The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative for a Happier, Healthier Baby or Toddler Paperback – 1 Feb 2007
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About the Author
Christine Gross-Loh is a journalist and author. Her writing has appeared in publications including <I>The Wall Street Journal</I>, <I>The Atlantic</I>, and <I>The Guardian</I>. She has a PhD from Harvard University in East Asian history.
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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.
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.
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.
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!
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