Using Elimination Communication
Why Elimination Communication Could Be an Eco Alternative to Diapers
There’s a movement afoot to free parents of stinky, dirty diaper patrol, and it goes by the name elimination communication (EC), though others call it infant potty training or the diaper free technique. This concept gets parents learning how to read their baby’s nonverbal communication signals for when they need to go to the toilet (or whatever receptacle you choose to use). Using diapers to supplement trips to the toilet, parents slowly work with their children to learn collaboratively how to make diapers a thing of the past.
Based on ancient, pre-diaper techniques for communicating with babies about their need to pee and poop, baby elimination communication is said to enhance the parent-child bond. Although some think of elimination communication as baby potty training, it isn’t quite the same concept. Rather than coercing your child to learn how to communicate their needs, you simply gradually help them gain toilet independence. In fact, many espouse elimination communication as a way of getting your child to use the toilet much sooner than traditional potty training methods. The benefits of elimination communication are many:
- Cleanliness: Using EC with your baby allows you to flush away their waste without having to clean dirty diapers or take out the trash. Plus, because your baby no longer has to sit in a urine-soaked or stool-dirty diaper for hours, they stay a lot cleaner and avoid rashes as well.
- Comfort: Babies that get to roll around naked and clean are more comfortable and happy. And many mothers have reported that their babies struggle less to eliminate when in a gentle squatting position over a toilet or bucket.
- Less waste: On average, babies go through up to 8,000 diapers before they are potty trained. Using significantly fewer diapers (or none at all!) will cut your environmental impact considerably. Not only will you create less waste associated with disposables, you’ll also be using less water and energy to launder cloth diapers.
Learning the signs, holding positions, and communication methods will take some time and patience, but with expert guidance it is said to be a highly rewarding and beneficial process. If you want to learn more, check out the following resources:
- Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene - by Ingrid Bauer
- Infant Potty Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living - by Laurie Boucke
- Tribal Baby - One couple’s experience with elimination communication training
1 10 FAST FACTS ON RECYCLING. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2010, from US Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/solidwasterecyclingfacts.htm