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Wed, Jan. 23rd, 2013, 05:14 pm
rmc28: Possible elimination communication/easy-access cloth nappies

Cross-posted at DW

So, I've read about elimination communication and didn't think it was something we'd do. But I seem to have a baby who is trying to communicate with me, so I'm reconsidering a bit. Two questions:
  • has anyone here done EC, full- or part-time? do you have any advice?
  • can anyone recommend some cloth nappies that are really quick to take off?

More behind cut:

So, Nico is 6 months old. Unlike his older brother (Charles, 6 years old), Nico has been prone to "surprise wee!" events during nappy changes, pretty much since birth. In fact, it's not really "surprise" - it's about 1 time in 2, and especially when the nappy being changed is very wet. He seems to dislike making it wetter. Half-jokingly, I put the potty next to the change table and started sitting him on it at nappy change time, and after a few goes, he did his change-time wee in it rather than all over the mat as usual.

Then I remembered how much I hate emptying potties, so I found the seat for the loo and tried sitting him on that too. A couple of successes, a couple of times with no wee, followed by wee all over the change mat when I gave up and moved him. Then today, after a feed he was wriggling and looking grumpy and I tried stripping off the (dry) nappy and sitting him back on the loo: wee happened. And again an hour or so later.

It's too soon to tell if this is just good luck or an actual pattern of communication, but one thing I can tell already is that I want it to be easier to take the nappies off to sit him on the loo. At the moment I'm getting down on the floor, lying him on a mat and taking it off, and then lifting him to the loo, and then everything in reverse to get him dressed again. We have a changing table, which I specifically got this time around to spare my knees and back all this kind of getting-down-and-up-again.

I don't think there's room to put the changing table next to the toilet, so either I have something that's easy to take off while holding him or I risk a naked carry from changing table to toilet. And the whole reason I didn't even think of trying EC earlier is that my tolerance for being weed on is very low. We use cloth nappies about 80% of the time: Tots Bots Fluffles with Motherease AirFlow wraps. He goes to nursery one day a week and we put him in disposables then, and whenever we've been a bit slack with the nappy laundry.

I'm reassured by this FAQ on elimination communication that it's ok to try this part-time. Even if it's just when I'm primary carer (3-4 days a week) I think it'd make him and me happier, and if his dad and/or nursery want to join in too that's great but not necessary.

So, any recommendations for easy-off nappies? The current lot have two lots of poppers to undo, and both wrap and nappy to unwrap.

Or for something I could use as a minimalist small changing table in the bathroom? (just has to be a flat surface on which to unwrap the baby, while still standing).

Or reassurance that if I just suck it up and take the nappy off as usual at the change table, he'll learn fast enough to hang on for the loo?

Thanks all.

Wed, Jan. 23rd, 2013 05:27 pm (UTC)

Minimalist small changing table in the bathroom: large tray or pastry board type item laid across the top of the basin?

Velcro is probably quicker than poppers - we use Popolini Popowraps and Ultrafit nappies, but that's still two lots of velcro (although it was quick enough when M was potty training at 18 months and would start making "poo faces"). All-in-ones with velcro would presumably be quickest, although I never had much luck with them, finding it impossible to get all the fabric inside the outer at all times (so ending up with damp patches on clothing).

Thu, Jan. 24th, 2013 10:47 am (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestions.

Wed, Jan. 23rd, 2013 05:56 pm (UTC)

We had a cot-top changer, the cheapest Mothercare did, over the top of the bath.

Thu, Jan. 24th, 2013 10:49 am (UTC)

That might well work; I'm going to follow julietk's reassurance below and see if I can cope with the existing distance. So far it's working - and I'm finding it amazing. "Look! The baby tried to tell me something! I understood it! Look!"

But I've identified a good cot-top mattress to get if I think we need to.

Wed, Jan. 23rd, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)

Not sure if you have time or wall space, but some sort of table you could attach the wall might work. IKEA has a lot of those sorts of things, though they aren't specifically changing tables.

Thu, Jan. 24th, 2013 10:52 am (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestion. I think time/DIY skill is the lack but I'll definitely bear it in mind.

Wed, Jan. 23rd, 2013 07:48 pm (UTC)

He'll probably (based on my experience with L) learn to hang on for the loo & in particular the position/cue noise. We've had plenty of instances of coming in from a walk with L making uncomfortable noises, & him hanging on for being taken out of the sling, out of snowsuit & trousers, out of nappy, & onto potty then INSTANT pee, suggesting he was busting for it but held on for the potty.

Nappies - we use Baba & Boo which are AIO/pocket with poppers & come in awesome patterns which makes me happy :) EC was the main reason we didn't go for 2-part nappies (we've been doing it since about 6 wks & it became clear that the 2-part nappies in our very random collection were a huge PITA). I can take them off while holding him in the air & put them back on on my knee (while sat on loo seat, often). Having said that, I can't guarantee how good they are at poo-containment as L has only ever been through a couple of brief stints of pooing in nappy rather than insisting on the potty. Probably OK? I remember one escape incident but several that were fine, & I gather that poosplosion is a thing whatever nappy variety you use.

I can thoroughly recommend EC :thumbsup: until recently we were using nappy backup & I v rarely got peed on. Currently we have gone nappy-free in the house & while a fair amount is fetching up on the floor, he still v rarely pees on me - to the point that he will refuse the potty (we think he's destruction testing his bladder capacity....) then climb off my knee to pee on the floor. I don't think he's ever peed whilst in a sling.

A note: it's not uncommon to go through a "potty pause" around 10 months where they suddenly discover that this is a thing they can control, but then need to discover by experiment how long is too long to hang on for. It's worth keeping at it; and if you're using nappy backup anyway then it just means more wet nappies. A couple of months ago L was having "dry" days, but that's backed off. We had a week or so of lots of misses, but now he is starting to let us know in advance again, & certainly lets us know immediately he has peed. (We have hard floors, so it's not that big of a deal.) which is progress in the whole awareness thing, & not bad for nearly 11 months!

Thu, Jan. 24th, 2013 11:43 am (UTC)

Thank you! It's incredibly reassuring to hear of successful EC from a friend-of-friends rather than A Random Person On The Internet. I have decided to try trusting him to hang on and it's gone ok so far.

I'm interested that L doesn't poo in the nappy but prefers the loo/potty. We had exactly the reverse issue when Charles toilet-trained the more traditional way - he was dry at night first, then fairly reliable during the day, but he would ask for a nappy to poo into right up until he went to nursery. I have to say I would love it if Nico is more like your L.

Sadly we do not have hard floors; I wanted to sort it out so we did before I had to potty-train again, but I haven't made the time to get a whole bunch of things done to the house yet, and that's just one of them. My patience for scrubbing wee out of carpets was very low, and I am not looking forward to doing that again.

Thu, Jan. 24th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)

My current working theory (ie unsubstantiated speculation ;) ) about poo is that there's a "whatever you're used to" thing going on. Pooing into a big empty hole when you're used to it being contained is scary and weird (& not uncomfortable as you've been doing it for years at the normal potty training stage); pooing into your own clothes when you're used to it going neatly away from you is uncomfortable & weird. Moving from one modality to the other is a difficult transition. (Don't get me wrong, Leon *will* still go in his nappy in extremis, but he'd really rather not.) Pee is less weird/difficult/uncomfy so less of a big deal, mostly.

Anyway, only very rarely having to deal with dirty nappies (it's been a couple of months maybe since the last one?) is for me one of the big advantages of EC! TBH although I knew about it from before Leon was born I doubt we'd have bothered were it not for the fact that he was VERY obvious with pooing from a couple of weeks old, and often needed his tummy rubbed or whatever to assist; and I began to wonder why I was doing this with him wearing a nappy that I would take straight off him afterwards...

It's really rewarding when it works! "My baby is telling me a thing! And I am helping them with it!" I do find it a bit frustrating when I miss signals (or when I *see* the signals & Leon refuses the potty because NO NO BUSY NO then pees on the floor...) but that's about me not about him iyswim! If you can do a bit of nappy free time (how mobile is he? could you put him on a waterproof mat for a couple of hours?) then it helps to learn his signals but it sounds like you're doing pretty well on that already. If you use a sling or carrier at all, another good time to try is when taking him out of that. If you're breastfeeding, some babies like to have a chance to pee before a feed (Leon used to), or will get all squiggly while feeding & need to go then. (Not sure how this applies to bottle feeding; it might well be a sucking thing so work then too.)

Oh, also, BabyLegs or other legwarmers are good instead of trousers to make for less hassle when taking nappies off/on more often. And the Diaper Free Baby book is good on the various stages & how things may change a bit with age.

I really do like the communicating bit of EC (as well as the fewer dirty nappies ;) ).

Wed, Feb. 13th, 2013 06:08 pm (UTC)

Wondering how you're getting on! I am feeling deeply enamoured of EC today after L had an upset stomach overnight but told me both times and I got him on the potty! Then again when properly awake (By "told" at night I mean grumbled & cried & wriggled & did not want milk so I tried potty; he was a bit clearer when awake but is not speaking yet so it's still about signals right now.) so that's two probable-bedding-changes we've been saved; score!

Wed, Jan. 23rd, 2013 11:26 pm (UTC)

No experience of potty training at that age, but I found stuffable nappies (we used Fuzzi Bunz) much easier to take on and off on the move.

Thu, Jan. 24th, 2013 11:01 am (UTC)

Thanks! I'll have a look at Fuzzi Bunz.

I'm thinking of this exercise as more rmc28-training than potty training anyway: Nico has a much more obvious dislike of wet nappies than his brother and I'm finally catching on to ways to help him.