Changing diapers is not fun, and at times it can be pretty gross. Plus, diapers are expensive—whether you use disposables and have to restock; or you use cloth and have to launder them. One solution: Stop using diapers.
Some Baby Mamas practice Elimination Communication, a way of early potty training, and say it's a more natural way of responding to your baby's elimination needs. Some people start it right after their baby is born, but you can do it with a baby of any age.
I think it's super interesting and wanted to find out more about it, so I interviewed BabyDio, who has been going diaperless with her 7-month-old daughter Domino for about two months now. Here's what she had to say.
Baby Buzz: Can you tell us a little bit about what it means to go diaperless?
BabyDio: Well, It's called Elimination Communication or E.C. The baby gives us
elimination cues—just like babies give their parents cues when they're hungry or sleepy—and we take her to the bathroom. We don't use
diapers except for at stores or at night.
Baby Buzz: How did you get interested in it?
BabyDio: Honestly, it didn't seem any messier than using diapers. Domino pooped out the sides and back of every diaper we tried! This way, if we have an accident I only clean poo off her, not her and me and her clothes. It seems a lot better for her little tushy too—not sitting in pee all the time.
Baby Buzz: What cues does she give you when she has to pee or poop?
BabyDio: We are still kind of working on it. A big one is when she first wakes up from her naps. Another one is after she eats. Sometimes I just think maybe she has to go and she does. Hopefully soon she will learn the "potty" sign. If she's wearing a diaper, she gets fussy because she doesn't want to pee on herself, so that makes it a lot easier.
Baby Buzz: What do you do when it’s "time”?
BabyDio: I hold her over the potty. I sit backwards on the toilet and hold the bottom of her thighs with her back against my belly. I've been using the "potty" sign for about a week now trying to get her to understand that, but for now I just make a "pssss" sound and she if she has to go, she does. If not, she just wants to play with the toilet paper!
Baby Buzz: How has Domino adjusted to going diaperless?
BabyDio: She likes it. Some days are easier than others of course, but she really enjoys going to the potty. I bet her favorite part is the "pssss" sound—it always make her laugh. It's also really good "mommy baby time," as silly as that sounds. It forces me to stop what I'm doing to take her to the potty, and she likes the extra attention. She started crawling a few weeks ago, and since then it's been harder because she doesn't want to sit on the potty, she wants to play. For about a week we went back to diapers to let her adjust. We want the potty to be a good experience—if she ends up not wanting to, it's not a big deal, we'll try it later.
Baby Buzz: What happens when you are out in public?
BabyDio: I haven't purposely gone diaperless in public yet. I did forget to put a diaper on her once and she didn't have any accidents while we were out. I've heard that it's sometimes easier in public because you are so aware of your child because they aren't sitting around playing.
Baby Buzz: Ever had any accidents?
BabyDio: Yes! For the first week that's all we had, but it's not a big deal. I wash her stuff like a crazy woman anyway. All those accidents were worth it when she peed on the potty for the first time—it was so great. Sometimes we still have accidents. Mostly when I'm being lazy. For example, I put her down for a nap on the couch and instead of getting up to clean my house, I slept with her. I woke her up just enough for her to pee all over the both of us. So much for nap time!
Baby Buzz: Do you know how about much money you’ve saved on diapers?
BabyDio: I would say around $70 in the last two months—we still use diapers at night and in public.
Baby Buzz: What are the other advantages of going diaperless?
BabyDio: Number one: No diapers! You save money and time. Maybe not at the start, but it's a lot easier to pull down baby's pants and sit 'em on a potty than to try to get them to lay still while you take off the diaper, wipe 'em down, keep all those hands and legs outta the poo and put the diaper back on. And babies don't want to lie in their pee and poo, even if it's for one minute. And who doesn't like bragging rights?
Baby Buzz: Is there any downside?
BabyDio: Not for us. I can see how some people might see some disadvantages, but I don't. It's easier than dealing with diaper explosions, because now I know when she's going to need to use the bathroom so I can take her before we have an accident.
Baby Buzz: What advice would you give someone who wants to go diaperless?
BabyDio: Do it! Just keep at it. If your baby doesn't seem to like it, try it again after a few days. Some days are easier than others. Oh, and the younger the better—babies get "trained" to not notice a wet diaper and just go on with their playing, eating or whatever. It's easier to catch them before this sets in.
If you want more information on going diaperless, check out Diaper Free Baby.
What do you think? Would you give Elimination Communication a try?