Posts Tagged 'diaper free'

Diaper Free – Month 10& 11

After my last post about EC which was a bit depressing, I am happy to report that EC has been going incredibly well for us for the past month! Considering that we have been using diapers full time and haven’t done any diaper free time at all in ages,I really thought that Olivia would eventually stop caring about going to the potty. But that hasn’t been the case at all – in fact she has been gaining more and more bladder control and still waits for me to take her to the bathroom most of the time. Even with all of the travel we have been doing, she still expects to be taken to the potty at regular intervals and lets me know by “yapping” when she needs to go. (Sounds kind of like a high pitchecd “eh eh eh”)

We have gotten into a good routine of going potty after every meal and every nap, and that is working very well. We still have a lot of wet diapers, but poo almost always ends up in the toilet unless I am not paying attention. Interestingly, on the day of our flight from Germany to the US, I woke her up extra early (at 4am) to take the taxi, then train and finally the plane, and with all of the rushing I didn’t get the chance to take her potty until four hours later. Would you believe it that when I finally got into that tiny airplane bathroom, her diaper was still DRY???? She did the biggest pee I had ever seen, and then we went happily back to our seats. From that point on we continued to have dry diapers about 70% of the time for the entire trip.

Our rate has gone back down since then (she almost always does somthing in the toilet when I take her, but she usually has a wet diaper too) but that’s only because we have a lot going on and I don’t take her as often as I should. Nevertheless, I am still really happy with the way things are going – it feels like second nature now to the point where I have a hard time NOT offering her the potty after changing her diaper. Even if we are in a parking lot or in the middle of a touristy park and there is no potty available, I will put the dirty diaper on the ground and hold her up over it to do her business. I know she expects the chance to relieve herself, and I simply couldn’t live with myself putting her into the carseat when I know she has to go to the bathroom.

Even though we aren’t doing “all out” diaper free, I am really happy with EC and how it’s working for us. I used to be worried that I wasn’t doing “enough”, or that it wouldn’t “work” as well if I put less effort into, but now I’m seeing that it really doesn’t matter all that much. Sure, we could probably be completely out of diapers by now if I put in the effort to take her once an hour. In fact, if I got rid of the diaper she would probably start to hold it longer than an hour, since I know she has the capacity to do it. But I’m happy with how things are going, and I know that anything I do is better than nothing, and Olivia seems to be fine with it too.

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Camping

Back in August we went to the “Artgerecht” family camp at Umweltzentrum Drei Eichen.  The camp was in Buckow, which is about an hour east of Berlin, in the beautiful Märkische Schweiz (a nice mountainous area covered in forests and lakes.)   This wasn’t just any old camp… it was all about raising babies, and the whole idea was that we lived as a “clan”, where each family supported the others.  We had seminars every day on various baby-related topics, such as breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, and of course… EC!  Most of the families at the camp practice EC, even with mulitple children.  One family had done it with all four of their kids!  I am secretly in awe of their mom, so I am really happy to learn that they will be moving close to us sometime next year!!  They also have thier own blog, which you can read here.

It was so cool to see so many babies and toddlers running around without diapers.  Some with no pants, some totally naked and covered head to toe in dirt…. it was just beautiful.  It was also nice to hear so many peoples’ stories and experiences.  It really made me feel better to see that a lot of EC-ing parents actually do use diaper back-ups most of the time.  From what I read on the internet I was feeling like we were the only ones not going “all in”.

The whole “clan” aspect of the camp was very cool, too.  We shared a tee-pee with two other families.  You would think that with three babies we would have been awake all night, but would you believe it: each of us only woke up for our own babies, but not the others?  Olivia and I woke up a few times to nurse every night, but the noise never bothered anyone else. And I never woke up for anyone else’s babies’ cries.  I guess mother nature really has our ears trained well.

It was nice to have so many people around to help each other out.  This is something which is really missing in our modern society, where families rarely live in the same house as their relatives, and neighbors stay our of each other’s business.  We really are very much alone and the burden is heavy.

The nature, the people, the babies… being able to relax and just go at our own pace… all in all it was a wonderful experience.  The only thing I would’ve changed is to have made it longer. Well, that and have more food available.  The kitchen seemed to be pretty skimpy and I often went away a bit hungry.   But that was ok, it was still worth it.

And here are the pictures!

Here is me airing out the sleeping bags before our trip. Olivia is helping me pack!

Since the drive up to Berlin was about 7 hours, we decided to spend the night in Berlin before continuing to the camp in Buckow. We didn’t bring a crib, so we just pushed the beds together up against the wall to make a family bed. Here is Olivia rolling around on the bed. And yes, she did discover that light-switch pretty quickly!

We took a whirlwind tour of Berlin on our way out to the camp in Buckow. This is the Brandenburg Gate from the car! 

This is the teepee village. Ours was the extra big one on the right-hand side. We shared it with two other families.

Olivia shared a sleeping bag with me, which was definately the best since the temperatures were in the single digits at night. It was so cold that I really couldn’t take her potty at night. But inside the down sleeping bag it was nice and cozy! She usually slept from about 10pm to 7am, waking up only once or twice to nurse. (basically the same as her schedule at home)

We gathered all our own firewood

I guess I must have a good “mom” vibe going… I even attracted other people’s kids! haha. It takes a village…

One evening we made “Stockbrot” (bread on a stick)

Oscar helping Johanna to make a bowl with burning coals

We did tons of diaper-free time, so we used quite a few pairs of underwear!

Olivia got to try out her teeth on lots of vegitables! She didn’t really eat anything the whole time, though.

Olivia really enjoyed having quality time with daddy.

 

Diaper Free Update – Weeks 21, 22, 23, 24

To be perfectly honest, I am not even sure if I am on week 24 now… I am totally stabbing in the dark here.  But I am too lazy to go find a calendar and count the weeks, so week 24 it is 😛

So, the biggest news first:  I discovered a diaper-free group in Karlsruhe!  I went to an informational meeting at the “Stillcafé Karlsruhe”, which is held twice a month in the Hebammenpraxis “Rundum”.  This was just an informational meeting, not the actual group itself, but there were something like 20 parents there who were interested in EC!  Many were already practicing it, too.  It was so motivating to actually meet some other ECers in real life, that it made me want to do more diaper free time, and I did for the whole next week.  (We were diaper free at home all the time except for nights)  I do plan to go to the diaper free group, but I haven’t done it yet.

Just before going to this meeting, I also happened to meet two other moms who were interested in going diaper free.  We met up at my house to talk about how I approach it, and just to hang out.  So now I have two new EC friends!  This friendship thing is going really well, and I am happy 😀

Because of all this, I have been really motivated, and we did lots of diaper free time.   But in spite of that, Olivia seems to be in a phase where she doesn’t signal for pees anymore.  For poos it’s still no problem, but pees are becoming harder to catch.  I think this is because she is learning how to roll and working a lot on new “sounds”.  (She has perfected the back-to-tummy roll on her left hand side, but still can’t do it in any other direction)  So I do think that signaling for pees with return at some point.

Olivia just in her undies

It’s so much easier to roll when you’re just in undies!

I’ve also discovered that when Olivia doesn’t have a diaper on, I can comfortably hold her on my lap while typing on the computer, or eating dinner, talking to a friend, etc, and she almost never pees on me.  In that position she always lets me know when she has to go, so I don’t even bother with a cloth or anything to catch a miss.  When she is on the floor she doesn’t signal much, so we have lots of misses (especially if she’s on her belly)  but as long as I am holding her she actually does let me know pretty clearly.  I can be totally absorbed in a conversation and she will start trying to catch my attention by pulling at me, or arching her back, and fussing.  And she will continue that for a good 5 minutes or more until I finally take notice.  It is really pretty amazing!  Unfortunately I also have to do a lot of things where I can’t hold her, like the dishes, laundry and (the big one) cooking.  That is why I am still using diapers so much.

After 5 months of practicing EC, I can definitely say that it’s worth it.  I know some people say that it isn’t any more work than diapering, but that hasn’t really been my experience… (probably since I am still using a diaper, so that adds a lot of time to pull it on and off all the time…)  but even with the extra effort I am still SUPER happy with everything.  I love seeing the smile on Olivia’s face when she’s done her business in the toilet.  I love that she is clean almost all the time.  I love that we have this extra connection.  I would do it again in a heartbeat, even with several kids in the house.

Diaper Free – Update Weeks 18 & 19

Well, I didn’t quite stick to my goal of diaper-free during the daytime.  I did it for 3 days, (morning to night) but then I got lazy again and went back to using the diaper most of the time.  However, those three days really made a HUGE difference.    She had been basically ignoring the pees before, so it took us about 2 days to get that back on track, during which I used a whole mountain of flats, and all of her pairs of underwear.  But after that she started signaling for almost all the pees, and she has begun to consolidate them as well!  Instead of doing a bunch of small pees one after another, she has been waiting longer and doing bigger pees.  It is so much easier now, and it makes me feel like I really CAN do this without getting burnt out.

Diaper Free Playtime

For playtime I use a water proof cloth with a flat diaper on top, and Olivia is in regular underwear. (I often add pants over that, too, but this day I didn’t)

 

I have been learning her new rhythm as well.  I now know that she does most of her small pees in the first 2-3 hours of the morning.  At that time they are coming about every 15 minutes or even quicker.  After that they slow way down to every half-hour and sometimes a full hour.  Also there is a huge difference when I am holding her. We go for nice long walks most days, and I have been carrying her in a wrap.  Sometimes the walks are more than 2 hours long.  We usually go walking in the woods, and I warned my walking buddy that we were going to have to stop for pees every once in a while.  Except that she really didn’t signal at all for more than an hour.  I finally thought, OK, she must need to go by now, so I’m gonna give her a pottytunity.  But she didn’t take it.  Even after stopping to feed her, she STILL didn’t want to go.  She actually saved everything up until we got home, two hours later.  Since then I haven’t bothered taking her out of the wrap at all during walks, unless she tells me clearly that she needs to go.  So far she hasn’t, and her diaper has always been dry when we get home.  Amazing!!

The interesting thing is even though I am back to using diapers nearly full time, we are having a much higher rate of catches since we did the big diaper-free marathon.  We are much better in tune with each other, and as long as I am completely ignoring her I really do catch about 80% of her pees and poos.  I still am going through about 15 diapers a day, but most of the time I only change it because of a very small pee.  She really has a dry bum most of the time, and I am treating the diaper more like a piece of clothing than a toilet.

We did have one HUGE poop blowout this week which I missed because I was starving and couldn’t take my mind off my lunch.  She was sitting on my knee and wiggling around, making yelling noises, and trying to get my attention, but I was so focused on my spaghetti that I didn’t even notice.  Well suddenly I heard the “tururururooop”  of a big poo, and I just looked at her and laughed, “did you do a poo poo?! oh no!  I’m so sorry!!!”  She had this kind of funny look on her face, a combination of relief and mortification.  Well, I rushed her to the changing table, only to find that the poo had shot all the way up her back, right up to her *neck*!  It had soaked through the onesie and stained her beautiful white  Mexican dress.  It took me 15 minutes to clean her up, and another half-hour soaking the clothes to remove the stains.  This is only the second time this has happened since Olivia was born, since we catch almost all of her poos.  And since she does somthing like 8 poos a day, it really makes me glad that I spend the 2 minutes it takes to get her to the toilet, rather than go through this huge clean-up!!

Diaper Free – Update Week 17

I haven’t mentioned this yet, but we are raising our daughter diaper free, using elimination communication (EC). If you don’t know what EC is, here is a great blog about it: http://eliminationcommunication.wordpress.com/faq/

We started EC with our daughter at 2 weeks old, by holding her over a tupperware container everytime we changed her diaper. She peed so often back then that I just couldn’t wrap my head around going all out diaper free. Well, that and it was February and freezing cold, and we had recieved tons of onesies and footed PJ’s as gifts, which are super hard to EC in. (if she wets, you have to change her from head to toe, instead of just pulling off the pants.). We did make lots of catches though, and almost from day one we were catching all her poos, which is about 8-10 times a day. I guess she was saving them up for the opportunity to do it in the potty. In any case that was very motivating, and it really wasn’t too hard, so we kept it up, and it slowly evolved into more and more diaper free time. We became more and more in tuned with each other- us recognizing her signals better, and her becoming clearer and clearer about her signals.

Now Olivia is 4 months old, and her signals have evolved quite a bit. She was doing a certain scream right before she peed, and fussing a lot before poos. I’m not always paying attention though, and so I miss a lot of pees since they are more subtle. We were at a point where I was using the same diaper for 3 or 4hours in the afternoons, because I caught all of her pees! I go mostly based on her signals, but I also take her at certain times – right after waking up, and right after she eats.

This was working great for the past few months, but I have been incredibly lazy about the diaper, and have been relying on it way too much. And as embarressed as I feel to say this, we are still using disposables, because they are easier. I feel so awful at the thought of all those chemical filled diapers ending up in the garbage dump. So this week I made a commitment to myself to have her in underwear more often and reserve the diapers only for outings and nights.

For the past 2 months we have mostly been using the sink and the big toilet. We stopped using the tupperware since our arms were wearing out and she is getting so big. I still use it as a car potty though. (I hold it between my legs and sit her on my lap. It works great since it has a lid in case you can’t dump it right away)

From here on, I plan to do a weekly update on our EC experience. I hope that this is helpful for anyone else on the same journey, or maybe to shed some light onto it for those of you who’ve never heard of it.
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