The Diaper Free Baby book Review & Giveaway
The Diaper Free Baby is a book about elimination communication (EC) by mother and Dr. Christine Gross-loh . I didn’t know much about EC before reading this, except that it sounded too good to be true (and a bit crazy) to think that an infant could use a potty instead of diapers. Well, I started reading and ended up not being able to put the book down. I highlighted it, thought about the principles explained, and then tried it with my then 17-month-old daughter. I am now a convert to EC and think that every single mama should receive this book at her baby shower!
Here are the basics in a nutshell: throughout history and even currently today, many countries only have their babies in diapers for a few months if even that. The US keeps our kids in diapers the longest, and this is really a more recent phenomenon with the invention of disposable diapers. Babies don’t particularly like to sit in their waste (have you ever noticed that a young baby will pee when you take the diaper OFF?), and in fact, we condition them to go in diapers. Eventually, a baby will ignore and then not realize his elimination signals. We as parents could notice these signals from very early on, just like we notice hunger or sleep cues in our child…however, we are taught that an infant isn’t able to eliminate in anything but a diaper, so we ignore those signals. As our baby turns into a toddler and gets to the age when she doesn’t want to do as she’s told or emulate mommy anymore, then we decide to “potty train” and teach our children to stop eliminating in a diaper and to start eliminating in a potty…except they don’t know their own elimination signals anymore! All sorts of interesting things are put into play during our traditional potty training, and often, it turns into a power struggle instead of something that just happens naturally.
Elimination Communication, in contrast, is about the caretaker or parent paying attention to the baby’s elimination cues and not ignoring them. That’s it. It’s not about “potty training” an infant, really. It’s not “training the parent”, as many well meaning people tell me is what I’m doing (haha!). It’s about me paying attention to my child and responding to what she is communicating to me. I wish I could tell you everything about the book—it covers the history and cultural aspects of potty training, the reasons behind using elimination communication, personal stories, photos (which my daughter loves—in fact, I had to read after she went to bed because if she saw me pull the book out during the day, she would take it from me so she could look at the photos of babies on potties!), and detailed information on how you can practice EC with your child.
The biggest thing that struck me (other than the fact that ECing makes a lot more sense than potty training) is that I can do it as a working mom. If I had known this before, I would have read this book before. I had thought that only stay-at-home moms who can chase behind their child with a bowl all day long could do this. In The Diaper Free Baby, it’s explained that you can actually practice ECing part time and even if you’re a working mom who only has a half an hour a day to spend going diaper free. I was pretty skeptical about the whole thing even though it sounded brilliant, but decided I would try it and not feel bad if it didn’t work out (the book offers great support to parents for the times when their child will NOT use the potty, too). LoveBug had just turned 17-months and I had ordered a little potty (which turned out to be a big potty, but I hadn’t gotten to the potty suggestions in the book yet and so didn’t realize that the typical “little” potties available in our US stores are actually fit for a 3-year-old, not my 20-pounder!). I let her go without a diaper for about an hour two different evenings during the week. I paid attention to what she did before she eliminated, and said “pepepepe” when she peed. When Saturday came, I let her run around without a diaper all day. She peed on the floor three times, and each time I tried to whisk her to the potty before she was done, all the while talking to her about it and making sure I said “pepepe” and made the sign language sign for “toilet.” I was about to give up when I decided to just let her try one more time. Sure enough, the next time she had to go, she pointed to herself and I took her to the potty where she peed. The second time, the same thing. The third time, she ran over by herself and sat down! This is my girl who uses sign language but who won’t say more than “da”!
Needless to say, I am completely impressed and I think it has nothing to do with her or I being extra talented or smart. It’s simply because I learned things in the Diaper Free Baby that I didn’t otherwise know. Now at 18-months-old and me being home with her full time for the last two weeks (thanks to being taken off of work early due to pre-labor symptoms), she is using the potty multiple times a day. She still wears a diaper sometimes and goes on the floor sometimes, but it’s almost always because she’s too “busy” to go potty. If I ask her to go, she goes every time! She’s also now telling me when her diaper is wet (she wants it off now), is recognizing her own elimination signals full time, and has started using the “potty” ASL sign.
I will be using EC much, much earlier with my son, now that I understand it. I actually feel bad now leaving a child in a dirty or wet diaper—why should they have to sit in that when they could just go in a potty?! This book has shown me that EC makes sense, is better for the child (and environment), and really can be done. I also feel good about myself now, knowing that I’m allowing my child to naturally develop her ability and choice to use a potty instead of me forcing it upon her, and that I’m not having her sit in her own waste just because she doesn’t mind.
Buy It! Visit http://www.amazon.com/Diaper-Free-Baby-Natural-Training-Alternative/dp/0061229709?ie=UTF8&tag=life0fd-20&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969and buy two copies-one to keep and one to give to a friend.
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