Bare Bottomed Baby Brigade

It is official – the hippies have finally lost it. The pot of the sixties has apparently been nixed in lieu of something vastly more hallucinogenic. Admittedly, the husband and I own a share in our local organic food coop. Furthermore, we consume enough plant foods per week to subsidize a third world agrarian economy and bring shame to the brat-infested state where we reside. Cows and other domesticated farm life generally greet us with melodious moos of amity. But despite our pseudo-nouveau-hippie status, we will never stoop this far.

The newest hippie movement sweeping the nation and the bottoms of its newborns is the growing “diaper free” movement. (Here you will note I refrain from rather obvious excrement puns involving other related types of “movements.”) Yes, organic cloth diapers were not environmentally friendly enough. Cotton plants, after all, are people too. Now the green mamas across America are freeing their children from the oppression of diapers and opting for the most natural of options – bare baby bottoms blowing in the breeze. Freeing fish from human-imposed diaper hats has become the social responsibility of new parents the world over.

“How,” one might ask, were one not an enlightened member of the growing diaper free movement, “does one go about operating a diaper free baby?” According to a Fox News article on the topic (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,294783,00.html), the movement was “founded on the belief that babies are born with an instinctive ability to signal when they have to answer nature’s call.” Admittedly, the “signal” of a smelly child and the simultaneous expulsion of aromatic bodily secretions is fairly obvious even to the most unobservant of child-rearers (again note my restraint in employing a posterior pointed pun). The article further explains that “parents who practice the so-called ‘elimination communication’ learn to read their children’s body language to help them recognize the need, and they mimic the sounds that a child associates with the bathroom.” This communication is as straightforward as it gets and is conducted entirely through the most primitive of the senses, smell – parent sniffs, wrinkles nose in disgust, recognizes proximity of child, and the communication cycle is complete. The difference between this method and more conventional ones is merely in the lack of a baby bottom barrier.

Members of such a movement would obviously require as much support as they can find, and so it is fitting that there is such a forum at http://www.diaperfreebaby.org. Diaper Free Baby is a 501(c)(3) organization, and so one can financially support bare bottomed babies and deduct the contribution from one’s taxes. After joining, be certain to visit the Diaper Free Baby products store. Among the video selections is the classic “Potty Whispering” DVD set. With its assistance, you too can become an elite “potty whisperer” (the book is so much more moving than the film). It features tips on “how to get started” (remove the diaper), “techniques and tactics” (clothe your child in plastic bags and decorate your home in cellophane), “various potty positions” (hold at arm’s length), as well as “medical and professional opinions” (you, parent, are crazy). One can also choose from several Diaper Free Baby “gifts.” All Diaper Free Baby “gifts” are shipped in dry ice to minimize aromas accumulated during shipping.
What are the benefits of “elimination communication?”
  • Economically speaking, it is not necessarily more frugal than the route of cloth diapers, as what one saves in diaper laundering expenditures is balanced out in monthly carpet shampooing expenses (with an obvious emphasis upon the “sham-pooing”).
  • The online authority on the subject (the ever popular DiaperFreeBaby.org) asserts that it is “totally organic and natural!” Furthermore, it “significantly reduces each baby’s impact on the planet (water consumption, chemical usage, bleaches, and landfill created when using disposable nappies). It is the natural choice for parents who care for the earth.” Yes, and the byproducts can be used as compost! Confounded babies – who do they think they are with all their excessive usage of earth-polluting chemicals and water consumption? Bad baby. Now, go sit in a corner, cease consuming, and apologize to Mother Earth.
  • Elimination communication (a.k.a. EC) further allows for early acquisition of infant autonomy, as one mother asserts, “EC helped me see my children as individuals early on through our communication about where they wanted (and did not want) to potty.” Granted, the child’s answer to that question is “everywhere and anywhere – even your lap will do.”
  • One of the “75 benefits of elimination communication” is that the practice “allows babies to go diaper-free in bathing suits.” And the other swimmers thank you.
  • EC also “increases [the] comfort of carrying a baby: there is less bulk than a diaper and it feels better for both caregiver and baby.” Besides, the baby poo is delightfully warm and squishy between one’s fingers.
  • Who could argue that it “teaches parents how to trust their intuitions?” Namely that intuition that shouted, “What were you thinking?”
  • It “creates fond memories of places where baby and caregiver were in sync.” Remember that one time when I managed to hurl you out the back door and you just missed the carpet? Man, those were the days.
  • It “provides more opportunities to play in the mirror in the bathroom,” and the natural byproducts make great, inexpensive finger paints.
  • It “is easier and more fun for older siblings to help with EC than with diapering.” Hot Potato is so 1990s, and there’s no debating who loses the games of Toss the Baby.
  • “Babies smile while pottying.” But if they smile only while pottying, you may want to consider counseling.
  • It “reduces or eliminates poopy diapers!” And dramatically increases the number of poopy draperies!
  • It “removes worries about running out of diapers.” And multiplies worries about being used as a porta-potty.
  • “Conventional toilet training starts with learning to ‘hold it,’ while EC starts with learning to ‘let go.’ This can make a big difference in a baby’s perception of elimination and of life in general.” Because all great life lessons can be learned on the toilet.
  • It “honors cultural heritages.” Wearing diapers is like shooting Mexicans.
  • “Contrary to the promises in advertisements, diapers don’t keep the baby clean and dry, but only his clothes and environment.” Er…and his parents.
  • One parent beams, “And being able to travel without a big, bloated diaper bag is terrific.” What, though, of traveling with a diarrheic, diaperless infant?
  • “Thinking about EC often leads adults to consider the perspective of the baby: would an adult want to wear a diaper rather than use a toilet?” And wouldn’t the baby rather have an ice cold beer than that sucky soy-based formula?
In short, dear parent, what are you waiting for?
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