Month 1: Clarifying Intentions with Newborns

Sumo Style Mess Management

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.

10 thoughts on “Month 1: Clarifying Intentions with Newborns

  1. Just want to say again that I very much enjoy reading your blog! I had my baby who is now 3 1/2 weeks old and have been ECing since day 5. It is great to read your experiences and see how similiar mine is! In fact I was giving myself a little time to start ECing because everything was so new I didnt want to push myself too hard but then I read your post about right after your son was born and I realized it wouldn’t be that much more work to just start putting her on the potty and seeing what happens. And we haven’t looked back since! In fact it has been way nicer ECing her than it was the first couple of days of changing diapers all day long. Anyways, I completely agree with what you just said! I am hoping that through me going through this my friends will see all the benifits and will try when they have kids. Suprisingly i haven’t gotten any negative comments thus far like I thought I would! I hope that one day we there will be more people who can mentor others. At least our kids will have an upper hand when they begin having children!

    • Congratulations on your bundle of love. I’m so glad you were inspired! I was hesitant to do a daily note wondering “who the heck wants to read this?” With my DD I was so leary of taking the plunge…I felt like I was hiding some sort of addiction. But this time around I just went in both feet and take it as they come. EC at least, like you said, is “fun” rather than the mundane of just diapering and not thinking about it.

      With this economy and people cutting back on everything even diapers, EC might get a foothold faster. Ten years ago I barely saw anyone aware of EC much less having groups dedicated to it :)

  2. I try to be gentle with myself about misses, but when I have an off day where I can’t seem to catch to save my life, I start to get grumpy. At least I get grumpy at myself, though, rather than my son. It certainly isn’t HIS fault I missed!

    My son makes it difficult to catch his waking pees because he is SO quiet when he wakes. He wriggles a little, kicks his feet… and just entertains himself. Shoot, when he wakes early morning (530-ish), he wakes so quietly that I can’t get a boob into his mouth quickly enough to keep him sleeping. I wind up having to wake up to care for him for about an hour before we can sleep again.

    • I so hear you. We weren’t meant to do all of this alone with no MIL or Mother or Grandmother experienced to help out and guide us. It’s all seemingly fumbling awkwardly and following each other in the dark :)

      Ever wonder what the babies are thinking? THEY know what they are doing. Perhaps they wonder what is wrong with us! :) Why doesn’t she respond to my telepathic message? LOL

  3. Thank you so much for this post! The reminder to give myself a break because, well, I am the only person I know who does, or has ever, ECed a child was much needed! Of course I am not perfect at it! I just keep on keeping on and adjust and do the best I can. I did not EC my first child so not only am I super green at this, I also have a three year old to contend with (a very strong willed three year old!). This post is one I will read again and again on those days that we struggle to communicate. Thanks again!

  4. “I need to pee you dense heifer!” made me laugh out loud. That has been happening the past week with my baby girl and I. She went from sleeping through to waking up to three times, and now I’ve barely caught a thing for two weeks at night! But it isn’t a big deal at all. I am so not stressed about EC and baby girl because we started from the beginning. But EC and my toddler has often stressed me to tears.

    In our separated houses with families living across countries and friends who think EC is weird as anything, it is definitely no wonder we have trouble. I would love to see how they do it in China!

    • I bet they would think EC blogs are bizarre lol :)

      How old is your BG again? Those growth spurts are brutal…it’s the constant nursing and need to pee and then the new bladder capacity after that then you both have to relearn the new pattern!

  5. I’m visiting via Momma Jorje, and I really appreciated your thoughts here! I think it’s so much less pressure on yourself when you know what ECing is (with the focus on communicating) and what it is not (having some perfectly potty-trained infant from Day 1).

    • Thanks for stopping by! I’m ecstatic that this post is getting that message across. I often felt really defeated when I could catch at home but miss in front of friends and family — I felt like I had to show them I wasn’t making it up! Now I don’t care. Oh and I am a fan of Curly Girl, I saw the entry on your blog — will they never look up to avoid the eye waterfall — maybe I’ll find that answer :)

  6. Pingback: Month 32: It’s Not Complicated « Diaper Free…The Other Side of the Moon

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