By NICKY CHAMP
Parents are letting their babies, some as young as newborns, roam freely about without nappies on.
Scandalous, I know.
The method, known as Elimination Communication (EC) is gaining traction among “hipster” parents in Brooklyn (NYC) and has been the subject of several articles from The Times, Mail Online and Slate magazine.
The Elimination Communicated Simplified website define EC as “a gentle, non-coercive way to respond to a baby’s natural pottying needs, from birth, which enables her to follow her instincts to not soil herself, her caretaker, or her sleep space”.
Parents using EC encourage their babies to learn how to signal when they need to relieve themselves thus reducing the amount of nappies required in the first few years of a baby’s life (think of the money you’d save!) and cancelling out the need to toilet train later on.
The strategic placement of several bowls around the house helps to avoid near misses but as one parent, Adriane Stare, the owner of Caribou baby store in Brooklyn that hosts EC meet-ups, admits it can get messy (geez, didn’t see that one coming).
“The hard part is simply getting clothes off of the kid quickly enough to catch a pee or poop before it goes in the diaper,” she told DNAinfo.
Fans of the method cite reasons for doing it such as saving the environment, saving money, protecting their offspring from the evils of nappy rash and wanting to be in touch with their infants most “intimate needs”.
You can take a look at the practice from some Australian EC parents in action here or watch the video below from EC Simplified:
If you can’t watch it now; parents watch for cues that the baby needs to do a number one or number two and then once the baby does need to go parents make noises (the elimination communication) like “sss,” or a grunting sound while holding them out over a potty/sink/toilet.
Most parents don’t practice EC 100% of the time preferring to use nappies overnight or when they leave the house for long periods of time but will happily go nappy-free on shorter outings to the park where it’s (apparently) easier to go on the ground or behind a tree. And yes we’re talking number twos here.
According to The New York Times article, some doctors are dismissive of the practice believing children under 12 months are unable to control their own bodily functions.