Elimination Communication is a relatively new concept in our western culture.Today we are often encouraged to adopt practices that separate parents from children and keep things sterile and tidy.Historically however nappies are a new event.
Elimination Communication has been practiced for thousands of years in cultures across the world.If this art of connecting with babies soon after birth is nurtured and trusted it soon becomes clear when your baby is letting you know of a need to eliminate.
Elimination Communication is a gentle, respectful, practical and conscious approach to children’s bottom end needs. It fosters a deep connection and trust between parents and children and enhances the world they share together.
My son and I have communicated about his elimination needs since his first days.
Instead of teaching him to wee or poo in his clothing, and then later teaching him not to, I hold him ;in a comfortable, well supported position over a bowl or outside. I give him a verbal cue (his is wee-wee or poo-poo) that I have used ;from birth. He soon lets me know if he needs to go or not.
I find Elimination Communication is a way of life rather than just a way to deal with his elimination. It fosters and honours his ability and capacity of early communication. So passionate am I about supporting this connection that my son Kove has never worn a nappy. Instead we have relied on the flow ;of our communication.
I have had other women comment on how in tune and connected I am with my son. Elimination Communication connects me on a real gut level. It was this level of connection that first drew me to the nappy free way.
I met Tanya at an organic food store. She approached me when she noticed Kove (then 7 months) had no nappy on. We connected, both very excited to meet, swapped phone numbers with intention to meet up again and share ;our experiences ;.We did so and soon decided it would be great to gather more interested mothers together to share ideas and support each other. Our support group was born.
Our first group was attended by five mums and babies. It was a great chance to share and expand our knowledge. It was also good not to feel alone in our choice of parenting.
From there our group continued to meet once a month. It is lots of fun for us as parents, sharing and eating yummy food together and great to see the little tribe of bare bums with no nappy rash.
The most important aspect of our support group is the sharing of our experience. The main ;focus is Elimination Communication.It is the central point that draws us together. Although most often ;one sharing sparks off interest in many directions and we tend to talk about other related topics also.
We share how we are dealing with the challenges of not using nappies (or using nappies as some mums practice Elimination Communication part time.) ;We share the joy of the connections we are building with our children and any problems or judgments we may encounter with our extended families and the public.We talk about how to best deal with negative comments and how our partners are dealing with a nappy free environment. There are always funny and encouraging stories about how the kids are getting along with nappy free.
I’ve noticed in our group that Elimination Communication means slightly different ;things to each of us and the reasons as to why we practice varies. The sharing through our group allows all of us to broaden our views and to further define what is important to us.
In my struggle to get the” technique right”, I recently lost track of why I wasn’t using nappies with Kove. He seemed to struggle with my desire for perfection and responded by not co-operating with his nappy free obsessed mum.The support group environment helped me get back ;to my original intention, to connect with Kove. With this shift in me he gladly obliged by weeing and pooing in his bowl again. Even at night now he wakes me up wanting to go outside and sometimes even takes ;himself out. Every day I wonder at his abilities to express himself and am humbled ;at my openness to listen and understand him.
Our nappy free group offers many opportunities to discuss problems and share ideas for working through our difficulties together.There is considerable benefit from being able to gain encouragement from other like minded mothers and know that you are not alone in the challenges you face.It is invaluable to receive encouragement from others as we recognise common themes in our nappy free journeys.
The result of all this shared experience and information is that our knowledge and confidence grows.A knowledge and confidence of Elimination Communication that is specific to us, our lifestyles, climate, environment, society and culture. All these factors may be different to those experienced by the authors of the Elimination Communication books available. This is where the accumulation of local knowledge from our gathering can fill in the gaps that sometimes appear.
I am grateful for what I learn and share at our group. In particular to my friends Tanya and little ;Nilla who where passionate and open enough to have a nappy free adventure with Kove and I.
How we treat our children matters.I believe that babies are born open and full of innocence, with a deep love for themselves, others and their world. It is our responsibility to help create an environment that allows our children the freedom to express and grow these qualities.My aim in incorporating Elimination Communication techniques into my parenting is to encourage these qualities to mature.
The nappy free group and workshops extend this vision outwardly, creating a more caring, conscious movement within our society.