New Baby Trend: Diaperless Tots Roam the World in the Buff

surprised baby on potty

An alternative parenting trend seeing a recent surge in popularity called “Elimination Communication,” is a method of potty training where, instead of using cloth or disposable diapers, parents watch their children carefully and wait for signs that he or she may need to go to the bathroom. Moms and pops then hold their children over a bowl, toilet, bucket, or sink to let them use the restroom.

According to an article from CBC News, once both baby and parent are used to this tactic, a vocal cue can then be used to motivate their child to urinate or defecate on command.

Reasons some parents are adopting the “Elimination Communication” method of potty training, include: lessening the impact of diaper waste on the environment, lessening the water wasted on washing cloth diapers, avoiding the discomfort of diaper rash, and becoming more intimately connected with their children. Some parents are fascinated with the idea that they are “rediscovering an ancient practice used in other cultures,” according to an article from the New York Times.

Like the Times, I wonder what those civilizations would have done had they known about Pampers.

Perhaps “potty training” is the wrong term for this new method. According to a non-profit support group website called www.diaperfreebaby.org, “Elimination Communication is not potty training. It is a gentle, natural, non-coercive process by which a baby, preferably beginning in early infancy learns with the loving assistance of parents and caregivers to communicate about and address his or her elimination needs. This practice makes conventional potty training unnecessary.”

The idea is that infants have a natural instinct to signal when they need to go to the bathroom. By picking up on these signals, parents should supposedly be able to quickly run them to a nearby toilet or even a tree if they are outside.

In theory, the diaperless trend may seem like some parents’ fantasy. No more diapers and a baby who uses a toilet just like they do. But the trend may be more trouble than it is worth. The Weekly Standard mentions a woman who “scattered little bowls around the house to catch her daughter’s offerings.”

Even if diaper free tots avoid smelly garbage cans or diaper genies full to the brim with soiled packages, what about washing the bowls? What happens if they have an accident?

ADVERTISEMENT

According to the Times, a lot of pediatricians are skeptical about this alternative approach. In fact, some say that saving time, avoiding the inconvenience of finding a toilet, and escaping potential colossal messes may be worth the price that comes with purchasing and disposing of diapers.

Even so, hundreds gather for “meetups” in New York City to exchange tips on practicing “Elimination Communication.” According to the Weekly Standard article, one of these tips involves “how to get a baby to urinate on the street between parked cars.”

Would you consider Elimination Communication for your baby? Comment Below!

Image via iStock

What do you think?

New Baby Trend: Diaperless Tots Roam the World in the Buff

Tell us what you think!

7 comments

  1. sleeplessmom says:

    We do a modified EC….we hold our son over the toilet with every diaper change and make a “piss” sound…while we still have wet diapers (we use cloth) he will pee in the toilet about 70% of the time, he has also recently started crawling towards the bathroom and making a “poop” face when he needs to go #2. We started when he was 7 weeks, he is now 9 months. My husband was skeptical at first but he loves it when we have a dry diaper than we can reuse.

  2. I’m an American who lives in China where this is this the norm. Diapers are the exception. Babies and toddlers wear split pants where everything hangs out all the time. I really really hope this does not catch on in the States. Moms and grandmothers whistle to encourage their baby to pee, and they do so in the middle of the sidewalk or wherever. You NEVER assume a puddle is water around here, and you never wear your shoes in the house because of it. I have to admit the comment below about washing off a car made me laugh because that would never happen.

    In their defense, Chinese culture is much older and this is the way it’s been done forever. Diapers are very expensive, and the number of people (and thus babies) would lead to a horrible landfill problem with disposable diapers. Even so, I still cringe when I see a mom holding her baby to pee in the middle of where everyone walks.

  3. Morgan Hart says:

    As long as we can all agree that this is more parent training than potty training, and these parents recognize that babies MIGHT be able to communicate when they are about to potty but don’t have the physical ability to hold it…then I’m ok with "to each his own." This is definitely NOT for me though! And I agree with the previous comment about possible health concerns

  4. actually dogs can and do pee wherever they want. urine is actually pretty much sterile. solid waste in large amounts can cause diseases, but it’s actually larger amounts than you might think. problems were noticed when people used to travel by horse even in the city and horse manure wasn’t cleaned. not saying people shouldn’t pick solid waste from their dogs (and kids), but outside it’s really more an issue of being considerate than a health issue.

  5. Darcy says:

    “how to get a baby to urinate on the street between parked cars.” !?!?! Okay I for one know that I would be a little upset if I thought I just stepped into a regular "puddle" that turned out to be pee and then traced that pee on the bottom of my shoes into my car and possibly my house. Plus, sorry, but what if little man gets his pee on someone’s car on accident? Is the parent prepared with water and a sponge to clean said pee off of car? I doubt it. Also, wouldn’t it teach some children that they can pretty much pee just about anywhere they want outside? In the woods might be one thing, but out in public in a parking lot or at the park?! We are a more densely populated Earth. Some parents really need to think about the health hazards this would produce. Our urine is a product of waste from our bodies filled with bacteria, and so is poop! Accidents happen when teaching children how to use the toliet, but that quoted statement is a bit much. Dog owners are required to pick up their dogs waste and don’t let dogs pee anywhere they please. I hope these parents pratice the same methods. Not between cars.

  6. Amy says:

    I read about this shortly after I had my baby girl, and it sounded like a fleeting fancy, a lot of trouble, and a mess waiting to happen. I went with cloth. When I mentioned elimination conversation to Daddy, he laughed and said, "okay, we’re not doing that, are we?" And when I said "no" he said "good." I’m all for natural and earth-wise, but I think this is one I can do without.

Advertisement
[x]
×

EverydayFamily.com Week-by-Week Newsletter

Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year! Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year!

Due Date or Baby's Birth Date


By clicking the "Join Now" button you are agreeing to the terms of use and privacy policy.

Send this to a friend