Getting My Husband On Board For Elimination Communication
My husband and I are really open with each other. I can just about share anything with him and he is the one that I’ve shared my deepest, darkest secrets with. I also fart, eat like a pig, and get super comfortable in front of him. However, when we were preparing for the arrival of our first baby, I knew there was so much I didn’t know about his upbringing or how similar our view on parenting were. Our core values were very inline with each other, but I wasn’t sure about the other practical aspects of parenting (sleep, feeding, approach to baby’s crying, etc.).
So when I came across the idea of Natural Infant Hygiene, otherwise known as Elimination Communication (EC), I get very excited, but was apprehensive about how he would react. I mean, we didn’t know ANYBODY around us that did this! We had already planned to cloth diaper. We didn’t even have any friends around that did this either! But hubby was on board when he heard of all the benefits.
I still remember the fall walk we were on when I pitched my idea of ECing our baby from birth. The air was crisp and cool. My pregnancy waddle was on full gear. I waited for a quiet moment before I jumped into my speech. I tried to summarize (without devaluing) what EC was, the amazing benefits, and how it will be so awesome for us! I emphasized several times that it would save money, reduce laundry, and save money. Men like numbers right? I threw a couple at him. I even launched into a whole mini history lesson about diaper usage and the disposable diaper industry.
It was like I was trying to counter any of his rebuttals before he could even THINK of them. But I really didn’t need to. He calmly listened and said that it all seemed to make sense. He even read part of the book Diaper Free Baby by Ingrid Bauer to learn more about it.
When baby came and sleep was much sought after, my husband often suggested that we slow down the EC which I vehemently disagreed to. However, as he saw the benefits and how fun it is, I can safely say he is fully on board! We don’t practice EC exactly the same way, which is OKAY! But he helped fold the cloth diapers, potty the baby, empty the potty, and even started an EC-RELATED BUSINESS with me! It was actually his idea in the first place and he encouraged me to open Komfi Baby.
Here are some tips I can give if you are a mom (or mom-to-be) hoping to get your husband on the same page as you about Elimination Communication:
Don’t assume that he’ll be against it. This may make you sound argumentative or negative when you share about it. His reaction will probably be laced in defensiveness without his knowing why.
Name the benefits. There are so many. Environmental, health, financial, convenience, attachment. So, so, so many. Find a list (available online or in any EC book) and share them.
Be realistic. Well, as realistic as you can if you have no idea what to expect. But being up front about what EC may look like (frequent potty trips, being more present, needing to be more attentive to baby) will save you from backlash later on. If you make it sound magical and completely poopless or effortless, you both will be disappointed and he may feel like he isn’t getting what he signed up for.
Mention how much money it can save. Unless you go all out and buy more EC products than you’ll ever need, you WILL save money. If you use disposables, you’ll use less. If you use cloth, you’ll soil and do less laundry. I think men like things that will save the family money.
Talk about what it can mean for him as a dad. Babies need mommy intensely in the first little bit. Maybe even the first couple years. Even more so if you’re breastfeeding. Dads can feel left out and are often offered diaper changing duties. My husband took great pleasure in cuing our son and seeing him poop in response! It was so much better than always changing diapers and it meant that he could bond with a newborn in a way he didn’t expect to so early on.
Do share as much as possible able EC. Whether it’s over time or in a couple main discussions, it’s important for daddy to know WHY you’re going through the effort of ECing the baby. Because soon, he will receive comments from friends or family. He will need to know why you as a family have chosen to do this or else you will feel like its you, baby, and potty against the world.
There’s one last point that I have to share. I think I failed in this regard. I was so gungho about EC that I barged ahead. I’m grateful that he was OK with it, but I hope not to make this mistake again.
Allow him to be a part of the decision. You can share how you want to do EC, but if he isn’t fully for it, make a compromise. You can do EC part-time, like just at home. You can start after a couple months. Make this a family decision rather than merely your own that you impose on him.
I hope these tips as well as our own experience were helpful to you! How about you? Were you or your partner more interested in EC? How did “the talk” go?