Diaper Free Toilet Training

How Do You Feel About Your Infant being Diaper Free?

There is an increasing movement happening in the parenting world that does not include diapering your infant.

My girlfriend just returned from China where she noticed that the kids there don’t wear diapers. They wear pants without the crotch area sewn so that their bodily fluids can just escape whenever necessary.

I would like to think that if given reasonable information that I will consider most unconventional parenting solutions, but this whole thing seems unsanitary.

In a “diaper-free” world it is believed that babies are born with an instinctive ability to signal when they have to answer nature’s call. Parents who practice the so-called “elimination communication” learn to read their children’s body language to help them recognize the need, and they mimic the sounds that a child associates with the bathroom.

Experts at the Child Study Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center say children younger than 12 months have no control over bladder or bowel movements and little control for 6 months after that.

But some parents begin going diaper-free at birth, and the infants can initiate bowel movements on cue as young as 3 to 4 months, said Elizabeth Parise, spokeswoman of DiaperFreeBaby.org, a network of free support groups promoting the practice.

And unlike some methods of toilet training, there are no rewards or punishment associated with it.

Dr. Mark Wolraich, professor of pediatrics and director of the Child Study Center, said the practice essentially conditions young children to go to the bathroom at predictable times or show clear signs when they must go.

“To be truly toilet-trained, the child has to be able to have the sensation that they need to go, be able to interpret that sensation and be able to then tell the parent and take some action,” said Wolraich, who is also editor of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ book on toilet training.

I don’t know…those exploding baby poops that my son had when he was 4 months old didn’t seem like they could have been controlled.

Could you imagine being at a restaurant and something happened that you couldn’t control?

I do the cloth diaper thing – that’s all your getting out of me! I will let the rest of you have your diaper-free kids to yourselves.



About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of GrowingYourBaby.com and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

1 Comment

  • Hi,

    What happens is the explosive poo goes into a potty! In between the baby wears a diaper. It is as simple as that, really. When you have confidence, the diapers begin to be used less – gradually…

    I’d like to invite you to visit my new site on EC,

    It’s Part Time Diaper Free – to emphasize the flexibility of this gentle way of connecting with our babies.


    I have the http://www.tribalbaby.org site also

    I hope you find it a helpful resource!


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