My husband and I gave a lot of thought to cloth vs. disposable diapering before our daughter was born. I convinced him to give cloth a try, with the stipulation that after she started eating solids, we could switch to a diaper service if things got too icky. Or just give up cloth entirely! We remembered Bill Cosby's standup routine about baby poo - how it's just sooo cute in the beginning and then BAM!! Not so cute anymore! Lol.
Lucky for us, I came across an article about the top 10 things you don't need to buy for a baby. On the list were things like a baby bathtub, baby lotions/shampoos, a stroller, baby food, and a couple other items I can't remember...and diapers. I did a double-take. I was expecting them to say disposable diapers, but no! The list item was "Diapers." Period. The article went on to explain that in many parts of the world, especially poorer countries where access to laundry services is limited, parents don't put their babies in diapers. This blew my mind! What do they do about the near-constant pee and poo, I wondered? They potty train their babies from birth, that's what! At first glance, I thought this was absolutely insane. But I kept reading. The more I read, the more sense it made.
Elimination Communication, or Infant Potty Training, is actually a gentle, no-pressure way to communicate with your baby about his/her potty needs. In other words, you can teach your baby to let you know when it's time to potty. It's not even difficult! The theory is that babies naturally prefer NOT to sit in their own waste (um, who would?) and have a great deal of awareness of their potty needs, even at birth. The trick is to figure out a way for baby and parent to communicate, so they can work together to get pottying done on the potty instead of in a diaper!
Anyway, I can't do this premise justice the way this book can: The Diaper-Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh. Suffice it to say that I tried it with Katie and it WORKED!!! We do what's called "part-time" EC, and we use cloth diapers as a backup. So for us, Katie wears diapers all the time, but whenever it's time to change her, I offer her a "potty-tunity." I sit her on the potty and make a "cue" sound that she recognizes. If she pees, great! If not, no problem. Then we change her diaper and that's it. Often her diaper is dry when I put her on the potty, so we just put it back on. Couldn't be easier! Oh, and now that she knows some sign language and words, she tells me "Poo!" and makes the "poo" sign, and I whisk her off to the potty and she poops! NO MORE CHANGING POOPY DIAPERS!
I wish I could tell every person in the world about this. It's the greatest thing ever!!!! And, if all goes according to plan, it should make potty training (REAL potty training, I mean) much easier. She already knows that pee and poo are supposed to go in the potty. She's not afraid of the potty. She doesn't even mind me flushing it. If she had the dexterity to take her pants off and climb onto the toilet, she could do it herself! Woohoo!