The Kind Life is a community around Alicia Silverstone and The Kind Diet where friends, doctors, experts in green living, and members share vegan tips.

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kind book club: what you thought of

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I loved reading your comments about our April book club selection Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene. Here are some comments that stood out to me:

I don’t have a baby, but I’ve been babysitting my 2 year old niece since her mom died a few months ago, and she wasn’t potty trained. No matter how much I tried to train her, she refused to cooperate. So, last month, I started leaving her diaper off for a while, so she could get accustomed to listening to her body (just like your article said). She is doing much better now, holding it until she uses her toilet now, I just have to get her to let me know when she has to go. I usually sit her on the toilet every 15 minutes; hopefully she’ll start letting me know soon. I fully believe in this method, even for a toddler.
-Elle


When my son was an infant, my brother in law from India said that this is essentially how kids were raised there; in poorer villages, the kids went around bare-bottomed and instead of a potty, were just taken to the outside facilities, whatever that might have been. It made sense to me, but 30 years ago, there was no support for trying to practice this in the US, and I probably would have been turned over to child services. If you can make it work, go for it! I don’t find the modern solution of yelling and crying and frustration and diaper rash all that modern.
-Janet

Thanks Alicia, great suggestion for book! I bought it straight away on kindle, reading it at moment, half way through. But at the beginning, I was surprised myself at how resistant and fearful of the idea I was! How socially conditioned am I :) I’m really enjoying it – actually it’s blowing my mind, and I definitely want to try it when I have a baby. I was talking about it with my Mum today, and she semi-practiced it too when we were kids. I have long maternity time too here, two or three years – that really, really helps. Looking forward to hearing everyone’s review of the book! Hugs xx
-Monica

Bear is now eleven months old, and still does almost all of his poops in the toilet. He still wears a cloth diaper, and I just pull it off when I think he needs to go or when he tells me. He shakes his legs and flirts with me, or a little toot flies, usually means he needs to go. Then, I’ll give him a chance on the toilet.

As a natural mama, I so wanted ECing (Ellimination Communication) to work. We also started at six months with our son. It went pretty well up until about ten or eleven months. Then, it just got very impractical. I was dealing with a new explorer, crawler, walker, who just wanted to play! When you try interrupting a child at this age from their activities, they do not like it! So, the whole thing just got very frustrating for both sides. As I felt myself admitting that I was upset that it wasn’t working as perfectly as diaper free advocates made it seem, I gave it up. And it was definitely for the better. I also noticed that so many of the ECing blogs, stop just around one year. This led me to believe it stopped working for them. So, definitely go ahead and save some diapers for a few months, but don’t get down when you see it come to a grinding halt! My son who is now two and a half still successfully potty trained at just over two-years old all on his own. Even though he was back in diapers from eleven months (of course we still did many diaper free days when we were home, but I accepted the fact that there would be many pees on the floor!), he still easily transitioned to the potty. Good luck if you continue you with this route!
-Rachel

Rachel, I totally hear you! Bear isn’t diaper free all the time either. For example, he wears his nature babycare diaper when he goes to the YMCA with his dad and plays with the other babies there. Also driving, I don’t pull over every 15 minutes to check on him, or if he’s playing and I’m tired, we’ll rely on cloth diapers more.

I do my best to pay attention to his cues; with Bear, it’s a look, or kicking the legs, or I know he’ll need to go after he’s just eaten. I’ve never pulled him away from anything in order to pee or poo – it’s more of a timing thing and intuition thing. When you feel like your baby needs to go, give it a try, and put them on the toilet. Just be gentle with yourself, and remember that it’s not all or nothing.

The goal for me is not to be 100% free of diapers. For us, every step feels like a huge win! I rejoice in following Bear’s cues. I love that we have reduced the number of cloth diapers we use, and that we hardly use any disposable diapers. And I’m amazed that my baby knows how to poo and pee on the toilet on cue. The other day he reached for the toilet! And I put him on and sure enough, he wanted go to! Yahoo! It’s so fun to watch Bear sit on the toilet and make little grunting noises; it’s got to be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Thanks so much everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences! I’ll announce my next book club book on May 1, so stay tuned; any guesses what the next book will be?

Check out some of our past book clubs:
Kind Lifers Discuss Your Vegetarian Pregnancy
You Kind Lifers Loved Shantaram
Book Club: Kind Lifers Get Inspired to Go Green
Kind Lifers Debate The Continuum Concept

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