How crazy is EC?
In the grand scheme of things, I guess EC (elimination communication) fits into my parenting philosophy quite well.
Listen to the child. Where possible, say yes. Start the way you mean to go on.
Once I started reading about EC, I formed the opinion that, as a society, we’ve diapered our kids for conveniece’s sake, rather than the good of the child. Forty years ago it was routine that 12-18mo were potty learning (i.e. not yet able to take their own pants off and get up on the toilet, but aware of the need to go and the consequence if they went in their pants… yuuuuch). It was standard practice to pop little ones on the potty after breakfast and start them becoming aware that THAT is where we go, not in our pants.
It’s not that today’s kids are stupid, but that they don’t feel wetness in hi-tech ‘wick-away’ disposables, and we have a HUGE industry built around the making and selling of nappies. Consequently, lots of kids become accustomed to going in a nappy/diaper and don’t develop an awareness of “Hey, I need to go! Hang on a sec -” and then we may have a really established habit. I bite my nails. I know all about habits. They’re bastards to break.
Often I brush people’s comments about EC off with a laugh and “I’m too lazy to wash cloth nappies… this is easier for us!” Actually, we didn’t decide to stop nappies, and I would be quite happy to have kept them as an insurance policy. Small just refused to put a nappy back on one day. We’d had couple weeks of only one or two ‘misses’ (wet nappies in the nappy bucket) and she just said “NO!” then lay down on the bed and threw her first epic tantrum. Then we went to target and bought incredibly small size 1-2 (SO cute) underwear.
I am not going to pretend that my child is toilet trained, since at age 2 there is no way in hell she can accurately undress OR climb up on a toilet. I will say she’s aware of her needs, and sometimes (like all kids) gets distracted, so we have the occasional wet pants incident. At night she usually wakes up about three hours after first going to sleep and does a wee, then we’re good till morning (seven/eight hours later). Easy.
Thankfully, we get less weird looks now that Small is a ‘child’ (2yo) and not a ‘baby’. Apparently it’s very odd to see a child who’s not yet walking on a potty, but a talking person… not so much. Am I crazy? I prefer the term eccentric.