A MUM has revealed how she ditched nappies with all five of her children, simply holding her babies over the sink when they need to go.
Years before she had kids, US-based Andrea Olson didn’t know how she would cope when her life would revolve around dealing with nappies filled with poo.
Andrea has used elimination communication with all five of her kidsCredit: Andrea Olson
But then she saw a Facebook post that changed everything.
“A friend of a friend posted on Facebook that they didn’t use nappies– they simply held their baby over the toilet or the ground, from birth, and avoided poopy nappies,” Andrea first wrote on Love What Matters.
“‘I am in! Where do I sign up? I don’t even have a baby yet! Or a steady boyfriend!’ I exclaimed.”
Fast forward four years and Andrea and her husband were pregnant with their first child.
Even before having children Andrea was sure that she didn’t want to deal with nappiesCredit: Andrea Olson
The EC process involves listening to your baby’s signs and signals for elimination (pooing or weeing) and helping them keep clean and dry by using a potty or toilet Credit: Andrea Olson
She immediately remembered that Facebook post – and bought a book about elimination communication (EC).
The process involves listening to your baby’s signs and signals for elimination (pooing or weeing) and helping them keep clean and dry by using a potty or toilet.
On the day that Andrea gave birth to her first child, a little boy, she grabbed a potty as soon as she noticed the newborn wiggling and bearing down.
She held him over the potty like she had seen illustrated in the book until he did a poo.
“I can assure you that I never looked back from that day forward,” she said.
Starting early meant that Andrea avoided ever changing a newborn “blowout” nappy Credit: Andrea Olson
“This was the best thing ever! I dedicated myself to learning my baby in this way, and I am certain I became a better mum because of it.
“I was engaged, connected, and felt like I at least knew how to do two things with my new baby: nurse and potty! For me, that built lots of confidence.”
Over the next eight years, Andrea had another four kids – all of who she started on EC from birth.
For her, starting early meant that Andrea avoided ever changing a newborn “blowout” nappy – and gave the added benefit of creating a super-close bond with her kids.
Basically, every time one of her babies woke up she or her husband would offer the potty before anything else.
Andrea claims all of her children are more comfortable and happier with her chosen methodCredit: Andrea Olson
“It kept our babies way more comfortable, less fussy, way less ‘colicky,’ and more healthy,” she said.
“We completely avoid nappy rash, medical constipation, endless accidents, unnecessary tantrums, erratic behaviour and bedwetting.”
“We’ve also saved an estimated $10,000 (£7,600) in nappy costs, and have raised our babies without the disgusting task (and smell) of endless poopy nappies.”
Andrea is brutally aware of the fact that many parents see EC as something that’s only possible if you are constantly with your kids.
While Andrea is a stay-at-home mum, she also runs three businesses and has been renovating her house for the past eight years. She credits her success with EC to two simple tricks.
The children have all been using a potty since before they could walkCredit: Andrea Olson
“First, we do not do EC 24/7 for all pees – we do it part-time, with a full-time awareness,” she says.
“But we always regard the nappy as a back-up, not a toilet.
“Second, we use a diaper when doing EC – until the babies start to walk.
“We are less stressed. We just stuck with some sort of consistency and supported our babies’ hygiene in a predictable manner, and they all followed suit.”
With all five of her kids, Andrea made sure they were nappy-free during the day by the time they could walk.
At night, they tried to make sure to offer the potty if the kids woke up – meaning that the children were typically dry all night from about 26 months.
“Your babies can totally own the process,” she said.
“You just start teaching them the ropes and hand off the baton at the time. Oh, the pride they feel!
“Once your kids have achieved it, they are freed up to learn the next thing and the next. And it normalises their behaviour.
“My kids are independent, confident, and pretty good at self-control.”
To find out more visit Andrea’s website godiaperfree.com or follow her on Instagram at @godiaperfree.
This article was originally published on Kidspot and has been republished with permission.
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