Parenting is no easy task. When it comes to shaping little people into fully functioning adults, our work is definitely carved out for us.
Thankfully, modern technology eases some doodies… I mean duties.
- The breast pump allows moms to nourish their babies in the their absence and relieve milk-heavy bosoms.
- The bottle warmer is a safe and quick fix to heating baby formula without resorting to the old-school fuss of boiling water at the stove or nuking milk in the microwave.
- Nanny cams and baby monitors give eyes in places parents usually cannot see.
- Baby rockers replace tired arms and allow parents to multi-task.
- Disposable diapers are a godsend for the obvious reasons.
Gone are the days of washing, rinsing and reusing cloth diapers. Today, their use is simply a matter of choice.
‘Elimination communication’: Diaper-free potty training for babies
Some parents shirk diapers all together by choosing “elimination communication” (EC), a more esoteric way of managing baby dung and pee time.
According to Natural Birth and Baby Care:
“EC is also called infant potty training, natural infant hygiene, and diaper free.”
It’s a natural approach to baby toileting, which may begin as early as a few weeks post-birth and involves tuning into babies’ instinctive cues to “go.”
For example: grunting, grimacing and straining are elimination cues. Once aware of these signs, parents hoist the baby over a pail, sink, toilet or outdoors area to empty the bowel and bladder.
In praxis, parents are advised to replicate grunting noises while babies perform number two, and use “ssssss” sounds for number one, as a way to communicate future functions.
Here are other signs to watch for:
- Sudden fussiness
- Getting very still all of a sudden
- A shiver going up and down baby
- Squirming, shaking head from side-to-side
- Grunting and/or bearing down
- Passing gas
Elimination Communication is not new. It is a cultural practice in many eastern societies such as Africa, India and China. East Africa’s Digo tribe is known to achieve day and night dryness in infants by age six months and a 100% potty-training success in toddlers by the age of 1. The Digo society implements EC practice in infants within weeks of birth.
Andrea Olson, an expert and trainer in Elimination Communication shares resourceful information to guide parents in their journey. She has written “go diaper free” and produces tutorials on the topic.
Benefits of elimination communication supposedly include:
- Deep connections formed between parents and babies through naturally instinctive language
- Reduced harm to baby’s skin (diaper rash and yeast infections) due to diaper-free baby bottoms
- Smooth transition to the potty as babies’ cognition is enhanced through early learning and identification.
But elimination communication has cons, too: It takes commitment to work — adapting it as a lifestyle is key. It’s not always convenient — travel and access must be considered.
All that considered, is elimination communication a technique you are willing to try? Let us know.
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