Nappyless living gaining traction

ON CUE: Gisela Roura with her son, Ilya Bayona, 4 months. Ms Roura does not put Ilya in nappies  when they are at home.
ON CUE: Gisela Roura with her son, Ilya Bayona, 4 months. Ms Roura does not put Ilya in nappies when they are at home.

Eco-conscious parents are turning their noses up at nappies in favour of training their offspring to piddle and poo in buckets from birth.

Going back to basics is becoming increasingly popular with Kiwi mums and dads, who are opting for more natural and old-fashioned practices such as cloth nappies and baby-led weaning.

Stay-at-home Wellington mum Gisela Roura is part of the no-nappy movement - also called elimination communication - which has been gaining traction.

It fits with her environmental ethos and sustainable lifestyle - she stays away from chemicals and uses only vinegar and baking soda to clean the house.

Trying not to use nappies is in line with the life they were trying to lead, she said. Her 4-month-old son, Ilya Bayona, does not wear nappies at home. Accidents are frequent.

"They are perfectly capable of doing it on cue, that is really surprisingly, you don't believe it until you see it.

"Of course, I'm in a situation where I can stay home and take care of him. If I had to work this wouldn't be possible."

Routine is key and so is word association. She holds Ilya over the bathroom sink or a large bucket before and after feeds and before and after he sleeps. She also says "Pee-pee" to let him know he can go.

She has also started to pick up signs that Ilya needs to do number ones or twos.

"It only works if you really, really pay attention to him. As he gets older, he can hold it more. At the beginning it's just random."

He does wear disposable nappies when they leave the house because she cannot pay attention to the signs and there is also the practicality of whipping out a bucket or holding him over someone else's basin.

Ms Roura first heard about going nappyless at her ante-natal class. Two of her friends from the class are now considering following her lead, but most of the others thought it was weird, she said.

Plunket spokeswoman Nikki Prendergast said the organisation had no official position on elimination communication, and left it up to each parent to decide.

However, if parents decided to take the nappy-free option Plunket would support them.

She did say many daycare centres insisted on disposable nappies.

Plunket estimates disposable nappies cost $860 to $1200 a year and disposable wipes between $200 and $760.

The Dominion Post