All About Babies

Would You Start Elimination Communication With Your Baby From Birth? This Mom Did

One mom swears practicing elimination communication beats changing her newborn baby's diapers.

newborn baby not wearing a diaper fizkes/Shutterstock
Everyone hates diapers. Still, the thought of essentially potty training a newborn baby is too much for most parents. Not for Australian mom Cindy Lever, though, who has never used a diaper on her baby and doesn't plan to, according to her essay for the site Kidspot.

The practice is called elimination communication, which is basically the idea that babies can naturally signal when they need to go to the bathroom. Once you have become familiar with their cues, you place the child over the potty and voila! Well, not quite. It takes a lot of practice. But the end goal is to rid your life of diapers, forever, and to make potty training easier down the road.

Lever, who confesses to using sinks when her baby has to go, writes about EC, "It is fun and addictive and I love that it allows for an even deeper connection with my baby."

As the journalist points out, EC is used commonly around the world, but is not so popular in Western cultures. Lever pretty much nails the reason why when she says, "A lot of people think it is too hard or don't believe a baby can communicate it's [sic] need to do wee or poo." But she adds, "However, just as they can let us know when they are tired, hungry or when they have wind, if we slow down and tune in it is possible to read their toileting needs too."

The patience factor is what would get me. Because let's face it: No matter how annoying and expensive diapers are, they are convenient, especially when you are out in public. Even Lever admits she doesn't always pick up on her baby's cues that she has to go. "Often if I get it wrong and we have an accident it is because I haven't listened," she writes, and then provides this example: "Sometimes while I'm holding her over the sink she might kick out her legs and push against me away from the sink giving the impression that she doesn't want to go, but if I stick to my instincts and gently persist (sometimes making a joke about it) she will wee."

If you are among the brave parents interested in trying elimination communication with your baby, Lever offers several tips for getting started in her piece, which you can read here.

But I think I speak for many parents when I say that this wouldn't be for me. I do, however, feel Lever's final point: "I'd rather be doing this than changing a two- or three-year-old's pooey nappy and the closeness that you develop with your baby is even more intense and rewarding."

Yup, potty training a toddler does suck. And any way you can bond with your baby is a plus. In the end, how you handle baby's pottying needs is a personal decision you have to make for yourself.

What is your take?

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.