Attachment parenting, Nappyfree, Parenting

Elimination communication with a one year old: the highs and lows of a nappyfree baby

23 November, 2011

Elimination communication with a one year old!

Oh me, oh my. I just wandered into the spare bedroom to find Ramona sitting on the bed with poo smudged around her, a huge turd sitting atop the box she used to climb up.

Now seems to be the perfect moment for a 9 month summary of Elimination Communication (EC). The highs. The lows.

Clearly, crap on the bed is a low.

Three wee’s on the floor in the lounge within the first day of having new carpet put in. Also a low.

A wee on my lap on the bus. Hmmm, probably a low. A poo in her trousers in the park. I’d go a low.

As you can see being on a nappy free journey with a tiny tot isn’t a ride free of bumps, we get quite a few bumps. But there are some great, even exhilirating, times too.

When we go a whole day with everything in the potty. When she points to the toilet when she needs to go or when she grabs her baby girl bits before she needs to go. It is nice not having to clear smeary nappy poo up each day. Even clearing it up from a bed or other non-loo (these misses happen around once a month)  seems to be less work than changing a nappy (Pick up sheet, bung in washing machine). And even though we have some tricky times (most commonly if she is teething, as if she looses sense of her bowel movements- that is when we get rogue poos) they really seem just a minor part in the whole scheme of it. And if those lows I mentioned above happened more commonly than once a month I think I would struggle! But keeping her in touch with her bodily functions from babyhood through EC  just seems kind of natural to me.

I appreciate it is not for everyone though, certainly not for the faint hearted. You have to have a certain un-fazed-ness to whip your babies trousers down in public to give her a wee opportunity in a bush, or to laugh off a sneaky public shart in the trousers.  And doing it with more than one child on the scene would be a bit of a challenge, although one I think we’ll probably have a bash at, as millions of big families manage in this way in other places.

I guess, back in the day, or in the villages of rural China, adults would all be keeping an eye on the whipper snappers, not leaving it just for Mum to watch out for baby’s toilet need signalling. The other day we were all up in London at the Occupy protest having a big fun family day- Tim and I were caught up doing games with some of the big kids. My mum was there and spotted Ramona’s “wee face”- and took her outside for a successful tree pee. It made me think how much our small, isolated lives make this kind of natural parenting a lot trickier. The more we head along this journey the more I realise how lives have moved on from that tribal parenting, and how lifethese days is just set up harder to do these kinds of things with your baby.

So there we go. Nakey bum at one, a short review. NOT a “Woohoo!! Everyone should do this!!!” parenting post. In fact, it probably made some of you vomit in your mouth a little. Sorry about that.

PS Read all my posts on elimination communication:

Beginning Elimination Communication
Ten signs your baby needs to go to the toilet
Elimination Communication with a newborn baby
Elimination communication at three months old
Elimination Communication at one – the highs and lows
Elimination communication at one –  (a poo in a shoe!)
Elimination Communication at 17 months old plus seven elimination communication tips
Elimination Communication is stress free potty training!

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  • Valerie 23 November, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    As much as I loved to squeeze Oscar’s we bum, I think I preferred it snuggled in his little (big) cloth nappies. I am not a poo-phobic (as a student nurse, my fellow student lifted a patient up in a hoist too high, and as it swung over to the toilet, the patient had violent diarrhea, all over us both, there is no place to go from that), but nah, maybe I am just set in my ways, it seems like a lot of hard work. To each their own though, and well done for not caving in.

  • livingitlittle 24 November, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I’m in awe of you! K (youngest of two girls) is 20 months. We’ll be potty training around two as we did for M. I think as you say, nappy free seems such a radical idea to us, but is the norm in elsewhere. Good on ya!

    • lulastic 25 November, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      Hahaha, in awe of our foolishness. At least I will make you feel better when you have the odd accident! x

  • lulastic 24 November, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Wo wo woah, That would have been, um, a little traumatic? At least you got a good poo story out of it- everyone needs one of those under their belt!!

  • eliminationcommunication 10 January, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    That has got to be the cutest “little moon” shot I’ve seen in a long time 🙂

    And you know what? Diapering parents have smeared poop on the bed, poops on the playground all the time, and pee in their laps. The difference is that for you they are rare moment to laugh at and ponder. I laughed with you. It made me remember the time DD peed on DH on purpose so he would take her to the bathroom. LOL

    • lulastic 22 January, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      Heeeheeee, those kids eh?

  • Month 28: No Mommy, I Do it Myself. « Diaper Free…The Other Side of the Moon 21 January, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    […] These incidences are quite normal bumps in the overall life of toddler-hood and an ECer can look back to laugh and reflect. Wash hands, […]

  • David Band 7 March, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Sounds like you’ve had your fair share of toilet troubles and I guess it takes a brave person to let their little ones go ‘nappyless!’ Well they do that in China so I guess it can’t be a bad thing and actually hastens potty training. The photo of Romana mooning her bare bum-bum to the world is just so funny and cute. Her bottom looks pretty clean so I trust she didn’t have any ‘accidents’ before you got home??

    • Lucy 20 December, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      Mwhaha, that would have been especially messy! All down daddy’s back 😉

  • Lucy 8 May, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    just been reading about your nappy free little girls. I have two boys, 5 and 2. both were out of cloth nappies by 17 months. not sure where this myth about boys being harder to “potty train” comes from. my two were never trained, they have just always used the potty. I started with oldest boy at about 4 months, youngest at a few days. the pleasure I used to get in finding their business in the pot!! I carried on using nappies the whole time though, but would last longer and longer between changes (not my laziness; their clean bot bots). when they switched to full time pants at 15 months we were struggle free. no accidents and no more nappies to wash. all my friends are pretty dismissive of my efforts though. cloth nappies are bad enough. early potty use??? AM I CRAZY!! (didn’t know it had a name before reading your posts).
    sorry to ramble…..