Monday, July 26, 2010

Inquisition Monday: Newborn EC

Last week, Lactating Girl asked me about ECing Isaac, "When you have time, you should email me about how exactly you catch a newborn pooping while they're nursing. I want to do EC next time and I want to start it from the get go. Peanut only pooped while she was nursing when she was a newborn. I actually used to make jokes that she needed to nurse to be able to poop. :-P"

Will you forgive me if I do a post instead of an email?

First, I'll talk about ECing Margaret as a newborn: it didn't work. I tried the basic under-thigh hold, but newborns are really floppy and I'm really clumsy. I didn't feel like I could do it safely, so I gave up and started a few months later. In the meantime, we did the "Psss" sound sometimes when we knew she was going so she would associate that sound with peeing. I also kept tabs on how often she pooped. When we started ECing more full-time with her, she only pooped once a day and that was first thing in the morning. Because I had been aware of her patterns, it made it easier to start ECing.

This time around, I wanted to start ECing earlier, but because I haven't gained any points in dexterity in the past 2 years, I was going to wait until he could hold his head on his own and after making sure breastfeeding was well-established. I was afraid that breastfeeding would be more difficult the second time around and decided that ECing would take a backseat to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is just more important to me.

But McKay didn't know I was planning to wait, so he started ECing Isaac from the get-go. When Isaac squirmed, McKay would hold him over a little bowl and catch poos and pees. Because McKay is more stable than I am, he was able to use the basic under thigh position with ease.

As for breastfeeding while ECing, you're right: babies like to poop while nursing. Actually, I find that Isaac likes to unlatch and squirm and then go back to breastfeeding when he's done, but something about nursing is very relaxing for them. This is what it looks like:

I know I'm not the poster child for good breastfeeding posture in this picture, but this is how ECing while nursing works for us. I hold him over a bowl that is in between my knees. My right thumb is in the bowl for pointing his penis down. This nursing EC position was inspired by this post of Rixa's.

At the newborn stage, I just want to start having him associate "pss" with eliminating. Additionally, cleaning out a bowl is far easier than trying to rinse diapers out. If I feel really ambitious, I can catch 80% of his eliminations in a day. It helps to actually have the bowl nearby so I'm not scrambling to find it.


  1. You give me such inspiration! I would love to try EC. I'm nervous about it though! I figure, though, that if we can get to 100% cloth diapering, we'll be good. (I struggle with doing cloth!)

  2. awesome! I thought about EC'ing with this new little one but with two coming... I'm fairly certain we're just going to wait.

  3. Excellent! I wanted to ask about this too! We're going to try it from birth this time as well :)

    Love the fact that McKay took the initiative there!

    You must be enjoying the lack of nappies to clean!

  4. When you had Issac I was so envious, (sitting here 40 weeks pg). But now I am happy your little boy came first, you are giving me great tips for when baby does get here. We EC'ed from about 3 weeks with our first and plan to do it again. I'm a little worried about the little boy spray instead of the girl dribble. I never found nursing and using a potty bowl to work for me, Arora was all about eating first then would go after she was done eating. We'll see what this little guy wants.

  5. You answered my question about ECing with a boy. Are there other differences between ECing boys and girls?

  6. I've actually seen this position in action, but never was sure if I could do it. I'm trying with the next one though. I wish I had had a potty bowl for Michael. Would have made newborn EC more relaxing to just reach over and grab a bowl instead of run to the bathroom.


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