Last night I was up late reading possible reasons Lilli was suddenly waking more frequently at night. Maybe every few hours – but not acting hungry like usual. More like uncomfortable or upset. Was it part of her new leap? Was she getting sick? Was she having bad dreams? I began my classic new mom google searching as she slept in the crook of my arm. I had been resolving her night waking with my usual trick of giving her a boob and going back to sleep. But then I came across an article that said babies rouse at night because they’re about to pee and naturally they want to avoid peeing on themselves, their sleep space, or their mom. They’re communicating with us!
It made me feel kind of terrible that maybe she’d just been trying desperately to communicate all this time and I’d been shoving a boob in her mouth instead. So I vowed that the next time she stirred, I’d give her an opportunity pee. About 10 minutes later, she started rocking around, kicking her legs and fussing. I decided to give it a try… JUST to see. If I failed, I could just change her diaper and feed her back to sleep. So I scooped her up, gently carried her to the bathroom and started unbuttoning her diaper. She was looking at me like “what the hell?” with her sleepy little eyes and I was almost embarrassed but I had to commit at this point. So I held her over the toilet (her back to my belly with her knees up) and whispered the little “ssssss” noise into her ear like the websites said. And like magic, within seconds, she started peeing. A HUGE pee. It was a pretty amazing moment. And then we slept for 5 hours straight. We repeated it when she woke up this morning and right after her first nap!
I remember reading about Elimination Communication in Alicia Silverstone’s book, The Kind Mama (which was an excellent read) while I was pregnant. Many cultures begin this in early infancy since babies communicate their needs from day one. See this piece for more information. These babies can communicate when they need to go to the bathroom and are often going to the potty by themselves by the age of 1. I thought it sounded great, but maybe a little TOO good to be true? I brushed it off as too “woo woo” for me. And way too intensive anyway. After all, I’m a lazy mom.
But after three easy and super natural catches, I’m not so sure. We might do EC part time. Maybe upon waking and overnight, which are the easiest to catch. Not to mention, I feel like this in a new way to communicate and connect.
What do you think of the idea of Elimination Communication?