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Anyone ever heard of EC?

(23 Posts)
Jic Sat 17-Jan-09 19:54:37

I read an article today about EC or Elimination Communication. It's when you potty train from birth (!) and the idea is that your baby will be fully trained by 12 to 18 months. I was shocked to discover that you actually hold a potty under the baby at intervals in order to try and "catch" the wees and poos. You start when they are between newborn and 4 to five months. Personally, I couldn't think of anything worse than trying to catch runny poo and wees all the time. And the washing! Has anyone done this? What's everyone's views on it? Seems like really hard work to me, let's see if any MNers has done this..........

sarah293 Sat 17-Jan-09 19:56:39

Message withdrawn

VinegarTits Sat 17-Jan-09 19:56:44

This must be for people who have far too much time on their hands

littleducks Sun 18-Jan-09 07:47:12

there are some mners who do it, there have been previous threads, i couldnt and wouldnt do it but the people who do are pretty evangelical about it (well i suppose you must be to keep doing it hmm)

MarlaSinger Sun 18-Jan-09 07:54:09

I believe BabiesEverywhere does EC. I can see the appeal and considered it myself - the idea of a baby sitting in a dirty nappy for any length of time is unpleasant - but it didn't wotk out for us. Thankfully there's no misfaking when my DS is pooing so he is always changed right away!

Please excuse typing, am on the ipod.

sarah293 Sun 18-Jan-09 09:02:44

Message withdrawn

anastaisia Sun 18-Jan-09 16:30:38

I did EC with my DD.

Its not about potty training as such. The way I see it is...

When a baby is born they have a set of instinctive cues which they use to communicate needs. If the need is not met they have crying as a back up to let someone know that something really is up now.

To begin with a baby doesn't know that it is hungry, needs to eliminate, has wind, needs to sleep or anything else. All it knows is that something is not quite right. The baby signals and if the parent responds with something that makes the not right feeling go then the baby learns that the feeling + that cue + parent's response + baby's response = baby feels better.

So if the baby roots, the parent offers milk, the baby takes the milk and the hunger is gone.

The baby doesn't know that it needs to wee or poo, but the body still signals to the brain that there is a need. So if the baby squirms or makes a certain face, the parent offers an opportunity to use a toilet or other appropriate place, the baby wees or poos and the feeling of discomfort is gone.

In both cases the parent and baby are learning from each other. The baby learns that certain cues get the sane responses each time and associate them with certain needs. It doesn't have to be any more difficult than learning any of your new baby's other cues. And just like other needs and wants, as the baby develops the need becomes less urgent and they find more ways of requesting that you meet it.

You don't have to be nappy free at all, or can be for just some of the time. Personally I used nappies alongside EC, but when I have another baby would use nappies less next time round.

Jic Sun 18-Jan-09 18:49:29

wow i admire you for having the patience to do that. thanks for the explanation, it's really interesting and makes sense. i'm still not doing it though!

PoloPlayingMummy Sun 18-Jan-09 18:52:31

I believe you have to be a bit potty to try it grin

belgo Sun 18-Jan-09 18:55:57

I have a friend who did this, her house didn't smell, and it seemed very successful to me.

NorktasticNinja Sun 18-Jan-09 18:57:05

Is it really any more potty than keeping NT children in nappies until they are 3 or 4? The average age of potty training is rising at an alarming rate...

I've not ECd my DD but I have taken some tips from it, she is absolutely in love with her potty and really enjoys using it a few times each day.

NorktasticNinja Sun 18-Jan-09 18:59:16

Oh, she's 14 months BTW. She's been weeing on the pot regularly since about 11 months and really likes to poo on it too but I often miss the signs...

BabiesEverywhere Sun 18-Jan-09 19:02:14

I did ECing with DD and she was clean and dry from a very early age. She is now 2.5 years old and since the arrival of her baby brother she is delibrately requesting a nappy to wee in !!! Not that it matters she will go back to her big girl pants when she feels ready and I am thankful that poo still goes in the toilet.

I also EC with 5 month old DS. I am very relaxed with him and don't worry at all if I can't respond straight away or we have loads of misses. That said as a second child in the house, I couldn't be as proactive as I was with DD.

I like ECing as it is gentle and child led and means I avoid the whole issue of traditional toilet training. My children grow up knowing where they 'should' eliminate and it is up to them when they decide to do it for themselves.

BabiesEverywhere Sun 18-Jan-09 19:03:59

Tigerfeet can testify that ECing can work (she has seen my DD wee on cue from being very little) and if you back up with nappies, any misses go into them rather than your floor.

Leo9 Sun 18-Jan-09 19:08:37

Agree with Vinegar. I'd rather be thinking of things to play or do or say to my baby than spending any time thinking of pee and poo. There is just more to life.

Nappies don't mean that a child has to be 'trained' either; DS just gave up nappies one day, when he was ready. No fuss, no training.

BabiesEverywhere Sun 18-Jan-09 19:10:40

Leo, Believe me I don't spend any time thinking about wee or poo I just pop the toddler on the toilet when she asks or signs and the baby at nappy changing times and when he cues me (i.e. Tells me he needs to go)

The rest of the time, I am playing with my children, doing housework or Mumsnetting wink

NellyTheElephant Sun 18-Jan-09 19:12:09

It's not something I have done, but my SIL did it very successfully with her DD and a good friend has done it with both her DCs.

I really don't think it's as big a deal as some people seem to think. Both SIL and friend continued to use nappies (so there was no mess or smell), but would sit their babies on the potty at regular times of day (such as after meals) and if they were making that sort of wriggly twitchy face that you tend to recognise as meaning that something is going to happen. As a result their babies soon learnt to do most of their wees and poos in the potty (neither SIL nor my friend ever changed a pooey nappy after about 8 months and very few long before that) and would their little ones would nearly always do a wee if sat on a potty.

This meant that they hardly used any nappies at all as the nappy generally remained clean and dry all day and also their children were out of nappies completely well before they were two.

I used some of their tips when potty training DD2 recently (even though she was way beyond the EC stage at 18 / 19 months) and have just got her out of day time nappies completely at 22 months with no particular hassle.

belgo Sun 18-Jan-09 19:16:59

Nelly - reading about EC and seeing it in practise has made me very open minded about potty training and my children were potty trained fairly quickly with no problems.

I have a new baby now and I nearly always know when he is about to poo, and sometimes when he is about to wee. I use mainly cotton nappies.

anastaisia Sun 18-Jan-09 19:45:57

Once I got used to it I didn't find that I thought about it anymore than I would think about the baby in other ways.

I mean, if I was planning a trip out it might cross my mind; oh, where will I be able to feed the baby and let them have a toilet break. But I wouldn't plan the trip around feeding or toilet breaks.

And I found it much quicker and easier to hold the baby out and wipe, than to deal with nappy changes. Especially after around 9 months when we pretty much stopped having poo misses unless the circumstances were a bit unusual.

Maveta Sun 18-Jan-09 20:04:37

I think it´s odd how resistant people are to the idea of EC. This big idea that you have to be totally obsessed/competitive mum etc etc to try it. We kind of did EC.. no cues as such and didn´t start til about 5 months, all extremely lazy and laid back but it´s amazing how easy it is.

I just don´t understand the judgement/ resistance to it. Is it more ´normal´ to let your kid pee/poo in a nappy with no concept of the process until they are 3 ish years old just because then they will train in 1 day? Apparently so. My 20mo is increasingly reliable re. being dry in the day (although I haven´t taken the leap to nappy free when out and about because I don´t want to stress him or me out!) and it really hasn´t been any kind of battle. He has been clean since approx 10mo. And quite apart from his own comfort it means less washing or less landfill/expense if you use disposables

Strikes me as similar to people vocally opposed to blw. "why teach your child to feed themselves rather than puree it all down and sit there feeding them??" . And i say that as someone who didn´t really blw. I wanted to but didn´t see it through. It still makes more logical sense to me than pureeing food.

anastaisia Sun 18-Jan-09 20:13:08

I think a lot of it comes from the idea that you need a child to be 'ready' to potty train. Which is probably perfectly true if you look at children who have been used to using nappies. That must be a really big change and they will need physical and emotional readiness.

But EC is more like learning to talk. You give your baby opportunities to try, but you don't expect them to get it right away. Then one day you find that you understand some of their babble, it has deliberate meaning. Then its proper but childish words that not everyone can hear easily. Then it becomes something other people can also understand with ease. Its a process rather than a switch so the child doesn't need to be ready at the start of the process.

BabiesEverywhere Sun 18-Jan-09 20:23:35

There is also a lot of misinformation about bladder control and how a young baby doesn't have any !!!

My baby DS was just sitting on my knee just now, he cried and wriggled in a certain way and when I placed him on the potty at my feet, he relaxed and then wee'd. He can and does hold on for the potty...not hours but he can hold on for a minute or so even at his young age (five months).

I can't wait to get rid of the pooey nappies, his sister was clean at 9 months and I hope he follows in her footsteps. Wee doesn't bother me but not having to deal with poo on bottoms is fab.

horseymum Mon 19-Jan-09 14:48:05

you don't spend all the time running to potty- some kids can have great bladder control. not being a 'competitive mum' but my dd is so stubborn from quite early on she was easily going 3 hours and she was not dehydrated- wees is in potty so easy to see it was healthy colour! You spend less time as pants are so much easier than nappies. we did the relaxed way ie using nappies until she was pretty much dry all day. not sure about the washing question- we wash loads less now as no nappies. Maybe if you went totally nappy free you might have more mess but people i know or read about tend to use nappies as a back up at least some of the time. The diference being you give regular opportunities to use potty. I do not have far too much time on my hands either! Plenty of my friends leave their kids in pooey nappies- they say they can't tell when they are doing a poo or have done one. I guess if you want to line the pockets of pampers/huggies till kids are 3+, that's fine! (apologies to those whose kids may have specific needs, not getting at you)

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