For decades there has been a great divide among parents regarding the diapering needs of their babies. Some prefer being more environmentally conscious by using cloth diapers. Some parents enjoy the convenience of using disposable diapers. Then there is a third segment that keeps their babies clean and dry without using diapers at all! These parents are able to tune into their babies’ elimination cues and hold them over a proper receptacle. The idea of infants using toilets may seem new and unusual to North American and European parents but this practice is common in Asia, Africa and in parts of South America.
How Does Elimination Communication Work? The same way parents know when their babies are hungry, sleepy, or scared, parents can learn when their babies are signaling their need to eliminate. Infants will stop nursing and become still or get fussy for no apparent reason or squirm.
Parents can also pick up on common timing patterns. For example, babies often eliminate upon waking from a nap and about 20 minutes after nursing.
With practice, parents develop an intuition or a feeling that their babies need to eliminate. Sometimes parents will sense what is called a “phantom pee” right before the baby actually urinates. Parents feel as if the baby has urinated on their arm or lap before it actually happens. Parents can learn to hold their infant over a toilet or sink in time to make the catch.
Elimination Communication certainly requires patience, commitment and effort the same way unmedicated childbirth, extended breastfeeding, and breastfeeding on demand require extra effort. It is a parenting choice that opens another avenue for parents to tune in and focus on their relationship, responding to their babies needs through enhanced communication.
If you are interested in learning more about elimination communication (EC), contact me for private, in-home instruction.
There is no hurry to start your baby on solid foods. When your baby is around six or seven months old, he/she will likely start showing interest in solids. You will know your baby is interested because he/she will likely grab at food on your plate or try to snatch food from your hands. If your baby is able to sit up on his/her own and is showing signs of readiness, then you may decide to introduce solid foods.The purpose of starting solid foods at this age is to introduce your baby to different food textures. Your baby is already familiar with the tastes if you have been breastfeeding. Solid foods will not be a primary food source at this age. Your baby will still need to get all of his primary nutrition through breastmilk or formula. Babies only eat 1-2T in a full day. You should breast or bottle feed the baby first and then offer small amounts of food. Solid food experimentation should not replace nursing/bottle feeding. It's something that should be offered in addition to their primary diet of breastmilk or formula. Here is a general guideline for good first foods for your baby.
These foods are hypoallergenic and high in iron. Puree or mash food. Some foods will have to be steamed to soften. You can mix in a little breastmilk or formula to thin it.)
These foods are high in zinc and supportive of a developing immune system
black strap molasses
split pea soup
High in bulk and zinc
High in B Vitamins and Calcium
Twenty One Months
High in Protein
The director of my children's former school (who has no children) used to lecture parents about creating a peaceful routine to help mornings go smoothly. She said children should independently get themselves up in the morning, dress themselves, pack their own lunches, and sit down to a hot, filling breakfast. According to her, with proper planning, there is no reason to ever be late to school. Late arrivals disrupt learning.
In order to encourage families to arrive on time, my children's school has implemented a new set of rules. If you arrive late, parents must park their vehicles, escort their children into the school, and sign them in. I call this the walk of shame. Parents try their very best to arrive on time. Personally, I have run out the door without shoes, without brushing my teeth, and even without my coffee. Gasp! There is no mercy. You arrive late, you walk. I try to be on time every day, but there are times when an infant needs to breastfeed before getting into the car or someone can't find a shoe or traffic comes to a standstill. It happens.
I've been running my children to school for eight years. Our morning routine is pretty good now, but there are still times when things happen and when they do... it's bad. For instance, today the toddler refused to put clothes on. Having experience under my belt, I knew not to fight that battle this morning. I quickly packed a bag with his things and kept moving. Traffic was heavier than usual and actually stopped completely for a short time. We arrived at the school on time but did not arrive at the front of the car line in time. I had to make the walk of shame. One problem, my toddler was in his underwear and I accidentally left his backpack at home.
Yes, I took my toddler into the school with him wearing nothing but a pajama top and boxer briefs. I stood in the line with the rest of the late parents and smiled when I looked down and saw the dad in front of me wearing his bedroom slippers. No shame in our game today.
Living the JACK'd Life
I am a certified birth doula (BAI) in Charlotte, NC . I provide information and support to pregnant individuals and couples so they can have satisfying and empowering births. I am a married mother of 4 trying to navigate life, unafraid of sharing my truly JACK'd up missteps.