Interested in Elimination Communication, but don't want to go completely diaper-free with your newborn or toddler? Cloth diapers are the sensible choice for use as a back-up for EC.
Disposable diaper companies these days spend lots of their marketing budgets convincing American families that their diapers keep babies the driest. And they use a lot of fancy chemicals to make sure that babies never feel wet when they pee. They've convinced Americans that this is the key to avoiding diaper rash.
Now, that lie aside, the important thing to consider for EC purposes is this: you don't want your baby feeling dry when they are wet.
You want your baby to feel when they are wet, so they can start to associate cause with effect, to know what wet feels like and what dry feels like, and to prefer dry over the slightly less comfortable wet. This is where cloth diapers excel.
(It's interesting to note that, before the use of "modern" cloth diapers with the microfleece stay-dry inner, babies in cloth diapers potty trained, on average, up to a year earlier than their disposable diapered peers.)
Practically speaking, how do you use cloth diapers as an EC backup? It's so easy.
I have not personally found that the type of diapers I use matters a whole lot with newborns, as long as they keep it easy for both me and the baby to tell when he is wet. (I personally prefer fitteds or prefolds without a cover for home, and we usually throw on a cover when we're out and about to keep the clothes dry.)
As your baby moves toward being able to give you about 3 seconds' advance warning that they're going to pee, you might find that you need to move to something that's faster to remove. Any type of diaper that closes with pins is probably a bad choice. Hook and loop tape is a better choice for quick removal, and leaving off covers when possible will let you know faster when you've had a miss.
Eventually, you'll reach that happy time of your child wanting to be an active participant in the potty process. At this point, you can move to something they can get on and off by themselves (like pull up training pants) or simply move to underwear.
If you're interested in learning more about Elimination Communication, please visit Wallypop or Diaper Free Baby.
Contributed by Sarah from Boulevard Designs and Wallypop.