I read a blog earlier in which there was a lot of reflection on mistakes and I wanted to take a moment to explain something about EC in a modern culture and how ECing a newborn is a different intention that it would be if EC were the norm.
My intentions of ECing in the newborn stage are to give myself time to ease in and learn and make this a seamless part of my every day routine. I am forming a new habit contrary to my upbringing and that takes time, and I want to be sure I give myself that time. I want to make most of my missteps now when the baby is oblivious to my ineptitude (said with a big laugh) and while the misses are quite small and still in the “cute” stage.
A little new baby poop is just not in the same category as blueberry toddler poop. A little breastmilk poop on your hand or pants, meh — no biggie, isn’t that funny — and it doesn’t look so bad in sleep fog. A toddler sized dump smeared into your pants or anywhere on you or near you…not driven to producing smiles.
I think that when we start the diaper free journey, unlike traditional cultures where EC is practiced as the status quo we are starting from a negative-10 rather than from a 5 on the skill scale 1-10 because we have never seen it, never grew up with it, never practiced it, and have no mentors or helping hands. We didn’t pretend to EC our dolls or try to EC our siblings or relatives babies. We know diapers…we live in a disposable culture. When a person with childhood and adult experience in a traditional EC culture starts EC they are already adept not green. Sure they might be unsure as new mothers, but that’s not the same thing. Our culture also thinks babies are lumps and puts a lot of pressure on mothers to conform, or perform if they choose to not conform. In other words, if you aren’t going to be normal then you need to be perfect at whatever it is you are doing! It’s not fair and is a lot of unneeded stress.
If you note from my daily notations in BB’s EC journey, I have hits and misses and I do not stress when my already puked on shirt gets peed on. I greet the “Poop Chair” with humor. I might grumble about about a miss I should have paid attention to because it was as obvious as getting hit by the Partridge Family bus, but it’s always with a touch of a smile or a jolly kick to my own pants. I treat myself like a child just learning, because despite having done this once before…when it comes to the newborn I am still just a child because it is not a long stage. I’ve not had that much practice!
Let’s take night time EC. The night Piper is going to be paid. I’d rather pay him now rather than later when I no longer need to get up every 1-2 hours anyway for feeds.
I’m an advocate of night EC yes, but not in the sense of catching every single pee, but in a sense of being aware. But no more than I am aware of being asked for boob-in-mouth-please. I roll over and oblige. I have to change the secured diaper or unsecured draping anyway. I would never leave my baby to sleep in a wet or soiled diaper EC or not, so if I am awoken for a wee and the baby is dry and refusing to nurse or settle I try and loose nothing, if I miss I change the cloth and note how I was awoken. Did I keep insisting on trying to feed and the baby was nibbling on and off trying to tell me in a Stewie voice, “I need to pee you dense heifer!” Had I paid better attention I would be asleep sooner :) It’s a multitasking thing to take advantage of being awake anyway so I can catch the most snooze! A hit shouldn’t take longer to remedy than a miss. I expect to fail most of the time right now because, well, I’m still a beginner in this endeavor. And like a child I keep trying until I get it.
Also, we have to give ourselves a break.
Our environment makes natural parenting harder because it isn’t set up for it and we don’t have support for it. Look how hard it has been to get breastfeeding and unhindered labor back! All anyone not doing it tells you it seems is how hard it all is going to be and why can’t you do things the “normal” way? Mattresses and bedding require different consideration than nest, hammock, or sleeping platform. It is easy to carry a naked baby outside and instinctively hold them away from you when they begin to wee, in modern homes you have to be either more “on” at first or use more cloth to compensate — because there is wood, ceramic, or carpet to contend with. And again, mentors are hard to come by!
I wish I had a traditional woman to talk to face to face so she can show me how she handles the boy hose attachment! I’m still working that one out through trial and error.
I’ve got to go now. I just got peed on. That’s okay though.
A. I haven’t showered yet
B. My clothes already had toddler prints and dried baby spit up and are a day old
C. Serves me right for blogging with a partially nude baby in my lap and not paying attention to the fuss-fuss wiggle-wiggle.