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Nappy-Free Babies

by Lisa Morgan (follow)
A writer who also reads waaaay too much.
Babies (4)      Parenting (4)      Cultural Practices (4)     
Toilet learning from birth is possible.



Baby using Potty and Elimination Communication
A baby using a potty bowl designed for babies under 12 months

It is a strange thing to behold, the back to front logic of toilet training or learning (whatever you want to call it), in this society.

Basically this (if one is to conform to the masses) involves putting infants in nappies (yes this means you too cloth nappy users), where they learn nappies equal toilet. They learn it is OK and expected behaviour to ignore bodily needs to soil oneself.

Once babies hit toddler-hood there is a radical change in expectations. It is no longer OK nor expected to soil oneself. The toddler must unlearn this, and learn how to use a potty and toilet.

This is not the simple process one may think it is because all of a sudden at 2-3 years of age, the toddler must also learn bladder and sphincter control and be consciously aware of it after being conditioned for so long to ignore it.

In conventional literature, experts would have us believe;

Babies have absolutely no control
Bowels and bladders automatically empty
Night training takes longer than daytime toilet training
Children are usually 3-6 years before being dry at night.

Such social ‘facts’ do not measure up to reality. Think about these projectile poo explosions the minute nappies are off, or big wees just as nappies are about to be put back on - food for thought there? Think about it the next time you get pee in the eye.

While you’re at it, think about those fussy wriggly babies who seem distressed about something but don’t want sleep or boob… and then soil their nappy a while later. There is most likely a logical connection in there somewhere, if one stopped to think about it a little more.



Drinking out of the potty
Another baby deciding to use his potty in an unconventional way (Let's hope there was no pee in there!)

Consider how it is the norm in our society for parents to respond to their infant’s hunger cries by feeding them. Taking it one step further, most parents are aware of their baby’s needs and will tend to their baby’s hunger before there is even a need to cry about it. There are many visible signs of hunger which parents learn to spot and respond to.

This interaction is the earliest form of communication between a child and a parent. The child provides nonverbal and verbal communication cues. The parent acknowledges and validates these communicated needs by both nonverbal and verbal cues as well as action (eg. giving food). The same kind of communication happens when a baby is tired and needing to sleep. So why not for elimination needs?

It seems logical to validate and acknowledge such communication as the baby grows, because they learn to wait for opportunities to eliminate just as they do food or sleep. Contrary to what the experts say, babies are aware of their needs, and learn how to exert control over their bodies to get their needs met. They can tolerate some waiting, and this length of time increases as they get older.

There are books on elimination communication too

Instead of learning to get used to sitting in their own excrement, they are learning control (already being aware) and appropriate elimination as is age appropriate for them.

It is possible to have dry nights by the time a baby is around a year old because they have learnt that control. It is possible for toddlers to be using a toddler potty or adult toilet before they are two with few accidents. It is possible if communication happens and is validated, acknowledged and responded to.

It is interesting dry nights usually come before dry days with babies raised using elimination communication. (There is probably some logical sense in there too but bLacK sheEEP is not here to do all your thinking for you. It is merely here to prompt thinking.)

However, in Westernised society, elimination communication is virtually unheard of (and yes, there are many other societies which use it). Haphazarding a guess at the reason why, capitalism and consumerist culture probably have a lot to do with it - disposable nappies mean money for capitalists, and convenience for consumers.



An infant potty bowl used in elimination communication
An infant potty bowl with a cover from Noonee Wilga*

Infant potty bowls cannot be bought at the shops. There are pottys to be had, but for toddlers, not babies. Without a visible presence in our consumer market to prompt such thinking along these lines (what the heck is this tiny potty bowl thing for?), most people will not realise there is another way, because most people do not stop to think or question cultural norms.

Noonee Wilga is an Australian website which sells elimination communication gear.

#Babies
#Parenting
#Cultural Practices
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