A Day In The Life Doing Part Time Elimination Communication With a Three Month Old

***This is a guest post written by Miriam Berlow-Jackson of Diary of an Unconscious Mother. ***

This is a diary of Millie’s Elimination Communication Journey on the 1st July.  She is 3months old.

Awake at 7am, remove night time nappy (which is wet) and take her to the toilet and put her in EC position. She does lots of baby poop. (thick and yellow for a change). Breastfed baby poop smells lovely IMO!!!

The EC position is her knees bent, her back to my tummy. This can be done over toilet, sink, bowl, bucket, potty, towel, prefold, bush, drain, pavement, grass… anything that’s nearby and works!! Then squeeze your tummy muscles as though you are going to toilet and make a pss pss sound. Make sure to use tummy muscles and not your anal ones!! The squeezing on their back with your tummy helps them squeeze to poop. Some people make a pushing grunting type sound for poo. The pss pss sound eventually becomes associated with peeing. This is incredibly useful for night time sleep peeing when older and sitting on toilet.

Back to bed with nappy on. I want more sleep so don’t respond to her pee needs at this time.

Wakes 9.30am screaming. Take off very wet nappy for more poop. Calms down.

Lying on bed with no nappy. She lies on a sheepskin rug and a prefold. The prefold gets almost all of her pee if I miss and the sheepskin rug is waterproof and dries very quickly (think of sheep). Breastfed Baby pee does not smell and is sterile.

10.15am Millie starts to get upset. Give her a peeop but she’s just had enough of being down and wants to be held.

A peeop means a pee opportunity at obvious peeing times. This is basically putting in EC position and making the pss pss sound. Since I EC part time I tend to give a lot more peeops than strictly necessary mainly because I am not totally in tune and slightly worried of misses. Also I am usually busy with my other two children and easily miss cues so I like to give her a chance to just try. I also don’t like being peed on! Hubby doesn’t mind hence why it happens more often to him!!

10.30am Peeop before going downstairs. Nothing.

10.40am Peeop before milk. Nothing.

Whilst nappy free we sit her on a prefold in case of misses. If she is sitting on the sofa, we use a towel or prefold.

10.50am Comes off boob upset. Looks at me a certain way with fists in mouth. Take her to the toilet for a poop and pee. Falls asleep on boob.

Sometimes babies will give a cue to show they need the toilet. It can be overt such as the hand banging mouth or imperceptible such as stopping moving for a few seconds and looking far away as if thinking ‘Oh!! I feel something.’ Over time that feeling becomes familiar to them and they are more able to recognise it. I call it the “If you feel a Little Tickle that means you need to pee” feeling. The cue will be different for every baby. Sometimes though there are no cues or in the case of my first, I just didn’t see them.

Once you start ECing, your baby will know their elimination needs are being met and they will start to hold on for longer to give you a chance to get to the toilet or bowl or whatever. Generally morning ECing generates the most pees in a concentrated amount of time. I am usually doing school runs and dog walking so I only go nappy free when I am feeling up to it. At home it’s much easier.

12pm Millie wakes up so take her for a wakeup pee. Just like most people, babies need to pee when they wake up. The ‘wake up pee’ is the easiest one to catch.

12.15pm Millie is with daddy as I have a shower. I hear a cry out from the other room. Another pee!! Luckily daddy had a feeling and had Ellie bring him a prefold so he didn’t get wet!!

Intuition plays a big part with EC. If you get a feeling you should act upon it. Sometimes their cues are so imperceptible that they only lightly touch your consciousness. I had an amazing EC connection with Maia (no2) whom I EC’d from birth. I always KNEW when she needed a pee. She was taking herself to the potty by one.

A funny thing about intuition is that sometimes your own need to pee can be mistaken for your baby’s need!! For some reason this amuses me no end!! It’s a good one to remember.

12.43pm Peeop with daddy before nappy, nice big pee looking at smiley baby in the mirror.

12.45pm Millie in nappy whilst we are at a workshop.

Elimination Communication is all about the communication and should not be confused with training or become something that you MUST succeed in. I made this mistake with my first and became totally obsessed with doing it properly and getting it done, that I completely lost sight of her needs and abilities. It caused quite a lot of consternation for both of us. This is why part time EC helps me, as it takes the pressure off both of us.

3.35pm Millie asking for milk but upset on boob, really time to take nappy off. Bum slightly manky, meaning she held it in for as long as possible. She hates the feeling of poo on her bum (who doesn’t!!) so holds her poo for ages. Did more poop.

3.50pm Peeop nothing.

4.15pm Milk and small poop.

4.30pm Peeop before going in car. It’s a peefusal so she ends up peeing on prefold in car seat on the way home.

Peefusals, as I call them, are times when she basically refuses to go when she clearly needs to, for instance when she hasn’t peed for a while. I am not sure why they peefusal but it’s possible it comes from too many peeops. Or they are asserting their independence.

5.10pm Peeop at home nothing as done in car!

5.20pm Poo and pee after milk. Falls asleep.

6.25pm Wakes from sleep very upset. Pees. Relaxes.

6.50pm Hubby has Millie whilst I make dinner and she’s got lots of little squits going on and is unhappy. He decides it’s nappy time because he’s had enough really and she is ready for a big sleep.

9pm Millie stirs in her sleep. I know she needs to pee because she has her bum stuck in the air! Another reliable sign. As I am right beside her, I gently take her nappy off and give her a feedpee. She does a massive pee and goes right back to sleep.

A feedpee is when I give Millie a peeop at the same time as giving her milk. It sounds contorty but it’s actually really simple once they have sorted out their latch. The action of sucking helps her relax enough to pee.

10.30pm Millie starts to stir again so I take her for a pee but she wants milk first. She is semi asleep and I know she needs to pee but I am so distracted by keeping Ellie’s organ recital to a low volume, that she pees onto the prefold. It’s fine! I’m dry! She’s comfortable again and settles back to sleep.

12.30am She must have stirred, peed and gone back to sleep but because I was downstairs with unsleeping girls, I missed it.

ec7Babies do not pee in their sleep. Often, babies who wake after only being asleep for a short time are waking themselves with the need to pee. They start off squirmy and get uncomfortable as they try to hold it in. They then usually wake up more, become upset, are given a boob which helps them release the pee and settle back to sleep. Sometimes though the need to pee is enough to wake them too much and it is harder to get them back to sleep.

If they have never been given the opportunity to eliminate anywhere except their nappy, they will eventually lose the ability to hold it for any length of time and just eliminate, but they will still be woken by the need to pee for a while until they end up learning to sleep through their elimination needs.

Even though she will wake for milk, I nighttime nappy Millie till the morning because I am prioritising sleep.

Miriam Berlow-Jackson blogs at Diary of an Unconscious Mother and says of herself: I want to be that mother who can stand up and say I am a strong confident mother and I know what is best for my children. We breastfeed and co sleep, We listen, We include, We eat chocolate and snot smoothies, we trampoline and grow frogs, we sling, we carry and we try and understand and work with our children without resorting to punishments, threats or coercion. I am not so young any more, but get a few ciders in me, pop me on a dance floor and watch me go…! Find her on facebook.

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