Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ever Thought of This? Diaper Free Baby!

When I was a nanny, I had to chase around a two-year old every time it was time to change his diaper. He would never tell me when he'd gone in his diaper except when he'd done a #2 and it was really uncomfortable for him. Has anyone here ever had to change a really dirty diaper on a two year old who can't stand still? Yeah. Not fun. His parents said they were trying to potty train him, but he just had no interest. This got me thinking..."there HAS to be a better way".
So I started to research, as I often do. I came across the phrase, "infant potty training". Infant potty training? I didn't think this was possible. I also saw the phrase, "elimination communication". So I researched some more, and I saw a book about this subject. The Diaper Free Baby, by Christine Gross-Loh. I went straight to my library and checked it out. When I began to read, I was VERY skeptical. I kid you not; by the time I was 20 pages in, I was convinced that every family should be doing this.
Photo from
Did you know that babies ARE aware of their urges to eliminate? Did you know that by paying attention, you can tell when they need to go? This is possible. The reason it's so hard to potty train toddlers is because we've TRAINED them to eliminate in diapers, and they've lost that connection with their bodies to be able to control their eliminations. Using the techniques in Gross-Loh's book, you can quit having to buy diapers and not have to go through the struggles of normal potty training. I do have to stress, though, that this book's focus is on learning to connect to your baby and be able to communicate with him or her. The potty training is really secondary. The book is really fascinating, though.

Here's the potty that is recommended in The Diaper Free Baby. It's easy for babies/toddlers to sit on, and it's cheap so you can buy several to put around the house for convenience. And they come in several different colors:-) Cute.

Here's another product I found at The EC Store that's great for traveling. You can fold it up and keep it in your diaper bag or purse. When you're out at a restaurant, just pull it out and unfold it so it's flat and it goes on top of any toilet so your child can easily sit without falling it. Also, when you fold the legs down it becomes freestanding. They come with liners so you just put a liner in, let your child go potty, tie up the liner and throw it away! They sell refill liners but you can just use old grocery bags with a few paper towels or napkins in the bottom. Cheap and easy!

Intrigued? Do a little research of your own. You can start by Googling "elimination communication". Then head to your library and pick up The Diaper Free Baby. Other books on this subject (which I have not read) are Diaper Free! by Ingrid Bauer, and Infant Potty Training by Laurie Boucke. Maybe you can start your own Diaper Free Baby support group with your friends!

Have you already read up on this or maybe even tried it with your child? Share your story with us!


  1. I lived in an African village for 2 years. While newborns would have fabric wrapped around them in diaper form, older babies did not. Parents essentially practiced "diaper free baby" without it being called that. Sure, there were accidents (I got peed on more than once by my neighbor's baby, for instance), but by the age of 1 those kids were "potty trained" by our standards.

  2. Yeah this definitely isn't a new idea. Many countries around the world have always done this. The Diaper Free Baby is a great way to show parents how we can adapt this idea to our busy modern lifestyles as they are. Thanks for your comment!