Disposable, Cloth, or Potty?

As I was wandering around downtown today I noticed a large “Store Closing Sale” on one of the storefronts. Not usually a big deal – we don’t have the money to spend, sale or not – but since it was a kid’s consignment site I figured, “Why not?” I’m glad I did because I found some cloth diaper accessories. Super exciting!

I was first introduced to the idea of cloth diapering when I was about six months pregnant. My cousin uses them with her youngest and was telling me how great they were. Man, oh man, was I not interested. I didn’t even want to consider the possibility of using them. Why would I? Disposable diapers were convenient, and why would I want to wash and handle cloth diapers over and over again. And that’s what I used for the first couple months of Roly Poly’s life. But the more that we went through (hundreds in just two months) and the more we bought, the more appealing cloth diapers were looking.

When our little one was about three months old I started seriously looking into cloth diapering. Researching the many different companies, options, types, styles, inserts, lingo, how to clean them, how to store them (dirty and clean). There is so much information out there that it can seem a little overwhelming. But after some researching we found that using covers and prefolds or lay-in inserts would be the best option for us. So after some convincing, BJ finally agreed to let me get cloth diapers.

Fast forward a couple months and I discovered another something exciting on Pinterest (what a horrible and totally awesome app): Elimination Communication, or EC. I know, sounds like another super crunchy, hippie thing. And maybe it is. But it also makes a lot of sense, at least to me. EC, according to diaperfreebaby.org, is defined as follows:

Elimination Communication (EC) iwp-1471277312207.jpgs NOT potty training. It is a gentle, natural, non-coercive process by which a baby, preferably beginning in early infancy, learns with the loving assistance of parents and caregivers to communicate about and address his or her elimination needs. The practice makes conventional potty training unnecessary.

The idea is that, from birth, babies are aware of their elimination needs, just like they are aware of the need to eat and sleep. This awareness is something that very much intrigues me. I wanted to use cloth diapers because they were much more financially responsible for our family but also because they were much better for Roly Poly – no chemicals. So when I started reading about another alternative that would almost entirely eliminate the need for diapers I was excited. Less laundry, less expense, and no sitting in messy diapers all day.

The amount of time new parents spend thinking about the bodily functions of their babies can be astounding. It becomes a (weirdly) normal part of everyday conversations. I spend my days going between disposable diapers, CDs, and ECing. Depending on the day – and more importantly how the night before went – I use one more than the others. But for the most part, we go between CD and EC. In the coming weeks, hopefully I’ll find time sooner rather than later, I’ll go into more detail about how cloth diapering looks at our house and how we are working on elimination communication with Roly Poly. Maybe it will lead you to look into them as an option for your family as well.

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