Many women don’t know that there is a healthier alternative to diapering, which is called Elimination Communication or Natural Infant Hygiene. Many sincerely believe that diapers are the way to go and relatively harmless as long as you change them frequently. The benefits of Elimination Communication, however, stretch far beyond physical level. Our grandparents, who raised children when diapers weren’t available, would confirm it. Elimination Communication (EC) or Natural Infant Hygiene (NIH) – is a participation of mother in one of the most important needs of her baby – to help him relieve his natural needs to urinate and defecate. This need will always be there, no matter where and how the child was born. It is known that infants signal their mothers about their needs. If he wants to eat, or sleep, or pee – he is calling mom to help him. This very ability to give signals can be used to organize successful Elimination Communication.
Behavior of the newborn is based on reflexes and memories of his life inside the womb and birth. All reflexes are aimed for survival and gradually turn into conscious actions, which the child is capable to be in control of. Before it happens, control function lies entirely on the mother, and the child fully trusts her and obeys her in it. As they get older mother hands over responsibility for his life to him, teaching him to be independent.
While in uterus baby urinates, and does not realize the presence of this function. As we, for example, do not feel the kidneys and liver functions. When the child travels through the birth canal, due to strong pressure and spasms in his sphincter, he has a feeling that it hurts. However, it is just an impression, and the spasm is really not painful. The difference is – we know that, because it’s familiar for us, and the child doesn’t. This is why? Every time he needs to pee or poop, the memories of the spasms during birth make the baby signal his mom, saying “Help me, do something”. Observant mothers always notice that right before peeing, the baby acts anxiously or even cries. Mother takes him in a comfortable position, patting the area where reproductive organs are located, marking the spot, which he needs to relieve and relax. At the same time she says something like “pss-pss” or “a-a”. During the day, an infant, who is older than a week, pees more than 12 times, this is an indicator of how much milk he gets. Kidneys function according to day rhythm, which a mother watches and supports. In the first part of the day, the baby pees often, in the second part of the day – less often, at night – seldom.
Stimulus to growth
After birth, the baby doesn’t feel his body; he doesn’t know where it ends or starts. When he lived in the uterus, his borders were defined by the borders of the uterus. After birth, these borders disappeared. Mother’s task is to recreate those borders with her nurturing touch and by holding him in her arms. Otherwise how would he know where to grow?
It is a known fact that nervous tissue grows from touch, physical contact. All animals instinctively know that, and they don’t read smart books or have education. They lick their offspring – not because they are dirty, but to stimulate growth. This fact was proven in laboratory experiment, when female rats were deprived from licking their babies, yet still were fed. When mother rat stopped licking her babies, they stopped growing, despite the fact that they were fed. Scientists imitated licking by using wet brush – and growth hormones reappeared.
Man for hundreds of thousands of years has his hands free to perform the function of carrying and “licking” their children. The more the mother holds and touches the child, the better he will grow and develop. However, it is important to develop all the functions of the little man, including the genitourinary system.
Mother practices Elimination Communication, and pats her child, showing him a place for the release of his needs. In the mind of a newborn child, he is – “the ball with the probe” in the mouth, he has no concept of the body, and he does not know where it “ends.” This is what mother shows him, by patting on the genitals, and then the direction of growth becomes clear. Turns out to ensure all the boys were well-formed not only in size but also in function, and that the girls were all well-formed, you just need to stimulate growth – by patting, and by participation in the process of urination and defecation. Sexologists conducted several anthropometric studies in African tribes. Europeans men lose to them in the size of the penis, because in today’s society it is considered inappropriate or even perverted to touch genitals or run around butt-naked, this “shame spot” is rather considered to be “top secret”, and needs to be covered and closed by sliders, underwear, or diapers. If in the African tribe a man has small penis, it could mean that as a child he grew up an orphan … mom was not there and she did not show him where to grow. Women, whose mothers practiced EC in childhood, give birth easier, get pregnant easier and rarely have sexual problems.
Control of sphincters and body control
To own body, you need to figure out what it is, what it consists of. The idea how the front body looks like, the child develops in the first year of life. This idea is deposited in the subconscious. His own genitals child finds, after 4 months, and begins to actively explore them. If he was wearing diapers for a long time – the child will believe in it for a long time. As an adult he realizes that there are his genitals down there, but the subconscious mind says: “No there is nothing you got there! There is only a diaper! Remember the commercial? Kid leans over to see what’s there, and there is … nothing, only the “diaper.” This can then lead to various psychosomatic diseases. From the ability to control their sphincters and functions of the genitourinary system depends its health and human capacity in adult life to control their sexual behavior, and to be successful sexual partner.
Performing EC while Breastfeeding
This, of course, the highest level of skill and mastery … However, you can learn this skill and need to. It’s necessary that establishing control over sphincters is a comfortable process. Remember, a child is uncomfortable before peeing or pooping. Any nursing mother will tell you that the child calms down with the breast in his mouth. Sucking the breast gives the child a sense of happiness, and in seconds relieves discomfort. As mothers find – baby often “goes” while with the breast in his mouth! Once you wrap him in a blanket and start nursing, and he starts doing his “business.” Indeed, sucking relaxes the anus and sphincter muscles of the bladder, and greatly simplifies the task for the child. Therefore, EC turns into a process associated with comfort (sucking breast). I don’t think you need prove that the baby, who is in a state of comfort, is growing and developing much better!
Urethral reflex is completed by the 4th month, when the child has learned this function and has realized that it is not dangerous. So he stops to call mother for help. But Mom already knows how often the child pees and continues to EC the baby according to his rhythms, gradually reducing the control of this process, and passing it to the child. This was the first step towards the introducing the function of the potty. The success of this step makes all the rest easy and uncomplicated.
Sincerely, Valeriya Isernia*
*(original article by G. Eltonskaya – Lactation Consultant, Science Director of Motherhood and Breastfeeding Support Center “Mother’s House” in Novosibirsk, Russia)