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By Joannaline Casasola Young
Theories of Asia on raising a diaper-free baby can help the environment here.
“Diaper-Free Newborn Babies”. This was the headline I feverishly read as I did my daily scanning of the ABC News home page. As a mother who had a poop phobia ever since my baby was born, I wanted to know more about this topic. I saw the quick two-minute video of Linton who has been potty trained since he was four months old. The Birth Ways studio in Berkeley teaches students theories from Asia in which you listen and observe babies for “cues”.
In TLC’s “Bringing Home Baby” series there was an episode entitled “Sara Comes Home”. I saw a family who adopted a baby girl named Sara from China. The new father told one of the children that came to visit that in China, the babies do not wear diapers. He said that there is a hole in the baby’s pants and, “They just hold them up when they need to go.” I later learned they do this when they notice a certain cue from the baby that they are about to go #1 or #2. Many call this form of cuing “Elimination Communication” or simply abbreviated EC. Supporters of the practice claim that as early as the day babies are born, they have this ability to communicate their needs. Therefore, parents can look out for this communication to see when the baby will need a diaper change.
In my last article, “China Pollution”, I wrote about the current environmental issues facing the country. For this civilization, it was necessary to live without “luxuries”, such as not having diapers. In a way, this is more environmentally beneficial for a community to live without the waste of diapers. As seen from the photos, their lands have already been flooded so much waste that having diapers would only add to their polluted conditions.
Connected to this idea of elimination communication, babies have been also through to communicate other needs such as when they are hungry. My baby was just born and I had seen a video on iVillage called “What your baby’s cries mean”. According to the video, a linguist had decoded a baby’s cries into 5 basic meanings.
1. Hungry (neh)
2. Sleepy (owh)
3. Burp (eh)
4. Gas (eairh)-I don’t know about you but this one means to burp
5. Discomfort (heh)
Before I had a baby, I was like any normal person. I generally thought a baby does not have a high cognition and they are just eating, pooping machines. However, I learned that a baby is a lot smarter than we think. From first hand experience, I know that a baby can sense if a person is a stranger, how someone feels, or the general “aura” of a person. So in many ways, a baby is even smarter than me. I have now decided that I will try using this “Elimination Communication” to be more environmentally conscious and we’ll see how it goes.