Diaper Free?

Apparently, the diaper free movement is growing in America. As crazy as it seems, less diaper waste and diaper money would be nice. But it takes dedication.

What’s going on in that photo you ask? It’s a mom helping her 14 week-old baby pop-a-squat. A trick the baby will surely use when she’s in her 20s, at Woodstock 2029, and can’t wait in line for the port-a-potty. I wonder if a baby could get ticketed by the police for this? Hmm

Anyway, the photo is actually from this AP article titled, “Parents begin potty training at birth.” The mom is helping her young baby learn “elimination communication,” ways to signal her when she has to go wee-wee or poop-poop. To help the baby go, the mom mimics going-to-the-bathroom sounds. Yeah, that’s right.

Apparently, the diaper free movement is growing in America. And, actually it’s common in countries like Africa and Asia, where you can’t find ample supplies of Pampers.

As crazy as it sounds, less diaper waste and diaper money would be nice. But, potty training at such an early age sure takes some dedication! And as much as I’m dedicated to my kids, you’d really have to be on top of your elimination communication all the time to be diaper-free. Plus, I’m not sure how convincing my bathroom-sounds would be.

Thanks to my pal Suzi for sending me this article!

19 thoughts on “Diaper Free?

  1. Umm…wow. If you coupled this strategy with breast-feeding and baby sign-language, you would save a lot of money; which is good because if you did all three of these things, you wouldn’t be able to work.

    No, seriously, I am envious of this strategy. Who wouldn’t want to get rid of diapers?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Let’s face it. The baby isn’t trained with such early potty “training.” But the momma sure is. Think about it. Mom has to figure out baby’s elimination schedule and be prepared at ALL times.

    What you save in diapers, you lose in ruined clothes and dry cleaning costs! Ok, maybe not an equal trade-off. But medical science says kids can’t control their own eliminations until they’re older. Wonder what mom’s constant potty pushing does to baby’s feelings about his/herself…

  3. I saw a story on The Today Show about this when I just started back to work.

    I dismissed it as crazy talk then–and still do.

    Part of me thinks this sort of stuff just fuels the Mommy Wars even more–“My son was potty trained at 4 weeks, how about your daughter?”

    More power to the moms who want to try this. I’d just have way better ways to spend my time and way too much to worry about with my newborn than trying to figure out when he’s going to eliminate. trying to figure out when

  4. Maybe this would work with Cassie, if I had nothing but time on my hands. She says “Poopy” as she goes. It was one of her first words!

  5. Just another way to put more pressure on kids and parents.

  6. Selfmademom says:

    I saw this too and I think the whole thing seems sooo absurd. Is it really natural? I really just don’t have time to even THINK about this yet, let alone try it.

  7. It looks absurd, but dang. We’re trying to get over the final potty training hurdles with my pre-schooler and I am sooooo sick of pee and poop. Days like these I wish she’d been potty trained at four months.

  8. This isn’t anything new. They’ve been using this technique in China for centuries. Seriously. The kids wear split-pants. And if that country ever entirely converted to disposable diapers? Well, you think we have environmental landfill issues now…

    This might work for parents who wear their baby, but most Western parents don’t. And it is a combination of training the parent and training the baby.

    So don’t feel pressured. Really. This works for people who want it and have the lifestyle to support it. It is not officially “potty-training”. That is something quite different.

    1. I agree with you here on all points. Hey not only is this enviro-friendly but think of all of the babies that no longer have to set in there own mess. I mean EC would almost eradicate diaper rash. No?

  9. Aside from the time issues, helping your child relieve him/herself in a sink in a public restroom???!!! EEWWW! As long as you don’t have to spend money on diapers, no big deal if the baby becomes a public health risk by leaving her urine and feces in public places! Don’t be so damned cheap and selfish people…just buy some diapers.

  10. I posted about this on my blog yesterday as well. I think it is just too much to ask a child that small to control his bathroom activities. Looking back I cannot imagine having the type of energy required to stay on top of something like that.


  11. Justice Fergie says:

    All i can say is…wow.

    i agree that it’s because it’s new to us in Western civilization, but with our lifestyles i just can’t picture it.

  12. Wow, I have to say I’m surprised by the closed-mindedness here at a usually more progressive blog. As a mother of a 3-month old who is partially-EC’d I feel like I should respond to some of the misconceptions stated by the post and the commenters.
    1. RE: time – EC does not (and rarely is) a full-time thing. Much like any other activity we engage in with our infants, EC is done as frequently or infrequently as baby and parent can. When I go back to work my daughter will be in daycare, wearing her regular ol’ diapers. We’ll EC on weekends and days off. Every little bit helps.
    2. RE: pressure on the baby. This one confuses me… humans are pre-disposed to not soil their clothing. All EC does is help an infant do what they want to do anyway – not poop or pee on themselves. EC is not “potty training” the way its conventionally understood. No one expects an infant to be “trained”. All we attempt to do is make our babies more happy and comfortable, and feeling as though their needs (to not soil themselves) are being addressed.
    3. That we’re all a bunch of cheap dirty hippies. Come on, people. Is this how you view anyone who parents in a different manner than you? I can name at least ten children (locally) that are EC’d – many are approximately 12-18 months and completely, reliably potty trained. You might be surprised how many people around you EC.

    I would encourage anyone who is sincerely interested or skeptical to check out http://www.diaperfreebaby.org for more information.

  13. Hey Olivia, I posted about the article on the diaper-free movement because I think the EC technique is interesting. I wasn’t slamming it; I just don’t think the EC thing is for me.

    I hope you didn’t take my reference to Woodstock 2029 as saying I think people who practice EC are a bunch of dirty hippies. I just think it’s funny that the baby in the picture is “popping-a-squat.” I mean… she is. It’s funny. And, yes it is a little gross. But, I’ve popped-a-squat a few times, too. And when you got to go, you got to go. I have to wonder though, why wouldn’t she take the baby to the toilet?

  14. Cara–I wondered the same thing. As well as the 13-month-old boy mentioned in the article–his mom took him outside when he signaled he had to go. And the mom who let her daughter relieve herself in the sink of a public background. Why not the toilet?

    Olivia–can you shed some light there?

  15. hmmm…I don’t know why she’d take him outside instead of to the bathroom. Most of the parents I know either use either the real toilet or a tiny plastic toilet. Some kids are afraid of going over a toilet (hence, the sink instead) so maybe that’s why?

  16. i have been learrning more about this technique as a way to be tuned in to my baby’s needs and comfort. and in being conscious of my families impact on the environment with diapers going to landfills and water scarcity around the planet…i choose to find alternatives to the standard western toilet system that advocates pooping and peeing in fresh water

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