Christine Gross-Loh has agreed to answer some questions about her book, The Diaper Free Baby. She has her own blog, Origami Mommy, and has a blog about Elimination Communication in the works. I hope you all enjoy reading her answers as much as I did. If you are interested in purchasing her book, you can click the link.
About the Author: Christine Gross-Loh is a freelance writer with a PhD from Harvard University. Her writing has appeared in Mothering, Shape, and Parenting. She is very involved in DiaperFreeBabyTM, a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 to promote awareness of EC. She has appeared on The Early Show and Paula Zahn Now, among others. Gross-Loh lives in Tokyo, Japan, with her husband and children.
1. What prompted you to write a book about Elimination Communication?
When I first started EC, I didn’t know anyone else who did it, and I would have loved to have support, information, and stories from other parents who were on the EC journey too, so I wanted to provide that to a wide audience. I also wrote The Diaper-Free Baby at a time when awareness of EC was starting to really grow, but along with that growth came a lot of misconceptions – like the idea that EC is about potty training, or that it’s training parents, or that it’s messy or too time-consuming for modern parents to do. I was eager to counter these misconceptions with some real, solid information that would get people to consider giving EC a try.
2. What has been the reception of your book since its publication?
People have been wonderfully positive and interest is constantly growing. It just makes my day when I hear from a reader who decided to try EC after reading my book.
3. What would you say to someone who told you EC is “unnatural” or “dirty?”
I think it’s important to remember that diapers are what is new – particularly disposable diapers – not EC. EC is an age-old practice born of a human wisdom that we all possess and can tap into if we choose to. Also, many parents actually find pottying their baby to be less messy than cleaning up messes from a baby and a diaper.
4. Is there a perfect age to begin EC?
I think it’s nice to start when your baby is a newborn or a young infant because they eliminate so frequently that you have many opportunities to get in tune with each other and develop a rhythm. It’s amazing how quickly you and your young baby will catch on to each other. And you can begin very part time if you want to and then ramp up later on as you gain more experience and confidence. 3-6 months is also a good time to begin because you and your baby are in a groove and a lot of parents experience great success with EC at this time. But both in my personal experience and in many of the stories I’ve heard from others, EC can be begun at a variety of ages as long as you know what to expect. My book discusses implementing EC principles in potty learning with a young toddler, which is when I began EC with my first child.
5. What would you say is the biggest misconception out there about EC?
Perhaps that you have to do it full time or not at all. Or perhaps that it’s too much work for a parent. It’s interesting to look back on all the ways that our knowledge of EC has evolved. When I was first starting out, the misconception that I heard was that babies just weren’t capable of being aware of their own elimination, but I don’t hear that much anymore. I think that as more people try EC, other misconceptions will fall away as well.
6. Did you have a favorite item to help in your own journey? (potty, diaper, training pant, etc)
I have so many favorite items it’s hard to list them all! The Baby Bjorn Potty is a classic because it is low enough to the ground that a baby can sit on it. There are many new EC training pants out there too. I love nice wool leggings to use over training pants, and love having a few wool pads around to lay baby diaper-free on a soft, yet natural waterproof surface.
7. What is the difference between when you began your EC journey, and today? Do you feel there are more resources for families just starting out?
Absolutely! In addition to my book and others on EC, the organization I work with, DiaperFreeBaby, provides real-life and online support groups for parents practicing EC, and there are many other online support groups and websites too.
8. In talking to other families who EC, is their motivation more environmental or to be in tune with their child?
Many times parents who are interested in being in tune with their child are also committed to living a life that is gentle on the earth, so many of these groups of people overlap. A lot of times you’ll find parents who are initially interested in cloth diapering and then discover that it is perfectly compatible with EC.