Go Diaper Free: And Other Elimination Communication Options
Benefits to using Kanga Care products with Elimination Communication
Elimination Communication, often abbreviated to EC, has been a popular choice in many cultures for centuries. It is more recently becoming increasingly popular among parents and caregivers alike in Western societies as an alternative or in addition to traditional diapering practices. This practice encourages parents to work closely with their infants, starting from any age, to promote communication around toileting needs, rather than relying on diapers.
The goal of EC is fostering communication and connection between baby and the caregiver. This practice is not about forcing a schedule onto the baby. Instead, you will want to be attentive to your little one, paying attention to their unique cues and signals. As you get to know your baby, you will come to learn their cues for different bodily functions. With this learning, you can follow their cues to meet their toileting needs by providing assisted access to a toilet or potty, rather than using diapers.
The key elements of Elimination Communication are:
- Observation: closely watching your little one to learn and respond to their cues indicating their needs. These can include (but not limited to): changes in facial expressions, specific body movements, or vocalizations.
- Timing: Especially in the beginning of your journey, timing can be crucial to success. Learning all of your baby’s cues and what they each mean can seem daunting at first, and so we suggest starting with key times. The best time to start practicing is after feeding or after your little one wakes up. These are when you know your little one is most likely going to have the need to go, giving you the time and opportunity to monitor their behavior and communication (either verbal or non) leading up to when they eliminate.
- Communication: As you and your little one progress through this journey, you may choose to incorporate or establish your own unique form of communication to signal your baby’s need to eliminate. This may be something such as a specific sound, word, gesture or sign language. Repetition and consistency within your choice of communication method will be crucial as your little one learns with you. As they age, the goal is that they will mirror this communication back to you to express their needs.
- Pottying: Parents or caregivers will still often use diapers in combination with EC, and you can choose what this may look like for your family. Some may choose to hold or support their baby over a toilet or potty, instead of using a diaper every time. You may then choose to use diapers for night time when you will not be watching their cues as intently, or may not respond fast enough.
Can Cloth Diapers and EC be paired?
Absolutely! There are many forms of EC, for example Jenica, a Kanga Care customer who has used various products explains her methods:
“Everyone does EC differently. I do what's considered "part time" EC, meaning that I do it mostly when it's convenient rather than all the time. I do the 4 easy catches: after waking up, before/after transition times (getting in the car, sitting down for a meal, etc), when I think they are going poop, and diaper changes. I loved EC because it meant barely any poopy diapers which is a huge plus when using cloth diapers. We also were able to potty train my oldest at 18 months which was a huge help for us as parents. I also find that he is very confident and capable for his age, and I think by allowing him the ability, independence and awareness of his needs really makes him a happier kid.”
She is the perfect example of how cloth diapers can be a complimentary aid while working with your little one and EC. These two methods can work well on their own, or together. Some parents choose to go the diaper free route, and a common misconception around this is that they do not use diapers at all. It is quite the contrary! Diaper free refers to the freedom from relying on diapers. There is still the choice to use diapers at your personal convenience. This could look like overnight diapering, diapering during car rides or trips out of the house, or full time diapering while still offering opportunities to ‘catch’ potty breaks.
Kanga Care products to ease Elimination Communication!
Though we are most commonly known for our diapers, we also have a wide line of beneficial products for all families! Some products that other parents and caregivers have noted as beneficial on their EC journey are:
- Changing Pads: Many parents have reported that our absorbent pads are perfect for catching potential spills. These will fit nicely under a potty, or can be used for naked/diaper-free time! Our Changing Pads have a soft microchamois top layer that is hypoallergenic for your baby to lay on, a thirsty microfiber middle to absorb messes, and adorable designs and solid colored bottom layer of waterproof TPU to protect all your surfaces.
- Wet Bag Minis: These bags are waterproof that seal in odor, perfect with a snap handle to hang anywhere and a 3D shape! Easy to snap and hang anywhere that you may need it. Should an accident or spill occur, you can easily store soiled items in this bag until laundry day and keep your space smelling fresh.
- X-Small Lil Learnerz: These small sized trainers also double as a swim diaper and are perfect for EC! Fitting most little ones from 15-22 lbs, they can be used for swimming or EC. These are great for on the go if you want to continue practicing EC but also have some absorbent protection just in case with a hidden layer of microfiber. Designed as a trainer, these will not have the same absorbency as a diaper. Complete with side snap release in case of messier accidents allows for easy clean up!
- Rumparooz OBV: If you are looking for some overnight protection for your little one, or just aren’t quite ready to tackle night time training, these are a great option for you! They come standard with a set of bamboo inserts, which can hold a lot to make it through the night without soaking through to the bed. These have an Organic Bamboo Velour (OBV) interior which is very plush, and since it is not a stay-dry material, it will help your little one feel the wetness in learning their bodily habits.
There is no wrong answer here when it comes to EC and it will look different for every family! EC requires patience, consistency, as well as a willingness to learn and respond to your baby's cues. Not all families will find it practical or suitable for their lifestyle, and that is ok! Some parents appreciate the reduced dependency on diapers and the potential for early toilet training. If you have any questions, you can always email us at email@example.com and we are happy to help!