It's about time I had the dirty talk. Pees and poos, dirty nappies, smelly bums. No parent can avoid it... or can we?
We discovered EC (Elimination communication, or diaper free) when Tahi was 5 months. In short, it is a way to help your baby eliminate and also bond with him/her. Sounds over the top? It probably is for us modern westerners. We started because we thought it was fun and interesting and if we could save on washing nappies, why not? Tahi is now 2 and a half, has been out of nappies since he was 10 months and has recently stepped up to being the conventional potty trained toddler (he asks when he needs to go). What the fuss?!? Our son is potty trained at the same time as other toddlers (although I know a lot of toddlers his age still in nappies). True. but we have saved so much on washing and (eco friendly) disposable nappies. And gained some knowledge too. It's not what most people think of when you talk about bonding with your child, but it is exactly that. how many people do you know so well that you can tell when they need to go to the toilet? If that sounds gross, what about changing a smelly, pooey nappy everyday (less often if you're lucky)?
As Josh put it so well:" I thought having babies was lots of smelly poos and wiping bottoms, but it hasn't been that at all". And we're glad we made the effort.
It wasn't all easy, at times frustrating, but for the most part it became part of our daily life. Instead of carrying a bag full of nappies, I had several changes of pants and some cloth to clean up the pees. We were really lucky that from the moment Tahi was put on a potty, he would let us know when he needed to poo most of the time. It does take time and dedication. It would have been much harder, maybe near impossible, to do this had I been working. But then I had decided to stay home with my son for the first few years anyway, I wasn't going anywhere in a hurry.
EC is what prompted me to start making kids' clothing. I wanted some pants that didn't have to be pulled down every time I needed to take Tahi to the toilet but wanted to avoid the traditional chinese split crotch pants (not great when you've got a crawling baby!). So I came up with two designs, then moved on to designing other items as well.
Along the way I read some interesting books: Diaper Free! The Gentle Wisdom Of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer and The Diaper Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh. Both good reads, the second one a bit more about the how-to and also exploring various ways of doing it: full time, part time or occasionally.
I also discovered some great websites, met some neat people and learned a lot about myself and my child. Two great Yahoo groups, Oznappyfree and another I can't find anymore, were great. Other Ecing parents sharing their experience, answering questions or asking some. There is also the DiaperFreeBaby website, with a list of diaper free groups around the world, including those ones in New Zealand and TheNaturalChildProject.
Charndra at Tribal baby decided to share her ECing journey, and this has by far been my favorite site about the matter (although she seemed to have it pretty easy!). Now I can introduce you to this week's cool blog (worry it's taken so long!), her new venture: MyGreenNappy. This one is not about putting your young baby on the potty and letting him/her roam around with bare bottoms. It is about caring for our kids' future and, well, thinking green when it comes to using nappies. Changing mindsets, showing people their acts count and encouraging them to think ahead, think about our future and the legacy we leave for our kids. Starting with nappies!
MyGreenNappy is having a winter giveaway, another incentive to visit this blog!