When I last wrote about Elimination Communication or EC for short, my goal was to explain and educate about the practice of EC to those around me (you can read about it here). Now I want to focus on where we are in our journey with EC.
In the last couple of months, baby M has been busy working on many new skills simultaneously. Some of these skills or milestones include: learning to walk, showing more interest in solids (therefore eating more solid food) and getting his molars. As I mentioned in my earlier post about EC, when a baby is working on a milestone, it often affects EC through more misses or a partial/full potty strike. However, once the milestone has been reached, things usually resume as before or sometimes even with more progress made i.e. no misses.
Since I last wrote about EC, our practice of it had been going rather well and I was confident that baby M could be completely diaper free by his first birthday. Then, round two of teething began. We went from having hardly any misses to a lot more wet and soiled diapers. It began with me mixing up his cues. At the same time, he was also busy exploring and disliked being taken suddenly from his play to use the potty, even if he had to go. He let me know that he did not want to be interrupted during his playtime by going on a partial potty strike. Only then did I realize that I needed to be more mindful in this area, and not interrupt him when he was clearly focused on exploring or playing.
During this time, I verbally cued him when I knew he was going, then changed his diaper promptly after the fact. Within a couple of days of mostly verbal cueing (instead of whisking him off to the potty), he let me know that he was ready to use his potty again. Even though he was still teething, baby M began to have less misses after this point. During his potty strike however, I almost lost hope that all of my hard work and attention was somehow in vain, even though I knew both intuitively and intellectually that the so-called challenges were merely due to his growth and teething. I also had to remind myself that being in tune with baby M far outweighed anything else.
Since reaching his milestone of walking, and finally cutting his last molar, many of the challenges seemed to have abated and a sense of routine has re-emerged in our overall life. Our EC is at the point where baby M let’s me know most of the time when he needs to go. Sometimes when he is really busy playing I will offer him a pee break, but the difference is I ask him if he needs to go and when I take him to the toilet I say “Pee first, then play.” Verbalizing what we are doing does make a difference. Also, distracting him with a toy or book for when he needs to sit a bit longer helps too.
The thing about EC is that it really is about the relationship and communication between you and your baby, one of respect and trust. EC is worth the effort and if I am ever blessed to have another baby, I will most certainly start EC at the very beginning. Until then, I will continue to enjoy the journey that we are currently on.
* And here is baby M at 8 months wearing little underwear that I purchased through Tadpoles and Butterflies. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this company. Not only does Tadpoles and Butterflies share many of my parenting philosophies, they also carry all the essentials that any natural parent would need.