All you really need to begin EC with your baby is the baby and a willingness to have a go. Nothing fancy at all.
If you would like to buy potties and accessories, training pants,
tiny undies etc, please click here to see
what I stock or can make for you.
say that no special equipment is really "neccessary"--some
things just make it easier. With my first Ec'd baby, I didn't use a
potty or anything special besides flat prefolds, some diapers, baby
slings, a waterproof change pad for the bed, and flannel blankets
that I was planning to use anyway. I had also never read a word about
EC, had no computer and obviously hadn't read my own book yet
What it did take was a conviction that it was possible and a strong committment to close communication.
With the second, I had ever so much more info, 2 BB potties, poquito pants (which we rarely used as she didn't need them), wool bed pad and the flannel bankets. Both my children were around the same age when they were toilet independent (the second perhaps a little younger and consistent) and the second was easier.
Was it because I had more stuff? I doubt it, but the information I'd gathered and read, the online support and the experience of ECing the older one certainly helped.
Marnie answers: Having run the EC course from start to finish :-) beginning EC with a tiny baby and now after graduation, I wanted to share my thoughts about nappies, training pants and undies.
We mostly used Australian flats (towelling squares about 18-20" square) at the beginning till about 7 months with my DD. I changed every time she wet. They are easy to wash and quick to line dry. They require folding but are fairly similar to prefolds. Occasionally I used trim little fitted nappies that I made and which have now evolved into OneWet Nappies. If I had begun making them earlier, then I would have used them a lot more LOL
Nappies/diapers are great for use as back up while the baby is floppy and non-mobile since they are mostly on their backs for changing. Also nappies open up for easy changing of missed poo.
As soon as there are infrequent poo misses and the baby is not so floppy - and definitely once they become mobile I would suggest using training pants. Several reasons:
- smaller volume to wash
- easier to pull down and up for frequent pottying
- quicker for pottying which helps to avoid the baby getting fed up with being interrupted for pottying (might put off potty pauses?)
I swapped to using training pants (Bright Bots for a short while, then OneWet Pants) when DD was 7 months old. I wish that I had begun using them around 4 months when she began crawling. BrightBots wicked into other clothing; OneWet Pants did not (I make and sell OWP now). I wish that I had been able to buy Poquitos - but they were not available at the time.
When my DD was about 13 months old I began using cotton undies with her. At that stage we were having about 3 misses a day and it seemed easier to just change and wash normal clothes. Of course, it was very difficult to find little panties to fit her 8kg frame so I began making them too LOL (See a pattern here?? ROFL)
In brief I would suggest:
birth to 4-6 months - prefolds or similar
6 months until about 3 misses per day - training pants
about 3 misses per day - cotton undies.
Of course YMMV - and will also depend on the tolerance to baby excretions by all associated with the baby :-)
First of all... EC can be done with diapers or without. The more you diaper your baby, the harder it may be, but people have certainly been successful with EC even using disposables most or all of the time.
The continuum of baby butt covering with EC goes something like this:
A lot of ECers start at one end and gradually work through to the other end, usually skipping some "steps," as they get better with EC. Others start somewhere in the middle, and may make a leap farther along at some point. Most folks find nakeybutt useful, if not essential, at least for brief periods now and then. A golden few manage to never use diapers at all, while most use some kind of back-up a lot of the time.
Where you find yourself on this continuum is going to depend on several factors, including (in no particular order):
Some people find that using anything less than a full diaper stresses them (or their families) out too much, and makes EC unbearable. Others find that until they go totally diaper-free, they just don't tune in enough to be successful. What *you* need to do is going to depend on who *you* are.
So relax, catch a few pees, find your comfort level. EC isn't as easy as it looks, sometimes, but it's not as hard either. ;-) (Seriously, in a few months, that will make perfect sense to you.)