How do we handle the ups and downs of EC with a growing baby? Today I share THREE ways to respond to changes as baby develops plus tools for YOU, the parent, and the magic mindset piece for confidently rolling with change.
You will hear:
- three ways to respond to changes in your EC rhythm
- how to successfully use outside potty time
- how to introduce changes in your EC practice
- a bonus tip for rolling with EC changes
- three thoughts for YOU, the parent, during times of change
- the magic mindset piece in responding to change
Links and other resources mentioned today:
- Top Hat Mini Potty
- Mini Potty (super short for little learners)
- Toliet seat reducer (my favorite for the house)
- Potette Plus (great for outside/travel)
- Podcast on Backups
- The Log App iOS and Android (to track timing)
- Easy Catch #1
- Easy Catch #2
- Easy Catch #3
- Easy Catch #4
- EasyStart Guide for EC (contains all four Easy Catches)
Download the Transcript
If you can't listen to this episode right now (um, sleeping baby!?)...download and read the transcript here:
So how do we handle changes in pottying as our baby develops? How do we handle the ups and downs of EC? I'm sure those of you watching and listening right now have had some ups and downs with EC, right? How do we handle the changes? Because the only constant in life is change.
The first way we can handle change with pottying our babies, if something is just starting to just go berserk, everything was working, you're catching all the poops. Now you're not catching any or your baby's resisting or whatever it may be, something has changed. The first thing I want you to try is to change the location where you're pottying them. Oftentimes babies will start to really want to go to the bathroom where you go to the bathroom. So if you're pottying them in a top hat potty on your bed, for example, in the middle of the night, your baby might start to not like that. They might actually want to be in the bathroom. The smell and the sound and the feeling of being in the bathroom they might start associating that with going potty as well. And they also know that everybody else goes here. So why am I going on the bed? This doesn't make any sense. So first suggestion for you guys is to change the location.
If we are pottying in one bathroom, we might change to the other bathroom. If we are pottying in a mini potty in the living room, we might pause that for just a little while. Start taking them to a toilet seat reducer in the big bathroom or a mini potty, same mini potty, just move it to the bathroom. They literally start to go hey, why am I pottying in the living room when everybody else is potting in the bathroom, as one example.
The other location you can change to of course, is to go outside and going outside does not mean you're permanently going to have your baby potty outside. It just means that for right now, our baby is super distracted with all the developmental things, all of life and everything is rapidly changing in months 0 through 12, especially. We want to just bring them outside, squat over the grass, say something, do something, distract them. Mother nature is amazing at helping our children to relax and to feel a little bit more calm.
Now, if they want to crawl off and explore whatever's in the yard, then you're going to probably have to do something silly like I did with my first baby, which is sing a little nonsense song or sing a song, or just get their attention somehow by saying hey look, do you see that tree way over there? How about that bird in the sky? Do the cue at the same time. Okay. So number one, when things change with EC as your baby develops, we want to roll with that by trying to change the location.
The second thing we want to try to do is to change the receptacle. Honestly, guys, I would definitely recommend you try one of these things for a couple of days and then try changing the next thing just to see and be able to compare. But if you want to change them all at the same time, that's fine too. But if we change the receptacle, we're going to find out that sometimes babies really want to be higher, or lower, or in your arms, or not in your arms, or facing you, or facing away, or facing the mirror or facing outside. There are literally a million different ways to do this and no one way is going to be right. So you're not doing anything wrong, but what we want to do is try to change the receptacle to see if your baby responds well to that.
This is literally all an experiment. So if you're using the mini potty and they start to crawl off of it every five seconds, you're going to want to use a toilet seat reducer to the big toilet. Or maybe you want to go back to using the top hat potty for a little while, sitting with them in your lap while you sit on your bed. Maybe you're going from the top hat potty to a mini potty and you just hold them on it or over it. There could be a million different ways. We can start using the Potette Plus over the grass with... I don't have it on me, but there is one of the Potette Plus is an open bottom, or you can get the rubber replaceable insert or reusable insert for that. You can just prop those legs up of the Potette onto the grass and have them go there. There's something novel about going on the grass, where they also are able to sit if you're not doing in arms holds for whatever reason.
So again, this practice is super flexible. It's always a good idea that as things change while babies develop to try changing the receptacle, because you might get a better result with something else. There are so many receptacles, but obviously the ones I recommend the most are my mini potty at tinyundies.com because it is so short that baby can feel the earth under his or her feet. That makes them feel secure so that they don't feel like they're dangling somewhere and they can actually practice standing up and down. But also the top hat potty, if you don't have one of those and you've just been pottying over the sink and you've got a rather small baby, it's a game changer. I think you would agree if you have one.
So number one was change the location. Number two is change the potty. The third piece of advice, the third thing you can change is change the backup. I know some of you might be getting heart palpitations from the idea of changing from a diaper to something else, but hear me out. Sometimes babies pee freely if they're in a cloth diaper. Sometimes they won't signal at all if they're in a disposable diaper. Sometimes babies will go all over the place if they're naked from the waist down. Then once you put them in undies, they don't go at all and they signal really strongly. Some babies do better in trainers. It's literally impossible for me to diagnose what could be wrong with your baby's backup, but if you change it and try it as just an experiment for a couple of days and really keep the calm going on, okay, keep relax, and keep calm you're going to find out some information. Some information is better than nothing.
Worst case scenario, changing the location, the potty or the backup is just going to just alter or shift the mundane into something new and interesting for your baby. That might get you through a little bit of a resistant hump or a disinterested hump or whatever hump you're on right now. So changing the backup. I do have an entire blog post about that and which backups I used over all five of my babies day and night. When I stopped using what, when I switched to what, but honestly, every single time on those graphics that you'll see there at that blog post, every single change I made was because I wanted my baby to either signal more, stay dry longer, or I felt like it was just time to move on. That really with the third, fourth and fifth babies happened a lot, but with the first and the second, it was way more of an experiment.
So again, I just want to remind you, this is literally an experiment of hey, what might work now? I want you to try one thing at a time and just see what happens. If it helps you to write it down so that you can compare before and after, great. If you are a book owner, you can go on our book owner's forum and ask any of our coaches and say, "Hey, I need an accountability buddy. I want to change some things. Can you help walk me through this?" They're all trained to do that.
The other thing I want you to do as your baby develops, besides trying to change different things to try to shake it up a little bit and get it to stay interesting, you might want to do and I highly recommend a fresh observation session. So as your baby develops, they're going to pee at shorter intervals. Their poop is going to consolidate as well and you are going to probably need to get updated by doing some observation logging. I do have a new app called The Log. It has a poop emoji on it as the icon, can't miss it. It's on iOS and Android. You can grab that and just tap every time they wait or feed and every time they poop or pee, and you can add notes to that. We're constantly updating this app. So if you have any suggestions, don't leave a bad review, just email us and send us your suggestions. We always have our developer update the app to what you guys want.
It'll spit out a chart or it'll spit out an observation log. So you don't actually have to type anything out, or you can get my observation log on my website and I will link to that as well. But basically a fresh session is going to give you new information on how often your baby goes now. I'm going to cover that on the next lesson, how often will my baby pee? So stay tuned for that. Have a beginner's mind though and a learner's mindset. EC is so beautiful in that just like breastfeeding it allows us to learn and connect with our unique baby even better. That is priceless. There is so much more... There are many deeper levels that you learn from doing EC. So if you have a beginner's mindset, you're going to be open to learning.
This becomes more of a conversation as opposed to a I need to do it this way. If I don't do it this way, and then I'm wrong, kind of a thing. I also want you to listen in to see what baby is needing, but also listen into yourself to see what your intuition is trying to tell you to guide you. So for example, if I mention anything already in today's lesson and you went, whoa, yeah, that sounds great. I've never thought of that. Or I was going to do that. I thought about that the other day. That's your intuition. So listen to that. I also want you to take the pressure off if you're feeling a little bit overwhelmed by EC right now, just downgrade a little bit to just one or two of the easy catches.
There have been periods in all five of my baby's lives, all of their baby hoods, where I've been like I am just getting the morning pee or I'm just getting the poops. I feel like a failure. If that's you, I want you to know that from looking back and also helping hundreds of thousands of other parents with the same practice, that this will not last forever. Downgrading is not failing. It's just like I'm just going to simplify. I'm only going to do the morning pees. I'm only going to do the poops. I'm only going to do the diaper changes. Whatever it is for you. I can link to those easy start guide related four easy catches. It's all on the same page, but I want you to try to simplify if that's you.
Next I want you to celebrate these changes. Your baby is developing. Your baby is moving, and changing, and just growing and that is something amazing. Instead of seeing it as a challenge, see it as, oh my gosh, my baby is maturing. That means I'm doing my job as a parent and things are going well. Development is a good sign you guys. This is a wonderful time to be with your baby. Doing EC probably doubles or triples your touch time and your interaction time with your baby. So just enjoy it. I want you to zoom out just a little bit too. We are not raising a peeing pooping machine here. We want to look at the whole baby and the whole baby deserves attention. Not just what's coming out of the other end.
Lastly, this is unrelated, but totally related. Also from experience is I want you to get a break for yourself. Even five minutes a day. Even closing yourself in the closet and going ah and breathing by yourself for five minutes while your baby is playing safely in the other room. Or maybe have daddy take the baby if that's a possibility and you can go on a short walk. Every single day this five minutes will go a long, long way in your self care. Then you can get a break and go, okay ah, now that I don't have a baby attached to me 24/7, I have five minutes to think. I actually feel like I'm just going to change the big toilet and that's my next move.
It is amazing how fast you can become clear if you just take a moment for yourself. So that was all about how to handle changes as your baby develops. All right. I hope you enjoyed this show so much, how to handle changes as your baby develops. Now I want to ask you how have you handled changes as your baby has developed? Come on over to the show notes and leave us a comment or ask us your questions over at godiaperfree.com/197. I would love to have you educate other moms and dads about what to do as your baby develops and we hit hiccups in the EC journey. Thanks again and I'll see you then. Thanks so much for listening. This is theGo Diaper Free podcast at godiaperfree.com We'll see you next time.
Watch the Video Version (new!)
If you want to watch me record today’s podcast episode, you can do that on my youtube version right here:
Thanks for Listening!
To help out the show and help more parents find out about EC:
- Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
- Subscribe on iTunes
- Share your thoughts by leaving a note in the comments section below!
How have YOU handled changes as your baby developed?
I look forward to discussing with you in the comments, below!
About Andrea Olson
I'm Andrea and I spend most of my time with my 6 children (all under 12 yo) and the rest of my time teaching other new parents how to do Elimination Communication with their 0-18 month babies. I love what I do and try to make a difference in one baby or parent's life every single day. (And I love, love, love, mango gelato.)