices we have made about Emily. Dan is very supportive. I read something that sounds good, suggest it to him and he gives it a go. Then this book that I had seen came back to me. I discussed it with Dan and he didn’t completely dismiss the idea. 

That night I went home and bought the book. I read about half of it inbetween putting Emily to bed and going to bed myself.  It talked about how you read your baby and look for clues as to when they need to go and then you “hold them out” over a toilet or potty or whatever you want to catch it in. It really didn’t seem complicated and as I have mentioned in a previous post, I already believed that Emily had some control over when she decides to go and I recognised her poo face from a mile off so it seemed silly not to act on it.

The next morning Emily woke up squirming and grunting. The signs of a poo brewing. I thought I would stick her over a potty and see what happened. First she did a little trump, then sighed and did a big wee and, finally, strained and pooed. The first time I had tried it, it had worked. That’s all it took for me to be hooked. 

Committing to do this full time is quite something though. Babies wee a lot. I discovered this that day. I let Emily go nappy free and put a few towels down. Mornings are very wee intensive. A couple of big ones first thing and then three or four between feeds. Afternoons are better. She still wees after a feed but with less frequency. She most certainly has a wee face too but there is not a lot of time between the flash and the bang, so to speak. Therefore I realised we needed a system. 

I spent two whole days with Emily naked most of the time and I recorded every wee. Every time she went, I said “wee wee” in a rather squeaky voice. Apart from the morning and night wees I didn’t catch a thing, until day three. 

Day three was awesome! She had been dry all night because I caught two big wees, and she slept so well. I then caught her first day time wee after her morning feed. And this continued all day. I caught about 90% of elimination that day, and we went to the library. 

Emily and I now do EC every morning and whenever we have an “in day” (where we don’t go out and just spend the day playing together). On these days it goes pretty well and we have very few misses. It is still hard work though, as it demands my constant attention and clock watching. It is wonderfully rewarding however when I now say “wee wee” and watch Emily concentrate and give a little sigh. She really does know what she is doing. 

Dan is going to take a bit more convincing I think, but I am more than happy to be a part time EC’er. It is truly rewarding to know exactly what Emily wants all the time. Plus it is so cute to let her be naked and blow raspberries on her chubby little bottom all day! 

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  1. Eloise M

    I’ve just ordered this book! Can’t wait to give it a go. I love your blog, it sounds like we have a similar world view when it comes to raising our baby daughters x

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