When I was pregnant, a girlfriend used to tell me about her “hippie” friends in Mexico who had their babies out of nappies and potty trained before they were a year old. This was my introduction to “Elimination Communication”, it sounded a bit far-fetched to me at first but now it seems exactly the opposite.
Elimination Communication (EC) is basically recognizing the signs of when your baby is going to the toilet and then immediately putting them on the potty before they go in their nappy.
When Miles was around 7 months of age, I noticed that every morning around 10AM he started to pull a face that indicated he was doing poo-poo. I revisited the thoughts of my girlfriend and her stories and thought I would try it out. The experience was AMAZING. I ordered a potty online at Diapers.Com and the next day at 10AM when I saw my Son do his poo-poo face I ripped off his nappy and put him on the potty. And just like that he went. After that experience he did that every day for months and months on end. It was a great party trick, people were amazed at his skills. We even had a potty in the back of car so we could pull over if we saw him start to pull his tell-tale face.
But, somewhere around the 1 year mark (when he started walking) he stopped with Elimination Communication. As he was older he was not pulling the same faces or going at the same time so it was harder to work out. And, as he could stand by himself, as soon as we put him on the potty he just cried and tried to get off. Honeymoon Over.
I have heard that over half of babies in the world (mainly in Asia in Africa) never wear nappies, and of that number half of them are potty trained by the time they are 1 year of age! So why does our society depend on nappies so much, what has changed since the Stone Age when nappies did not exist? Are we lazy, or we just do not care, or is it just too easy the way it is these days. I am not sure, but I do know with this knowledge I feel really guilty that I am contributing to such waste when many parents in other parts of the world, prove day in and day out, that there is no need.
I have decided, as he is 19 months of age now, that I am really going to try with the EC again. I really want him out of nappies. Yes, it is time for me to start the dreaded potty training!
If anybody has any suggestions as to make the process smoother I am all ears!