on 12 March 2008
This is written in a very approachable way, with plenty of real life case examples. It is very encouraging and opens your eyes to opening a way of communicating with your baby, and providing it with an alternative to poo in its nappy.
It allows for three approaches, full-time, part-time and occasional EC, so you don't need to go gung-ho doing this all the time, it also doesn't expect parents to give up on disposable nappies, some people have done this method using disposables, this book is quite laid back, its all up to you.
I also got the Linda Sonna book, and the Laurie Boucke, and prefer this one overall, the style of the Linda Sonna didn't appeal to me. The Laurie Boucke, Infant Potty Training is good as well, but the Christine Gross-Loh book is more contemporary.
Additionally since I wrote the above I would like to say that my baby is now no longer wearing nappies at night or during the day at 17 months. We started using cloth nappies around 5.5 months and the potty. My toddler is able to come to tell me through signing of the need to go, and that is what happened at 13months. At 17 months we decided to do away with nappies and these are no longer worn any more at all. I found the book very inspiring and it kept me motivated.
on 24 September 2009
I cannot praise the author highly enough for this extremely clear and encouraging book. Thank you for writing this! It should be on more must-read lists.
I had heard about Elimination Communication and wanted to try it with my 6 month old, but did not know where to start. It sounded like such a good idea but intimidating at the same time - would it be a huge hassle, what equipment did I need, would my baby take to it, what if I did it wrong, etc. Reading the Diaper Free Baby put my mind completely at ease. The author gives clear guidelines for either starting slowly or jumping right in, or somewhere in between.
Having read the book, I started out just putting my baby on the potty immediately after she woke from her naps. A couple of weeks on, I try to put her on the potty after some feeds as well, and also give her some nappy-free time on a waterproof mat. We had a few accidents, but as the book suggests, I didn't get stressed out about them. And if she doesn't go when I put her on the potty, that's okay too.
The excellent content aside, this is by far the most well-written book on any aspect of baby-rearing that I have read so far! So many other books have good information to convey, but are let down by poor writing and editing.
on 3 January 2010
I bought this book when I was expecting my daughter. I found it to be well written and really liked the softly softly approach - basically to do what you can - every nappy saved makes a difference. Having read a Government study that reusable nappies can be just as high environmental impact as disposables I was really looking for another solution, and this book is it. I'm glad I took the time to read it when pregnant - couldn't believe how enthusiastic I was getting about all these nappy considerations at the time!
My daughter's two months now, and I'm about to make a start on some of the EC approaches (before then there was so much else to cope with, but now I feel ready) - I've read that some of the baby gurus say that it's good to start the potty training sooner rather than later, but probably best to wait until around 2 to 3 months when they can support their own head and I'm inclined to agree - though worried that my daughter is already losing her EC instincts with all these super absorbent nappies. Fingers crossed I can put it all into action now! Don't listen to those who say it can be harmful to potty train too early - it's well explained in the book why! Cannot recommend this book enough - great format, great approach.
on 8 November 2013
A long time ago I heard that Chinese ppl for ex. were usually astounded to see toddlers, even advanced talkers, still wearing nappies. Chinese babies allegedly were all toilet-trained by age 1, and my first thought was that they probably were bullied into it. Fast forward about 10 years and it comes out that babies are NOT incontinent. They just cannot hold it very long and say "I need the potty now", but they send some cues, just like when they are hungry or sleepy. And no, oriental babies are not bullied into toilet-using.
Christine starts the book by admitting that she also was shocked when she first heard of infant potty training, which I liked to read. Her style is fairly moderate, ie you will not read that by using disposables you're killing the environment and treating your tot like an incontinent disabled. She gets the message across but with moderate words and lots of ideas, depending on baby's age.
My DD is now 22 months and still in nappies, I will definitely try some of her suggestions for older babies. However, I do regret not doing EC sooner, because now, she has learned incontinence. When she was a baby, she would grunt when defecating and often urinate once the nappy was off and I regret not making use of those occasions. My friends also spotted that, but no one would dare even suggest
I used to think all children eventually came out of nappies naturally, which they do of course, but let's face it: in our civilization, there are children past age 3 or 4 still in nappies all day long, and some still soiling themselves or asking for nappies for the job. There also are teenagers still bed-wetting.
I think it's time for us Westerners to work a bit harder at attentiveness as new parents and stop underestimating our babies, be fooled by companies that entice us to spend our cash on accessories to keep them quiet.
UPDATE SINCE INITIAL REVIEW: my DD is now nearly 2.5 yo and thanks to this book's suggestions for toddlers, she is now fully "toilet ready" and even dry at night, without reward charts, bribes, treats, punishment or coercion. I cannot believe it happened so quickly (in less than a month after first trying out nappy-free time). Thank you so much to Christine for this book!
on 26 January 2010
In many ways this review is a comparison between Infant Potty Training and Diaper Free Baby...
When we started Elimination Communication with our young infant I read Laurie Boucke's Infant Potty Training book. I got it because I was put off by the title of Diaper Free Baby: I couldn't have a baby who was not wearing a diaper/nappy (rented house). Although this book does speak of babies going without diapers, it does not push leaving your baby out of diapers; the title simply speaks of freedom from being bound to using diapers. I bought this book because I wanted a copy of a book on EC to give to a friend and was having a hard time finding another reasonable priced Infant Potty Training book in the UK. I am so glad that I bought it and previewed it because I found it very helpful even after having been doing EC for just under a year. I thought this book was far more laid back about it and took away the pressure I felt from the testimonials in the other book. Diaper Free Baby really makes EC accessible to anyone in Western society. It leaves you with no excuses! Start getting your baby used to the potty now and reap the rewards (one of the biggest rewards, btw, it the bonding you get from it, not simply saving on diapers).
The book is very easy to read and you'll very quickly have the information that you need to begin EC, although it does get a bit repetitive if you read the whole thing straight through instead of just reading the section for the stage your baby is at. There are loads of little testimonials to make you feel less alone and give you a feel for the reality of EC. The one bad thing I can think of is that there aren't many pictures and they aren't in color. My little girl really likes to see the pictures of the other babies in Infant Potty Training doing what she's doing.
on 17 April 2012
What is EC?
Elimination Communication is a natural, additional way to communicate with your baby in order to help them meet their basic needs of elimination. You already know how to spot when your baby is tired and can help him to get to sleep...IF you could find out how to spot his natural needs to go to the toilet, why wouldn't you?
ECing your baby is very rewarding. Think how you feel when your baby gobbles up your lovingly prepared meal. Or when your baby finally closes her eyelids as you rock her to sleep... ECing is a great way to bond with your baby. Personally, I also use it as a guide to remind me how tuned in I am to my baby. To make sure that I do not miss out on those precious fleeting days.
The basics of EC:
The author has developed three basics steps to follow, for all aged babies.
1) Letting him experience wetness.
(This involves your baby making the association between elimination and the feelings of wetness. Adults are very aware of this connection, however babies can unlearn this if used to the modern ultra-absorbent disposables! )
2) Help him learn to make associations.
(This is where cuing your baby when he eliminates comes in. Your make a common-sense sound such as pssss psss when your baby is going to the toilet.
3) Guiding him to eliminate in potty/toilet.
(This is where you enable your baby to eliminate in an actual potty or toilet at or just before he needs to go.)
About the book:
I would call this book more a Manual, or Handbook for EC, since you can quickly get started ECing your baby by flipping to the correct chapter that matches the age of your baby. When you have time you may want to read the other chapters, but this is not necessary.
The book contains 9 chapters in total. Only 6 main ones and 3 'extras'. Each chapter takes about an hour to read, thus this book is a quick and easy read. Most of the chapters are a guide on how to EC a child of a particular age. This is because your approach varies slightly depending how old your child is. There is a chapter that explains the benefits of EC and gives a brief history. Another chapter describes how to find a support network for yourself. This can be important given that many people around you may not even have heard of EC!
Key content of the book:
a) This book is for everyone no matter how much time they have to spare to do EC. Whether your working full-time or a full time mum you can practise EC. In fact, the book talks about three different types of ECers. Occasional, part-time and full-time. It also does not matter what age your child is!
b) The book has useful tables listing the sings to look out for telling you that your baby is about to eliminate or is.
c) Each chapter has dozens of comments from other ECing parents sharing their experiences. In effect, you can use this book as your EC companion or support group!
d) Many chapter contain trouble-shooting guides covering possible difficulties and solutions.
e) Potty pauses, where your ECing progress seems to have reversed, causes and solutions are explored. As well as nigh-time ECing and out and about ECing is discussed.
Me personal experience,
I very much enjoyed the read. I started off with reading the Baby Whisperer because I wanted to know about all the options I had when it came to toilet training in order to make an informed decision. The idea of pottying earlier simply very much clicked with me. However, I did not find very much practical advice in Tracy Hoggs book about how exactly to go about doing it! By luck I found it at an NCT sale for £1.50. After reading just one chapter I felt equipped enough to have a go. I've loved it ever since. We are now at the stage where we are catching every morning poo. ( my son is 13months old) And most of the other poos as well as a few pees. My little baby waits for us to put him on the toilet in the morning because ever since he released that we are going to put him on the toilet, he waits patiently for us to do so since he doesn't seem to like sitting in his poo even for a few minutes...!
In future I would like to find out more about EC to improve my skills. There are a few other books and DVDs on the market.
1. Some of the chapters repeat themselves quite a bit about how to EC a baby. If you are reading the whole book it can get quite annoying and boring. Perhaps the book would benefit from more structure and less repetition.
2. The book is fairly thin and fast to read. Simply more information would be better. Since even with the trouble-shooting guides, there are still many nuances and scenarios that come up that are not covered. So although the book gives you confidence to get started, it could be even stronger.
I whole heartedly recommend this book to anyone interested for any reason in EC. It's well written, comprehensive and coherent. It's especially good for beginners and anyone wishing to just get down to business quickly.
on 23 February 2010
An extremely practical step by step guide to practising EC - with different chapters explaining how to start and continue at different stages in a child's development. It gives excellent advice about overcoming obstacles. It includes countless personal anecdotes from other parents practising EC. She emphasises that anyone can do EC - even if it only for a couple of hours a week, and even if your child is in childcare.
After reading this book, I did this with my child very successfully. Gross Loh recommends getting in touch with other parents who practise EC, so I helped set up a "nappyfreebaby" workshop in my area. There are lots of these groups springing up around the UK, also there is a nappyfreebaby website.
on 8 October 2010
I first heard about elimination commmunication (EC) while reading up about re-usable nappies and thought 'what the heck's that?'. The more I read on the internet the more fascinating it seemed. It just resonated so true in my head...of course! there are millions of babies around the world who don't wear nappies...I'd just never thought about how their mothers care for them, but it obviously must be possible. This is a natural method of looking for your child's signals and using timing to know when to offer them a chance to go to the toilet (or a 'pottytunity'). When the child does have a wee or poo then the carer makes a cueing sound/sign so that the baby connects the sound with the action. Modern nappies/diapers are so good at taking the moisture away from the babies skin that it quickly loses the connection between peeing and feeling wet. We effectively train our babies to pee and poo in their nappies. But initially a baby will instinctively not want to soil the place where it sleeps (or you if you are carrying it), and will only do so when it is not offered an alternative. Later on we have to untrain the child to go to the toilet in their nappy and start using the potty...very confusing for the child!
The aim is not about potty training your baby earlier than all your friends (although ECed babies often potty train sooner) it is about building up a communication betweeen carer and child so that the carer knows when the baby needs the toilet and the baby knows when it is being offered the toilet. This can happen long before a baby can physically speak the words. Also, don't let the name of the book put you off...you don't have to have your baby out of nappies/diapers 24 hours a day. You can use nappies (disposable or cloth) as a back up inbetween pottytunities if it makes you feel more secure. Eventually you will find that you will use less nappies. This means less waste in the landfill or less washing so is good for your wallet and the environment. You can do EC part time (as little as once a week will still be beneficial) or just for a few hours in the day or full time if you want. You can change between doing it different amounts and you can start doing it at any age of baby. The book describes how to start for different aged babies and gives you all the confidence to just have a go and see.
I've not read any other books on elimination communication or natural infant hygiene, so can't compare. However, the book is fairly short and very easy to read. Some of the chapters repeat themselves a little but this isn't a problem at all, indeed it just encourages you more to have a go. You don't need any special kit to start out with, but the book mentions some gear that may come in handy if you want to take more of a commitment to ECing your child. My only complaint is that it is an American book so that the products and websites she recommends are all in the USA. I am still struggling to find comparable stores based in the UK (e.g. for Chinese prefold diapers, miniature underwear, potty bowls etc) but this won't stop me having a go when my little one is born.
on 27 December 2009
It's not a page turner as the author repeats herself quite a bit - i guess it's for readers who skim read...- but the information is clear and encouraging without putting on the pressure or being patronising. A very useful read for anyone interested in EC.
on 22 September 2014
This book is really well written and makes infant potty training, or EC, seem fuss free. I had read a bit about it and was interested but not willing to go all out nappy free (too much mess!), so was really pleased to read that it helps and is possible to do 'part time' or 'occasional' EC. We started doing it when my daughter was around 3 months and I was surprised and impressed when she used the potty on just the second try. We now give her 'pottytunities' first thing in the morning, when she wakes up from naps, when I change a nappy, before bath time or when I just think she needs to go. More often than not she does go but if she doesn't I don't worry about it. This week we have managed to avoid any dirty nappies by using the potty - which is a bonus as we use cloth nappies and means I don't have to put dirty ones in the wash! But this would also be a bonus with disposables as it avoids dirty nappies hanging round in the bin for ages (our rubbish is only collected every 2 weeks).
If you're a bit sceptical I recommend reading this book with an open mind and giving it a chance. I was surprised at how easily and quickly my little girl took to it.