Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Diaper Freedom!!!

We just had an interview for Good Morning America yesterday. Don, Jaxon and I along with Melinda Rothstein (founder of DiaperFreeBaby.org) all will be featured on a segment by GMA concerning potty learning. The segment is due to air on Wednesday, Feb 23.

While doing the interview, some interesting questions were brought up by the interviewer. I want to clarify the many reason why I think this is a wonderful process. I also want to share this process with the many many moms who have children young enough to go through the process, but may have never heard about it.


1. Communication: I think that communication with babies is very important to help in the bonding and attachment relationship. That communication can seem difficult sometimes when we are not keenly aware of their signals. I'm going to tell you a little secret....babies are not verbal. Since I have let you all in on that little detail, now we can look at different ways of communication. When babies need to eat, they root and smack their lips. When babies are tired, they rub their eyes and get fussy. When babies need to be close, they reach out to us. So the same is for elimination patterns. When babies need to pee or poo, they communicate to use by using signals. Some of these signals may include fussiness, squirming, a pause in what they are doing, or coming on and off the breast. These are all ways that babies inform us of their need to eliminate prior to actually doing the deed. My job is to communicate back. I can do this by ignoring their signals and letting them eliminate in a diaper on themselves. Or, I can do this by taking them to the proper receptacle to eliminate. I am then communicating that it is okay to eliminate, and you won't be doing it on yourself. This type of communication increases the bond between baby and caregiver. It increases the amount of trust the baby has in us as caregivers to meet their needs which will in turn decrease their stress level.

2. Natural instinct: Babies are born with a natural instinct or desire to eliminate somewhere other than on themselves. This is why the newborn baby cries after he pees or poos. This is why when you take that diaper off, newborns will pee. They don't want to sit in their pee or poo no more than any adult desires to. After time, this instinct will start to dissolve because we train them that eliminating on themselves is normal by keeping them in diapers all of the time. Why not allow them to keep this instinct by placing them on a potty instead?

3. Time Consuming: When I first heard of DFB or EC, I thought about how my time was already going to be so limited. Why would I want to add more stuff to the crazy life of taking care of a new baby. Well, I quickly learned that it takes much longer for me to change a diaper on a baby who thinks diapers are the most evil thing ever invented than it does to take him to the potty. This has become part of our normal routine throughout the day. Contrary to what you may think, I don't spend hours a day hovering over a toilet.

4. Health: The idea of a urinary tract infection causes shivers up my body. I hate to suffer from a UTI. It is very uncomfortable. Now throw a UTI on a nonverbal baby. I don't even want to imagine the horror. By removing the wet diaper, I now reduce the chance of a UTI. That simple. I also reduce the chance of getting a diaper rash. I have seen some pretty bad diaper rashes in my work days. I would have no desire to have those scaly, itching, burning red bumps on my butt, would you....so why risk my son's bottom.

5. Environment: The less that I use diapers (disposable or cloth) the better for the environment...that simple.

6. Struggle: Traditional potty learning can bring many bad thoughts into the minds of parents who have already been there and done that. This is a process that shouldn't bring about torture for the parent or child. I want my son to have a gentle experience. I shouldn't have to force him to do anything, much less something that is a natural instinct for humans. Although potty learning is not the ultimate goal with EC, it is a side effect of it. Side effects of my parenting should be just as gentle as the parenting itself.

These are my musing as to why I truly believe that Elimination Communication is a wonderful process by which I can increase the attachment bond between Jaxon and I. We have reached a comfortable level of understanding by increasing our communication with one another.

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