Childrearing

In Defense of Elimination Communication

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Do you know what got me to consider going diaper free? The sheer amount of waste that disposable diapers create. A third of US landfills is disposable diapers. We could string the amount of diapers we use in a year up to the moon and back seven freaking times. Going diaper-free is just one way I’ve committed to cutting back on waste in my household. The downright abuse of paper towel has been a particularly difficult habit to break. EC is almost easy in comparison. My girl wakes up, bangs one of us on the face a few times, we take her to the toilet and so it begins. We use a fraction of the number of diapers we use to, also owing to the use of cloth diapers at home. One little plastic parcel of wipes lasts more than a month. And we’ve only ever used olive oil as a barrier cream, as anything stronger hasn’t been necessary since we began this journey. I know. Horrible parents. Focused on all the wrong things.

I once told a friend that I studied how much and when my daughter uses the bathroom, then started taking her to a potty when she could sit up on her own. She said, “I couldn’t do that! My kid shits like an adult.” Wait. So you want that in her diaper? You’re saying you prefer to wipe adult-textured feces out of her yanch? Mmkay. I’ve heard, “That’s commitment! I’d spend the whole day in the bathroom!” Minutes later, the same naysayer looks her kid in the eye from across the room and says, “You’re pooing aren’t you?”, which is exactly what I do, except I then get up and take mine to her lil’ yellow potty. You get up after your kid is done, take them to another room, lift them onto a changing table….sounds like at least the same level of commitment. But somehow, it’s better to pretend you don’t have the time or effort to commit to your kids. Except you do. You care about your kid. Admit it. You love them and want the best. We just don’t agree on what that means. As parents, we all choose what’s important to us. It’s important to me that my kid becomes an active participant in her own elimination. Even if at this point, “active” means she’s banging me in the face at seven am.

Preachy celebrity parenting books aside, let’s all try to accept each other’s parenting choices without judging. And yes, “ain’t nobody got time for that” is judgey. I’m sure you non-EC, diaper-over-users do a lot of things I don’t have time for. Like…wait, what DO y’all do?

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(Image: Tomasz Trojanowski/shutterstock)

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