Thursday, October 1, 2009

Elimination Communication

If you have met us or seen our photos, you know that Lucille and also Matti as a baby, have been mostly naked, 'bottom less', wearing split pants or fleece pants,which are called One Wet Pants.
We have been practicing the ancient art of Elimination Communication (In a nutshell, Elimination Communication is about the Communication.It is about helping your baby to go 'to the toilet' somewhere other than a nappy.)and have used nappies minimally, as a tool, not an essential...We can even still count them, a packet of new born nappies, which we never finished, and around 20, when we were in Germany, travelling and doing a course, when I just wanted to be 'slack':-)...(over 25hours cars/airport/plane/airport/plane/car on my own with 2 children - nappies were a gift - but afterwards it was blissful to have my nappyfree baby back :-).)

I read about EC when I was pregnant with Matti and it made so much sense to me, that I decided to definitely give it a go. We left him nappy free from around 1 months on and Lucille right from birth.
With every child being sooo unique and having different body rhythms, this has been a totally different journey than it was with Matti.

So, I just wanted to give a little overview of what EC is, how we started, how we have been going and where we are at now, that Lucille is turning almost 1.

Well, I will start with where she is at now - she is highly aware of when she needs to go, wee and poo. She signals to us now, by touching or pulling her ear, by yelling out loud (which a stranger wouldn't understand, but I hear: I need to wee...), by touching the floor in between her legs, if she is sitting, by jumping up and down, sitting on the floor and also yelling quite loud....when she needs to poo, she is 'ratty', also jumps up and down, comes to me, wants up, but then down, then up again....but mainly she does her poos straight after getting up, over a little potty (mixing bowl), in front of the bathroom mirror, while playing with something (my toothbrush preferably...), looking at me, looking outside the window, sometimes seeing kangaroos...she also blows her lips, which I have done to her in the mirror, while she had a poo, so this has become an adopted signal, which I first heard last week, when I held her over the sink after a sleep, so she could wee, and then she blowed her lips, so I could hear, there is more to come, and it really did. Since then she has been blowing her lips to tell me she needs to poo.
She never has nappies on anymore, when we are out, she wears the one wet pants, which we have had for Matti already (so very cheap, when I consider the use we have gotten out of them, and we are not adding more rubbish to the landfills), split pants when out in nature, or she is just naked or bottom less.
We catch many wees, but we also miss a few, especially when we are occupied or she has a major learning curve (like learning to crawl, walk, teething etc.).
When I wear her in the Ergo, she jiggles up and down, to tell me she needs to get out, or touches her ear.
The nights have been 'funny', she hardly ever wants to be held to wee. I know when she needs to go, as she is then restless and wiggles around until she got it out, but she prefers to just do it lying down, which doesn't matter, as I have her on waterproof cover and towels. So, I have learned to just respect her wish and not force it. Early in the morning, it's all different again, and she just wees over the potty.
And who knows, tonight, it might be all different, as it's just stages.

Our main aim/goal? - there isn't one, the journey is really the destination. We LOOVE that she is not soiling herself, learning to use her pants/nappies as her toilet, being exposed to toxic chemicals in nappies, having a wound bottom, not learning something, that she has to unlearn in a few years, that she keeps her dignity, that she is aware of her eliminations, that she feels respected and cared for, because we respond to her and hear her, even though she doesn't speak words yet...we love that we don't have the hassle of buying or washing nappies, the one wets just go into the washing machine with the rest, and there are never many anyway, we save a lot of money, and we don't have to take a nappy bag anywhere.
I have a portable potty system, which consists of a tiny mixing bowl and a glass jar with lid. You can imagine how this works. It lives in my backpack. And of course there are lots of bushes everywhere and other great places to have wees.

I'm in awe of Elimination Communication, if we even have to label it :-), as it is such a gentle way to deal with their wees and poos, compared to changing dirty nappies and pulling yucky faces while doing it, giving them issues about their bodily functions. Ok, this is funny, maybe not to some, but to me it is - while I have just written the above, she did a wee on the floor, played in it with her hands and had just put her mouth down to drink of it. I know when Justin reads this or would have seen it, he would have gone: oh noooooooooooooo :-)...and we all would have laughed. But hey, it's her wee, and if you would be a baby, come on, wouldn't you want to try it...also loving to play in water, wouldn't you play in it like in a puddle of water??

There are some things that really turn some people off of it, they think naked baby bottoms are growth, they think that babies shouldn't touch themselves, they think it's dirty to not have pants on and they couldn't bear the thought of having any of it on their floors. Well, I have written above why we love it. We also have wooden floors and concrete, and little towles, that used to lie under her as a baby, now act as wipe ups, so no drama, no dirt, just a happy nappyfree baby :-).

Oh and because she is a girl, dresses work fantastically, especially now that she is walking.

Not using nappies also goes along our other autonomous parenting philosophies...someone told me when Matti was little: you won't be doing it with your second, as you won't have time....well, it's a way of parenting and I can't imagine not doing it this way, no matter how many children we'd have.

If you want to know more, check out - a fantastic website about EC. Charndra is a friend of mine from Adelaide and her son was born a bit after Matti. We met at a Yoga Class and talked heaps about Elimination Communication, to which we were both new then.

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I'm a mother of two beautiful children. We are parenting in an autonomous way, not schooling and learning by living, taking each other seriously and all of our needs into account. So our life is very rich and exciting as we have the time to 'smell the roses' :-) and live in the moment, 'going with the flow'. We are part of a sustainable community. It's wonderful to live in harmony with the earth and for the children to grow up conscious of their environment. I'm a Yoga Instructor and BodyTalk Practitioner ( BodyTalk stimulates your body’s innate ability to heal itself on all levels and no other modality has ever made that much sense to me...hence why I've become a practitioner:-). I also work as an independent Sales Advisor for the Learning Ladder, promoting and selling educational books and toys, facilitating get togethers in people's homes or public centres, as the products are only available via direct selling and it's something that the kids and I do together to 'earn' our home library. With two little children, my main yoga practice is 'living my yoga' in whatever I do.

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