We have recently told you about biodegradable diapers and reusables. Without enough specific knowledge of cross-cultural child rearing practices, I've harbored a fantasy of a third option: there are places in the world where babies (or, toddlers at least) don't have to be hauled around in their own stuff all of the time because they're running freely in areas where it's OK for them to relieve themselves wherever. It did not occur to me that those places might be Manhattan apartments. Recently, CNN ran a piece about Diaper Free Baby "a network of free support groups promoting a natural approach to responding to babies' elimination needs." One name for this is Elimination Communication and one aspect involves reading baby's body language and facial expressions to know when it's time to go. Then, the little one is held over a toilet or her own portable pot whose contents can be flushed. Of course, this takes a considerable amount of attention. Some parents use the method with diapers, others don't. The news story showed tykes crawling around New York living rooms diaperless to be whisked away when necessary. The support group aspect of this seems crucial!
Proponents of Elimination Communication emphasize increased communion between parents and children. The money saved on diapers and reduced environmental impact are side benefits. For parents who are up to it, it seems like a sure way to reduce the child rearing footprint. What do you think? Are you up to the Elimination Communication Challenge? ::Diaper Free Baby