The Diaper-Free Baby Movement


potty, diaper-free movement, elimination communicationI 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:

poop & diapers


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auror... aurorabunny

It wouldn't work for us because my son isn't even aware of when he is going to the bathroom.

But hey, whatever works for different people.

momav... momavanessa

I would never try that!! I love diapers too much!! LOL!

Bella... Bellarose0212

We do EC and we love it. Diapers didn't always exist, and there is this natural communication that women of the past never thought twice about and neither do most in Africa and India. We started at 4 mos but some people do it from birth. I hated seeing poo all in her crevices and even though we were very attentive she got diaper rash. I love it now- one quick wipe to the bottom and she is done. When we are out, I just let her pee when I go. Here we have a potty or we let her pee in the sink. It works wonderfully for us.

bluel... bluelady27

I looked into it, but I'll be honest: I don't think I have the patience.  I wish I did because it does seem like it has many advantages.  Just not for us.  We'll keep our cloth.

Bella... Bellarose0212

I respect your decision that it is not for you- but I don't know that it requires a great amount of patience. At least not for me. It's not something I do at sacrifice to myself. It's just normal life. It is actually much more convenient to just take her to the bathroom when I go and let her poop on the potty and just have one quick wipe and dump it in the toilet- no elaborate clean-up requiring a baby to lay down and dirtying blankets or changing pads, diapers, etc. I no longer need the patience to deal with a bunch of poop and do a ton of laundry and I don't have to smell diapers. Also- EC is not all or nothing. You don't have to actually go diaper free in order to gain some benefits of EC (think less mess, less laundry, easier transition to the toilet as a toddler). You can start by holding baby over the sink, tub, toilet, or a bowl when he or she wakes up from a nap- they always have to go then. Maybe you only do it after naps or only at night or only when you are at home or only when you are out. You are saving yourself money or laundry no matter how occasional. Also, you will start learning your babies potty cues naturally and that will help you keep baby out of wets and reduce or eliminate diaper rash. If baby already sees and is used to sitting (even occasionally) on a baby potty- toilet training should come easier too.

lucky... luckymomma08

what happens if your at the store and without warning you get pooed all over? the only signal my daughter gave that she had to go was the huge fart sound that came with her messing her dipey, so no for warning that gives me any time to do anything. that would lead to alot of embaressment in public....

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