Many parents want to start Elimination Communication with their babies as early as possible. When they find out that EC can be started at birth, the first question is:
How do you hold a newborn baby over the potty?
My first response is (as the image above illustrates): well...it doesn't necessarily have to be done over a potty!
Let me explain before you get too grossed out:
Newborn poop is benign, and the pee, right when it comes out, is actually sterile. (The poop of an exclusively breastfed baby is said by various sources to be sterile, as well, but I can't be 100% sure.)
So, pottying over the sink or wherever you happen to be is actually much more hygienic than using the diaper as a full-time toilet and having your baby sit in it for a while.
You can rinse the sink and sanitize it much more quickly than cleaning up that nasty newborn explosive blowout.
And, babies sitting in newborn poop often get diaper rash...it is not good for the baby's skin, at all.
If you know me, I am quite practical and love using visuals to teach about EC. So, in today's post I've included a bunch of photos to show how to hold a newborn baby in position (these are from the 70+ positions photo gallery in my popular EC book).
I've also included some photos of how to use my favorite newborn potty, the top hat potty, with a newborn baby...because the top hat is the #1 tool I insist people carry in their diaper-free bags.
Quick Aside: Where to get a top hat potty
If you do not yet have a top hat potty, you can now get them on pre-order! You see, they completely disappeared from the market for a while and I'm bringing them back (in 4 lovely colors).
Please click here to reserve your potty by Sunday, February 18 - and to ensure that they remain available to ECing parents of 0-12 month babies, everywhere.
Okay, onward to the most popular newborn EC positions.
The most popular newborn potty positions
Classic EC Position
This is the most common elimination communication position and a great one for newborns. It can be used EVERYWHERE. Baby's back and neck are supported by your chest, and baby is loosely held by the thighs and 'pointed' in the direction of the receptacle. For a boy, simply use your finger to aim.
Here are several photos of the classic EC hold in various settings, using various receptacles:
Cradled Classic Position:
If your baby hates the classic position, cradled classic can help her relax while also encouraging her to pee in a hygienic place. Same as the classic, but this time you cradle baby in the crook of your elbow. Again, great idea to aim a boy's stream with your finger.
Here are a few photos showing the preparation of the arm and then laying the baby in the crook of the arm to use this very gentle EC position in many environments:
Pottying while Nursing/Breastfeeding Position:
Many newborn babies poop while nursing, and the signal they typically give right beforehand is called "popping off the breast" - in other words, the baby can not stay latched and her head bobs off and on. It doesn't mean your milk supply is too high, or your let down is too strong...it sometimes means that baby just doesn't want to use the bathroom while having his tasty meal! (I can't blame him.)
If your baby pops off the breast while nursing, and you see her grimace or bear down or push (or not - it can be stealthy, too), you can continue nursing over a pad or pull baby off for a moment to potty over a pad (or a bowl, or a top hat potty, or the ground) to relieve herself and then return to the breast - to finish the full meal. (It is always easier to eat once you've paused to relieve yourself, right?)
Again, best to aim a boy's parts into the top hat potty or toward the pad by tilting the potty, positioning the pad, and/or aiming at either receptacle with your finger.
Here is one image of nursing over a pad (the baby would be naked-bottomed in this case), and one of nursing over a top hat potty in the car (because who wants to clean up a blow-out while out and about?? Much easier to "catch" it in the top hat potty, which you hold between your thighs while sitting.):
Top Hat Potty Positions:
Like I've already mentioned above, the best newborn potty, hands-down, is the top hat potty. (My new top hat potty, The Baby Potty, can be pre-ordered by Feb 18 and will be available to the masses by April 2018.) It is compact, lightweight, and comfortable for baby to relax and relieve herself in most any situation including on-the-go, at night, on the bed, on the couch...anywhere.
(And mine come with a potty cozy to keep the seat comfortable and warm, and an extra wide rubber band to keep the potty from slipping out from between your legs - ask me how I know.)
But, Andrea, how exactly do you hold a newborn over a top hat potty?
Here are some photos featuring the top hat potty in a variety of situations. For boys (and some girls) who pee straight out, simply tilt the potty toward yourself like in the photos below:
And here is a video of me demonstrating how to use a top hat potty with then-few-month-old Branson:
Again, where to get a top hat potty
You can pre-order your own Baby Potty over on my indiegogo campaign by February 18, 2018, and if you see this post after that date, click the link anyway and you'll see when/where you can order thereafter.
And while we're talking about pottying newborns....
All you need to know about starting EC at birth-12 weeks old
In addition to my popular, comprehensive, how-to-oriented book, Go Diaper Free, I would highly recommend my one hour video course on starting at birth with newborn Elimination Communication: Baby Meets Potty. It has tons of bonus footage of me pottying my hours-, days-, and weeks-old babies, myself.
And that's it for today, folks!
The most popular newborn EC positions, complete with doll photos and a darn cute baby (if I might say so, myself).
Did I miss your favorite newborn elimination communication potty position? Is one of these your current faves? If so, please post about it in the comments, below. I truly love hearing from you.
Til next time....