Sounds fancy doesn't it? And perhaps it is a more respectable and acceptable way for child experts to say "teetee in the potty," but that's really all it means. Elimination communication (EC) is a non-intrusive, non-pushy kind of way for parents and caregivers to communicate with their child about how to go to the bathroom - communication and development of understanding about bodily functions and how to control them. EC has been around since the dark ages, but the term may be new to some. For many European countries, EC is the norm, and children are started as early as weeks old, but for us Western folks, it's a little intimidating and bizarre. We are a country dependent on Depends, so to speak, (I couldn't resist), Pull-Ups, and disposables. Why on Earth would we want to allow our kids to have accidents rather than keeping it in the diaper? Well, to me, the answer is simple. I do not want a toddler telling me "Me no teetee in potty!" by the time she's two or three. The "terrible twos" have been coined that for a reason. It's not because they are so terrible at that age but instead, at around the age of two, kids tend to get a mind of their own. I have been told my a number of mamas that if you can't potty-train by the age of two (when they start to tell you no and resist more and more), that potty-training after the second birthday becomes rather impossible. So, here's where elimination communication comes into play for our thirteen month old.
|she's going to hate me for this someday!|
I have read numerous mommy blogs about babies as young as 7 weeks old being taken to the potty, and those parents say by 9 or 10 months, the child no longer wets in the middle of the night and by a year old, they rarely have any accidents (#1 or #2) at all. That is quite impressive, but I think that's a little extreme. My thoughts about it are similar to my thoughts on weaning. If a child is able to communicate with you about things like where bunny is, go get bunny, go show Deddy what you've got, or for nursing sake, pulling on a shirt for milk, I think that they are ready for potty-training. EC is not potty-training per se, but it is communication, and that's where we are starting.
Naomi communicates more and more on a daily basis, she understands simple commands, and she is beginning to get a mind of her own already (says no, shakes her head no, tries to slap when she doesn't get what she wants, etc), so I am starting to push EC more and more. Not in a pushy way (that's what I said though isn't it), but more so in a way that is comfortable and FUN for her. "Play is children's work," so if we make it fun, it will be fun. Simple as that. Praise and understanding go along with it. I also like what I read in this article, "Simple Tips for Easier EC," that states it's easy to get excited and throw out praise when a child pees in the potty, but it's also important to continue the communication beyond the praise with words like, "You teeteed in the potty! Isn't it nice to stay dry?" It's positive reinforcement in play, and from my college days I know that there is TONS of research-based info out there on positive reinforcement inside and outside of the classroom. If done right, it should work like a charm!
|look how much fun this baby is having at the potty! :)|
|even for the teeny tiny babies too!|
|If you're happy and you know it...go potty! :)|
We'll keep you all posted on how this works out for us. Luckily, even Deddy is involved in the process, and I think the more people on board, the better. We've purchased a few items to make EC and potty-training easier, so have a look, and let me know what you think!
We bought a seat similar to the one shown from Wal-Mart for $9.00. It fits on top of the average toilet so no need for messy clean-up on the popular small, plastic potties that must be dumped (no thank you).
I ordered the EcaPants today, and they are awesome! They are designed to stay around the waist for potty-training (so no taking on and off a diaper - cumbersome!), and they have a flap that pulls down for quick potty time. I ordered them through babybellebottoms on sale and I'm very eager to try them out!
If you are wanting to try this too, ask yourself the obvious questions: When do I need to go to the bathroom? After a nap? When I get up in the morning? After a long car ride? By putting yourself in his/her shoes should give you the results you're seeking!