Welcome to the Go Diaper Free Podcast where we’re all about helping you potty your baby as early as birth with elimination communication. I’m your host, Andrea Olson, author and mom of 5 EC’d babies...and this is episode #32: Easy catch #4: In’s and Out’s.
This is the 4th of the 4 easy catches that will help you feel success pretty quickly with EC, and will help you ease into the practice. In case you missed ‘em, episode 28 was about easy catch #1 - the wake up pee. 29 was about easy catch #2 - diaper changes. episode 30 was about easy catch #3 - poop. And today: getting baby into or out of something.
You can find the show notes along with any links to stuff I mention in this episode over at godiaperfree.com/32.
So, in’s and out’s are actually the Holy Grail, you guys. This easy catch is the primary way to incorporate EC into your life as a PERMANENT day-to-day routine. Some call these transition times...because they are always part of some transition in your day. But it’s mostly about taking advantage of instincts...which babies are constantly communicating about! This easy catch works for several reasons, including instincts, which we’ll discuss throughout today’s episode.
First, let’s make a list of when this catch can happen:
In-arms - after holding baby for a while
before/after carseat, baby carrier, high chair, stroller
before/after jumpy toy
when you get home
before you leave for an outing
when you get to where you’re going on your outing
before leaving from that outing
As a side-note - if you’re offering during an outing, just know that this catch can be done inside your parked car, or in a bathroom inside the place you’re visiting, depending on the weather, your tools (like, do you have a top hat potty with you?), and your timeframe. You can learn more about pottying on outings in my podcast episode #19 - shopping diaper-free. I also have a deep dive minicourse on EC While Out + About at godiaperfree.com/minicourses.
If you’re just hanging out at home, then you can potty your baby in whichever receptacle is most convenient. Yes, it’s okay to have a mini potty in your living room.
You just want to focus on making it easy for both you and baby to do a potty break in between things...and dress baby in easy-on, easy-off clothing.
Plus, decide how often you really want to do EC in your day-to-day. It’s perfectly fine to do it part-time, poops-only, mornings only, etc. Just decide and be consistent within the part-time framework.
Now, let’s paint a picture of what this catch might look like...and why it works in each situation:
For example, you want to bathe baby. It would be terrible if baby pooped in the water (she would likely become fussy first and try to let you know), so you offer the potty before bathing her. Then, when baby fusses and lets you know bathtime is over, you can offer baby the potty again. Human beings have a fairly strong instinct to not pee or poop in water...because, used to, we’d drink that water in the river or stream! It’s ironic that we now urinate in toilets full of water, but I’ll leave that for someone else to dissect. But, babies...they have a pretty strong instinct to not go in bodies of water.
The reason why this easy catch typically works when baby has been in your arms for a while is that they also have a strong instinct to not pee or poop on their caregivers. Of course, if you miss the first fuss that indicates this, you’ll probably get wet - this is why we typically use back-ups for EC, like clothing, diapers, etc. - but usually if you’ve been carrying baby for a while and would like to set her down to play, you would be wise to potty first before laying her down. That way, baby will be max comfortable and can play with ease...and give you a few more minutes to do you.
This one also applies to baby carriers. If you’re babywearing, which I do and highly recommend, you’ll want to make sure baby has an opportunity to relieve himself before putting him into the sling or carrier, right? Max comfort and also max dignity for your baby. When baby squirms and you know he can’t be hungry, and he’s already slept and perhaps woke up in the carrier, and you can’t really find another reason why he’d be squirming, it’s not that he hates the carrier, typically. It usually means he now needs to pee or poop. Take him out and do the deed. Then he can go back into the carrier and you both will be more comfortable. A good signal for older babies is when they try to “arch out” of the carrier...this means it’s usually potty time.
Okay, as far as carseats, high chairs, and strollers go, there are mixed reviews. Typically, a very young newborn or few-month-old will resist going when in a carseat and will get fussy. You can say “it’s okay to go in your diaper, I’m sorry...I’ll change you when we arrive” or you can pull the car over and do a parked-car-pottytunity. Just know that sometimes babies are uncomfortable in the carseat because of this, and offering when you remove baby from the carseat typically ends in an easy catch. High chairs can sometimes feel like a potty, so I get mixed reviews on this, but if your older baby refuses to eat and you know she usually eats more, then you can bet that she needs to go to the bathroom and doesn’t want to do it while eating (again, instincts!). So offer the potty. I recommend keeping a towel or wet wipe nearby to do a quick clean-up en route. Ask me how I know. :) In strollers, same deal. Baby is tired of the stroller? If it’s been a while, I’d offer. Again the top hat potty is key in these situations.
And, let’s intertwine easy catch #3 with #4, here. If you see a poop face while baby is in any of these contraptions, gently say “wait” and offer the potty. If you catch at least some of it, over time, baby will begin to wait longer as her body becomes stronger and more coordinated, with a larger bladder and colon capacity. It all gets easier over time...just stick with it!
Swings and jumpy toys can stimulate baby through movement, so I always potty before and after such things. I’ve definitely had the jumpy toy blowout...not fun.
The point is to offer before baby will be in something for a while so that he can be comfortable and content in there (everybody wins!)...and when baby is “over” being in that thing, or you’re ready to take them out of it, it’s potty time again because typically babies hold it when on you, in something that feels like a bed or sleepspace, and also when they are engaged and playing in some contraption or carrier. Boredom can cause babies to pee a lot in little spurts...engagement encourages healthy consolidation of pees. Especially with boys.
Last thing I want to mention: when we get home, my two youngest always get a pottytunity. When we forget, our 2 year old usually has an accident, and our 9 week old. Both get priority when we get home, and it is immediate, prior to any play or eating or anything! Before we leave, final pee. Upon arrival, arrival pee. Before leaving wherever we’ve visited, final pee. We don’t want pee in the car trips, right? Comfort and relaxation. When we get home, arrival pee. They’ve been in something (a carseat, stroller, shopping cart) and now we’re taking them out of it. Time to pee.
This obviously changes with age, as they get older they can hold it longer, but I hope that this gives you an idea of what I mean with Easy Catch #4: In’s and Out’s.
You can take advantage of your baby’s instincts and align yourself with providing comfort and dignity. Good deal right!
Alright. We’re done for this episode! Grab the show notes and find any links that I’ve mentioned over at godiaperfree.com/32. While you’re there, please leave a comment with whether this easy catch works for you, or if you’re having a challenge with it. I look forward to chatting with you on my blog. :)
Thanks so much for tuning in. Over the next few episodes I’m gonna be answering YOUR questions. If you’d like to leave my a voicemail with your own question, I might answer it on the show! Visit godiaperfree.com/askandrea to leave me a message.
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This is Andrea at the Go Diaper Free Podcast at godiaperfree.com, and I’ll see ya next time.
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