~Diapering with EC~
EC is an abbreviation for elimination communication. It is the practice of communicating with your baby about elimination so that you recognize when your baby is making signs of needing to go. You learn to read these signs and anticipate your baby's needs so that you can use the potty instead of diapers to catch pee and poo.
This can be done at any age and stage and is not a new idea, just a new name. Our grandmothers read these signs and had our mothers out of diapers much younger then toilet learning would allow. They were actually practicing elimination communication until their children were old enough to have actual motor control on their own.
Like with many other things EC need not be all or none. It can be done part time and in many cases having diapers around can be helpful in the process. The important feature of diapering with EC is the ease of with which diapers can be quickly removed, easily replaced and utilized by very young children. Other things to consider are whether, you need to have a product which can catch a miss (those times when a cue was missed resulting in not getting to the potty in time for pee or poo) or how long you need the product to hold the miss in situations like overnights and naps where changing right away might not be practical.
The key to success when choosing diapering products is figuring out what you want them to accomplish. You need to decide what feature is most important at which times. When you are around the house and responding to baby's cues, the most important thing might be ease of removing underwear or diaper and if the child is old enough ease of pulling underwear or diaper back up. This can be more complicated than one would think as it can be very hard to find underwear in sizes small enough for tiny babies. But more and more tiny underwear are being made by various WAHMs to fill this need. There are also other products made specifically for use with EC to be easy to remove and replace quickly. These include belts to hold prefolds in place and special diapers that stay fastened at the waist while unfastening for quick removal and easy reapplication.
If you need the product to be able to catch a miss, then you need something with some absorbency. It need not be a lot of absorbency if you will be with the child and able to change as soon as the miss occurs. Something as simple as training pants without waterproof layer or even cotton or hemp sweatpants might be able to do the job you need. Again the tricky part might be finding something small enough for your child as most products for this age and size range are made for the larger dimensions of diapered children and may not be trim enough for slender undiapered children.
If you will be in a situation where circumstances will prevent you from being able to change as soon as a miss occurs then you will need a product that is capable of holding a miss. And how absorbent that product needs to be depends on how long you need to hold the mess. If you will change shortly then trainers with a waterproof layer and most diapering systems will be fine. If you want to hold a miss all night long then you will need something more absorbent then lightweight training pants. The tricky part can be finding something that will not interfere with EC practices during these times. Difficult to remove diapers can be frustrating if your child is otherwise used to wearing only lightweight items. But items that have greater holding power usually have more bulk and substance to them as well. But do remember that it is better to have a bulky situation than wet bedding which is not fun for anyone.
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Contact me at Inge at DiaperWare dot com!