(Babies without nappies)

Elimination Communication

Nowadays, nappies do not have to be washed anymore. They are simply put into the rubbish bin after use. One is tempted to change nappies only once a day as modern disposable nappies can absorb a sixpack of beer quite easily and these innovative nappies will remain in the landfill for at least 500 years.

At present (2011) a nappy costs approximately 0.30 Euro; 5 x daily = 10.50 Euro = 41 Euro/month = 504 Euro/year. Sizes are offered from micro (< 3 kg) up to XXL (16 to 30 kg). Thus it may be presumed that children of even more than four years are still wearing nappies.

It is not wee that causes nappy rashes but humidity due to tight nappies which is to blame. Beause of the rise of nappy rashes today´s nappies were created. The humid climate within the nappy is chemically corrected. The consequences of this approach will need to be evaluated in the course of time. Quite obviously children wearing such nappies feel great and have no need to get rid of them which leads to bedwetting in the end.

Nappies - unhealthy, costly and wasteful - are being questioned and rejected by a small yet growing community in the "West" while being marketed to traditional societies that have been doing much better without them.

An ancient method was rediscovered in the USA and is called "elimination communication (EC)". Children grow up nappy free from the very beginning onwards. Normally, parents know when their baby is hungry and it is just the same with a baby who wants to pee. Parents have to get to know their babies and must learn to understand their signs. When they tune in to their baby´s signals they can toilet train them without the use of nappies. The baby is cued by a "pssss..." -sound or "aa-aa" or "shh-shh". Cloth diapers may be used but parents should start with a supported squat (baby´s back resting against chest, hands holding them underneath each thigh, bottom pointed away) when their children signalize their need to pee or poop. 

This is not a potty training! Children do not have to be forced to sit on a potty. It is nothing more than pure communication. Should there be any misunderstandigs (pee on the floor), so bear in mind, that children´s urine is clean and even sterile. Our tap water is also clean but not sterile at all; still we do not hesitate to even drink it.

Parents may also try part time EC when they have less time due to professional obligations. Here, they should start with EC as soon as their children start walking (although this is not nappyfree really). Nappies should generally be avoided to let the children become aware of their eliminations.

A potty is preferable to a toilet for elimination in order to be aware of what is inside (eg. worms, slime, blood etc.). 

The following table is of help in estimating the number of voidings and time interval of peeing. So after having noticed a wee you will know when to expect the next one. The intervals are negligable at night.

 Age No. of voidings in 24hrs
 Average Quantity/void.( fl.oz)
 Intervall
 <3 months
 13.5 1 1 h 42 min
 3 - 6 months
 20 1 1 h 12 min
 6 - 12 months
 16 1.5 1 h 30 min
 1 - 2 years
 12 2 2 h
 2 - 6 years
 8.7 3 2 h 42 min
 6 - 8 years
 7.4 5 3 h 12 min
 8 - 11 years
 7.1 7 3 h 18 min
 11 - 13 years
 7.2 7.5 3 h

Table: Pediatric History Taking and Physical Diagnosis for Nurses, Mary M. Alexander, Marie Scott Brown, McGraw Hill N.Y.: 1979 (modified)


Empirical Pee Intervals

Past Delivery 10 - 20 minutes
 8 - 12 weeks 10 - 20 minutes
 3 - 4 months 30 - 60 minutes
 4 - 7 months 30 - 90 minutes
 6 - 12 months individual
 12 - 18 months individual (leave baby bottomless)
 18 -  21 months individual (dry up to 4 hrs.)
 21 - 26 months Toddler can communicate need and withhold
according to J. Dibbern and N. Schmidt (Handbook for internal use)


Infant formula, cribs, pushchairs, and nappies come with a Western philosophy of detached baby care. Early weaning from breast and bed undermine intuitive family practices. An Indian mother once said, "Our babies do not sit like lumps, they are carried in slings and move about the world along with their mothers. 

Links:

www.juliadibbern.de              Pioneer of EC in Germany

www.nappyfree.com.au         EC - report from down under

www.pottywhispering.com     Laurie Bouke, The Original! 

www.bornready.uk           EC - practical hints

www.hippychick.com           useful things

www.splitpants.net              clothing for EC

www.abhala.de                   clothing for children and EC

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMQgzQ3XuDM    e.g. split pants in action

www.bumpintoreality.com    EC; a first time mom´s report

Western Medicine about bed wetting*)

  • Bed wetting is one of the most frequent chronic disease in childhood.
  • Bed wetting is due to genetic disorders - psychological causes are rare
  • Bed wetting is considered as a disease to be treated by WHO (World Health Organisation)
  • Approx. 840.000 children in Germany suffer from bed wetting
  • Of these children 2/3 are boys and 1/3 are girls

Having no explanations, genetics have to serve as the underlying cause. Yes, of course, and we all know that the earth is a disc don´t we! Nappies (and parents putting them on) are not to blame. Money makes the world go round.

*)from leaflet "DryNites" by Kimberly-Clark GmbH (Germany)

EC: Coaching and Courses