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Even if you've heard of elimination communication (EC), I'm guessing you, like me, might have a hard time picturing just how someone might go about potty training their infant. Thankfully, Amber Hatch, a mom of two and author, was willing to help us understand with photos of her own experience.
When Amber's daughter was 5-weeks-old she seemed unable to settle, and so this new mom thought she'd give the method she'd heard about a try.
In a post for BabyCentre UK she recalled:
"I found an old ice-cream tub and crossed my legs around it. I stripped off my baby’s nappy and held her above the tub, with her wobbly back resting against my chest. I didn’t have to wait long; after a few seconds I could feel the tension in her body peak and then the unmistakeable sound of a wee trickling into the tub. Wow! Then another grunt, and another peak of tension, and a minor explosion of poo vibrated through the tub."
Amber and her newborn giving EC a try.
She first began baby-led potty training her daughter at 5-weeks-old.
A photo of a father holding his child over a vessel.
"Trying out the toilet."
"Creating the opportunity for easy access."
"Baby-led potty training au naturel."
Amber holding her baby with her body while they tried the potty.
How to hold a baby if you're interested in trying it yourself...
"and doing it for real."
Amber's book, Nappy Free Baby...
and a photo of Amber herself.
Inspired by the success of their first try, Amber continued to give her daughter the opportunity to go to the bathroom without a diaper. She reports her baby went "about half the time" and soon "the number of dirty nappies I was changing was drastically reducing."
To clarify, Amber admits ;"that 'nappy free' is a bit of a misnomer, as during her first year she did mostly wear nappies just in case. But for the vast majority of time those nappies were clean and dry, and once she was 14 months, I took her out of nappies entirely."
When Amber's son was born in 2011 she tried baby-led potty training (BLPT – another name for EC) right out of the gate, and even managed to keep that sticky meconium from having to be wiped off his body.
Amber's children are now ages 7 and 4, and both have been potty trained for quite some time.
“I very rarely get any criticism in the real world, but I have encountered criticism online,” she went on to share with our site via email, when asked what the response has been like.
“Some people have a preconception that BLPT would be too much work, or that you have to watch baby all the time. In fact, one of the things I’ve found so interesting about the method is that it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach. Everytime you offer the potty it’s a moment for connection, and perhaps a nappy saved. But you aren’t committed to doing it all the time, just how much works for you. I loved the way it gave me another tool to help settle my children. It was rather like learning the best way to burp my baby.”
She went on to share, “I sometimes see people suggest that BLPT is about forcing babies to grow up too fast. This baffles me as I totally agree that we should enjoy our babies’ babyhood. I don’t think BLPT is at all about hurrying children on to the next stage. In fact I’d say its the opposite: it’s about working mindfully with them at the stage they are at now, and accepting their capabilities and limits. It’s also about being present and connected with them a bit more.”
You can check out more from Amber Hatch at her website, or get a copy of Nappy Free Baby here.
Photos courtesy of Amber Hatch
This post was originally published in January 2016
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.