This is Day 99 of the Green in 365 series!
The is the second post in a guest series on Elimination Communication, if you haven’t yet, read this post first.
By Elizabeth of Running Family
As a busy mother of four, I am all about taking the easiest route when it comes to diapering. As I mentioned yesterday, I confess that I always thought EC was for weird hippies and those with too much time, which obviously wasn’t me.
I am shocked at how EC has made my life much easier when it comes to caring for my newborn! My youngest, William is six months old and EC has helped tremendously during the precious newborn days. No wet diapers means almost no waste of time and resources at all. Green and easy – here’s how:
Easy Elimination Communication for Newborns
Understanding baby’s communication is vital to bonding and baby’s survival. We began ECing when William was just a few days old, he was cueing for nursing and pooping by turning his head, clearing his throat, and thrusting out his tongue. He would also let out an angry squawk or two if I don’t catch his first tries.
William was born at home after a short one hour fifteen minute labor. He came fast and cried hard when he was born. He nursed non-stop for the first 24 hours. My milk came in fast on that routine. As a result he had three wet diapers the first day, then four the next day, and by day three I started getting his cues. I took him to the restroom, and he loved it!
Practical Ideas for Starting Elimination Communication with a Newborn:
• Relax – this is fun. This is bonding time to love your baby while caring for his physical needs. Relax your body as you hold your baby over a small potty or sink. More on this later, but we use the Baby Bjorn potties and think they are worth every penny.
• Calm the noise and lights. Newborns are light /sound sensitive and they will not relax to release the muscles even if they need to go if they are scared. This means that in our sonic boom of a house, I needed to teach our older children not to scream bloody murder and barge into the bathroom. Respect is so hard to teach!
• Dress for success. Less is better. Depending on the time of year, you can allow for easy access. We use only babylegs and onsies or t-shirts. Babylegs have many generic options but I have found that brand name babylegs really are the best and so practical and cute.
• Timing IS everything. Watch for babies cues such as throat clearning, unlatching after nursing or refusing to latch while seeming hungry, pulling up feet, passing gas, fussing, quiet facial expression after a fuss, small grunts, tightening of lower lumbar back or abdominal muscles, or anytime you think they may need to go. After nap is always good time. Also after a long feeding session when they are still awake is a primary time to use the potty.
• Hold the baby securely. Holding a newborn when they are so tiny and new is at times daunting even for us as experienced parents. Hold baby’s head to rest on your chest with your left hand under his hip and right hand under his other hip pulling his thighs towards his chest. This relieves gas and also helps elimination. Speak softly and use the same simple cue sounds each time.We say “pssst” when he’s in the right position. Always change positions if he cries. He is uncomfortable or scared.
Note: William hated cold potties and I could not bend over well post-baby, so he used the sink . I spray it down with homemade cleaner and hot water, which I feel makes it a good option. When it is not cold, I prefer the insert of the Baby Bjorn potty. Rinse and go!
Other practical tips are to move your changing table to the bathoroom if you have room. Even a towel on the floor, which is what we did, works great. Keeps the elimination where it belongs! Also a great resource for ideas is www.diaperfreebaby.org.
I have never realized what a critical time frame the first days and weeks are for a new person. Our baby is looking to us for comfort in a very new, loud, scary world. Each attempt to bring comfort and connection is building trust which is vital for us all. So relax and enjoy this bonding time of building trust with the greenest and easiest diaper option!
Read the rest of the series here:
Would you consider using Elimination Communication with your newborn? Do you have more questions about it that I can answer for you? Leave them in the comments!
Elizabeth is living her life dream of running, writing, and raising four wild children in a little log home in the woods. She juggles blogging at www.runningfamily.net about healthy living, running, real food, and simple faith-filled living while trying to homeschool and practice Elimination Communication. She fails often at all of this but is trying to learn to live by grace.
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