Tuesday 28 August 2012

75 Benefits of Free-Range Baby Poop (Highlights)

Yesterday I read this great piece on Jezebel called Babies Pooping Over Garbage Cans and Hypnotized Toddlers: A Guide to Progressive Parenting.  Which reminded me of the post I had been meaning to write about Elimination Communication (EC).  I first heard of this fun new way to make mothers feel guilty shortly after Frack was born.  And when I did I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Seriously, are you fucking kidding me with this?  

As if I didn't have enough to do!  Sure, I agonize over the impact my selfish disposable diapering ways would have on the environment but the sheer misery of the business end of keeping a baby alive with little or no sleep made me want to make my life as easy as humanly possible, thank you very much.  Also, do you realize how often a new baby goes to the bathroom?  Really, really often!  Frack was too small for the size zero diapers we bought for him so they were worse than useless.  He frequently "eliminated" right onto my lap.  I guess I wasn't responsive enough to his "cues".

But recently I found out that Mayim Bialik is the poster-girl for EC and other forms of attachment parenting.  I have been a fan of Mayim Bialik since her debut in the movie "Beaches".  I love her appearances on "The Big Bang Theory".  I am also duly impressed at her PhD in neuro-science.  It seems the woman must know what she is talking about.  So I thought maybe I should look into it.  Maybe it's not as ridiculous and unrealistic as it sounds.

The first website that came up (and wasn't Wikipedia) was Diaper Free Baby: a community dedicated to educating the public about EC while supporting each other.  They very helpfully provided a list that enumerates a whopping 75 benefits of practicing EC.  Seventy five!  Have you ever been able to come up with 75 reasons to do anything?  I don't think La Leche League has been able to dream up 75 reasons to breastfeed so this EC stuff must be totally amazing!  I'll bet it cures cancer!  Why, oh why did I scoff?  What wonderful things did I miss out on because of my narrow-minded incredulity?

Turns out that most of these benefits are a stretch, many fail to mention the obvious alternative consequences, and more than a few are repetitions.  Out of the 75 you could maybe find ten that were legit good reasons to do this.  The rest are hilarious.  Allow me to share with you some highlights:

#5  Allows baby to go diaper-free in bathing suits.  "Swim diapers" don't prevent urine from getting into the pool and are not comfortable for baby.  (Um yeah.  Ever try to put your diaper-free baby in a public pool?  Good luck with that.)

#26  Enhances creativity.  American communities are not designed for pottying babies, so EC caregivers learn to "think outside the box".   (Diapering is for the unimaginative and uncreative.  I have never in my whole diapering career had to improvise when I was stuck without a diaper or wipes.)

#28  Amazes and impresses other people.  (I mean, that's why you had kids isn't it?  To impress people with their stupid tricks.  A-ma-zing!)

#33  Reminds parents that many "facts" about child-development are culturally-entrenched and believing these facts may lead families to limit certain experiences.  (Who the hell needs "facts" anyway?  Why limit certain experiences, like being shat upon for example, with pesky "facts."  So much better to live life to the fullest without being bogged down by "information" or "evidence".)

#36  Provides "advanced notice" of upcoming developmental milestones.  Increased "misses" frequently precede developmental change.  (Cleaning shit off the floor can't be a disgusting chore!  It's the joyous heralding of a new developmental milestone!)

#48  Can help older siblings bond with baby, especially since children have an intuitive sense about a baby's elimination needs.  (Did you know your other kids have psychic poo-powers?)

#54  EC respects children.  (You hear that, you selfish child-hating diapering Moms?  EC respects children.)

#58  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.  (EC is totally zen.  You EC your baby and he'll end up like the fucking Dalai Lama.  Diapered babies have a hard time learning to let shit go and are ultimately unhappy as a result.)

#64  Has been practiced for centuries around the world.  (Because everything that has been practiced for centuries is a good idea.)

#73  Reduces the likelihood of having "two in diapers" and removes the stress of having to potty train a toddler before a new baby is born.  (Increases the likelihood of having two shitting on the floor, or one shitting on the floor while the other shits in your lap.  Which is not stressful in any way.)

I get that I am glossing over some of the real benefits of EC.  I think that saving money and reducing landfill waste are both good things as well as some of the other health benefits.  However I can't help but think that if you have to try this hard to convince people of how awesome EC is then you might just be full of shit.


  1. As for number 64 - Prostitution. Come on!!!

    And number 73? Go straight to hell with your 'two in diapers'. I've got me three. Beat that.

  2. Oh come on! Aren't you dying to be closer to your 3 toddlers through the joys of diaperless parenting? You can strew kitty litter all over the floor and stop worrying about it.

  3. What a coincidence, EC is on my list of 75 reasons to hate Giselle Bundchen.

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