Instead of using diapers (cloth-based or disposable), Elimination Communication or EC entails letting the baby urinate and defecate in an appropriate place (toilet for instance), right from the time she is born.
The process of not using diapers for your newborn involves starting the process of potty-training the infant right from the first day after delivery. Some say that this helps in securing better communication between the child and parent in the long run, as it allows the parents to get attuned to their baby’s basic bodily needs.
There is no pre-fixed pattern for following the diaper-less system. It can be started with babies of any age and can be pursued for the whole duration till the baby gets properly potty-trained. The practice can be done full-time, part-time, occasionally, or even for certain durations during the day.
For instance, a diaper-based routine for night-time and a diaper-less-routine for the morning when the caregivers are present in full capacity to cater to the baby’s needs works well for most households.
After delivery, many traditional homes avoid new clothing for the newborn baby. This is a tradition deep-rooted in our culture. It is done to mitigate possible allergies from dust or from contact with chemicals which the baby stands to develop if synthetic materials are used. Some prefer to make clothes out of used cloth as they tend to be softer.
Disposable diapers are essentially made of plastic and contain chlorine, poly-acrylate, and other chemicals which are known to be hazardous. Although a lot of research has gone into making diapers comfortable, proponents of EC feel that babies would be naturally uncomfortable with wetness and waste between their thighs. Hence, going diaper-less, they feel, is the best way out. It also lets the baby stay clean and reduces the chances of clothes getting soiled in case of any diaper leakage.
Please note that EC is NOT potty training. It is a natural and non-coercive process by which a baby learns to communicate and address his or her elimination needs with the assistance of parents and caregivers. As we have already mentioned, this practice makes conventional potty training unnecessary.
EC may not be applicable for babies below the age of two or three months. Most parents switch over to the no-diaper way of functioning only at the age of about four or five months, and they continue with the process thereon.
And by the end of this time, experts say, when diapered babies show signs of supposed “readiness” for toilet-learning, children kept under EC in most cases would have already achieved toilet independence.