Many people say “I can’t start EC because I am too busy. This baby pottying business is NOT for busy moms.”
But I say, “Baloney!”
I have 5 kids spanning 8 years and run two businesses...busy is my middle name, and I’ve pottied all 5 of my babies from birth. Not to brag, but I’m definitely fully qualified to share some tips about how to start EC when you’re super-duper busy in today’s show.
I received this specific question from one of our community members:
Q: We’re in the starting phase of EC and I’ve just begun observing and letting my baby be without a diaper for some time during the day. How do you EC in the beginning when you’re going on a trip, or just have things to do one day that fills the whole day? ~Linda N., Karlstad, Sweden
A: Greetings, Linda! Thanks for writing in your question about scheduling in the beginning steps of Elimination Communication.
I think it’s important to point out how vital the beginning phase of EC is…and exactly how to do it so it doesn’t take over your life (or so it will fit into an already-busy schedule).
How to start EC if you don’t have much time
The very first thing I’d do is start with ONE of the 4 Easy Catches.
If you are able to commit to any one of these catches, make it a habit! Just offer without expecting a catch, consistently, every day. This will do wonders for your budding EC practice, and might make observation time either (a) unnecessary or (b) much more doable.
You can learn about the 4 easy catches on my free Easy Start Guide. Get one here:
EC is an “exposure” technique, so any single pottytunity done with regularity and a calm attitude WILL make a difference over time!
After dabbling with the 4 easy catches, time to do some easy observation
First, you’ll want to schedule in some naked observation time.
ONLY do this naked time for as long as it takes to gather the necessary information.
Any longer than that, and you’re going to teach your baby to pee on the floor/bed/wherever.
You can, however, continue diaper-free time without it being naked. (Definitely check out my book for more details on this very important topic.)
Okay, back to starting…
So, yes, schedule your naked time.
Find a 2-3 hour block of time that includes at least one feeding and one wake-up.
Turn off your phone, your computer, and Facebook.
Do not invite friends over. Do not do the dishes. Do not multitask.
During this time, make note of your baby’s natural timing and rhythms by recording the intervals between pees and poos as compared to waking, and also as compared to feeding.
Using feeding and waking as starting points will help you make sense of what you’re recording!
Also, make note of any signals your baby makes right before or during the pee or the poo.
There may not be any because the baby is naked. But see for yourself!
Lastly, make note of any feelings or thoughts YOU have right before or during the pee or poo. Is your intuition actively telling you something? This could be used as a resource later.
Then get on with your busy day!
Keep scheduling and doing this 2-3 hour block any time you need to gather more information. IF that need arises.
Don’t just do naked time whenever and think you’re doing EC…
Though I don’t think you were asking about this, here’s something I have to say to everyone out there:
Just doing naked “observation” time whenever and simultaneously perusing the internet or calling your mother isn’t the same as focused observation time.
This is not EC. Being “diaper-free” does not mean “let him be naked, peeing wherever all the time, and maybe try to potty him here and there when I’m not distracted.”
If you’re going to do EC with your baby, you’d be best served by scheduling a time, actually paying attention, and thus reducing your overall upfront time commitment to the practice.
That said, don’t just throw it around like a new toy. Actually do it! Clear your schedule, 2-3 hours at a time, and learn how to begin.
If you’re at a loss for exactly how to start, my book will walk you thru step by step. As will I on my Forum.
Starting EC during travel, moving, or other flux
I’d advise any parent to pick a time to start EC when the least “life changes” are occuring.
Having a new baby is not without its ebb and flow. There is always something new happening.
Consider starting EC as the same thing as starting to know your baby’s signs for hunger or sleep or needing warmth or holding. Integrate into the whole beginning if you can.
Get some guidance to help you know exactly how to start in the most streamlined, stress-free way (yes, another shameless plug for my own book).
Starting EC in the middle of world travel might be difficult.
Starting over Thanksgiving at Grandma’s? Not really the best idea.
Scheduling 2-3 hours of observation time before or after Thanksgiving weekend (but not putting it off til Spring)? Great idea!
You don’t have to commit a full 7 days of non-activity to start EC.
You just need to know exactly how to do it AND schedule small increments of time to get you started.
(And remember the 4 easy catches...so easy!)
After starting with easy catches OR with observation…
You’ll want to decide how much or how little of EC to do EVERY day…and then do it EVERY DAY. Commit to it and start as you mean to go on.
You can use the tools you gathered during naked time and during the times you’ve committed to ECing every day.
Like I said in the beginning, start with the easy catches, such as upon waking, before or after putting in the carseat, upon diaper changes, just the poops.
You’ll also be using the diaper as a tool, or back-up, and to reduce the stress on *you* so that EC runs more smoothly.
The main points
Okay, so all of this is a gross over-simplification of what you may need more guidance to truly wrap your head around.
The main point is, if your life is too busy to adequately feed or rest your baby, then maybe you are too busy to start EC.
Because I’m CERTAIN you’re feeding and resting your baby, I’m CERTAIN you can start EC!
Reframe the diaper as a backup, not a toilet, and simply start with ONE of the easy catches.
If this super-easy way to start doesn’t work for you, do some observation and see what you can see.
Again, if you are feeding and resting your baby fine, even amidst travel, and you have the ability to learn EC AND do the easy catches. If you get that under your belt, you can definitely carve out some time to observe and implement a more substantial start to the practice.
If you can feed and nap your baby, you are not too busy to start EC and should begin right away. (Obvi you just didn’t know how - but now you do! Yay!)
Thanks so much for your question, Linda!
Hope it helped clear up some things for you about starting Elimination Communication with your baby.
Any comments about beginning, or further questions, or stories? Please leave them in the comments, below.
Thanks so much…xx Andrea
PS - here’s the video version of this episode in case you prefer to YouTube it. ;)