Sunday, September 28, 2008

Baby Whispering

I'd have to say that this is my most profound attachment parenting endeavor. EC or Elimination Communication is all about reading you babies elimination or potty cues and responding by allowing them to void over a receptacle (a toilet, sink or infant potty). I was introduced to this after recently joining a Families For Natural Living group when Lucy was only 5 weeks old. At this time I was also educated about the benefits of cloth diapering. A mom during an FNL meeting casually held her baby over the ground and prompted her baby to go the bathroom by using a "psssssssss" noise. Whala, her baby pee'd right there in the grass! What the heck? I was stunned and intrigued. I asked her as politely as I could..."whats the point?" She explained that each baby has distinctive elimination cues...IE: squirming, grunting, panting. She said that if you can read the child's cues...why let them mess in a diaper if you can respond by giving them a more sanitary option. "hmmmm, weird." I thought. Sure enough I went home and started "listening" closer to Lucy. Sure enough, Lucy gave obvious cues when she was about to go to the bathroom. Her cues were fussing, squirming and farting for Poop....and fussing, squirming and nasal panting for pee. Sooooo, Initially she had about a 30-45 second headway before she went...that gave me time to get her diaper off and hold her over the toilet. Once I had her at the toilet I could then "signal" her to go by making a "psssssss" noise for pee...or a low grunting noise for poop. This video shows how it works.

I was really impressed that a major news station featured this. This talks about it as "infant potty training" I don't necessarily agree that it is infant potty training. More like, infant communicating. Potty training IMO is teaching them to do all the steps on their own. I have found great benefit with the EC methods because it has saved me an immense amount of laundry and has allowed me to be in better touch with my baby's needs. I find that all of the other cues she has...hunger, tired, needy...are all amplified (because I am very in tuned now) and thus attended to her needs much faster. I don't believe that this would be easy for someone who isn't extremely involved with their baby. Attachment parenting practices and EC are one and the same when comparing the level of attentiveness that you would need to achieve this level of communication. IE: a baby's need while in a sling would be noticed far sooner than a baby in a swing or bouncy seat.

I started Lucy at 6 weeks and at the time all I could catch at first was the poop. Over the last few months I am getting better at even catching about 80% of her pee. Now I think even Lucy has the hang of it to the point that she will now wake me up at night to pee. By 8am she will still have a dry diaper! The kids as you can see, get a kick out it too. I think that it is even helping them potty train knowing that their baby sister is going potty on the toilet. Katy and Max were both in disposables and I wish I knew about this earlier because they have been very difficult to toilet train. I believe that both of them are desensitized to the "dirty/wet" feeling and don't care to go on the potty.

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