Be Really Green... Have a Diaper Free Baby!

When my son was 14 months old, I started to have a hard time keeping him dry all night long. Even using cloth diapers with two inserts and a doubler, it still wasn't enough for my super soaker. And I felt so bad putting him to bed at night with such a huge poofy diaper. Plus we sleep as a family, so...

So I went to my favorite naturally-minded online community of mothers to ask around for some ideas on how to help keep all of us dry at night. I went straight to the diapering area of the forum and was about to post a question when I saw the Elimination Communication forum. I assumed it had to do with questions concerning elimination, right? So I entered and asked my q...

And the responses I got?

That must be uncomfortable for your baby to sleep in so much padding.

Why don't you just have him potty during the night instead of using diapers?

Potty? At 14 months? No diapers?

What?

I hadn't even thought to start introducing the potty to my toddler let alone have him diaperless. What were these women thinking?

So I started asking questions in this strange Elimination Communication forum...

And the information I started seeing was very intriguing. Turns out Elimination Communication - EC for short - is a method of following your baby's cues, placing them on the potty when you can see that they are about to eliminate, and thus having a diaper free baby!

Diaper free baby?

Oh, boy, I thought. I've got to try this!

And we did. I still used cloth diapers on my son but instead of waiting to change him when I could tell that he had eliminated (aka: He was wet or not so sweet smelling anymore...) I started to watch for his elimination cues.

I started to take note of what his body language looked like or what he did when he was about to eliminate. I also taught him the sign for toilet that he could use when he thought he had to use the potty. Although it wasn't fail proof - hence the reason for continuing to use cloth diapers - it turned out to be quite easy to follow his cues, place him on the potty, and subsequently still have a clean diaper on his bottom!

By the time he was 15 months we were EC'ing him during the day almost flawlessly, dropping the number of diapers he soiled during the day considerably. I also got to use the potty once during the night which helped with the super soaking!

So what started as an accidental turn in an online forum turned out to be a very educational adventure!

When my daughter was born two years later, I knew I wanted to EC her too. When she was 3 months old, I started and she loved it! I'd hold her upright on the potty, she'd pee or poo (oh, aren't those newborn poos so cute!), and her diaper was still clean to use again! By the time she was 2 years old she was a potty pro, never needing a diaper at night, never having an accident at night, and learned how to use the potty on her own.

Many EC'ers don't use diapers at all, while others use woollies and very thin diapers. Every family finds their best way to EC. I loved it because it kept my kids mostly dry since they rarely used their diapers to eliminate in, AND it cut down on my water and energy usage.

If you're interested in trying EC'ing out, go for it! There is tons of support out there. Even if you are a mom who works outside the home and have your child being cared for else where, you can EC when you're with them at home and at night. And moms who EC have reported that because of it, their children have learned to use the potty all on their own at a very early age. Besides, this whole EC thing is nothing new. For eons moms have respected their baby's cues and responded to them.

So go ahead and be really green...have a diaper free baby!

;)

3 comments:

  1. Wow! Oh my gollie... cannot believe your daughter was just 3 months old and using the potty! I bet that looked cute and funny!! LOL. Our son was two when he potty trained and I thought that was incredible :) We too just took off the diaper and never looked back. Though he still wears a diaper at night even now at four because of his severe Eczema and allergies that have always been a problem and kept him up all night itching.

    He is so so so much better now though because of his Vidazorb chewable probiotics and hardly itches at all. He does though sleep like a rock because we still give him his antihistamine. I think we are going to have to cut the dose in half or get rid of it all together. I think he will be just fine without taking it as I mentioned that his Zorbee has helped his skin so much. I think it is starting to bother him that he has potty accidents at night, but what I explain to him is that he cannot help it. That it's his medicine making him so tired that he does not feel body cues. This is giving me inspiration. Thanks so much :)

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  2. We've practiced EC twice since birth - and yes we use diapers as back-up in case of misses - that's what a diaper is for! (to us, LOL)

    Always keep in mind that "Diaper free" is the DESTINATION of doing Elimination Communication, not the starting point" Seems obvious? Many articles sensationalize EC. It's great that you are having fun!

    http://www.PartTimeDiaperFree.com is my site on Baby Pottying - pop over and visit!

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