But nobody suggested we'd have our baby go diaper free till I was just about due.
We picked up Christine Gross-Loh's book The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative just in time for our baby's arrival and were just amazed by how sensical going diaper-free seemed. After all, it's how babies have learned to toilet train for millenniums and still do in many parts of the world where disposable diapers are scarce.
As Gross-Loh writes in the latest issue of Mothering, "as mindful parents, we aim to be respectful of our children and to be responsive to their needs. In many areas of parenting, this may not feel like a struggle." But, other areas of parenting "may not feel as intuitive, in part due to the strong and confusing cultural messages that surround us" (p. 70, May-June 2010). Toilet training is one of these areas.
Elimination communication is just not a big part of our culture's ideology. Instead, we train our babies--who're born with an instinct to stay clean and with an awareness of their elimination, which they display through body language and other nonverbal ways of communicating--to be okay soiling themselves and even wearing their own waste for a short period. And then, when they are toddlers, we expect them to retrain and regain an awareness of their elimination and no longer soil themselves.