I first read about the diaper-free baby movement, also known as Elimination Communication (EC), a few years ago (this is not cloth diapers...this is no diapers!).
I find EC pretty fascinating. But not fascinating enough to try it. And so far, none of my mom friends have tried it either. However, because of its benefits to the pocketbook and the planet, many moms are strongly moved to give it a try.
According to this recent article "Diapers, Are They Necessary?" in the SF Chronicle, Willow Lune, a teacher of Intro to Diaper-Free Babies classes, explains that "babies are born with awareness and control of their bodily functions and the ability to communicate when they want to eliminate. She talks about babies offering up cues (grunts, wiggles, cries) to signal their parents to hold their bare bottoms over a toilet, a sink, a grassy field. And she shares how cultures all over the world never use diapers." Families who practice EC can also save thousands of dollars, reduce landfill waste, and avoid diaper rash.
So basically, baby goes diaper-less and moms (and/or dads) learn to tune into their baby's potty patterns an cues. When baby says it's time to go, mom or dad holds baby over the toilet (or sink) to go. Simple huh?
Well, maybe not so simple. It's actually a good amount of work, as traditional potty training is, but many moms say it works and are content to have done the hard work early on in order to have diaper-free infants or babies much sooner than most traditionally potty-trained children. Read about one CafeMom's experience with Elimination Communication.
As with most parenting trends and practices, I'm for anything that ultimately makes mama happy (and doesn't make her insane; babyhood is hard enough without any stressful additions). To me, diaper-free parenting is one more choice for moms who are interested and dedicated to taking it on — and if they're also in a position to take on the "training." For instance, EC is a much tougher, if not impossible, choice for working parents.
Practicing diaper-free parenting is also said to to strengthen the parent's bond with her child; however, I'd argue there are hundreds of ways to strengthen the bond with your baby. Ruling out diaper-free parenting certainly doesn't rule out a strong bond. And let's face it, this practice isn't going to work for every mom or every family. But if works for yours, it sounds pretty awesome!
What do you think about diaper-free parenting or Elimination Communication? Would you give it a try? Why or why not?
CafeMom groups discussing diaper-free and EC: