In our A-Z of Birth and Early Parenting E is for Elimination Communication.
What is Elimination Communication?
According to Sarah Buckley: 'Elimination Communication (EC)...is how most babies are brought up around the world. This ‘method’, which is so integral and so obvious in most cultures that it needs no name, involves the mother and baby becoming attuned and communicative so that the mother knows when the baby needs to eliminate- wee or poo.'
So basically by focussing on timing, signals, cueing, and intuition you learn to know when your baby wants to go to the toilet, and you take them to the toilet (and this can start from birth).
Why try Elimination Communication?
Not needing nappies most of the time is something I wish I had known about when my daughter was born! Imagine being so in tune with your baby that they can communicate with you when they need to go to the toilet... even before they can talk.
When you consider the environmental impact that each disposable nappy contains petroleum (a finite resource) amongst other materials, and that each used nappy goes to the rubbish dump - every disposable nappy not used can be appreciated.
According to ECSimplified:
Half the babies around the world are potty trained by 12 months (Pediatrics Magazine), yet in the United States, the average age is currently 3 years old (webMD)!
Of course there are disadvantages to using elimination communication. These include additional pressure at a time (especially for first time parents) when there is a lot to learn! There is always the potential to have too high expectations of yourself or your baby, and to be disappointed or even feel like a failure if you can't make it work. But attempted with the right mindset and being prepared to compromise and use nappies as often as required it can work for you.
I hope that this blog post inspires you to consider elimination communication as part of your post-partum planning.