On June 26th at 5:55pm, my husband Kris and I welcomed our son into the world. Holden Michael Mihilewicz was born 9lbs 13oz at home – and not one disposable diaper has touched his little bottom yet.
I was raised mainly in cloth diapers, and I expected to do the same for my own. When I found out I was expecting, cloth diapers were the only thing I was worried about purchasing ahead of time. I quizzed other parents about which brands worked best and what styles they liked (yes, there are many). I sought out only those that came highly recommended, and bought most of them gently used on Kijiji.
Then I came across a book called “Diaper Free” by Ingrid Bauer in a baby store in Regina. I bought it out of curiosity and its premise clicked with me right away. Most of the rest of the word raises babies with hardly any diapering system at all, which means no disposables and less washing.
It turns out that babies are not as incontinent as Procter & Gamble might prefer you believe. The book outlines how caregivers and babies can communicate about elimination needs right from infancy. It involves teaching the baby cues for eliminating as well as learning the babies’ own signals that they need to go. The common term for it is Elimination Communication – or “EC.” The author also uses the term ‘natural infant hygiene.’
After reading the book during pregnancy, I was beyond eager to see how it would work for us. I’m still learning to read his cues about when he needs to go, but we regularly seem to figure it out three or more times a day. Heck, at only 2 ½ weeks old Holden had his first pee in a public toilet while out with family at a mall.
The more I talk about it with people, the more they are interested in what we are doing, or have experiences to share about others they know who do this as well. If you are curious to learn more, visit www.diaperfreebaby.org. If more of us thought of this as the true normal, just imagine the number of diapers that could be saved!