Saturday, December 17, 2011
Elimination Communication (Part 1) . . . What's the Beeswax?
I'm celebrating the recent arrival of our infant potty (pictured above) with a special Beeswax post about Elimination Communication (EC)! Ever heard of it? EC (also called Natural Infant Hygiene) is a way of communicating with your baby/infant about his or her elimination needs, and it goes right along with the philosophies of attachment parenting, babywearing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding on demand, etc.
I learned about EC from the book Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene, by Ingrid Bauer. If you're at all interested in learning more, I would highly recommend this book!
This is how the author describes EC: "Fundamentally, Natural Infant Hygiene is about responding to the needs of your baby. Everything else about it - avoiding diapers, saving money, environmental benefits, a dry bed, less work - is secondary . . . Communicating with an infant about elimination is not a linear process focused on teaching a baby toilet independence. Just as the focus of breastfeeding is to nourish rather than to wean, Natural Infant Hygiene is a way of responding to a baby's needs today, not merely preparation for future toilet use."
I love the gentle, caring, and communicative nature of EC, and the fact that your baby can be toilet independent by one year of age! But how does it work? Basically, just as mothers learn their babies' cues when they're hungry, need comfort, etc., the EC mother learns her baby's signals for elimination needs as well. When your baby needs to go, you hold her over a potty, make the cueing sound you've established, and she goes right into the potty! But don't take my word for it - our little peanut is still cooking, so I haven't gotten to put it into practice yet. But my dear friend Maggy has! She has agreed to an interview to share with us about her experience with EC with her three month old baby Fern. Stay tuned for Elimination Communication (Part 2) for her expert advice!