Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Diaper Free in NYC

Call me old fashioned if you wish, but the newest trend in chichi parenting, going commando doesn't send me. Being cutting edge, the New York Times reports on this environmentally conscious attempt to pretend that all things most modern must be whatever makes no sense whatsoever.  Elimination communication as it is called, clearly sends a message to me...stay away.  

This is not to say my children have never been sans diaper, but this was usually due to one of three occasions. 

1) the diaper bag in the car, in the closet, and the spare one that we lost and later found are all out of supplies and I haven't made it to the store and am praying the kiddo's kidneys hold until I can get my 11 year old to sprint into the CVS with a credit card and a mission.

2) The child has mastered the art of taking off the diaper but not told anyone yet. 

3) The baby in question just finished taking a bath and is charging away from me at light speed to celebrate the glory of being au natural, to the cheers and amusement of all other siblings who watch me scramble after said kid with a towel in hand.  

Note that the sister of the woman profiled insisted on marking the bowls used for catching fecal matter, so that they would not make it back to the kitchen.  Given that it is an outsider demanding X mark the spot, how secure would you feel eating cereal with said company in their domicile?  Or anything else for that matter. 

The article indicates that yeah, they aren't purists. The adults in the picture recognize that there is an unsanitary element that comes with this decision, so they don't do this when they go out to restaurants (thank you for that), as though this concession to the rest of the world proves the reasonableness of their "lifestyle."  However these folks do arrange play dates within the  diaper free parenting community to ensure their children may scat and pee without the fear of anything other than smug approval at the unconventional nature of their like minded parenting.  

This is taking the "Chef don't judge YOLO" mentality to a creepy level...not to mention icky. 
One final note, we used to call children who don't wear diapers something other than communicating their elimination, we used to call them....potty trained.  


Gogo said...

Hi Sherry,
My husband and I tried this approach when our son was a newborn although we learned to spot the signs and dashed him to a potty rather than having bowls round the house. On the plus side, it certainly saved us a lot of money on nappies/diapers and it also gets the child used to knowing when they need the toilet from a much earlier age. Alas, it is a lot of work if you are serious about doing it properly and eventually I gave up which is a shame as I'm now struggling to toliet train Rowan at the age of nearly 3! I think we will probably try again with no.2 but failing that reusable nappies also help them get used to the idea of feeling wet or dirty which encourages them to toilet train sooner,I've heard. That's my experience of elimination communication anyway :)

Sherry Antonetti said...

20 years of diapering here...and discovering that whatever else you do, potty training is an act of the will by the child, either out of fatigue with parental nagging, or to get the bribe you've offered that is of sufficient weight, that they are willing to surrender on this point. Alas, I've had 8 children work hard to show me before they'd manage themselves, that whatever I think I know, I'm not in charge of this.

Sherry Antonetti said...

And two more that are still "holding out."

maria mcclure said...

The only people getting TRAINED with this method are the parents who simply become more adept at recognizing the signs that the child needs to "eliminate". Do we seriously need to over-complicate the simplest of processes?

RAnn said...

What do I think? I think those parents need a few more kids or a job for mom.

Sand Mama said...

I've seen EC in action. It makes a whole lot of sense, less waste, earlier toilet training, etc. etc.
But there is one big caveat. EC is an ENORMOUS job for a new mom to take on in addition to every other thing they already have to do.
From this perspective, its simply impractical. Hovering around the baby to see if she is going to 'signal' that she needs to urinate or move her bowels all day gets mighty old, mighty fast. Particularly for a sleep deprived person who may be nursing, holding down a job, and have other kiddos to care for.
Great idea- execution, not so much.

greg said...

Hey everyone, it's Greg - the Dad who's picture was featured in the Time's article and husband to Adriane Stare, the owner of Caribou Baby where the EC meet-up takes place.

I EC'd my older son (now almost 4 and two years potty trained), and am doing it with my youngest (4 months and starting to go potty on cue more often!). Adriane and I are crazy busy trying to run a retail and web store and raise two kids. I don't like poop or extra work, so here are some of the ways I've done EC:

1. Between diaper changes

Every parent has had the experience of changing a diaper only to have the baby poop in it right away…ARGH! With my oldest I started holding him over the potty between diaper changes to give him a chance to go before re-diapering him. More and more he would poop in the potty first. Hooray!

2. First thing in the morning

When my oldest started eating solids, he was pooping about once or twice a day. He also loved looking at picture books. Each morning I would sit him on the potty and read to him. By the time we got through "Moo, Baa, La La La", he would poop. Yay! We did this for about 6 months.

3. When you're with your kid

Having a kid is a lot of work. In fact, a big percentage of the work is just you and them being together since you can't say, "Hey, Buddy, I'll be back in a hour." So, why not give them a chance to go on the potty during these times? Extra work? Actually, LESS work. If they go in the potty, you don't have to wipe it off their bums later!

Here's the other thing, if for whatever reason we can't EC, we don't. We still diaper. That's the beauty of this thing - it doesn't have to be all or nothing. If we don't EC for a week, I don't loose any sleep over it. Well, I do loose sleep, but not because I'm stressing over EC :)

Here are the things I DO NOT DO with my kid:

Poop him on the street. Poop him on the sidewalk. Poop him between parked cars or "wherever he wants." Let him roam naked in public places. Let him poop in someone's sink. Let him poop in my lap or on my floor or in bed. Poop goes in the potty or in the diaper, that's it.

I'm not here to convince anyone of anything, but I do feel the need to defend myself against accusations of being a lunatic, helicopter, over-parenting, precious, hipster from Brooklyn. Though I must admit, I do enjoy a latte from time to time :)


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