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Thread: Elimination communication: Diaper-free Child-rearing page

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    sjmc's Avatar
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    Elimination communication: Diaper-free Child-rearing

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    What I find amusing is these are the same women who would doubtlessly shoot a dirty look at a homeless person relieving him/herself behind a parked car, but when it comes to their widdle precious angel, well of course he/she can potty wherever needed- how else are mother and child to be in tune with one another? Ugh. I don't want to have to dodge baby excrement any more than I want to dodge adult or even dog excrement.

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    This method is actually really fun and phenominal.

    I'll also put out that DS didn't just go anywhere. 90% of the time, he went in the bathroom. The other 10% of the time we used a bucket that we carried around (which was then rinsed out at the nearest bathroom), or we were in a place where going to the toilet out of doors was fine (hiking).

    There's also a difference between a homeless person -- who ostensibly would have access to public restrooms -- and an infant who doesn't have the opportunity to get from point a (stroller) to point b (toilet), nor do they have the capacity to hold it (typically, as soon as the signal goes, you might have 3-5 minutes *tops* to get the baby sorted).

    But, again -- most of us who do this carry around a bucket of some sort (with a tight fitting lid) and as such, our "widdle precious angel" isn't pottying on the ground.

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    And in fact, the article mentions that there are limits "you don't just let them poop on the sidewalk" is a direct line from the article.

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    You see badkitty? You're even leading the spambots astray.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    This method is actually really fun and phenominal.

    I'll also put out that DS didn't just go anywhere. 90% of the time, he went in the bathroom. The other 10% of the time we used a bucket that we carried around (which was then rinsed out at the nearest bathroom), or we were in a place where going to the toilet out of doors was fine (hiking).
    Thank you for clarifying how more rational people might put this into practice. This article, as well as a couple others I have read recently on the topic, made no mention of carrying around any sort of receptacle for on-the-go potty needs. They have all, however, mentioned getting baby to go potty behind parked cars, or trees, or whatnot. Of course, these articles have tended to also focus on that specific type of urban (NYC) mommy, the ones who seem to feel they invented motherhood, so I will freely admit that my dislike for their general attitude has colored my opinion. My comments were directed more specifically to these mothers, who expect the world to revolve around their offspring.

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    I wonder if these are the same women who are pushing towards the acceptance of public breastfeeding.

    I am seriously wondering, though, how they think people have the time for this? I don't think the 12 weeks of maternity leave we get in this country is nearly enough time to toilet train your baby. And no day care is going to be particularly happy with a child that poops everywhere it wants to. And a child not accustomed to wearing diapers is probably going to be that child that takes off their diaper at daycare and poos everywhere.

    This might be doable for the rich, who have enough income to support a household on a single income, so mom or pop could stay home and follow the kid around with a shovel.

    Or it could be doable to those cultures which spend a majority of their time outdoors, sans pavement and drainage systems, who don't have to worry about contamination of the water source. Also, I would suspect that a child that learns from a young age that it's okay to urinate between cars, is going to be that teenager who is arrested for public urination.

    But for those of us middle class people living in a society where you can get arrested for indecent exposure? Yeah, we'll hand-launder our diapers if we are *that* concerned about the environment (how is parking lot pee that gets into the storm drain any more environmentally friendly than laundry water that goes through a filtration system and/or septic tank? At least that's contained.)
    Last edited by kathleen; 04-22-2013 at 05:15 PM.
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    Foremost, it's important to recognize that this is not toilet training. It's a very different perspective. Instead of the parent 'teaching' the child to go to the toilet, the child alerts the parent (or, the parent observes the child's signals) of when s/he needs to toilet.

    Everyone jokes about how you can tell a baby is pooping by the face. Usually before they go. So, you have an option -- undiaper and let the baby go in the toilet (way easier clean up, too), or let them go in the diaper and clean up after.

    Second, this isn't an "all or nothing" process. While most of the women who do this are stay at home moms (or dads) -- not all SAHPs are "rich" -- a lot of families do this "part time." THey'll send their child to day care in diapers, and then do this at home and on weekends. My sister and her family did part time, and so did several of my friends.

    Finally, there is no "following someone around with the shovel." There are lots of different ways of doing this. For many parents, like us, we used diaper back up. THis means that we had diapers on the kiddo.

    We would then listen or look for his signals, undress (and undiaper) him, and then hold him over the bucket or toilet (usually toilet. the bucket is just another cleaning step, imo!). Then, we would redress him and continue on.

    After the first month, most days we used 1 diaper per day (clean for 24 hrs, then changed), but on a "bad" day (for us -- since we missed signals) we would use about 4. And, we used cloth diapers -- so it definitely saved on messy clean up.

    By the time DS was about a year old, he was independent (going to the toilet on his own, but he need help getting undressed and dressed). By the time he was two, he was wholly independent (clothes on and off etc).

    There are families that don't use diaper back up -- they'll use little undies, or they'll let the child go undressed. I don't know many families like that personally. Most of the ones whom I knew were using diaper back up.

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    And FWIW, we were technically "lower middle class" when I was a SAHM.

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    I have seen split pants on babies in the Himalaya when I did an Everest trek a while back. I have always wondered how it really worked. Wouldn't there be some residue on the pants? How much aim does a baby really have, even one of these toddler-types I saw wearing these pants? I can't even see myself getting the split in just the right spot.

    Seems like a good way to go if you are fairly rural. Maybe a little more logistically difficult in an urban setting. Perhaps a wag bag would be useful. Overall, it's probably positive for those who do it. I grew up the old-fashioned way. Stay at home mom (they pretty much all were back then at least in middle-class white society), cloth diapers.
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