Lifestyle & Belief

US parents are ditching diapers for 'elimination communication'


Fifteen month old QingQing has her diaper changed one last time before she leaves the Dongzhimen Hospital October 10, 2003 in Beijing, China.

A recent string of articles point to the growing parenting trend of diaper-free child-rearing.

The idea, which is reportedly gaining popularity from New York to San Francisco, teaches newborns to use the toilet with "elimination communication."

EC, as it is called, can begin as early as a child is born, and basically entails a parent "whisking their kids to the bathroom every time they get a signal from their child that suggests it's time to go."

So how do you tell what's a sign? Parents say those cues can come from anything from a particular whine to a facial expression. In response, a parent makes a "sss" noise or grunts to re-enforce the behavior.

The idea, according to CBS, is that the babies eventual learn to identify their parents' noises with going to the bathroom.

Parents say the method preserves the environment from a massive amount of disposable diapers, saves money and even prevents diaper rash.

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But the method is not for the faint of heart.

Kaitlin McGreyes from Queens told The Telegraph EC helped her save money when she started with her nine-month-old son Cesar she got "peed and pooped on a lot."

Detractors, like Slate's Jessica Grose, are calling it the "latest lunatic parenting trend" and contend that actually, it's nothing new.

According to the World Health Organization, 1.1 billion people in the world practice this, which has been blamed for sanitization problems and causing over 3,000 child deaths a day worldwide.