Of course babies can be diaper free - just take off their diaper! Yea, and then see what mess ensues. Unless, that is, you adopt the techniques used by those teaching Elimination Communication.
Elimination Communication, also referred to as Infant Potty Training, is steadily picking up speed in the United States as another alternative to dealing with baby's waste.
In a October 9, 2005 article, A Fast Track to Toilet Training for Those at the Crawling Stage, Tina Kelley reported:
"About 2,000 people across the country have joined Internet groups and e-mail lists to learn more about the techniques of encouraging a baby - a child too young to walk or talk - to go in a toilet, a sink or a pot. Through a nonprofit group, Diaper Free Baby, 77 local groups have formed in 35 states to encourage the practice. One author's how-to books on the subject have sold about 50,000 copies."
Jumping forward 2 years later, the numbers are still growing as Lisa Poole reports that the diaper-free babies’ fad swells, despite critics. As mentioned, there are many skeptics, bit it isn't stopping moms like Erinn Klatt who began practicing Elimination Communication with her son from the day he was born and says, "he has not wet his bed at night since he was six months old."
If you're interested in more information you've only to Google "Elimination Communication" or "Infant Potty Training" to turn up skads of sites with information and testimonials. Even MSNBC is asking questions, as Amy Robach looks at some of the pros and cons of potty training at birth in her interview of Lori Boucke, author of Potty Whisperer.
So why are we talking about it here? At a cloth diapering blog? Well, why not? One of the reasons that we even began using cloth diapers ourselves was to promote environmentally sound decision making. If diaper changes are eliminated altogether, I'd say those families are taking a considerable step away from massive consumption and should be supported.
For those who are interested, we say, "More Power to YOU!" However, as is mentioned in the video interview linked above, there will still be a need for diapers here and there. Perhaps night-time potty learning isn't something your family wants to do and you need a night-time cloth diapering system. Maybe you want something for when you're out and about running errands - a fitted fitted cloth diaper that's easy to remove in a hurry. Maybe you are one of the families who have chosen to practice Elimination Communication on a part-time basis; consider the gentle approach of cloth diapering when you aren't actively taking your baby to the potty.
For more information on Infant Potty Training or Elimination Communication, check out www.diaperfreebaby.org.