Do You Understand What Your Baby Wants?

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Do You Understand What Your Baby Wants?

Elimination communication is a practice where the caregiver of the child identifies the cues and addresses the child's needs. for example: hunger cues, sleep cues, if the child needs to poo or pee and so on.


I am a strong advocate of elimination communication for newborn and infants (non-verbal babies) as I personally think, it’s very important for babies to be able to communicate with the caregiver. I started researching on elimination communication when Boo was a newborn and being in a nuclear family and my decision to raise my child without any family support or help made it very important for me to know and understand my child's needs, as being my first child I had to rely more on my intuition as a mother than experience.


Elimination communication may look very complicated concept and tedious, but in-fact once you get a hang of it, it’s a blessing.


I have always fed Boo on demand since day one, as I believe all babies are born with a lot of self awareness and understanding of their own bodies.


Babies do not always cry because they are hungry, new mothers often get into the mode of  constantly feeding the child not knowing that a child doesn't require to be fed like an adult or a grown up. Babies show discomfort for various reasons like the below:

 

  • Colic, colicky babies normally tend to become restless during the second half of the day.
  • Wet diaper
  • Change in the temperature (too hot or cold)
  • Lighting in the room (Yellow lights are more soothing than the bright white lights )
  • Acid reflux

 

Newborns cluster feed (feeding continuously for long durations) not because they are hungry, but for comfort.


I started practicing elimination communication with Boo from the very  beginning , that helped me develop a schedule for Boo which we still follow even on vacations. For example: I taught Boo to ask for water by showing her the water bottle and gesturing towards it and she quickly picked it up and would smack her lips looking at her bottle to show that she was thirsty.


How to get started with the process:

  • To follow elimination communication and to bring it in practice all the family members should be on the same page, to not create any confusion for the baby.
  • Every time you speak to the baby , signal or gesture so that the baby picks it up from you and uses the same when required
  • Watch out for the cues like when sleepy babies would rub their ear and eyes, when hungry they would become little irritable or pay lesser attention to things than they normally would
  • Potty Training is an important aspect in which elimination communication works, some babies pass gas, some show other signs when they have to poop. So look for those signs and place them on a potty trainer so they get the cue.

 

Benefits of Elimination communication:

  • It creates a bond between the caregiver and the baby
  • helps baby to create self esteem as they know that they are been understood.
  • Reduced stress to the caregiver as its easier to manage the babies.
  • Helps create a schedule for the baby.

 

EC is majorly used for potty training as it becomes easier for the child to transition when left at a daycare or being taken care by the nanny. I have consciously delayed the whole potty training process for Boo as I consider its too early and that the child should not be pressurized to function beyond their age, however I know parents who have successfully potty trained their children by the age of 1.5 years, but I am in no hurry.


How early can one start EC ?

EC can be started from day one of the child's birth, EC is not very time consuming as people consider it to be but having said that it won’t happen overnight as well. It’s very effective when done right.


Most important tip that I would like to give to all the parents wanting to start elimination communication is to 'OBSERVE', as only observation will get you to understand your babies behavior.


Effective communication is a very important life skill, it doesn't have to be always verbal.

I would recommend everybody to try Elimination Communication as understanding and having a proper communication with the child is the key to raise a Happy and a self aware child.

 

Also read: 10 Things Every Mother Should Know

Explore the entire collection of articles: Parenting Gyaan

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