Saturday, November 19, 2011

Elimination Communication: cues and optimum timing for the young baby

We have been cruising along really well with Elimination Communication at the moment. We are having lots of catches these days (it's rare that we have to clean a pooey nappy now!), lots of dry nappies even when Gideon has been wearing one for a while and we've even been out for short trips without nappies. It seems that Gideon is really 'getting' this EC thing and he will hang on until we offer him the potty these days.

So, I thought it's time to talk about some of the cues that Gideon shows when he needs to go to the potty. We've found that timing plays an important role in EC'ing, as well as reading cues. It's all about understand when baby is most likely to need to 'go'. These are some of the times when we find we're most likely to get a catch (when you are first starting out with EC it's really helpful to try offering the potty at these times):

  • First thing in the morning when Gideon wakes up (we need to take his nappy off and offer him the potty as soon as he wakes up generally, otherwisewe we miss that one!)
  • After a day sleep.
  • After a breastfeed (this is the time he's most likely to need to poo!)
  • Before we put a nappy on (generally Gideon will wear a nappy when he sleeps but if we offer him the potty before a sleep this will usually mean a dry nappy when he wakes!)
  • When a nappy is dry (yep, it does happen often - it usually means that we catch a big wee!)
  • Before and after a car trip.
  • We have found that after a breastfeed (particularly a big one!) that we need to offer Gideon the potty more frequently

When Gideon was a newborn we spent a lot of time watching him when he had nappy free time and getting to know his cues. It took a while for us to get started with EC with him as he would get upset when we tried him on the potty and we didn't want to push it. I'm glad we had this time though as we were well aware of his cues when he did start to want to use the potty. Here are some of the main cues we have seen that Gideon needs to 'go':

  • Fussing and getting on and off the breast when he is feeding (usually this means he needs to do a poo!)
  • Becoming more wriggly and squirmy.
  • Crying and becoming upset.
  • My own instinct - sometimes I will just get a feeling that Gideon needs to 'go' (usually if I ignore that feeling I end up with wee on me!)
  • Cold shivers (I have noticed that Gideon will give a little shudder when he does a wee these days)

Of course, we still have our misses but that's part of the fun of Elimination Communication! Gideon will have days when he just doesn't want to use the potty and days when he waits to use it every time he needs to 'go'. It's not about catching every wee or poo with EC, it's about the journey of getting to know your baby better and I'm definitely enjoying that journey with Gideon!

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