Every family's Elimination Communication plan will be different. It all depends on so many factors that no plan would work for everyone. Here are some of the different aspects to decide when considering Natural Infant Hygiene and what I'm planning on doing.
- When to start - I'm hoping to start right away with cue sounds even if I'm too tired or sore to try to "catch" any opportunities. If I'm really ambitious I will try to start catching urination chances when he first wakes up from sleeping or right after he eats. From what I've read these are the easiest places to start.
- Diaper usage - I am going to use diapers as a backup. I know a lot of people use elimination communication without diapers and just deal with getting wet. I don't think that is necessary. I will use them at night for sure and then maybe decrease as we get better at it. I do love the idea of using cloth diapers without the liner so that I know exactly when he gets wet and doesn't have to sit in it.
- Co-sleeping - Not in the plan at all. I know that many people who use NIH tend to do things like co-sleep or have a family bed. That is not for me. I mean, I maybe we can lay down together and cuddle for a nap, but that's different. I think it is possible to attend to your baby's needs without having them in your bed.
- Baby wearing - Yes, this one is for sure in the plan. I have two different wraps so I can "wear" the baby. This just makes sense to me because it leaves my hands free to do other things and I can keep him close all the time. Plus I've read that people are less likely to touch your baby without asking if you are wearing him.
- Intensity - I want this to decrease stress, not add to it. So we will do the best we can and if we don't succeed then at least we had a nice time communicating together. I will consider it a success even if we only catch an opportunity once a day or even once a week.
- Partner help - I'm not expecting my husband to try to learn signs or anything really. I do expect him to teach me the sign language for different bathroom words (he's teaching the baby sign language and I'm teaching him Farsi and we are helping each other learn). I will ask him to use the cue sounds if he has a chance, but I'm definitely not going to stress out my husband if he doesn't want to participate at all. He can change diapers if that is what is more comfortable for him. Although, I do picture him having fun holding a urinating baby over the bathtub or toilet.
- Cue sounds - I am planning to use the "ssssss" sound for urination. I still haven't decided if I will use the same or a different noise for defecation. I was going to say "shaash" for urine, that being the Farsi word kids use for going to the bathroom, but it has the "shh" sound in it too much and I've read that it can be confusing for kids to hear the sound too much in every day conversation. Lets just hope people don't go around imitating snakes.
That's all I can think of for now. I will see how it goes with this ... eventually, whenever he decides to let us meet him face to face.
Do you have a different type of plan? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.