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Home » 9to5to9, News

Diaper free? Not for me!

Submitted by on Sunday, 1 June 2008 No Comment
Originally published Sept. 20, 2007, thehive.modbee.com

I guess I’m just too much of a self-absorbed, spend-thrift, non-environmentally aware mother to get the whole diaper-free movement.

Granted, it’s not without appeal – toilet mastery far earlier, some claim before the baby’s even 1.

But I cannot imagine hauling a butt-naked newborn to a sink or toilet on a set schedule so the baby can potty. Call me lazy, but I’d rather sleep. Or eat. Or do virtually anything in the world just to catch a break for a stinkin’ minute.

What an unsympathetic cad I am. Not at all like people who are practicing “elimination communication” – how’s that for an impressive buzz word?

“It is about slowing down and taking things day by day, moment by moment, learning to listen to your child and figure out what he is saying to you - all valuable skills for the mother or father who wants to parent with empathy and respect,” explains the Diaper-Free Baby Web site.

There’s also a book, which you can conveniently purchase on the site.

Day by day? I hoped each day I’d be able to shower. Moment by moment? I kept waiting for the moment when baby Big Guy would quit screaming. Empathy? I genuinely felt pain for a poor little creature so uncomfortable in the world. Hanging his tiny hiny over a toilet wouldn’t have helped, though. He want ballistic if an arm slipped out of his blanket burrito.

Recent news reports, though, have proclaimed it the new big thing. No rewards, no bribes, no punishment. You just learn to “read” the kid for “gotta go” signs.

It does have advantages. You save money on diapers – my tab still runs $40 or so a month. You send less to the landfill. And, according to some who do it, you have a happier baby.

I accept that it works – millions of mothers in Africa and Asia couldn’t be wrong. But unlike the other trendy strategies I tried – attachment parenting, for example, which says you never put the kid down – there’s no way I want anything to do with this one.

I’d actually heard of it shortly before Little Guy was born. A relative was kind enough to pass along a magazine article she’d read about a baby who was potty trained at three months. It was a subtle dig – Big Guy was almost 2 and no where near ready to go on his own.

Almost eight months later, when he was pushing 3 and I was starting to get embarrassed, he still wouldn’t.

I tried all the usual tricks. He’d had a small potty in the bathroom from the time he was about 18 months old, but it quickly became a toy rather than a place for serious business. I bought “Look! No Diapers” with Ernie of Sesame Street fame and read it repeatedly. I spent so much time sitting within in the bathroom that I now get seriously claustrophobic in there. Nothing worked.

Then suddenly, at the ripe old age of two years and 10 months, he decided he was going to do it. Within four days, he was accident-free. Within another week, he was out of diapers even at night.

I spent months stressing, coaxing, pleading, and the stubborn little cuss did it when he got darn good and ready. Joke’s on me!

So with Little Guy, I’m letting nature takes its course – in a “not about to hold his butt over the toilet” sort of way. He loves everything about toilet training – sitting on the big potty just like brother, flushing, wearing Thomas underwear.

Everything, that is, but actually doing his business in the designated area. But, then, he’s only two years, three months. I have another seven months to go before I have to freak out.

Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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