Now, October may be a long time ago but I happen to remember which book I was reading at the time. That’s because it was pretty much the – gasp! – only book I was reading at the time. Well, knowing me, it may not have been the only, ONLY, one but it was certainly the one I was referring to most frequently.
Page 161, sentence five from my book reads "It was a wonderful means (and a challenge!) to be available to my son’s needs, on the spot." The quote is taken from the book Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer. This book is one of my favourites because, as is indicated by the name, Iain and I are on our way to becoming diaper free.
Yup, I/we use diapers (cloth) as a back up. Iain uses the potty, or the toilet depending on our mood and opportunity (e.g. I don’t tote the potty to the mall). And, yes, Iain just turned six months old. (If you’re interested, keep reading. If not, scroll to the bottom to see if you’ve been tagged. Otherwise, see you in my next post!).
We started practising elimination communication (EC)/natural infant hygiene with Iain when he was about 3 ½ months old. I would like to stress that we are NOT toilet training him or encouraging him to 'hold it' when he needes to eliminate. The premise behind EC is communicating with your infant regarding his/her need to eliminate. I have learned to recognise when Iain needs to nurse; learning when he needs to eliminate is based on the exact same principle.
The book suggests that infants under six months are aware of their requirement to eliminate and simply lack the ability to get themselves to a toilet place. That’s where we come in. When Iain tells us, we take him to the potty.
Although I did not start taking Iain to a toilet place regularly until he was 3 ½ months old, I had been reading the Diaper Free book with the intention of beginning as soon as I felt comfortable holding Iain over a toilet or on the potty. Three and a half months was the age when he was big enough for me to feel confident that I could hold him over a toilet without losing him. It was also at that age when he ‘sat’ (with assistance) quite comfortably on the potty. I also spent his first 2 ½ months looking for signs of when he was going to eliminate.
Now, I figure most people, parents or not, are able to tell around when a baby is going to have a bowel movement. Red faces, looks of intense concentration, grunting or breaking wind – these are all familiar, right? Iain is no different. In the past three months, DH and I have changed four dirty diapers. That’s right, four.
Pees are not so easy to catch. Like many babies (again, according to the Diaper Free book), Iain was not clearly communicating when he needed to pee. I mainly used time since our last toilet visit to catch pees. More and more, Iain is fussing to tell us when he needes to pee. Additionally, we have found that Iain does not pee while sleeping. Therefore, as long as he goes to sleep with a dry diaper (which is 98% of the time), he can wake up, nurse for 45 minutes and then be pee’d – and still have a dry diaper. He is also dry first thing in the morning if I get to the bathroom before he fully wakes up.
I have really gotten away from knitting content today! So that I do not stray too far from the knitted track, if you are interested in more information on EC (it apparently works with older children too but I can only speak from my experience which is with an infant), talk to me offline via email.