To me Elimination Communication is the perfect tool to get into positive parenting habits right from the beginning. And the best is, your child learns how to use the potty or the toilet as a nice side effect along the way.
So what exactly is Elimination Communication?
Basically you just take care, that your baby or child doesn't need to soil herself. You take care of her elimination needs in the same way as you are taking care of her needs for food or sleep.
This has positive effects on many levels: It has advantages for you as parent (including the practice of your skills); for your child's development and health, for your family, even for your purse.
When you start early potty training with babies you try to understand and learn about your child’s elimination needs. You might start and get your first confidence based on timing but soon you’ll pick up some signs like fuzziness or popping on and off while breast or bottle feeding. You may better understand your childs colic or why she wakes up whining. Having a full bladder and not being able to let go isn’t exactly comfortable - is it?
By doing Elimination Communication:
• you’ll have more things to try if your baby is upset. (This helped me a lot through those stressful times).
• It encourages you to shift your perspective from “outsider” towards your baby. Putting yourself in your childs shoes is a great skill for positive parenting.
• It also warns you of potential trouble earlier in time. Especially when it comes to introducing solids you’ll see elimination patterns change with certain foods, possibly warning you of allergies or food intolerances.
The most obvious positive effect of Elimination Communication for your child might be, that she’s less likely to develop a sore bum. No wonder – most of the waste goes straight into the potty. This is of course very handy for parents as well: a rinse, a flush and it’s all gone ...
Another important thing your child will learn along the way is that she’s listened to and that you take care of her needs (just like those for food and warmth). That not only gives her a greater sense of security boosting her attachment, you also role model good listening skills and consideration.
When your child is a little older she’ll become more actively involved in her care boosting her self-esteem and self confidence. She’ll probably also value that she doesn’t have to lay down passively while you change her diaper.
Moreover she’ll also learn a lot of self help skills that otherwise are just expected signs of readiness for potty training like
• learning how it feels to let go on the potty,
• to actively communicate when she feels the need (yes, babies under 1 year old already can feel when they need to poop or pee).
• Pulling up and down pants just becomes a normal part of everyday life and opportunities to practice are multiple.
I found helping my 1yr old step into a pair of trainings pants much easier than trying to put a nappy on her while all she wants is going off and play. So I can really understand why my partner does rather that than putting a nappy on.
Siblings are also less likely to regress back to nappies. In contrary, they often start wanting to use the potty as well just because their little brother does it. And if they are used to use the potty from an early age on already they’ll find great pride in helping their smaller siblings to do that too.
“Reading” a story while sitting on the potty or showing baby signs are a great way for your older child or even toddler to help. So they are much more active in the care of their sibling involved as when they just watch mom spending lots of time with their little sister while she changes nappies.
Now if that all sounds like too much work for you, be assured, that you don’t need to do it 24/7 for it to have a positive effect. There are lots of parents that go part time nappy free or always use nappies as a back up while doing Elimination Communication. Just staring and getting this relieved “thank you” smile from your baby will give you a boost and get you going.
Of course it’s also great to get support from other parents to help you over the hump and share you joy. So here you’ll find some resources that will help you with that.