I'm very excited by the prospect of using less nappies. Whilst cloth nappies are infinately more appealing to me then disposables, I'd still like to buy and wash less nappies. But it seems that with the advent of disposables we've forgotten how to use less, because in our consumer culture Huggies is constantly convincing us that we need to use more.
When I came across the website Part Time Nappy Free it instantly made sense. Imagine babies in tribes, baby's in the bush, baby's in India, baby's in villages, do you picture a nappy? So how do they contain the mess? They offer their baby's the opportunity to go to the toilet, just like the rest of us.
It's now got fancy names like infant potty training or elimination communication, but it's basically what our great grandmothers would have done. Imagine life before dispoables AND before washing machines, you'd want to avoid nappies too!
We've been putting Harriet on the potty since she was about 6 months old. It's easy to catch poo's cause it's so obvious that she's doing one. Wee's are a bit trickier, and are more about timing than training at this stage. We started offering her a wee on the potty (accompanied by a 'psssss' sound) about every fifteen minutes. She was quickly able to hold on for half an hour and now it's more like 45 minutes, depending on how much water she's drank or how recently she's had a breastfeed. Now she only wears nappies for sleeps and outings and wears training pants at home for when I'm not paying enough attention and we miss one. If she's sick or cranky or having a wonder week then the nappy goes back on so it doesn't get stressful.
About a week before her first birthday we had a really big breakthrough. She's learning sign language really fast now, picking up a new sign every few days. She came for a cuddle in our bed in the morning and then suddenly sat up and did the poo sign, which is waving your hand in front of your nose like you can smell something, well, pooey. I didn't respond quick enough cause I couldn't quite believe it, so she signed more urgently and then lifted her hands in the air which means 'pick me up.' So I carried her to potty and she did a big poo. I was so proud!!!
One thing I really love about EC is that the parent and baby do it together. I have to remember to put her on the potty and pay attention to her signs and facial expressions. I'd highly recommend checking out this website and signing up for the free seven secrets. Then buy yourself a few cloth nappies as backup and look forward to beautiful, respectful and honest communication with your baby.