Cloth Diapers Easier Than Expected

I love FuzziBunz! I put off using our cloth diapers for weeks because I feared the clean-up. It really isn’t all that much work, though. We’ve only had two soiled diapers since beginning EC, and the mess rinsed almost completely out of the fabric with plain water berfore I washed them in the washing machine. Very easy and no diapers in our trash! Here is baby D having some tummy time in his FuzziBunz.

This is baby D, King of the Striped Chair.


Third Day Without a Soiled Diaper

Today is our third day practicing elimination communication. We focus on catching bowel movements, and count any caught urine as a bonus. We have caught every bowel movement for three days! We keep the potty bowl with us, and when baby D appears to be on the verge of eliminating we open up his diaper and hold him over the potty bowl. While he is having a bowel movement I make a “shh-shh-shh” sound that, if all goes according to plan, he will eventually associate with the act of eliminating. I also tell him what he is doing. “You are having a bowel movement”, or “You are urinating”. I don’t have any illusions that there will never be another soiled diaper, but three days without one at two months old, having only just begun to practice EC, makes me very hopeful for success. I think using cloth diapers adds an extra incentive to catch the bowel movements. Our FuzziBunz wash up beautifully and there has never been any problem with staining, but it is easier to wipe out and disinfect the potty bowl than to wash soiled diapers. I still wash diapers every day, but just wet, no mess. I was nervous about being able to do EC, but these first few days have made me excited about continuing!

Lesson Learned

When changing baby D’s diaper, never say it is not as full as you thought it was. He takes that as a challenge.

Mommy Madness

It will be five weeks tomorrow that our beautiful son has been out of the womb. He amazes us every second– every little thing he does, every sound he makes, seems miraculous. Very little is going according to plan– there are posts coming covering nursing, cloth diapering, elimination communication, and sleep. I have been working piece by piece on a post about his birth, which is also forthcoming. As it is baby D and I are still figuring each other out. My time has two categories: baby D and training. I have become even more serious about the upcoming marathon, and I have added cycling to my athletic obsession. I cheated a little (don’t tell the midwife), and started exercising seriously three weeks post partum. There have been no problems. It feels so good to run again! I am slower than before, but I don’t care. With the help of my dedicated husband I have been running or going to the gym every day. A baby plus a training program really does take cooperation from both parents. At first I felt totally guilty leaving baby D for any amount of time, no matter how brief. I felt like a neglectful mother when I realized I had been concentrating on the workout and had not thought of him for a couple of minutes. Now I don’t feel as guilty– he is my motivation to work harder to get back to him sooner.

Right now cycling is taking up much of my other-than-baby thoughts. I was able to get a very basic, entry-level road bike. Score! I thought there was no way I could afford a road bike. I bought it as-is from a department store. It is being tuned up at the local bike shop now. My thoughts are already turning to century rides… Ok, how about just building base miles first. I do plan on upgrading most of the components over time– so much fun!

It is interesting– now that I have had a baby, I have become more serious about becoming an athlete. I am morphing from a recreational runner who aspired to complete a marathon to a woman on a mission to reach my physical limits. Did the experience of childbirth bring this on? Do I want to prove that the body can improve and reach new heights after having a baby? Have I gone a bit mad? I’m not sure yet.


Contemplating Elimination Communication From Birth

I am really intrigued by the idea of elimination communication. After first finding out about it online, I read Christine Gross-Loh’s book Diaper Free Baby. The title may be a little misleading– most parents who use elimination communication with their children use diapers at least some of the time. It also takes some pressure off to read that elimination communication is not an all or nothing prospect. Some families do it all the time, some do it part time, or even only at specific times. It all boils down to observing the cues and patterns surrounding the child’s eliminations and offering the toilet or child’s potty in response to those cues and patterns. Elimination communication advocates stress that it is not about toilet training at the earliest possible time, but more about the communication between child and parent. I have to admit that I am approaching it for the early toilet independence.

One thing that stands out to me from reading about elimination communication is the idea that relying solely on diapers is effectively “diaper training” the child, almost guaranteeing a stressful transition to toileting. This seems to make sense– if a child has been using diapers exclusively for his or her whole life why would the child not want to continue using the diapers? The idea behind offering the toilet from a very young age is so that the child does not become used to the feeling of a wet or soiled diaper. When the child does have a “miss”, as elimination communication advocates call it, the child is more likely to let the parent know quickly. No one expects to catch every urination or bowel movement. Catching at least some of them, though, ensures that the child experiences eliminating outside of a diaper and hopefully comes to prefer doing so.

I am planning to begin elimination communication from birth. I do not plan to be rigid or fanatical about it. I hope to progress naturally, in a loving and stress free way. It helps to remember that “elimination communication” is just a new term for an old concept. There is a lot of talk in elimination communication circles about early toileting in other cultures. Also, it seems the typical diapered western child is diaper dependant much longer today than even in the relatively recent past. I believe the many parents who say that their children have become toilet independent sooner than is culturally expected, and I am going to give my child that opportunity. Why keep a child in diapers longer than necessary?

I just ordered an infant potty bowl to use from birth. It is not necessary to purchase a product designated as an infant potty– a regular bowl or even plastic container is used by many families. I bought this because– well, because I don’t want to look so weird to our family and friends. We are doing a lot of things differently. I am confident about trying all of them and willing to explain and to accept criticism. I don’t mind if people express disagreement with our choices. But I do think it will be easier to explain that we are using an infant potty bowl than an old cottage cheese container. Maybe that makes me a weenie. At any rate, the infant potty bowl can be held between the parent’s thighs and is said to be the perfect size and shape for babies. We’ll see.

We are also using cloth diapers, which are said to be more conducive to elimination communication than disposables because the child feels the wetness more directly. We made the decision to use cloth early on, before I had even heard of elimination communication. It just seems more economical to make one larger investment at the beginning and not have to purchase disposables over and over. We went with FuzziBunz, a pocket style cloth diaper. My mother purchased them for us as a gift, spending about $285.00. We chose the “one size” option, which adjust to fit babies from 7-40 lbs. I like that her one time purchase will cover the whole time our child uses diapers, and subsequent children if the diapers are well cared for. We do have one package of disposables, which we received as a gift. We are taking a couple to the birth center (along with the potty bowl) because I would rather have meconium in the disposables than the cloth diapers. Although I have no direct experience with meconium, hearing how tarry and difficult to remove it is makes me not want to chance ruining a cloth diaper with it.

I look forward to chronicling our experience with elimination communication. If it is working for us I will write about it, and if it is not working for us I will write about that, too.