Thursday, April 25, 2013

Elimination Communication

I recently read an article on the newest parenting trend to sweep America. It is called “elimination communication” and allows newborns and infants to go sans diaper even in public places. The idea is that when the infant is urinating the parent will produce a “ssshhhh” sound and when bowel movements occur the parent will produce grunting noises. After time, the child when associate these noises with waste elimination (and by extension relief) allowing the parent to cue such behavior at an appropriate time by recreating the corresponding sounds.


As you can imagine, the training process is messy and one woman began E.C. training within the first few weeks utilizing only Tupperware containers and her cat-like reflexes.  Several parents in metropolitan areas have admitted to suspending their pants-less offspring over sewer drains or behind parked cars if they are unable to find a public restroom or sink. One practitioner described it as follows:

“Sometimes the thrill of being able to go outside and pee is just what [babies] need. In the suburbs people set up potties in the trunk of their cars. That made me jealous.  But in New York no one cares what you are doing.  You can hold your baby to pee pretty much anywhere.  Especially since few people would have any idea what you are doing.”

Many practitioners credit E.C. as a method of saving money and treating chronic diaper rash. In addition to the cost savings, the transition to potty training is virtually non-existent. Cities like New York even have E.C. meet-ups and classes for parents who wish to incorporate it into their child-rearing and the last seven days of April was the first official “Diaper Free Week.”

I am fully on-board with saving money and preventing chaffing, but it will be cold day in Hell before someone catches me holding my half-naked son over a storm grate as I make audible grunting noises. I cannot help but feel that we might be moving backwards as a society when we encourage sidewalk urination from birth.

I admire and applaud parents for thinking outside the box and being actively involved in all aspects of their child’s development, but if you find yourself hunched behind the bumper of a Dodge Dart outside a Wendy’s trying to force an infant to urinate using only audio cues, you may be too involved. One woman admitted that she compromised and utilized cloth diapers when she was at a restaurant or in the presence of skeptical family members.

Perhaps her family members aren’t so much skeptical as they are averse to watching their nephew/grandson defecate in their Pyrex. Skepticism indicates that they do not believe it will work, I am guessing their real fear is that it will work too well. Just a piece of advice: perhaps some Desitin and a box of Luvs would get you invited to more social gatherings.

1 comment:

  1. I have an uncle that went without clothes - the judge gave him 2 years !

    ReplyDelete