Monday, June 8, 2009

Potty baby

When I first heard about Elimination Communication (or Natural Infant Hygiene) I actually laughed. It sounded completely ridiculous - watching your baby to see when they needed to potty? Putting an infant on a toilet? Babies poop in diapers; it's just an accepted fact in the US. ('wait, what?' you say. 'ec? what on earth are you talking about?' here you go, honey: an explanation of ec)

That was when I was about three or four months pregnant. As time went by, the idea kept coming back into my head, and I found myself reading Web sites and forum posts about EC with babies. It was oddly fascinating, even though a part of me kept laughing quietly and saying, "That's just weird."

Jacob was about four weeks old when I started thinking much more seriously about trying EC with him. His diaper rash was getting alarming, even though I was using a combination of disposables and cloth diapers. We were changing him sometimes twice an hour, powdering him with corn starch, and putting Desitin on the worst spots with nearly every diaper change, and yet he was still getting rash bad enough that it bled in spots.

So, I did what I do best: research. Exhaustively. Until I can sit down and give a lecture and sound like I really do know what I'm talking about.

So, I read The Diaper-Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh, and then I read Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer. And I looked through the Web site (linked in the first paragraph up there). And then I started holding my baby over the Cookie Bowl, as the Husbeast called it (because previously, it had always been used to make his chocolate chip cookies; seeing his son perched over it peeing may have curbed his cravings for awhile).

To my amazement, it worked. More than worked, it worked incredibly well. I could go an entire day and only use two diapers because everything else went into the Cookie Bowl (or the toilet, if the Husbeast was the one pottying the baby, because the Cookie Bowl was sacred).

Because EC was going so well, and because the Cookie Bowl was suffering unpardonable abuse, the Husbeast went ahead and purchased a top-hat potty bowl to make EC easier.

That certainly has made things considerably easier (and freed the Cookie Bowl for its intended purpose, leading me to wonder if things were better before I was able to indulge in cookies frequently) but with the baby growing increasingly large, it was getting harder and harder to tuck all the important bits into the top-hat potty bowl. I've heard that this isn't the case for most people until their babies are crawling around, which makes me wonder if the increased cookie intake is somehow translating directly through the breastmilk.

So, our newest EC-related purchase has been a BabyBjorn Little Potty. And pottying has gotten pretty darn cute.

Somehow, a fat baby perched on a toilet is incredibly cute to me. Is it shallow that I'm thinking less about how much good this is doing and more about how cute the baby looks on his BBLP?

On the positives, his diaper rash has almost completely cleared up. And he is letting us know pretty much every time he needs to poo, and about 75% of the time when he needs to pee. But the most important thing is that he is really, really cute on his BBLP.

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