Life without disposable nappies – Part 1: Intro

♥ by Eva & Julien

Did we tell you that we are raising our daughter without disposable nappies, but that we’re doing Elimination Communication (EC) instead? Read on and we’ll discuss this a little.

First of all, why are we doing this? There are several reasons for that;

for one, it is thanks to Eva, who spent a LOT of time during her pregnancy finding out about oh so many things, including EC. It turns out that contrary to common belief, babies can feel from birth when they need to eliminate, and they already communicate that need. By wearing disposable nappies they’ll eventually forget how it feels, and then, when the baby’s supposed to be clean at around three years old, we train them to be able to identify that feeling again. That doesn’t make much sense to us so by doing EC we’re hoping that Carlotta won’t lose that feeling for her bodily functions, which will save herself and us the trouble to potty-train. In a way, it’s just another natural part of all the different ways in which you communicate with your baby and see her/him grow and evolve, like when you know that your child wants to nurse or take a nap. You learn to read the signals, undress your child when she/he shows it is time for her/him to pee (or more) and help the child to do what she/he has to do over a potty, a toilet, a sink, in a meadow, or any other suitable place.

We also thought that when we get old and maybe will have to wear nappies ourselves, how humiliating it will be to run around in full nappies for hours. We want to spare her this kind of discomfort (because we think that even newborns already have a desire to feel clean).

And finally because, frankly, we really don’t want Carlotta to wear disposable nappies since no one (NO ONE) is able to tell what the superbooster (that’s the thing in the nappy which turns liquid into gel) they contain (all of them, even the organic ones) is made of exactly. Ever wondered why since the apparition of these, we have to treat our children because they have a red bum or rashes?

There are a few more reasons that are also debatable but here they are:

Ecology. In our case it requires quite some water to do EC, because we’re using washable nappies as a backup (so that when we can’t communicate with her for whatever reason, she doesn’t pee on the floor/her clothes). BUT it takes even more water to produce the disposable nappies and to try to do something with them once soiled (I’m talking about the recycling here). And just think about the incredible amounts of trash we’re producing using disposable nappies. Apparently a plastic nappy takes 300 years (!) to decompose. That’s not the kind of inheritance we want to leave on this planet for my heirs. We also don’t think that burning our trash is a great way to get rid of it. So we prefer to produce as little trash as possible.

Economy. Yes, the appearance of the disposable nappies was at first seen as a revolution that would free the parents (and mostly the women, since back then, cleaning baby’s bum was not really a male forte). Alas it comes at a cost, strictly financially speaking. And if you fancy, you can do the maths: Buying disposable nappies costs a family a fortune until the little one is truly “clean”. Buying what you need to do EC also represents certain expenses but even if you include the cost of the water to wash the backups, it’s still much cheaper than disposable nappies.

We hope that part 1 served as a good introduction to this very interesting and important topic. In Life Without Disposable Nappies – Part 2: How To we’ll tell you more about how to actually do EC and what alternatives there are in case your life circumstances don’t allow you to do EC fully.

Stay tuned!

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