Friday, July 24, 2009

10 Reasons to go Diaper Free

Top 10 Reasons to Go Diaper Free

by Lisa Bobrow

Much has already been written about the advantages of not using diapers. If you have not yet heard about Elimination Communication, you may be crinkling up your nose right now, assuming that not using diapers means that parents get soiled, or that the whole house becomes a toilet. I assure you, this is not so. If it were, I highly doubt so many people would adopt this method of toilet learning. Here are the top 10 reasons I chose NOT to use diapers:

*Reason #1: Diapers are Not Necessary

If you are like me, you don't want your life cluttered up by piles and piles of unnecessary STUFF! Furthermore, you don't want to waste time doing "Stuff" that can easily be avoided with a more efficient system.

Add diapers to your list of "Stuff"! The whole concept of diaper use is based on the idea that babies naturally pee and poo at random, with no awareness that they are doing so. This concept is completely false! In fact, babies have awareness and even some control over their elimination functions from birth. They will only lose this awareness if they are taught to use their diapers as a toilet.

*Reason #2: Diapers are Not Comfortable

Can you imagine walking around with a big, bulky, and often urine-soaked bundle between your legs all day long? Not to mention at night! Diapers are marketed to seem comfortable and clean. They are supposed to "stretch with your baby", and to never leak. On the surface it sounds clean, but what does it really imply? Absorbent disposable diapers are designed to hold a lot of pee, and to hold it right next to your baby's skin. Does that sound comfortable to you?

People have frequently commented on how well my baby walks since he was 10 months old. I'm sure that not wearing diapers, as well as being carried in his sling as a tiny baby, has contributed to his agility. Not only does he not have the bulk to have to manoever around, but he has a very good sense of his own body. He has not had to disassociate himself from his body to be able to deal with the unpleasantness of "wearing" his bodily waste.

*Reason #3: Your Baby is Happier Without A Diaper

Your baby does not want to sit around in her own waste. Your baby does not want to lose touch with her body and bodily functions. Your baby DOES want to communicate with you, and she will, as long as you keep listening.

*Reason #4: Communicating with Your Baby is FUN!

It's so rewarding to meet your baby's needs. There is such a sense of achievement for a parent when they have understood and responded to the needs of a pre-verbal child. For the parent, it can seem almost like magic! For the baby, it means the world is safe and full of love.

I will never forget when my baby was just 2 months old and I took him to the sink for pees. There is a big mirror there, and when he was finished I would often see his face light up with the biggest smile!

*Reason #5: Your Baby Wants to Communicate with You

While it does seem like magic sometimes, your baby actually EXPECTS to be able to communicate effectively with you. She signals when she is hungry so that you can feed her. She tells you when she wants to be held, rocked, carried, so that you can meet these needs too. Listening and responding to your baby's elimination cues is another way to strengthen the parent-infant bond.

*Reason #6: Your Planet Wants You to Communicate with Your Baby

Diapers are quite possibly right up there with car emissions as a leading cause of environmental destruction. Disposable diapers, of which children can go through up to 9000 before they are toilet trained, are cluttering up landfills at a disturbing rate. Cloth diapers, once embraced as the environmentally-friendly choice, are now thought to be at least as environmentally damaging as disposables because of the amount of water and energy that is needed to wash them. Helping your baby to eliminate into a toilet, sink, potty, or any other proper receptacle is the truly environmental choice.

*Reason #7: Not Using Diapers Saves Money

As well as saving trees, not using diapers can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Even if you use diapers as a backup in case of "misses", you can reduce your diaper use, and thus the expense of diapers, significantly. How do you think mothers in less affluent areas of the globe afford diapers? They don't! The main reason these women don't use diapers, though, is that themselves and their cultures grasp Reason #1: Diapers are Not Necessary.

*Reason #8: Not Using Diapers Saves Time

Some people reject the idea of diaper-freedom because they believe that a baby not wearing a diaper needs to be constantly monitored for pees and poos. They have still not grasped the truth that babies do indeed KNOW when they have to go and WILL tell you.

The time it takes to notice that your baby's diaper needs to be changed, find a suitable changing surface, undress your baby, clean your baby, put on a new diaper and re-dress your baby can add up to quite a bit of time! This is especially true if your baby does not enjoy diaper changes, like many babies do not, and if you are out of the house. It can be really hard to find a changing table! Cloth diapers then need to be rinsed and washed, which takes time. Disposable diapers need to be purchased at the store, with wages that were bought with time, and then carried home.

When my baby signals that he needs to go, I simply take him to any proper receptacle, pull down his pants, pee him, and that's it! All in all it usually takes less than 1 minute. I find this method much more convenient than regular diaper use.

*Reason #9: Diaper-Freedom is Healthy

Not relying on diapers helps you to avoid the many problems that come with diaper use. These include physical problems like diaper rash, urinary tract infections and digestive problems, as well as the psychological trauma of diaper changes and conventional toilet training.

*Reason #10: Diaper-Freedom is Enjoyable!

I love not having to worry about diapers! I don't have to buy them, wash them, or remember to take them with me. I know that my baby is ALWAYS clean and dry. I love the fact that I am able to meet another of my baby's needs. My husband also 'pees' our baby as successfully as I do. I'm glad that he can meet this important need for our baby. My mother and even a former roommate of mine have also 'peed' my baby and found it a very enjoyable experience.

To learn more about the How-To aspect of not using diapers, please read Laurie Boucke's synopsis of the method.

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