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Encyclopedia > Elimination communication

Elimination communication (EC) is a form of nurturing in which a caregiver uses timing, signals, cues, and intuition to help an infant address his or her elimination needs, partially or completely avoiding the use of diapers (nappies). EC is also known as Natural Infant Hygiene, Elimination Timing, and Infant Potty Training. Inspired by traditional practices of diaperless baby care in less industrialized countries and nature-based cultures, EC bears little resemblance to conventional Western methods of early toilet training. EC can begin at birth and is usually started before six months of age. If started after this time, babies are more likely to be "diaper trained" and less aware of and able to communicate their elimination needs. The term "late starter" refers to a baby who starts EC after this time. A human infant Infant is a slightly more formal term for the word baby, the youngest category of child. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Coloured world map indicating Human Development Index (as of 2003). ... In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ... Toilet training (or potty training) is the process of weaning a young child off diapers (nappies) and training him or her to use the toilet for urination and defecation. ...

Contents


Origins

The terms "Elimination Communication" and "Natural Infant Hygiene" were coined by Ingrid Bauer and are used interchangeably in her book, Diaper Free! The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene (2001). Bauer had traveled to India and Africa where she noticed that most mothers would carry their diaperless babies constantly, yet she saw no elimination "accidents" as would be expected in industrialized countries where babies wear diapers almost continuously from birth. Subsequently, she raised her own babies with minimal use of diapers and eventually began to share her successful approach with other mothers and caregivers — initially through Internet-based parenting support groups and eventually through her book and website.


Prior publications introducing Western parents to this ancient practice include the book Trickle Treat, by Laurie Boucke (1991), and a pamphlet entitled Elimination Timing, by Natec (1994). Boucke was influenced by an Indian friend who taught her how mothers in India care for babies without diapers, and she adapted it to fit her Western lifestyle. Boucke later authored the more extensive Infant Potty Training (2000).


While the terms "Elimination Communication" and "Infant Potty Training" have become somewhat synonymous, many caregivers who practice EC do not consider it to be a form of "training," per se. EC is viewed primarily as a way to meet the baby's present needs and to enhance attachment and communication in general. In that sense, EC is often likened to breastfeeding. "Toilet mastery is, of course, an inevitable consequence," writes Bauer, "Yet it's no more the goal of Natural Infant Hygiene than weaning is the goal of breastfeeding." (2001, p. 217) A breastfeeding infant Breastfeeding is the process of a woman feeding an infant or young child with milk from her breasts, usually directly from the nipples. ...


Components

The four main components of EC are:

  • Timing
  • Signals
  • Cueing
  • Intuition

Timing

Timing refers to identifying the infant's natural timing of elimination. Newborns tend to urinate every 10-20 minutes, sometimes very regularly, which makes timing extremely useful. Older babies may still be very regular, or may vary in timing based on when they have last eaten or slept. As infants get older, the time between eliminations will expand. By six months, it is not uncommon for babies to go as much as an hour without urinating while awake (babies, like adults, rarely urinate during a deep sleep). Timing varies radically for defecation, as some infants may have several bowel movements a day, while others may only have one every few days. Urination, also called micturition, is the process of disposing urine from the urinary bladder through the urethra to the outside of the body. ... Anatomy of the anus and rectum Defecation or feceation is the act or process by which organisms eliminate solid or semisolid waste material from the digestive tract. ...


Signals

Signals are the baby's way of informing a caregiver of an elimination need. Some babies signal very clearly from the beginning, while others may have very subtle signals or no signal at all. These signals vary widely from one infant to another, and include a certain facial expression, a particular cry, squirming, a sudden unexplained fussiness, as well as others. Babies who are nursing will often start delatching and relatching repeatedly when they need to eliminate. For defecation, many babies will grunt or pass gas as a signal. Older babies can learn a gesture or sign language sign for potty. A breastfeeding infant Breastfeeding is the practice of a woman feeding an infant (or sometimes a toddler or a young child) with milk produced from her mammary glands, usually directly from the nipples. ... A sign language (also signed language) is a language which uses manual communication instead of sound to convey meaning - simultaneously combining handshapes, orientation and movement of the hands, arms or body, and facial expressions to express fluidly a speakers thoughts. ...


Cueing

Cueing consists of the caregiver making a particular sound or other cue when the baby is in an appropriate place to urinate or defecate, in order to develop two-way communication. At first, the caregiver can make the cueing sound when the baby is eliminating, to develop an association. Once the association is established, the cue can be used to indicate to the baby that he or she is in an appropriate potty place. This is especially useful for infants who may not recognize public toilets or unfamiliar receptacles as a "potty." Common sound cues include "psss psss" for urination, and "hmm hmm" (grunting) for defecation. Older babies (late starters) may respond better to more word-like cues. Cues do not have to be auditory. Boeing 747 toilet A toilet is a plumbing fixture and a disposal system primarily intended for the disposal of the bodily wastes; urine, fecal matter, vomit and menses. ...


Intuition

Intuition refers to a caregiver's unprompted thought that the baby may need to eliminate. Although much intuition may simply be subconscious awareness of timing or signals, many parents who practice EC find it an extremely reliable component.


External links

http://www.mothering.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?f=227


  Results from FactBites:
 
Elimination reaction - encyclopedia article about Elimination reaction. (2263 words)
An elimination reaction is a type of organic chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process involving one, two or more substances (called reactants), characterized by a chemical change and yielding one or more product(s) which are different from the reactants.
Either the unsaturation of the molecule increases (as in most organic elimination reactions) or the valence of an atom in the molecule decreases by two (this is known as reductive elimination).
Elimination reactions are often an alkyl halide reacting with a Lewis base A Lewis base is any molecule or ion that can form a new coordinate covalent bond, by donating a pair of electrons.
Elimination communication - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (820 words)
Elimination communication (EC) is a form of nurturing in which a caregiver uses timing, signals, cues, and intuition to help an infant address his or her elimination needs, partially or completely avoiding the use of diapers (nappies).
While the terms "Elimination Communication" and "Infant Potty Training" have become somewhat synonymous, many caregivers who practice EC do not consider it to be a form of "training," per se.
Once the association is established, the cue can be used to indicate to the baby that he or she is in an appropriate potty place.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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