Yep there sure is! And here I was, thinking that with us cloth diapering that I was at the top of my game with being eco-friendly! But I should know better than that - there’s always room to learn how to be more Earth conscious just like there’s always more room to learn how to grow spiritually, emotionally and heck even physically (although most of us prefer not growing bigger in certain parts of the body) LOL! ;o)
So, would you like to know what it is? Well, it’s called an assortment of names: Elimination Communication (otherwise known as “EC”), Natural Infant Hygiene, Diaper Free, Infant Potty Training and my favorite, Potty Whispering). For the sake of keeping it simple, we’ll use EC’ing.
I had heard and even did a little research online about EC and had even dibble dabbled with it here and there with Andrik when he was 7 months old (but wasn’t consistent enough with it - or perhaps it was because I was overwhelmed with yet another project to research with, that it kinda went on the backburner). And then 3 months later, here was that word again (ECing) that kept popping up into my life. First it was from our friends, Eva and Travis talking about ECing with their son, Rylo. And then Hubby and I joined a Holistic Mom’s Network (HMN) group in the San Fernando Valley chapter and I heard families sharing about it within that circle (which by that time, I wanted to learn more about ECing and was excited to know that I could possibly get support from other moms/families doing this). But it wasn’t until my cousin, Miriam emailed me about her wonderful experience with EC’ing their daughter Azalea that I decided to take the plunge and purchase the book Miriam referred me to called “Diaper Free - the Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene” by Ingrid Bauer.
And dove right in, I did! I finished reading the book within a week (hey that’s pretty impressive when you’ve got a little one and a hubby to love and spend time with, as well as, a full time job)!
Ok so I’m pretty sure you’re wondering by now, what the heck is this woman talking about?!! So I guess I better explain what all the excitement is about and why I’m all Gung Ho about this topic!
Elimination Communication (EC) is a conscious and loving practice between the parent/caregiver and the baby with tuning into the baby’s elimination needs. It is a gentle, natural and non-coercive method that not only helps effective communication with your baby’s elimination needs but it also can help to create an intuitive connection and trust.
That right there is what really drew me in. This is what kept pulling at my heart and why I truly feel the Universe kept bringing me back to the desire of wanting to learn more about it. Because Dalmacio and I are all about Connection Parenting and having ALL our needs be met. Which, by the way “Connection Parenting - Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear” by Pam Leo is an awesome book/workshop that we did in our Family Love Gathering - a group I formed with other like-minded parents wanting to support one another with alternative, natural, conscious parenting choices.
Sorry just had to spread the love too! Ok back to EC’ing: this concept has been done all over the world and considered the “norm” in most cultures except of course, for ours, which ain’t no big surprise. The norm for our society is “What will bring in the big bucks for Corporate America?” The deeply saddened answer is disposable diapers and formula - sigh…don’t get me started on this subject!
Oh and another thing that also caught my attention while reading the book is the fact that with all this disposable diapering going on - where most parents leave their children in their diapers for 3-4 hours before having to change them is really teaching these children that it’s ok to stay and feel wet and icky in their diapers! It’s no wonder toddlers get confused and upset when parents feel it is time to transition them from being in diapers to potty training them! Our society has basically been teaching these children to wet and soil their diapers for the first few years and then all of sudden out of nowhere are trying to un-teach this. We, as a society, are basically teaching them to forget how to use their sphincter muscles and bodily functions (which they do know how to use from birth). Society once again, just doesn’t give babies enough credit for what they are capable of doing. Like I said, don’t get me started…LOL - Ok deep breath in (inhale and exhale)…and moving on…
So after reading Ingrid Bauer’s book, I started furthering my research on the subject (and if anyone who is reading this knows how I am, once I start researching a topic, boy do I delve in)! And because Ingrid’s book caters more towards EC’ing from birth than for late starters (such as myself), I wanted to find support with other families that started after 6 months. Thankfully I found this group: Infant Potty Late Starters. And this forum on my favorite magazine called Mothering: Mothering Discussion Forum.
Another awesome resource is Diaper Free Baby They even have a section where you can join a local group in your area (which I joined). And another great resource is Tribal Baby (which really helps to ease the pressure of trying to do EC’ing full time - it gave me peace of mind that I can do this part-time until I feel ready to do full-time).
And of course, after doing extensive research, it opened up yet another world of what is called EC wear (clothing that makes it ALOT easier for the parent to take on and off to help the lil ones go potty). And boy was I glad to stumble onto this! Because let me tell you, it was a pain trying to take his pants off and then his diapers off in time for Andrik to go pee or poo in the potty! Most of the time I would miss the “pottytunity”! I know, cute, right? I’m getting used to this new vocabulary.
Speaking of vocabulary, it’s a whole other world (just like cloth diapering). There’s words like EC wear, Split crotch pants (which are exactly how they sound, pants that split in the middle so that it makes it easier for the little ones to eliminate). Then there’s wool puddle pads, leggies…the list goes on.
So I thought I’d provide you with some helpful shopping links that I saved to “My Favorites”:
1. Eca Ware Baby (Ingenious design!)
2. Tribal Baby EC Clothing
3. The EC Store
4. EC Wear
5. Bongo Baby
6. Continuum Family
7. MamaRoo Pants
8. The Cozy Bunny (soft wool puddle pads)
9. Eco Moon
10. Knotty Baby Wear(A wonderful Etsy store that has a plethora of leggies to choose from! And the best customer service)!
11. Tweet Baby Designs(another Etsy store with leggies)
12. Inspired By Finn (they have AWESOME sales all the time on alot of organic leggies. My favorite leggies are their organic wool leggies - which by the way, wool is great for both winter and summer because it keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Plus, wool is antimicrobial/antifungal so you don't have to wash it every time your lil one wears it, unless of course they get really soiled).
Just so you know, leggies are a godsend when it comes to EC’ing! If it’s a litte chilly, I just put Andrik in leggies and a cloth diaper (without the cover - this way it makes it easier for me and him to know when he is wet) or his new Eca pants and call it a day! OR I let him roam around for some diaper free time, as well. I do also like his wool split crotch pants that he got for Christmas too for the colder days.
Oh can't forget to mention the various potties and toilet reducers available! Sheesh, probably one of the most important parts of ECing! LOL! The following is a list of potties and accessories that I researched and preferred to mention in my blog:
1. Continuum Family (they sell a transparent potty that is very beneficial so that you can actually see when your lil one is going to the restroom)
2. Baby Bjorn (you want to get the little Baby Bjorn. Dalmacio and I jumped the gun before we even started ECing and purchased the big potty and although it was efficient when we started him at 10 months, it will be too big if you're starting your baby at a younger age. Even at 10 months, we wish we would've had the smaller one - thankfully a friend gave us an extra one that she had. Now that Andrik is about 14 months old, we keep the big Baby Bjorn in the bathroom until we purchase the Potette Plus - see below. We keep the little Baby Bjorn potty in the car and either keep a cloth insert on the bottom of the potty so there is no splash when Andrik goes pee OR we cut a gDiaper biodegradable insert in 1/2 and put at the bottom. This was an awesome suggestion the same friend who gave us her little Baby Bjorn potty had given and so far has been working out great for us!)
3. Potette Plus (after much research, we have decided to purchase this one for when we travel. Now that Andrik is at the stage where he likes to use the Big Adult Potty, we need to purchase this as a seat reducer for home. The best part is that it's great for both home and travel! Since I can't seem to find anything on the plastic bags to see if they are biodegradable, I will not be purchasing these bags that you can buy separately for the Potette Plus. Instead after reading reviews, I will see if the biodegradable Sassy bags that I have will work instead. I will write another post with an EC update once I receive the Potette Plus).
4. Growing Up Green (an eco-friendly bamboo toilet seat reducer. We were planning to purchase this one but again decided upon the Potette Plus to use at home and for travel since it will be more eco-friendly to purchase just 1 product for multiple uses).
Sooooo if this at all stirred an interest with you to perhaps try this with your little one, please know that you are not alone on this journey! There are alot of resources and online groups that are willing to support you, including myself! It may be overwhelming at first, but it’s well worth it! Oh and if you start to get frustrated with the process, that’s when you know you need to take a break from the whole thing for maybe a day or 2. And just start back up when you are in a place of ease and feel ready - you and your little one will thank you for it! :o)
Guess what’s going to be our next topic for the Family Love Gathering group? ;o) I’m even purchasing a dvd called “The Potty Whispering” for our group to watch. Check out: The Potty Whisperer
I think that’s all I can discuss on this topic…my brain is fried (as I’m sure yours is too) and it’s 2:30am and realize I better get some zzzzz’s before the little one wakes me up to go potty! Oh which reminds me, that’s another thing I discovered was that all those times that Andrik would cry in the middle of the night, sometimes it was because he had to go pee. That was his way of trying to communicate his need to eliminate! Instead of trying to make him go to sleep unsuccessfully, all I had to do was take him to his potty. Every time that I’ve done this so far, he usually goes right back to sleep. Go figure! Thankfully now, I have one more tool in my tool belt that I can use with communicating with my beautiful lil man!
So here’s to one more thing to check off my list of things that are made with EcoLove! Because whenever Andrik communicates to me his elimination needs and I take him to his potty and he does his thing, not only do I feel a rush of excitement that we’re understanding each other, it is also one less diaper(s) that I have to wash…I am grateful that the Universe brought me down this path again! Thank you!