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Customer Review

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, eye opening, seems like common sense, 8 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative for a Happier, Healthier Baby or Toddler (Paperback)
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.
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