Friday, July 18, 2008

Experiences with elimination communication - updated

The title was as far as I got so many days ago. Thanks for pointing it out Michell!

In a nutshell - I am not having as much luck as I thought I would. For one, I didn't realized baby poop stained so badly or that she would poop just a little bit very often. Like when she starts to nurse or while she's nursing or when she sneezes. As for it being runny - well, it is more like water with a few flavor crystals. People who use diapers probably think the baby peed a couple of times and pooped - but that can all be one poop. Catch it in a bowl and you will be convinced.

I am frustrated enough to join my first ever online group that has nothing to do with infertility. I will post my introduction after I write this if LB gives me the time. I am a little bit worried about my first foray into the world of typical moms. Wish me luck.

So far this is how it is going:

I catch somewhere between 2-6 eliminations a day. This is out of dozens. I think I am getting pretty good at predicting when she will go, but sometimes I am just too tired to sit up, get her in position (either squatting over a potty or me cradling her with her legs pulled up and back) and wait for her to go. At these times I try to at least make a "sssssssss" sound that I have been using. Except I don't know if a four week old can even hear that sound.

Then there are the times when I swear she has to go - she tends to get fussy when she is not hungry - so I put her into position and she: 1) burps, 2) she gets more upset so I hold her close then she goes, 3) farts (poops a tiny bit too) 4) doesn't do anything, 5) doesn't do anything for a couple of minutes so I give up and then she goes, 6) she actually goes - right when I signal her! Those are good times!

I have learned she almost never goes while sleeping or nursing, but she will wake up just a bit to go to the bathroom and then go to sleep again. She most often gets fussy before she goes, but sometimes she smiles.

I thought I would be diaper free and catch 75% instead of maybe 10%. Because of the few catches, I keep her in a cloth diaper and change her as soon as she goes (this is recommended in the one EC book I have read). I will also spend some naked time with her either outside or with her business end sitting on a cloth diaper. In an hour I can go through 6 diapers because she can sneeze and pooped out just enough that it would be messy to leave her on the same diaper. Sometimes she can pee 3 times or more during an hour. I think I am "safe" for a bit because she just went 2 minutes prior so when she gets fussy I think it is something else . . . nope! She had to go again.

I hope this doesn't sound like I am complaining. Well, I am, in a way, but I am actually still enjoying it. Part of the reason I "miss" a bunch of eliminations is because I don't want me or LB to get stressed about it. If I am too tired or frustrated, I let it go. If she seems beyond fussy but genuinely upset, I figure it is better to change a diaper than make a negative connection.

Honestly, I don't know how Gambian women do it. It's not like they have a choice or can put a disposable on at night so the baby sleeps longer.

I will keep you posted how it goes. Hopefully, I will learn something from the "Natural Infant Hygiene" group I am joining.


battynurse said...

So how is it going? Are you having good experiences with this??

MrsSpock said...

I think even getting 10% sounds pretty good. When J was newborn and nursing, we went through 24 prefolds a day. It seemed like a neverending stream. Now that he's on formula, I can always tell his poop-face, but I don't have the wontons to try EC.

Sara said...

I have been following your EC story with interest. We didn't try EC (for a number of logistical reasons too boring to detail), but I have observed it from a distance several times with my in-laws, who are very poor and live in a 3rd world country. Honestly, my impression has always been that it's less about communication and more about doing tons of laundry, at least during the first six months or so. Every time I held my now 3-year-old nephew when he was a baby, people started to shriek at me that I needed to point him out so the pee wouldn't get on me when he (inevitably) peed while I was holding him. I actually screwed up my courage to ask my sister-in-law about her experiences being diaper-free recently, and she was absolutely emphatic about what a nightmare it was, and how much she wishes she could have used diapers. I think that in the wealthier countries we tend to romanticize the "choices" made my poor women who really don't have much of a choice at all.

Having said that, my nephew was completely potty trained by 18 months, which never would have happened if diapers were in the picture. So, going through the hassle really is an investment in future happiness. From an ecological standpoint, it's also a no-brainer.

What I'm trying to say is that I admire you for sticking to it. EC sounds great on paper, but in the real world it's bloody hard work.

Me said...

sounds like you've got your hands full!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cutey...your poop experiences are so funny! Baby Kenny is quite the little pooper himself, especially right after a nap. I've never heard of trying to "catch" it in the potty. I wouldn't have the energy or patience, but "GO YOU!"...

Love love love,

Amber & Baby Kenny

Jill said...

I've been wondering how it was going - so thanks for the update.

I'm way WAY too lazy to even attempt EC. You're right - there's SO MUCH POOP in the beginning. But I'll tell you, even my 18 month old poops 3-6 times a day now. He's a total stealth pooper unless he hasn't eaten enough fruit. It's rare I can see that he's pooping. And pee? I can't imagine how you can tell if they're goign to pee.

So I'd say if you're getting 10%, it sounds pretty good to me!

stacyb said...

ok, i'm sorry but that made me laugh...the part about how much she poops and when.

10% sounds darn good. we thought about going that route at one point, our daugther's diaper off to you for actually following through and doing it.

Ryan's Mommy said...

Sounds like you are doing great so far. I admire you for trying. At only four weeks, I think even 10% is good progress. They do poop so much at that age, and will for several more months. And it's good you're not stressing about it and are staying open to all options. I bet that if she gets even a little exposure to it over the coming months it will help in the long run.

For the stains, try Baby OxyClean. You can put some into hot water and soak fabrics in it, or make a paste to rub in. It is amazing how it gets baby poop out without bleaching! (Do check for colorfastness first, especially if you do the paste on a colored item.)

battynurse said...

I hope the internet group is helpful. I think you are an amazing and ambitious woman. Even getting 10% is pretty fantastic. Good luck with it.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I really admire what you're doing! I detested diapers and toilet trained my kids as soon as humanly possible (which for us was at about two years old. We were very aggressive and got those little girls fully trained in a weekend.) I don't think I could do what you're doing (I'm just too lazy) but for what it's worth, the newborn digestive system matures dramatically over the first two months so I suspect that her eliminations will become much easier to "catch" in a couple of weeks. My youngest is now ten months old and she goes twice a day fairly regularly and we could catch them all as she stops what she's doing and scrunches up her little face when she's doing her business. I don't know what to tell ya about the pee pees though. Good luck!

Smiling said...

I too am following with interest. I have exactly 0% exerience with newborns (and heaps when it comes to the over 9 month point), but have always been curious about EC. Sounds like hard work - but the one mom I knew personally who did it (I met her when she was traveling with ther 15 month old overseas mostlyt diaper-free) was really gung ho about it. Once she knew you wouldn't judge, she was full of information and advice. I hope you'll find some other parents you can learn from. It sounds like the kind of thing that benefits from real world advice and support.

good luck!