Elimination Communication

Have you considered starting your child on a potty at a young age? At such a young age? This method, also known as Natural Infant Hygiene, Elimination Communication (EC), Infant Potty Training, or the very optimistic-sounding Nappy Free, can be utilised from birth and is often more practical than it appears. In fact, many cloth diapering mothers discover that they naturally adopt some variation of this method and are eager to learn how to incorporate it more into their daily lives.

The fundamental concept is that you (the caregiver) try to assist your baby keep clean and dry by allowing them to wee and poo somewhere other than in their diaper - and the earlier you start, the more instinctual that can be.

Wearing a nappy isn't as practicable for a huge proportion of the world's population as not using a nappy - thus it's normal and expected that parental support will play a key role in keeping babies clean (just as it did for your grandparents and great grandparents). But that doesn't mean you have to give up nappies to have a go.

There are various methods to incorporate natural newborn hygiene into your daily routine. You could provide the option of using a potty or toilet:

In response to a'signal' from your child - some kind of action you've noticed is related with the discomfort of a full bladder or moving bowel. The so-called 'poo face.' A brief moment of silence. A grunting sound. The wriggle of a newborn.

In response to an external stimulation, which normally causes evacuation. Following a feed. When you wake up from a nap.

As part of a regular regimen. During diaper changes Following lunch. Before you got inside the vehicle. When it's bath time.

An interval of time following the previous time (since that's the simplest way to go about it).

What's the point? Babies can't possibly control their bladder and bowels from birth.

To a certain extent, they can. They can learn to associate doing a wee or poo with a specific position or encouraging word. As a result, they learn at a young age to intentionally and consciously release a wee or struggle to produce a poo. And they patiently wait (within reason) for such a chance to present itself.

Taking control of the timing of this - knowing yourself ahead of time, every time, and doing something about it - comes considerably later; for many youngsters at approximately conventional potty training age (say, two). However, there are other benefits to be had along the road. If you choose to take this path, you should focus on the journey rather than the destination.

So, what are the benefits?

It keeps your youngster clean and dry, saving you a lot of laundry and a very fruity nappy bucket. A clean and dry infant is a comfortable (and thus happy) baby with no nappy rash. Pooing in a pot is far more sanitary than soiling a nappy. When I first started with my infant, I was pleasantly delighted that I could clean up after a poop with just a dab of toilet paper.

Using the in-arms toilet posture or crouching on a potty allows a baby to completely empty his bladder and bowels, allowing him to stay cleaner for longer (and as an added bonus also encourages him to burp). Recognizing any symptom of pain allows you to respond correctly - in very young babies, it removes some of the guessing from 'why are they squirming or crying' by providing you with something very simple to attempt that may, quite literally, provide them relief.

You form a strong connection by aiding with something so basic, plus, unlike breastfeeding, Dads are equally as capable as Moms! There is no need for specific equipment or a long-term commitment; simply remove your diaper and give it a try.

What if I decide this is the right path for me? What effect would that have on my nappy selection?

You'll still need all of the basic cloth nappy equipment, but with a few modifications depending on how far you want to go. If you decide that you wish to change your child's diaper regularly, look for non-absorbent nappies. There's no point squandering all that absorbency on a single wee.

If you're not sure if you're going to EC, pocket or all in one nappies are fantastic options since you can adjust the absorbency to fit your needs, they don't take up much space in the wash, they dry fairly rapidly, and they act like an all in one when you're removing a dry nappy to try for a wee. Easyfit STARS are an excellent all-in-one option that does not have a fleec

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