Are you looking for a guide that'll get you and your baby going with elimination communication today? Go Diaper Free is exactly what you need. I was excited when Andrea contacted me to review her book – not many people tackle the sometimes intimidating world of diaper free babies 🙂 I'm even more excited now that I've gone through the book – it has already made EC'ing more successful for Honor and me. We've even moved into the adventure of nighttime pottying with confidence (and success!) Read on for a complete review!
Andrea Olson wrote Go Diaper Free to help parents get started with EC'ing their young baby easily – and I would certainly say she has accomplished her goal. I have never seen such a straightforward, easy-to-follow guide on how to get started with elimination communication – or how to stick with it.
Go Diaper Free is unique in the realm of EC info because it begins with how to begin 🙂 Most books start off with background, philosophy, history, etc. But Go Diaper Free gets right into how to listen to your baby's cues and offer opportunities to potty. Andrea calls them “pottytunities.”
I really love the way she breaks down how to discover when your baby may need to potty. She gives a overview of the process in an easy-to-read flowchart, then breaks down each step in the chart, magnifying it and giving the details you need to go from reading the book to really helping your baby. You'll find out what your baby's unique cues are and how to listen to your own intuition.
Sometimes parents find cues and intuition overwhelming, and that's OK. Andrea also provides a great list of what she calls “generic timing.” This is a list of times that most babies need to potty, so they're ideal for offering the potty to your baby.
I have personally always relied a lot on timing with EC'ing my babies and I found this list very, very helpful. I discovered several “generic” times that I wasn't offering Honor a chance to potty. I started helping her potty during each of these times and our number of successful “catches” has really increased! I'm so happy about it, and Honor is staying dry (and clean) for most of the day. Andrea's gentle reminders about baby's own cues have also heightened my awareness of Honor's cues and I feel like I've been more in tune with her – and as a result she's happier and drier 🙂
After discovering what to watch for with your baby's signals, intuition, and general timing Go Diaper Free dives right into how to potty your baby. Since it's not something we see in modern culture this is a great introduction to the nuts and bolts of elimination communication. Andrea has full-color photos (over 60!) of all the different ways and places you can help your baby to go potty. She covers how to do it while you're at home – and while you're out for a walk, running errands, etc. I've never seen such complete guidance on how to really fit infant pottying into your daily life. She also gives tips on how to work with caregivers and even provides a letter for daycare if your baby is cared for by someone else while you're working – along with a lot of helpful info to keep you connected and EC'ing while you're home with baby.
I have used elimination communication (also called infant potty training and natural infant hygiene) with four out of my five babies, but have never really done nighttime EC. Andrea's book has a full section on how to use elimination communication at night. Her practical, down-to-earth advice convinced me to give nighttimes another try with Honor and I am thrilled that Honor is staying dry many nights! Not only is she staying dry, we're both still getting a good night's sleep. I'm really happy about this because my other kids have continued to wet at night for years (Galen still does at age 2, even though he's been out of diapers for almost a year). I would love to skip all of that with Honor, and I wish I'd had Go Diaper Free when Cassidy was a baby!
Go Diaper Free begins with focus on the young baby, but if you're getting started with an older baby or even a toddler, there's a section with tips on how to make it work for you and your baby.
Andrea has also included a section on how to combine diapering with elimination communication. Again, this is practical and user-friendly. I made some modifications to how we're diapering Honor and it has been immediately helpful throughout the day, letting me catch many more pees with ease.
Go Diaper Free is packed with information, yet Andrea has organized it so that's it's easy to access and it's not overwhelming. You get what you really need first – when to take baby potty and how to do it. But Andrea also gives a lot more:
Andrea also includes several bonuses with the books. My favorites are a series of helpful charts to get you started with observing your baby's signals and cues. I've found that recording baby's eating/sleeping/pottying patterns is really helpful as you get to know your baby, and it can help you through those days when everything just seems to be off!
I always like reading books about elimination communication, but Go Diaper Free is truly a joy. Andrea set out to write a book that you could use to get started with infant pottying right away – and she has succeeded. You can pick up the book, read through the first couple of sections, and immediately have success with your baby. Your baby will be cleaner and drier – not to mention you'll feel much more connected and in-tune with your little one. Knowing that you can confidently care for your baby's needs is a great gift, and one that Go Diaper Free definitely delivers.