Meghan - posted on 07/12/2010 ( 51 moms have responded )
Diaper fre baby or more commonly referred to as Elimination communication (EC) is a toilet training practice in which a caregiver uses timing, signals, cues, and intuition to address an infant's need to eliminate waste. Caregivers try to recognize and respond to babies' bodily needs and enable them to urinate and defecate in an appropriate place (e.g. a potty). Caregivers either use diapers as a back-up in case of misses, avoid the use of of them altogether, or do a mixture of the two. EC emphasizes communication between the caregiver and child, helping them both become more attuned to the child's innate rhythms and control of urination and defecation. The practice can be done full time, part time, or just occasionally. The term "elimination communication" was inspired by traditional practices of diaper-less baby care in less industrialized countries and hunter-gatherer cultures. Some practitioners of EC begin soon after birth, although it can be started with babies of any age.
According to "The Diaper-Free Baby" by Christine Gross Loh, EC offers a large range of advantages. Because EC lessens families' reliance on diapers, this helps reduce the number of diapers sent to landfill, and is cheaper. ECed babies are free from the problems of conventional diapering: diaper rash; diaper change battles; not being able to explore this area; vulnerability to urinary tract infections; potentially delayed or difficult potty training. Gross Loh also reports that EC creates a unique and wonderful bond between babies and caregivers.  Parents report that the squat or ‘potty’ position that parents tend to hold their baby in order to go seems to be very comfortable for babies. Just as for a laboring mother, the position helps to relax the pelvic floor muscles. This seems to help babies who are suffering from mild constipation. Some babies find defecating to be an unsettling process, especially when they are eating solid food. With EC, parents feel they can offer emotional and physical support.
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