We were given this book as a Christmas gift (before baby was born) and both gave it a read. We started paying attention to her cues from about day 2 and couldn't believe how well it works - She was potty trained by 4 months!!! She's a 16 months now and we have had a total of one (poop) accident since she's been about 8 months old! I'm so glad that she doesn't have to sit in her own mess And that I don't have to clean it up And that I won't be contributing to the 4% of landfill volume that is comprised of diapers! Good luck! Natalka
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I'll admit this book sounds a bit "granola", but the book was a very quick read (good thing, too, as I read it AFTER our baby was born) and it works. The author has also given many practical tips on how to effectively communicate elimination needs. She also gives advice on how to employ EC part time and how to weather regressions due to teething, illness, etc. I would recommend this book to anyone who doesn't want to spend the first 2-4 years of their child's life cleaning soiled bottoms!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
126 of 130 people found the following review helpful
Practical and inspiringJune 20 2007
Dr. Sarah J. Buckley
- Published on Amazon.com
As a family physician, writer on pregnancy, birth and parenting; and mother of four (my last baby raised 'diaper-free'), I found this book practical as well as inspiring. I know it can be hard to believe that babies can be raised without diapers (and it is certainly not what I was taught at medical school), but after seeing it with my own eyes, I know that babies really do have the innate ability to communicate their elimination needs. I also know that it is a gentle and baby-centered approach that enhances and deepens the relationship between mother and baby, and does not involved training, coercion, or distraction from normal activities such as play and learning. As a mother and MD, I believe that this method (which is also how most babies around the world are raised) is healthier and more hygienic than putting babies in what has been called a `walking toilet', not to mention the financial benefits for the family and environmental benefits for the Earth. I would highly recommend this book and this method, with the proviso that it requires a lot of physical closeness and also dedication from at least one carer. (In traditional cultures, the grandmother may be the main person to do this) I think this is especially true in our culture because we are usually parenting in isolation and don't have this method as part of our parenting lore. For these reasons, it is probably easier for those who use (or plan to use) attachment parenting approaches which emphasize closeness and parental responsiveness such as baby wearing, co-sleeping and breastfeeding. If you are interested in this style of parenting, you will particularly enjoy the gentle philosophy in this book, and Ingrid's sharing of her own experiences. However, I also know several families who have adapted this method part time and/or just to catch the baby's poops (and many moms can already tell when their baby needs to go!), which is still a great benefit. If you are serious about this, you might also enjoy Infant Potty Training, which has a great section on what mothers and babies are doing in other cultures. If you just want some potty training tips, try Early Start Potty Training, which has some good ideas, plus a fascinating (and rather damning) history of the diaper industry.
78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Show your child some respect **updated at 19 mos**Jan. 12 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
My mom alerted me to the phenomenon of raising babies without diapers, and before deciding she was crazy, I ventured on some research into the subject. After having quickly read through this book, I thought to myself, "I bought a book on this?" It's a good book, it's just very... common sense. Ingrid Bauer explains how she came to the conclusion that she didn't want her baby stuck in diapers in such a way you'd think that any mother would come to the same conclusion. Of course, they don't, because we live in a diaper culture. We just don't see it much in the US, but it is actually widely practiced throughout the world. I plan to start with diapers, practice the "Natural Infant Hygiene" Ms Bauer recommends, and see what happens. Her philosophy is that kids naturally know when they are going to eliminate, and they'd rather communicate to you that they have to go than go in their diapers and wait uncomfortably for you to get them a clean one. She also hypothesizes that babies will forget how to control their elimination if you don't start communicating with them earlier on than 2 years, when most parents potty train their kids. Thus, they have to learn it all over again and it's a big pain that can be embarrassing for both of you.
Even if you aren't home with your kid 24 hours a day, it's still possible to use the techniques when you are around. It's not an all-or-nothing solution. You can diaper part of the time, and communicate with your child about eliminating when you are around. One cool thing is that most kids who have learned to control their elimination from birth have very little trouble with bed-wetting. 10% of 10 year olds still have bed-wetting episodes! That means 10% of 10 year olds are self conscious about and not fully in control of their elimination. That alone makes me want to try this, for the sake of my kid's personal respect, trust, and independence.
The previous bit was from before I had my baby, and now that she is 19 months old, I have some perspective. We received cloth diaper service for the first year as a gift, and the first weeks we were using up to 80 diapers per week. I actually first started my girl on the potty at 3 weeks and was astounded at how quickly she caught on. The fourth time I took her to the potty, she instantly went on cue. We made the complete switch to training pants (purchased on Amazon at 15 for $25, Luvable Friends brand) at 12 months. I made this decision because we were down to 20 diapers a week, she rarely wet at night, and she could walk to the potty and sit down on it on her own. She has had her share of "misses," but to me it's worth it for the "catches." I work in a daycare and parents are constantly asking me about how I got my baby to use a potty so early! It certainly wasn't through any kind of coercion. It was a very natural process that only requires a good parent-child connection.
I was never as extreme about EC as the author or some people I've met that are very active in the diaper free yahoo group, but I usually see that we are nearly as successful. There are certain developments that happen in the brain and body around the same age regardless of parenting, such as ability to consciously communicate about something that will happen in the future, and the ability to pull one's pants down! Often, my daughter will sit on the potty and pee right through her pants. This is a good thing still because it's not a puddle on the floor, and the laundry is the same or less than with a diaper, and she gets the practice. One thing I am diligent about is always pottying her before and after sleeping for naps or night time. Also we get up once in the middle of the night to go. It is very clear when she needs to go at night because it is difficult to get her back to sleep and she whimpers. Getting to know your child's patterns and ever-changing signals is key.
The most important thing to take from this book is the simple philosophy that you should not let your baby forget the awareness of needing to eliminate. As long as you keep the awareness up by making attempts at using the potty, you are making progress. Yes, even on those days when they just will not signal and go through about 10 pairs of pants! Your baby doesn't have to be truly diaper free to maintain this awareness. The end result is a nice thing to daydream about, but Elimination Communication is really about the process of teaching your child about his or her bodily functions and how to handle them in a hygienic way from the start. It is about honoring your child's need to feel cared for, clean (yes, really), and empowered.
This book was great for educating me on Elimination Communication, providing practical tips like how to hold your baby on the potty or outdoors, and listing most common signals children give before they eliminate. That said, I haven't picked the book up in over a year, so it's not something you will probably read again and again. Unless you feel you need something to encourage you and remind you, I would recommend borrowing this book from a library.
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Proceed With CautionMay 7 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Using this book as a guide, we have been practicing EC with our daughter since week 6. It was great until recently (month 5) when she now can't sleep well (we have come to the conclusion) because she often wakes up and needs to go to the bathroom. After reading Elizabeth Pantley's no-cry sleep books, we now know the science behind baby sleep which has revealed that babies briefly wake up many times (between sleep cycles) throughout the night and then have to fall back to sleep either with help or on their own. The problem with EC for us is our baby will sleep for 40 minutes (typical sleep cycle lasts 40-60 minutes long) and then wake up, have the sudden awareness of a very full bladder (because this awareness has grown through the use of EC) and then cry out to go to the bathroom. She goes from deeply asleep to lightly awake and then fully awake after she senses her full bladder and has to be held over the potty. This fully wakes up the family and starts an hour long process of getting her back to sleep. When other babies of her age are sleeping 5 hours (our baby used to do this prior to developing great bladder and bowel awareness through the use of EC) now she rarely goes beyond 2 hours. Of course, different babies with different personalities will have different experiences, but this is what is happening in our family, and though EC has positives (it was great when she was suffering from gas and colic because it provided relief), I'd have to say I regret choosing to do EC now that I know it seriously disturbs our daughter's and our sleep. It also disturbs her day time naps which (based on sleep research) should be around a hour and a half, and are only around 40 minutes long (she wakes up needing to go to the bathroom between cycles because of EC and can't go back to sleep after going). At this point, we don't know what to do, but continue the EC because we simply think it would be cruel to stop the EC when we were the ones who taught her to be aware of her bladder and bowels. Please consider that your child too could also suffer from sleep disturbances linked to the EC and the book doesn't tell you what to do and doesn't mention that this could happen. Sleep isn't just sleep, it is necessary to help babies rest, heal and learn.
Also, please realize that EC truly functions best within an attachment parenting style where you wear or carry your baby during the day and co-sleep at night: your baby will need you or someone really close to attend to his/her needs and if he/she turns out to be like my baby (peeing about every 20-30 minutes and pooping every 2-3 hours during the day) you will be very busy. EC is labor intensive and it is my experience that it is more intensive than attending to a diapered baby who is not using EC. The author of this book argues that it is about the same amount of work. With the sleep disturbance and the frequent trips to the potty, this is not what we are experiencing. Again, please consider the challenges that EC could contribute to or cause in addition to the positives (early freedom from diapers, earlier potty readiness, it can be very rewarding to potty your child and see the relief on his/her face when you have timed it right and helped relieve gas or a full bladder.) I would have appreciated it if the author would have presented both the positives and the negatives, including trouble shooting potential challenges.
53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Bauer's a little wackyMarch 22 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
But this is nevertheless a worthwhile read. Bauer is definitely the crunchiest of the three authors of early-potty-training/elimination communicating books. Boucke has more cross-cultural information. While I have not yet read Sonna, it looks like she has the most historical/research based information.
Bauer spends a lot of time describing ways to increase the bond between mother (parent, caregiver . . .) and baby, including, obviously, natural infant hygiene/elimination communication, but also including baby wearing next to the skin and, in general, lots of skin to skin contact. She is, in her own quirky way, an inspiring mother.
61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Look before you decideJan. 28 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
My wife and I bought this book, which was recommended to us by a friend who has successfully used Natural Infant Hygiene with their child. I finished reading it the other day, and my wife and I are talking about trying it.
Perhaps others have had different impressions after reading the book, but I think that only about 10-20% of the total text was actually helpful. The rest seemed more like marketing material. Over half the book is more focused on why you should practice Natural Infant Hygiene rather than how to actually do so.