So today I'm going to discuss something, a bit of a question from one of our community members. They have the Book and the Top Hat Potty, and they want to start with their baby, but feel overwhelmed. The baby's eight weeks old. And she asks, "Should I even try? My baby goes during sleep and feeding. I am completely a new mom overwhelmed."
So today we're going to talk about, should we even try with a newborn who seems a little bit difficult to EC? All the show notes, including the full written transcript and links to anything I mention in today's show can be found over at godiaperfree.com/178. Please visit us over there during or after the show to comment and ask questions, interact with the other moms and dads in our community. All right, here goes today's show.
Hey there. Welcome to the Go Diaper Free podcast. I'm Andrea Olson, your host, author, and mom of five babies, all EC from birth, all out of diapers by walking.
Okay, so I had somebody tell me that they have an 8 weeks old and they wanted to know if they should even try to potty either 8 weeks old. She seemed like if I could just nail it in one sentence, she's a new mom, an overwhelmed victim. She's totally in that space of like, "I'm a first-time mom. I don't even know what I'm doing," and then trying to potty this 8 weeks old. Ugh. So she has my Go Diaper Free Book. She has my Top Hat Potty and she wants to start, but feels overwhelmed. And her baby goes to the bathroom during sleep and during feeding. So she's like, "She doesn't go when she's awake and not doing something, so what do I even do? Should I even try?"
So what I want to say first of all is, the way that I teach EC is I don't want any of you to do something that makes you feel like a worse mom or a worse dad. I want you to do things that make you feel confident and encouraged. So in that case, with this new mom specifically, I would encourage her to just take the pressure off. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. When I choose to hit go on EC, it doesn't have to be, "Full force everything and I better darn well be good at this or I suck as a mom." That is not the way I teach. And I definitely know some potty training people, some of the less popular potty training people, especially the most popular one, she's great. I love her. But I think there's a lot of pressure out there like, you have to do this right. There's only one way to do it, and that's it. Not true.
With EC, it's an exposure technique. So you're exposing your baby to the potty. You're also getting into a new habit as a parent like, "I'm going to start doing this for my child because it's the right thing to do for them," but you're going to ease into it. It's going to be gradual because you don't know what you're doing, right? Okay. "So should I even try?" My answer to her is yes. I would pick one of the Four Easy Catches and only do that. So since the baby is going potty during sleep and during feeding, I would offer during diaper changes. How many of you have ever changed a baby's diaper, boy or girl, and have them pee right when you take the diaper off or take the diaper off and it's dry and then you put a new one on and they pee immediately in the new one? It is mind-numbingly crazy, right? So if you do it at the easy catch, that is a diaper change with a young baby, especially an 8 weeks old, they're going to want to go.
And it's not the cold air. That is such a stupid rumor. Cold air does not make a baby pee when you take off the diaper. Baby pees when you take off the diaper because they're like, "Finally this adult has figured out that I need to go to the bathroom and I've been holding it until they take the stupid thing off," and then they pee all over you or themselves. And that's because of this really strong instinct for cleanliness and dryness that we're all born with. Cool? Got it? All right.
So the other thing with this one is she says that her baby goes during sleep. Babies do not pee during sleep. Babies sleep in about 45 minutes sleep cycles and eventually learn to connect those together. It's the circadian rhythm. So you've got this amount of sleep that's really deep, and then there's this lightning like, "Oh, I'm kind of waking up." That's when the antidiuretic hormone, ADH, wears off. This is something that I discovered myself in a doula class, because pregnant women need to pee all the time and it's not because of the pressure of the baby, it's because this hormone is wreaking havoc.
So you've got this hormone that wears off in between these sleep cycles. That's when the baby is actually peeing. So as the baby starts to wake up from a nap and maybe they've connected two sleep cycles or you know a newborn is going to sleep for like 45 minutes. Okay, so she sleeps 45 minutes, wakes up. As she starts to wake up, that hormone wears off, bladder fills, she pees. So some moms are like, "I don't know if she's really waking up yet or not. I have no idea," so they let the baby wriggle and maybe they're trying to finish brushing their teeth or taking a shower, whatever you're trying to cram into nap time or just sitting there vegging out, looking at the ceiling. You're like, "I don't want to get up right now," so you let your baby shift around a little bit. While your baby is shifting around a little bit, guess what? They're peeing and you're missing it.
So for this new mom, how about when your baby first shifts and you know it's been long enough and they've had enough sleep and this is usually when they wake up, take them and offer the potty at that wake up before they shift too much. And let's address feeding. I literally just talked about this, how to do this if you're baby goes while feeding. If your baby goes while feeding, you're going to want to use a Waterproof Pad in your lap and nurse the baby naked, have them go on it. When they go, they pee, you go psss, when they poop, you go mm-hmm. And you kind of can do observation and nursing at the same time. You can have a Top Hat Potty between your legs while you're nursing, I would say without the pad there. And when they start to go, you've got that Top Hat right underneath their butt. I prefer doing it with a Waterproof Pad, because it's just a little easier. But if you've got a pooper, a nursing pooper, which we just talked about, you will want to have a Top Hat Potty nearby usually.
Okay, so if they're going during sleep, going during feeding, we just need a little troubleshooting and a little bit of encouragement for this mama. But also, the other easy catch of just doing a diaper change is to get you used to offering. And she's very scared because, well, part of it is her baby's super small and babies seem so fragile, so you want to get used to holding them in that position. Whether it produces a pee or not, I don't care. Got it?
All right, so what else? Oh, the other thing I just want to tell all of you who are feeling overwhelmed at starting, I don't know if that's you or not, but I definitely felt it with my first. I just observed for two weeks in the beginning, and I caught the meconium and I caught some poops, but I didn't really try. It's not all or nothing. I wanted to ease into it, and I did. Somebody told me once a little while ago, "Take the diaper off, and there you've started." That is literally how to start EC. You're so scared of taking the diaper off, what amazing disaster might happen that you don't start, and that's going to get in your way. You can also do observation time, like I just mentioned, with no expectations of anything, no signals, no peeing, no pooping, nothing, and just be with your baby and let them be in their natural state of nakedness and see what happens. And you'll learn something every time.
Then what was I going to say? Oh man, this woman needs just to get some help. And with my Book, which she has, there is an online, off-Facebook support forum. And it's included at this moment of the time of this recording, it's included for free. Usually it's a monthly subscription, but right now I've got it packaged for free lifetime support from the coaches that I've trained. So when something like this happens and you've got all the tools and you've got all the mindset, it's like, my mom's probably watching right now or listening right now but I'll poke a little fun, she's like, "I've got the awesome yoga mat, I've got the awesome yoga socks with the open toes and I've got this and that," and then the yoga classes never are attended. So you've got all the tools and there's something blocking you from stopping? My advice is take the diaper off and there you've started, okay?
All right, I hope that this has helped. For any of you who want to start, but feel overwhelmed and should you even try? Yes. And the ways that you can try do not necessarily mean you have to catch a pee today. All it really means is take the diaper off, see what's going on and learn sometimes, that will usually give you some success, which is the Four Easy Catches, cool?
All right. And that's it. Now I want you to hop on over to godiaperfree.com/178 and make a comment there, ask a question. And I want you to answer this question as well, have you ever felt overwhelmed, and what got you to start EC in the midst of that overwhelm? Look forward to seeing your comments and interacting with you over there. Until next time, thanks so much for listening.
Thanks so much for listening. This is the Go Diaper Free podcast at godiaperfree.com. We'll see you next time.
I’ve been doin EC part time since about two weeks, baby is now 3 months. It’s addictive. Realizing I’m not going for perfection, just creating good routines for the future with a goal of less diapers and out of diapers earlier allows me to relax and have fun with it. Starting with the easy catches helps to boost confidence. My little one expects a pottytunity at diaper changes now.
You wrote my best advice to anyone just starting out! ❤️
We love the tips from Andrea! Her book is full of useful and encouraging tips. At whatever age you are starting it is sooo worth it. You will love the connection with your baby and realizing how intelligent and smart they are from the very beginning. My baby (9 weeks) loves sitting on the potty and talking to me. If you are overwhelmed just pick one or two consistent times a day to do EC and you will be amazed!
Thanks! You are amazing, and I love your advice at the end. Such a great piece of EC wisdom!
I was so overwhelmed before about 3 months that I didn’t try EC until 3.5 months. The good thing is, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing! We started “trying out” EC but after that first poop catch, we were hooked! Sometimes we do full time, others it’s part time at best. I always catch the poops but even that is totally worth it!
Yes! Even if all you get is the poops, I agree it is so worth it!
I knew that I didn’t want to use disposable diapers all of my baby’s life, but didn’t know where to begin. Cloth had so many options, and the wool covers need so much care, I started EC at 5 weeks, and it majorly reduced the amount of diaper work – changing, washing and waterproofing.. I didn’t know about the connection building that comes with it., but I feel a stronger bond with my baby than I thought possible. My tip: just start in the morning after wake-up. It’s an easy, satisfying catch, and still works one year later.
Yes, yes, yes, and I completely agree about that bond. Hard to explain that the bond, but it really comes when practicing EC.