Going Green with Elimination Communication

February 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Go Green Baby

When it comes to buying diapers, new parents have more options than ever before. One of the newest, called EC or Elimination Communication is an incredible diaper tool that also supports green efforts. Sometimes, you will hear this diapering process also called Natural Infant Hygiene, which helps a parent understand when the baby needs to potty or have a bowel movement. The baby is actually more comfortable while the sheer number of diapers used is dramatically reduced.

Interestingly, while Elimination Communication is just now being heard partly because of the huge focus on supporting the environment, this is actually something that has been around for a long time. In this case, parents are taught how to recognize when the baby needs to go to the bathroom, which then gives the parent the opportunity to get him or her on the toilet quicker. The Elimination Communication system is widely used in several countries to include Asia and Africa. Simply put, the baby is taught to let mom or dad know when it is time to potty so a toilet can be used rather than getting the diaper wet or dirty.

We see many parents in the United States now using the Elimination Communication system as a part of the potty training process. The result is getting through this phase of the child’s life easier. Typically, babies are potty trained around 12 months of age. The most common method is placing the child on a child potty or an adult toilet with a special seat in anticipation of him or her going. The goal is to train the child that it is much better to use this option instead of going in the diaper. Obviously, throwing out dirty disposable diapers or washing cloth diapers that have been soiled is not a pleasant experience.

Therefore, using Elimination Communication offers a very effective and gentle way of potty training. Not only does this make things easier for the parent but it also shows the baby that the parent has respect. With EC, you teach your child that you are listening and taking appropriate action without forcing him or her into an uncomfortable situation.

If you think that the Elimination Communication system might be right for you and your child, then we recommend you try. Although there are many online resources offering a wealth of information, one in particular, www.diaperfreebaby.org is exceptional. On this site, you will learn all the Elimination Communication principles and be on your way to a diaper free life.

To get started, it is highly recommended that you choose a day when you know you will be home all day. Next, take the baby out of his or her diaper and allow the child to play in one designated room. If you like, an old sheet or towel could be placed on the floor just in case of an accident. As you play and spend time with your baby, simply watch for telltale signs that he or she needs to go potty. For instance, you may find one minute your child playing and the next, becoming quiet or going to a corner of the room. Other signs associated with the Elimination Communication system include the baby starting to squirm around or even cry. At that point, you need to pay attention and be ready to place the child on the toilet.

With EC, the goal is to encourage the child to take care of business in the toilet by using words or even sounds such as “psss”. Depending on the child and the number of times you have tried the Elimination Communication process, he or she may potty immediately or it may take some time. Another option that works quite well is to carry your child in a type of sling so he or she is close, making it easier to take note of signs. Interestingly, while you might think it dangerous to carry a baby around in a sling without a diaper, using the Elimination Communication system actually results in very few accidents. The reason – you are more in tune with the baby so you know when potty breaks are needed.

Although there are many wonderful benefits associated with EC, the one that most parents appreciate most is the fact they have a unique way of communicating and understanding their child. In fact, most parents that use this system agree they somehow know even before the child gives indicators. This allows the parent to take quick action so accidents are avoided.

With Elimination Communication, you can work on this part-time so there is no stress. You will need to determine what works for your situation in that sometimes a parent will only remove the diaper during playtime or after meals. The key to success is to make this a fun and stress free process, without putting any type of pressure on the baby to perform. Remember, the Elimination Communication system takes time to learn so if you and the baby do not learn immediately, that is perfectly fine.

As your baby nears the age of potty training, you should at least consider EC. Chances are you will find it works. Then, considering that you are using fewer diapers and supporting the environment, it makes sense.