Ever wondered how parents dealt with the toileting needs of their infants before nappies were around? Most parents around the world today, including in India, Africa, South America, and China, still "potty" their babies from birth - a natural method commonly referred to as "elimination communication". As well as avoiding the large environmental impact of using disposable nappies, EC has many benefits for both baby and parents:
"Diaper Free Baby"
* Babies are aware of their elimination needs from birth and communicate about those needs through various vocal and bodily signals. Within the first few months of life, babies have the ability to consciously release their bladders and bowels. By taking them to appropriate elimination places during infancy, we enable them to maintain a connection with their bodily sensations and learn from an early age what to do when they experience those sensations.
* Elimination Communication should always be gentle, non-coercive, and based on babies' interests and needs. Communication is the most important aspect of Elimination Communication, and should be the focus.
* Elimination Communication is begun in infancy - starting as early as possible is recommended. After one year, Elimination Communication principles can be applied to toilet learning.
* Practicing Elimination Communication allows families to avoid struggles sometimes associated with diaper changes and toilet training. Elimination Communication can also account for and reduce some "unexplained" fussiness in infants, and eliminate diaper rash.
* Elimination Communication can be done using diapers all of the time, some of the time, or not at all. By reducing the number of diapers used, Elimination Communication provides a more environmentally-sound option than conventional cloth or disposable diapering.
* Elimination Communication can be practiced full-time or part-time, by stay-at-home parents or by working parents. Elimination Communication can be practiced by people of all income levels and physical abilities.
* Prompt loving attention to our babies' needs promotes strong baby-parent bonds, fulfilling natural human instincts. The bond of trust built through feeding and comforting is strengthened when caregivers respond to the baby's elimination needs. Elimination Communication helps strengthen communication with our babies and is consistent with Attachment Parenting practices.
Benefits of Elimination Communication
and using cloth nappies instead of disposable nappies as "back-up":
- less nappies sitting in landfill for 500 years before they decompose
- a minimum annual saving of $2700 on the cost of nappies
- no nappy rash for baby
- baby isn't exposed to the chemicals used in the production and in the absorbent gel of disposable nappies, which can enter a baby’s bloodstream and in the case of girls get into their vagina
- no nappy change battles for caregivers
- baby will be less vulnerable to urinary tract infections and constipation
- no struggles later on with toilet training
- increased baby-parent bonding
- baby gets to experience the concept of cause and effect, which accelerates their learning
- baby has the opportunity to explore their own body, helping them to develop a positive self-perception around gender, cleanliness, and his or her body image
- EC Simplified
- Diaper Free Baby
- Sarah Buckley MD
- The Potty Shop
- Parenting With Presence
- Born Potty Trained
- Nourished Magazine
Formerly known as Paleo Pregnancy & Parenting,
Mikaela's personal blog explores topics relating to ancestral-based nutrition, pregnancy, undisturbed birth, and natural parenting.