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Thanks to Nature’s Child, for Planting the EC Seed

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One of Margo’s first trips to the bucket. 11 days old, March 2010

This is not what you think… Nature’s Child is actually the name of an organic baby and children’s store in Byron Bay in Australia.  I was doing a little shopping around for cloth diapers when I was pregnant with Margo.  Art and I heard about this organic baby store in Byron Bay, and since we love going to Byron Bay (mostly to eat), we decided to stop by.  I must have been nearing the end of my pregnancy, maybe 36 weeks or more?  Of course, I went to 41 1/2 with Margo, but that’s another story…  Anyway, the lady working at the shop was in the middle of telling me all about the wide range of cloth diapers that were available when all of a sudden, she said, ‘Have you ever heard of nappy free’.  (We call them nappies in Australia).  I was like: ‘NAPPY FREE!?!?!’  You’re kidding me right?  No, she wasn’t kidding.  There were books and tutorials and ‘accessories’ for making your baby nappy free.  Some places called it Elimination Communication (EC), or Infant Hygiene. I didn’t buy any cloth nappies or nappy free training kits at that moment,,, but the conversation did plant a little seed in my brain.  The seed was like: ‘Nappy free, nappy free!!!!  All along, I had known there was something even better than cloth diapers!!!!’

I went straight home and onto the internet to investigate how this whole procedure of nappy free went.  It did seem like it would be a bit challenging… I mean, I had NO CLUE about babies, let alone what their elimination schedule was like.  I asked a few people I had known who had babies if they had heard of it… well, it was clear that just by asking the question that I was onto some voodoo witch craft.  ‘Teaching a baby to poo on command?!  Sitting around with your baby hanging over a bush all day?!  What a waste of time, they said.  You’ll psychologically damage them!  Good luck with that!’  These are all direct quotes I heard, not only from ordinary people, but hospital midwives, doctors and even one stupid pediatrician!  By the time Margo was born, I have to say, my enthusiasm for this EC thing had dropped considerably, mostly because of so many people telling me I was crazy to even try it!  But, I just had to give it a go!!!  I think I’ve mentioned this before in a previous post, but at 11 days, I nervously  held Margo over a little blue bucket, like I had seen in the videos and photos online and made a ‘pssss‘ sound and she did a wee, then I blew a raspberry and squeezed my tummy muscles with her back against mine, and she did a poo!  I was jumping around in excitement and Margo was looking at me like ‘duh, do you really think I like crapping my pants?’.  When Art came home from work, I immediately showed him our new ‘trick’.  He was pretty stoked and even gave it a go himself!  That was the start of EC for us!

I was so excited!  I couldn’t believe it!  Wow, who wouldn’t want to try this!  So, I started emailing and messaging all my friends with babies or babies on the way.  I told them how to do it and why it was awesome.  I went on and on and on… until I realized that a lot of people thought I was actually a bit crazy… (hmmm… not the first time in my life).  I had to tone it down a bit.  I couldn’t tell everyone in the whole world with all of my bubbling enthusiasm that my little infant child was pooping and peeing in a potty and that they could do it too!  It really scared people, even to the point of me being unknowingly offensive!  The people it offended the most were second or third time moms.  They thought that I was telling them that they were raising their kids wrong or something!  Oh, I didn’t mean for it to come out that way!  I was just a rookie mom all excited about something cool I discovered!  From then on, I decided that I would mention it to people and only if they showed a lot of interest, would I even bother explaining it.

But, I do always mention it to people, just in case.  Imagine if that nice lady at Nature’s Child had never shared her knowledge of ‘nappy free’ with me?  I wouldn’t be writing a fun and entertaining blog on EC and I probably would have two in diapers, instead of one toilet trained toddler and one newborn who poops and pees in a bucket.  I don’t even know the woman’s name who told me, but I am so very grateful for what she shared.  We still love going to their shop, even though they are a mostly on line shop.  We get our cloth diaper covers from them and they always have the best natural organic baby and kiddie products.  Their bargain bins are the best!  So, even though it might scare the crap out of people when I tell them about EC, I still have to at least let them know.  You never know, of all the people I tell, a very few of those people have tried it out and for some they have really taken EC on board and it has shaped the way they raised their babies.  To me, it’s just been another dimension of parenting that I’ve really enjoyed.  So, for those few people out there, I will continue to let people know about EC, even if the general population thinks I’m a bit nuts!

12 Responses »

  1. thank you Kate, i LOVE the idea of it and hopefully can try it myself with my new baby one day…how cool.

  2. I’m so grateful you shared I with me Kate! Most mms also think I’m nuts … But every now and again I meet other mums who do it and it’s so refreshing. Yesterday I met two mums from the Sydney Attachment Parenting group and both of them were into it. We were all hanging out in the one lady’s garden, swapping baby clothes. She was holding Joshi for me while I looked through buckets of clothes for size 1’s … and then, when Joshi started squirming a bit she asked me if I EC him and then helped me get his kit off really fast so that I could hold him over her garden bed! Yay! Jai gurudev!!!!

    • That’s awesome Meggan! I’ve been holding non-EC babies before and could sense they had to go because they’re squirming, etc. It would be strange to not take your baby if you know why they’re fussing!

  3. I discovered EC ina very similar way, and completely relate to people looking at you like you are an alien dressed in a Neil diamond costume. It is a little awkward indeed when I excuse myself to help Evolet have a poop in the toilet, and when I get downstairs my visiting friend is cleaning poop out of her baby’s vulva and it’s smeared all over her legs, etc. yuck. It amazes me how little interest others show in EC, they seem happy to let their kids sit in their own feces for hours. Makes me sad for the little ones. 🙁
    I figured EC out all on my own, too. Very enlightening, and I feel humbled by the wisdom of a baby.

    • Babies are far more intelligent than anyone gives them credit for! It is so funny when you have to ‘excuse yourself’ and run and take your baby to the loo. People look at you like you’re wasting your time… why would you waste time running a baby to the potty? Well… ask them the same question when they’re struggling to toilet train their 2 year old…

  4. The Laotian Commotion

    You’re inspiring me for Bebe #2 already!

  5. Pingback: How To EC Your Baby and Catch All Those Wees And Poos! « Megganmamma's Blog

  6. Is it really that easy? Doesn’t seem to work for me… Wish I started earlier!

    • It wasn’t perfectly easy with the first in the beginning. How old is your child? There is a learning curve, especially when starting with an older child. If you have any questions about ECing, let me know! I also wrote a post on ECing an older baby… Can’t figure out how to post the link from my phone, but it’s there 🙂

  7. I’ve been curious about this for a while and have read up on it, but never met anyone in “real life” who practices EC with their baby. I’m prepared to start out cloth diapering again with my baby on the way but think I’ll also experiment with EC and if it seems to go just make the transition. The one part that makes me wonder is that my first baby always had his bowel movements while breastfeeding. He would also rise a holy ruckus if I ever detached him while he was actively nursing. So the idea of nursing an undiapered baby so to be able to toilet quickly when the need arises makes me a bit nervous. But many things we try for the first time can make us a bit nervous at first, which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try them! And all babies are different, so I have no idea how the new little one will respond. I wonder if my toddler would be more interested in toilet training if he saw that the new baby was using the potty instead of diapers?!

    • Yes, like you said, every baby is different. My daughter was a poo-on-the boob girl too 🙂 But, I think she stopped that after she was about 2 months old, once she became accustomed to me taking her to the potty. My second one has never once done that. I don’t know if it’s because I’m more practiced at EC or if that’s just her nature? Some EC women actually take their baby to the bucket while feeding their babies if they feel them starting to push! Talk about coordination! Anyway, you can keep your baby in a diaper for sure. Like I said, it’s all about building a communication relationship about what goes on down there. The process will change and evolve and the way in which they tell you they have to go will change too. It’s all very fun! What I often do is just wrap her little bottom up in a towel when I don’t feel like putting her in a diaper. I keep my hand on her bottom so that way ‘if’ she does a little wee, I can feel it right away… but she usually doesn’t until she’s finished. A little mess can happen sometimes. Also, there could even be a few tears! But, don’t assume that if they complain and cry because you’re taking them to the potty, doesn’t mean they don’t have to go. Eliminating, especially for a newborn, can be very uncomfortable!

  8. Pingback: How To EC Your Baby and Catch All Those Wees And Poos! | Megganmamma

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