This is the Go Diaper Free Podcast with Andrea Olson, session 6 - going diaper-free has never been easier!
Welcome to the Go Diaper Free Podcast, where we're all about teaching you how to stop changing diapers, starting at birth. And now your host...she’s having a girl this time around...Andrea Olson.
Yes I am - I’ve been saying we’re going to call her Athena but we’ve come up with a new name and it’s Isadora, after Isadora Duncan, the modern dancer from the beginning of the last century.
In this episode of the Go Diaper Free Podcast we are going to continue talking about what EC is. We’ve covered, back in episode 2, what EC is in a very small nutshell, and a list of things that EC is not. That got us in the right frame of mind and now we are going to venture forth into a few more details. In this session I’ll cover some basics that will help you orient yourself towards the big picture of what EC is, including the 4 events that lead to potty time, alternatives to diapering and doing diaper-free time, types of EC and what to expect, and what sort of support is helpful when doing EC. In future episodes, we will break this down into bite-size chunks that will help you whether you are just starting or have been doing EC for a while now and would like to fill in some blanks.
The 4 Keys to Elimination Communication
First off, the 4 Keys to Elimination Communication are basically the 4 events that lead to your baby's potty time:
- baby's signals
- baby's natural timing
- common potty timing
- your intuition
Learn how to dip into all 4 and within a month or two EC will become second nature. Focus on only one or two of these and in later months things might backfire.
It is best to familiarize yourself with all four and set a solid foundation!
Alternatives to Diapering and Doing Diaper-free Time
You can do Elimination Communication with or without a diaper as a "back-up." It's up to you! (Most people do use a diaper back-up until about 9-14 months, though...and there's a whole slew of options ranging from commando to tiny underwear to fully-diapered-whilst-still-communicating.)
Point is, if you choose to do EC and do it with proper guidance and support, you will *absolutely* reduce the number of diapers you use, and thus positively impact your baby's well-being and the saving of our sacred environment.
And do I need to mention that this means less poop-scraping for you? Pretty cool.
It's important to note that having a "diaper-free" baby actually means having a baby who is "free from an exclusive dependence upon diapers." It doesn't mean having a naked feral baby peeing all over your floor (although if you really want to do this, who am I to stop you?) :) Anyway, a baby who is potty trained while naked is not a potty trained baby. We wear clothing in the Western world.
Carrying on....naked or modified diaper-free time is, indeed, *essential* during the observation periods at the beginning of your EC practice, and from there on out, diaper-free time can be good for your baby. Many do it 30 minutes a day, before the bath.
But as with everything in EC, you'll want to strike a balance and beware of overdoing naked diaper-free time. Be sure you know what you are teaching/conditioning your child to do. Teaching a babe to pee on the floor is just as bad as teaching her to pee in a diaper, in my opinion. I can help you avoid both of these situations!
We will cover this more in-depth in later episodes, or you can get more info at the Go Diaper Free Community.
Next we’re gonna talk about types of EC and what to expect.
You can do Elimination Communication:
- full time
- part time (whether working outside the home or not!)
No matter how you do it, the key is to be consistent, committed, and have the right attitude. There are ways to do EC with your baby that don't confuse her and that help you maintain your usual family lifestyle. Anyone can do it. And, honestly, most do it part-time.
A Note on Expectations
Although EC is about communication, not completion, you can generally expect a certain level of day/night dryness and potty reliability (ie: done with diapers) by 6-20 months, depending on when you start, how often you practice EC, whether you follow a mentor or program...or get advice piecemeal off the internet, and whether you follow a particular philosophy, such as the one at Go Diaper Free. Winging it usually ends up with a longer time to completion and many more bumps along the way.
Where to Get Support
The world of Elimination Communication is chock-full of supportive community. So much that you could ask a question and get a dozen answers by the end of the day.
The key is to filter those dozen random replies into usable information.
Most suggestions on the email lists, Facebook, parenting forums, and mommie blogs are from firsthand experience. Which is great...but it can also lead you to confusion and overwhelm.
Try implementing a dozen different ideas and I'm not sure that you or your baby will be clear, content, or happy by the end of the day! (Would you?)
That's why I've created the Go Diaper Free Community, which includes our private support forum. It's the only one of its kind in the Infant Potty Training realm...both community- and expert- run. The Forum may help you avoid distraction, overwhelm, and wandering off the path that you're committed to with your baby. It’s a lot safer to give and get advice with a group of people who aren’t open to criticisms of others, or who are all guided by the same basic teachings and principles. That’s what we’re doing over at Go Diaper Free so check us out if this kind of personal, international, private support is something you think might benefit you.
Alright, so that’s about it for what is EC...part 2. In later episodes we will get into details. But for now, I hope you’ve gotten a more clear picture of what EC is and can look like. It truly is (and should be) customizable to your lifestyle, and it’s been proven time and again that with a good starting point between you and your child, things can be very enjoyable and smooth.
To get the show notes for this episode and a transcript, please visit godiaperfree.com/06. If there’s something you’d like to hear on this podcast, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next week tune in for an episode on EC vocabulary - no, this is no normal set of verbs and nouns. We’ve got a special surprise in there from some of our community that I think you’ll get a kick out of! Anyway, having a way to talk about what we’re doing is essential, so hope you’ll join us for the next session.
Thanks so much for tuning in and happy pottying!
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