I wrote this article when my son was seven months.
It is amusing to think that a year ago I was expecting a baby and worrying about the necessity of using disposable diapers, which creates such a burden to the environment and feels so unnatural. And here I am today, using on average one per week for my seven month old son. And we could of course forget about them at all but it’s pretty cold here in January and I use disposable diapers for outdoor for my peace of mind. But a year ago I have just discovered the possibility of going diaper free.
At that time I have read about the Pacific Island of Garbage which covers an area the size of Texas (some say twice the size of the state) which is floating in the North Pacific Ocean; and decided that even though I cannot do much to reduce the amount of garbage in landfills and in ocean, I want to do my best not to increase it. And I started to look for a better way. Internet was a great help and I was happy to discover just how many people are concerned about this issue and work to provide a better way.
Certainly, the environment was not my only concern. I was just as worried about the well being and proper development of my baby. And the stories that I have heard about the use of disposable diapers gave me another inspiration to look for a better way.
From what I have read, there are numerous cloth diapers, which can be washed and reused as needed, have a nice cotton feel on the baby’s skin and are more economic than the disposable ones. Also, there is an even more radical way of going diaper free or Elimination Communication. I have read about it in an excellent book Diaper Free, the Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer. This book provided the inspiration and great in-depth guidelines, which I studied like a handbook during the last month of my pregnancy.
Going diaper free did sound like a great answer to my concern and also like a great challenge. Having a new baby and the first one actually is pretty demanding and as my friend put it “would have been easier with diapers”. But easier does not always mean better. And what seems easier at this moment might create problems for the future, which one should be thinking about. So I took the challenge and have not regretted it even once.
Looking back at the past seven months, there were tough and happy moments but overall a great experience full of priceless discoveries. One of them for me is the understanding of how much we underestimate the abilities of the babies. My husband and I were truly amazed by the way our son was responding to our attempts to communicate with him about elimination.