As a follow up to my last post about taking care of your baby’s "business," I looked into a comment made by reader lioralourie about "Elimination Communication" – a potty training practice that’s catching on in the West, which apparently has roots in traditionally diaper-less places like China.
Here are a few informative links on the subject:
An American based "network of free support groups promoting a natural approach to responding to babies’ elimination needs. This practice is followed worldwide and is known as Elimination Communication, Natural Infant Hygiene, and Infant Potty Training. The process involves observing one’s baby’s signs and signals, providing cue sounds and elimination-place associations, and can be done with or without any diaper use."
The Diaper Free Baby
Promo site for Christine Gross Loh’s book "aimed at parents like you who are interested in EC but are wondering how to incorporate it into a modern lifestyle. It encourages parents to follow EC to the extent that is right for themselves and their families, and is full of strategies for making EC easier to practice in our busy society. The book includes inspiring testimonials from many parents and families who have practiced EC in a variety of ways – for instance, with twins, with older children, while on the go, while traveling, at nighttime, while EC’ing or conventionally training an older sibling, or while baby is in daycare."
tribalbaby.org: Insights into EC in China
A lengthy article that discusses in-depth an Australian’s take on Chinese child-rearing practices, particularly in regards to EC: "Today I took Imogen down for her afternoon toddle in the sun with all the old grandmas and their charges. She kept holding on to my arms then squatting. She was wearing split crotch pants like all the other kids. She went — first time with split crotch pants… they are so easy! It’s quite troublesome to offer her if you have to pull her pants down and back up but with split crotch pants it’s like "You wanna go? No? – OK then" – finished … Anyway, for those with younger babies, I noted that the grannies had the little ones in split crotch pants then tucked a folded, tea-towel shaped cloth into the waistband underneath the split crotch pants. This meant that a wee was caught in the cloth rather than on the person if there was a miss. Its so much easier to change this than change nappies too!! I thought it was a great idea. Like a prefold belt but with legs."
babiestoday.com: Elimination Communication – Can Babies Really be Potty Trained?
"While EC may leave some parents shaking their heads in disbelief and chalking it up to some new-wave parenting movement, it’s actually quite common – specifically in other countries … Throughout many parts of the world, including Eastern Europe, China, Southeast Asia, India, the Arctic, and parts of Africa and Latin America, infant potty training is the norm," says Maria Wheeler, author of Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism or Other Developmental Issues (Future Horizons, 2007). "Many parents in our American cultre don’t have the time or patience needed to potty train their infants successfully, a position which has been facilitated by the invention and marketing of disposable diapers, beginning in the early 1960s. Because of their design and comfort, disposable diapers have also taught babies to ignore the natural signs of elimination, which is still another reason that Americans, in particular, have difficulties with potty training, even when our children are toddlers, the time we normally undertake teaching them to go to the potty."
daddytypes.com: I Know that Face! Elimination Communication
For another dad’s eye view: "And all this time, I had it backwards. The Fulani tribe of Mali has a saying: ‘You’re lucky if you’ve got someone who will shit on you.’ Lucky, perhaps, but not as well-versed as you should be in the art of elimination communication. That’s the annoyingly delicate name given by western advocates of traditional diaper-less methods for dealing with an infant’s poo and pee. It’s still popular in Africa, China and other parts of Asia, wherever the Diaper Industrial Complex hasn’t managed to enlighten the simple-minded natives about their hopelessly backward parenting superstitions."
foxnews.com: Potty Training Infants – Too Much Too Soon?
For a slightly dissenting view, courtesy of Fox News: "According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is no right age to toilet train a child. Readiness to begin toilet training depends on the individual child, the group states. But starting before age 2 (24 months) is not recommended as the readiness skills and physical development your child needs occur between age 18 months and 2.5 years. While the practice may sound like relative heresy in the U.S., it’s embraced in at least 75 countries including India, Kenya, and Greenland … This type of elimination communication "takes place in cultures where there is a greater degree of intimacy between parents and infants," Rubin says. "If indeed what they are talking about is learning to read babies’ signals, that’s wonderful because there is no question the baby will have signals when it needs to [go to the bathroom]." Not so Fast … "Obviously it would be great to have kids learn to use the toilet by age 1," points out Andrea C.S. McCoy, MD, the medical director at Temple Pediatric Care in Philadelphia. "Unfortunately, their muscles and nerves are not mature enough to really be able to consistently hold urine and stool, relax to allow spontaneous voiding and stooling, and recognize the need to ‘go.’"
Plenty of more articles on google.