Our little baby boy is growing so fast and learning so much every day. It’s hard to believe he is almost six months old already! This experience as a new mother is amazing beyond words, he teaches me new things about life every day.
From the moment we realized I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to take a very natural and intuitive approach to parenting. I ate well, didn’t get ultrasounds, had minimal testing, and birthed naturally. We breastfeed, never use a bottle, co-sleep, and do everything together as a team. We spent most of that first month at home, naked most of the time, a lot of time spent diaper free just carrying a cloth diaper under his bum. My intuition told me that diapers weren’t necessary, but when we started going out more frequently, we started using cloth diapers regularly. Convenience was the biggest reason, and also a lack of faith in my ability to know his elimination needs.
This boy is absolutely amazing to me. He is so happy, talkative, active, and when he is sad there is a distinct reason for it. If I’m paying close attention, he tells me what he needs. He knows when he is hungry, he knows when he is full, he communicated to me when he was ready to try solid foods, and the same holds true for poops and pees. He knows when he has to go and if I slow down long enough to pay attention, I notice his cues.
Throughout the last five months I have had periods where he’s diaper free while we are home, but when we go out and during the night he always has a diaper. But something in my heart tells me it just isn’t right to have him wearing a portable toilet. He doesn’t like being wet and it’s difficult to avoid sometimes. It’s definitely not hygienic and to me, it seems more loving to be attentive to his needs before he goes, instead of after.
I bought a book to help me gain a little more confidence to take the leap into diaper freedom once and for all! It’s called Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer and I highly recommend it to any mother whether she is considering diaper freedom or not. I started reading it a few days ago and since then Kalani has been diaper free during the day when we are here at home. I still use diapers at night and when we go out, but I am already starting feel a lot more confident and I’m sure we will be completely diaper free soon.
A common misconception is that babies don’t know when they have to go potty and even if they did know, there is no way that they would be able to tell parents. This is completely false! Babies do know when they have to go and they do give signals. What happens is that most babies become accustomed to wearing diapers and being wet, so they stop making those signals because parents don’t respond to them. From the beginning I have noticed that Kalani will make a little cue when he has to pee or poop, but they are small like a squirm or a grunt so if i’m not super tuned in, I miss it. Since committing more to being diaper free, I have become much more aware of his cues. Not only that, but he also responds to my cues! I take him outside to pee and hold him in a semi squat position while I make a hissing sound. This indicates to him that it’s time to pee and he responds by peeing. Babies are so aware and communicate in various ways when we open our minds to it and accept our intuition.
Throughout India, Africa, and South America there are many mothers who never used diapers with their babies and they are completely in tune with their child’s elimination needs. They have a very close bond with their baby and they respond immediately when the child needs anything. In Western societies we have become very distant from that closeness over the years. There are countless things that rip our attention away from our children and families so we must make a very conscious effort to create a different reality for ourselves. It’s a long and arduous journey, but worth every moment for us.
Do you have experience with elimination communication? Please share your thoughts!