Evacuation elation

I thought my first blog post post-baby would be about something serious — like about birth, or some of the difficult things that come after (babies…). But instead, I’m going to kick off with something fun: poop!

No, sorry, of course it’s not about poop. Well, it sort of is. This is getting confusing. It’s an anecdote, that’s what this post is. The story is: a few mornings ago, I got my four-month-old baby to poop on the pot. Good story, right? You might not be as elated as I am (I’m elated), but you should still be, like, whoa. This is the stuff of new parent dreams, not having to clean up after a milk-drinking fiend.

The rest of the story

I know a few parents who practice something called Elimination Communication, or Nappy Free (which sounds a little less institutional). The idea is that you pay attention to when your baby needs the loo, and you take them there to use it. Some folks are pros and catch almost everything. Others are just aiming to head off shitty nappies. It sounds nutty and impossible, but the fact is that young babies often have pretty clear signals when they need to go (especially for poops — cue red face, squirming, squeaking). And it’s true that lots of us just sit there watching our babies soil a nappy, before doing a rapid change before a meltdown.

The night before this all kicked off for us, I couldn’t sleep. I’d stupidly had a cup of coffee late-afternoon, resulting in me sitting up reading, whilst E had one of her best nights of sleep ever. The plus side? I got to read a lot about EC/NF. I like knowing loads about something, and knowing that other people are already doing it gives me confidence. Four hours later, and I feel fully equipped with all manor of techniques and tips (see below for some of my favourite links). All I had to do was wait for the baby to need the toilet (come on, baby, wake up…).

Fast forward to 7am, and instead of doing the normal groggy feed, I nabbed her, went down to the bathroom and proceeded to strip her down and hold her over the toilet. And… Nothing. I was so sure she had to go, she was giving all the signals. But, no.

Ok, fine, so we head back to the change mat, where she chatters away at me, distracting me from a Stealth Wee. Sod it, no need to get hung up on this, try, try again, etc. I pop a nappy back on her, sit down to feed, and low and behold the wiggle-grunt-latch/delatch of EC lore. Quick as a flash, we nip back to the bathroom, strip off the nappy, and I hold her in the advised position. And… poops! Afterwards, she totally looked up at me and beamed. Or maybe that was me beaming. We both beamed.

Since that fateful day, I must say I’ve been a little obsessive about it. The Papa is super supportive, and it truly does save us some messy clean up, but you can get a little stalky. Does she need to go? Now? Now?

Keen to try it? I highly recommend giving it a shot. Even if you only do it once, it saves you a dirty nappy!


My so-far tips

  • Pop the poppers of the legs or crotch of whatever s/he’s wearing over her shoulder. That ensures they don’t dangle in the pot.
  • If you know when s/he’s likely to go, unpop in advance, especially if you’re using washable nappies with lots of poppers on them.
  • If you’re the note-taking type, keep a little log of what happens when. You might notice some trends, and it’ll make predicting a little easier

Resources

Thrifty Green Baby — Free the poo!

A great post about why this works. Totes gave me the confidence to try.

Lulastic Blog

Has a whole lot of posts about going Nappy Free, and a particularly useful post about tell-tale signs

Natural birth and baby care — Elimination Communication positions

This is super helpful, and shows you what to do with your baby. If you don’t know how to hold, the whole thing is unimaginable. But it’s easier than you think, promise.

Diaper Free Baby

Some useful links, but don’t buy and books, you deffo don’t need them!

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