Saturday, May 1, 2010
I firmly believe it is a myth, a very recent one at that, that babies should be in nappies for say at least 3 years, some perhaps less some of course much longer. Why is that? And why is it that we presume that if our baby girl was nappy free by 3 there's no way our baby boy will be nappy free earlier as, "it always takes longer for a boy to do everything!" Well that's just pure conditioning. Our culture has done a good job of making us believe many things that we should do in our lives to make the whole system tick along nicely for those at the top. Unfortunately we're carrying these values over to our parenting and therefore passing on our conditionings to our children.
I'm a great advocate of the continuum style of parenting, ie no prams/pushchairs, cots, contraptions, even nappies!
I did dabble with the EC(Elimination Communication, see next post for more info) method for a few days when Kaya was first born. It was pretty messy so did opt for the organic cotton and bamboo nappies with woollen overpants after that.
Why is it though that all women in say Africa know instinctively when their babies are going to pee or poo? Of course the warm climate helps so they only have a simple covering on the baby's body but it's mainly because they're in constant contact with the baby and as well as feeling a physical tensing in the baby's body which let's them know they're just about to go, they haven't lost the knowledge, an innate knowledge which involves being totally in tune with our children from day one.
Gwendoline who's now 3 was totally nappy free by 2. Shortly after her first birthday a friend visited and left us her daughter's potty so there it was from then on and we'd let Gwendoline wander around bare-bottomed most of the time. There was certainly plenty of cleaning up to do but no big deal with tile floors. By 20 months the only time she wore a nappy was if we were going out not even in bed(yes, a few accidents in the bed too but It was worth it.) A nappy free 2 year old is almost unheard of in this day and age.
Kaya who has just turned 1 is allowed to be bare bottomed even more (and younger) than Gwendoline. He has about half his wees in a potty. Now that saves me a lot of washing! And imagine if I'd been using disposables with either of my 2 how much waste that would have saved! All of the nappy companies are making a fortune having us believe our children need to use nappies for longer than they have to, if at all! Ok maybe that is a bit much to imagine in this climate but it's worth considering.
We have to start considering all the possibilities in all the areas of raising our children instead of just doing what is the done thing. Let's bring about some real change for a better future for our children.