Elimination Communication Workshop
Elimination Communication(EC), Infant Potty Training, Toilet Timing…whatever you call it, it’s the best thing I could’ve done with my baby. Get an in depth explanation of it here EC DETAILED BROCHURE. My first exposure to this was in India. We shared a carriage with a family of four; mum, dad, toddler and baby. The baby wasn’t wearing a nappy, however the mother was in full sari, breastfeeding and managing the toddler in our very cramped space. Every so often the mother would disappear down the hall with bubs in tow. It wasn’t until later that I realised the baby was off to the bathroom. Brilliant – there was no mess, no smells and remarkably –no plastic to add to the polluted streets. From then it just kept popping up in readings and teachings but I can’t really recall when it stuck as a term I'd remember. Sometime later I was pregnant and doing a Goddess workshop, as one does, and the facilitator who had been instrumental in me getting pregnant, referred to me throughout the weekend as a conscious mother – someone aware of the spiritual side to birthing and motherhood – and she pointed to me at one stage and announced to the group that of course I would be doing EC. “Hmmm” I pondered. “Yes, I will.” Until then I hadn’t committed fully – it all seemed a bit pie in the sky. A little too idealistic if you will. And so it went from a maybe to a definite “ill try it but I’m not going to stress over it” adventure, so that if it all went to hell, I wouldn’t be too disappointed and all the nay-sayers who thought I was nuts wouldn’t be able to laugh “I told you so” too loudly. Secretly however, I was determined.
There is much controversy over whether or not its luck, good timing, cues or signals and responses. “It cant be done” was one comment I received when I was 5 weeks in and successfully “doing it”. India, China, Africa, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Malaysia, Burma, Philippines, Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnamwould also beg to differ. Maybe it depends on the baby? But I doubt it. I think it comes down to commitment, awareness and persistence.
- Communication absolutely. At 3 months there wasn’t a sound my baby made that I didn’t understand. I knew what each murmur meant. I recall recently sitting in a park with a friend and looking at my 10 month old who was squatting and chewing god knows what. I was smiling at her and then I said…”ohhh that’s a wee face if ever I saw one.” My friend was amazed that I knew what her face said to me, even though to her, it hadnt changed. I promptly asked her to wee.
- The reward of the wee! Each time it happens is just as exciting as the last…even after 3 months of 10 times a day.
- Save cash. Save the environment. In the beginning I used about 3 nappies a day instead of 10-12. Now I dont use any. We wear padded knickers and on a ‘bad’ day we change them 3 times, on an average day, once and on a good day, we get though it dry. If you choose to use disposables, this way you can afford to buy the really good disposables that are soft on the skin and free of chlorines etc. they are also biodegradable. Nappies are a MAJOR component of landfill…its sickening to know that each tiny little wee results in another nappy to the pile. At 13 months old Faith grabs my hand, walks me outside, wees and walks me back in. We still have accidents but this is just priceless.
- We don’t have the changing nappy battle that I observe so often
- No nappy rash
There really aren’t any. Maybe if I had to pick one it would be the time spent taking pants on and off. The being out and about scenario perhaps. Ahh yessss…the only thing that really bothers me is hearing the cue, and not being able to respond. This devastates me. Does she think Im ignoring her? Does she feel we haven’t got the connection? I hate it. Hate it hate it. Or even worse thinking she is saying “Im Tired!!! “When in fact she is saying “I need a pee!”and realising too late.
Don’t be precious about a bit of wee here and there. I’ve caught 2 poos. Literally, in my hand. Big deal. And many a wee has sprinkled onto me, the bed, the couch…maybe even the dog. Laugh at it and move on.
LAUGH! Have fun with it. Do it part time. Use cloth and disposable. Night time is a time of rest for us. If I need to I pop on a nappy and we both get a rest.
Be gentle on yourselves and especially on your baby. They can feel if you are disappointed with them, if you feel let down, if you are frustrated. its not a race or a game to win. Its a way of life and there is no end point to aim for. Just communicate DAILY. what is going on for your baby TODAY.
There is no end point to this – no marker to reach. It ebbs and flows, don’t be outcome based or results oriented – its missing the pint.
WHAT IS YOUR BABY TRYING TO TELL YOU? Your EC has not gone out the window. Are they going through a developmental stage, are they teething, do they prefer a different position, are they not in the mood, are they feeling like being help more today, are they feeling independent today?
Find others who are doing it. I wished that I had people who I could talk to about it. Join our EC facebook page. Attend one of my workshops and ask lots of questions.
In my experience and from others have told me, the books can be quite off-putting and daunting. I recall after reading some of one book I put it away as it was putting me off completely! They are a good guide and great for history and ammunition when you come across people who think yore mad as they are full of facts and places that do this as a matter of everyday life. Personally I liked Ingrid Baurer’s Diaper Free, however it is difficult not to compare oneself to her experience and that is NOT helpful. Each child is different, has different experiences and developments going on and its unfair to you and your baby to judge and compare with others. Look out for language…”predominantly diaper free” is NOT diaper free. What this sentence doesn’t make clear is the days she was covered in wee, the days it went out the window, the teething days, the poo on the rug days etc. We just read…”diaper free”.
Join us on Facebook for local support, share your experiences and touch base with others if you are having trouble – Adelaide ECers.
I hold EC workshops for small groups. They include some history, theory and practice. I demostrate positions (with a baby :) and show different potty styles, nappies, EC pants, books and DVDs. We have a shared lunch and all partECpants (hehe) join the facebook page for tips, shares and support.
Contact me if you would like to join us for one. Or fill in the form below.
You can do EC part time or full time but once you get started its addictive and many parents say they could never go back to full time nappy use once they have done EC. The workshop is small in numbers, practical and includes a shared lunch so you can meet people who are also doing it and have added support via our FB page.
Ec is something that really interested me when my oldest daughter was a baby but i had a lot of trouble finding practical information about how to get started. We ended up doing lots of nappy free time but i never really learnt how to anticipate so wee and poo just happened on the floor. Our second baby is 5 mo and the workshop has given me the practical info i was after in a very relaxed manner and i feel totally empowered. We’ve already caught about a dozen wees in 2 days and bubs seems to be really enjoying it too. She looks up at me and grins while i’m holding her over the loo! It’s such a beautiful bonding thing to improve our communication with our baby through better understanding of our instincts and her’s. I would highly recommend this workshop to all new parents. It’s about so much more than just wee and poo :-)
Andrea with 5 month old
EC is so worth it to me just for the communication. I love listening and discovering what she wants and needs, and I love the mutual respect that is implicit in this two way communication. It has definitely been far more rewarding than I could ever have imagined, despite the odd ‘inconvenient’ wee and poo. But it has actually made my life easier because Bridget refused to feed if she had a wet nappy, so doing EC was easier than changing a nappy anyway!
Tullia with 10 month old Bridget
At the moment I enjoy the bonding and communicating to each other in a language we both understand. xx
Allison with 2 week old Grace
Starting EC with a toddler – impossible? Not at all. When my ‘heavy wetting’ 2 year old asked to wear knickers overnight I doubted whether we could avoid a flood. However Tiff’s EC workshop gave me the confidence to trust my daughter’s decision and the skills necessary to work together and achieve the goal of dry nights. After a small accident in the early morning of the first night we had two dry nights in a row and a very proud little girl announcing ‘no accidents’ by the morning. With our second bub on the way in a matter of weeks I am really looking forward to EC’ing from scratch and continuing to support my toddler with her journey. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort and sure beats cleaning up a truck load of dirty nappies. Tiff’s EC workshop and support network have made something considered a chore feel like a whole lot of fun and an excellent way to bond with our precious little people.
Narrah with 2.5 year old Stella
When Tiffany suggested that she didn’t want to use nappies and was going to teach our coming baby how to use the potty from birth I laughed and said “you’re crazy, babies don’t even know they have a bottom until they are two, forget it.” Having had two children from my first marriage I thought I was an expert. Babies need to wear nappies and we need to change them and clean their bums regularly and nappy rash is just a part of life, there are no other options.Well, like so many things in my life I was once again proven wrong. Tiffany persisted with the EC concept and before I knew it she had Faith peeing and pooing in a bowl and she learnt how to tell when Faith wanted to wee or poo virtually from birth.It’s been a great journey. Faith has never had nappy rash, she has never learnt how to sit in her wet or pooey nappy and we have a far deeper bond with her as a result. Once you realise that there is a better way the idea of making your baby sit in poo becomes absurd. It’s not always perfect and we do have wee and poo turn up in strange places, but hey, shit happens.
Try EC, you’ll learn to love it.
Craig with Faith 13 months
We have been practicing EC with our baby, Sonny since he was eight months old. We practice it on a part time basis – every morning and evening and any other time we are home. We have found it to be a wonderful opportunity to tune in with Sonny by watching and listening more closely to his cues. We also save a lot of money by needing fewer nappies!
Kendra and Tom with Sonny 11 months