(This post is geared toward infants/toddlers still using diapers).
This is a great month to focus on your rhythm and interaction with your baby during diaper changing time. In an interview entitled “Do We Know Why We Do What We Do? An Interview with Helle Heckmann” by Margaret Ris, Helle Heckman was asked a question about the process of caring for the young child and she said, “The whole process of caring for the little child matters. For instance, with changing diapers, so few use cloth, but instead use the highly effective diapers that eliminate smells. These diapers can be left on for five or six hours, rather than two hours, so now diapering time, that “You-and-I”, intimate, private time when one talks or sings to the child, is much reduced.” (to read more about Helle Heckmann’s work at Nokken, please see this post: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/08/31/nokken-a-review-of-two-books-and-a-few-thoughts/)
A few of my thoughts:
- Change diapers frequently and allow plenty of time for eye contact, interaction, singing, finger plays and toe plays. Many times the baby is a passive witness to things going on in the home via a sling, but diaper changing time is a time to slow down and interact with that adorable baby!
- You can take off an old diaper on a child who can stand standing up and then just quickly lay them down to put on a new diaper if an older baby is resistant to diaper changes.
- Try a beautiful mobile overhead if you have a usual changing space. You can make charming silk fairies to hang up, or little paper cut figures according to the seasons
- Pick some wonderful songs that you can sing at diaper changing time and keep them consistent.
- Older children can enjoy finger plays and toe plays during diaper changing time.
- Keep in mind your beautiful gestures whilst you are doing this activity. Honor your child’s body and its function. Smile, don’t rush, be careful and gentle. Smooth the diaper out before putting it on, be cheerful whilst reaching for supplies. Some adults make all kinds of “jokes” about babies and their stool, which really bothers, irritates and angers me because this is a healthy, normal function. Why one would shame a baby over a biological function that is necessary to live and not be sick amazes me.
- Some folks have asked me about Elimination Communication and Waldorf, and to be honest, I am not sure there is any “official” sort of position on it; to me, if practicing Elimination Communication would fit into the natural rhythm and would not put individual pressure on the individual child, then it would be okay…(Remember, we are not trying to draw children out into their individual consciousness early on, so to me it would just have to fit into the natural rhythm of things as a family)…. I do know Waldorf mothers who practice EC, and they are far more qualified to speak on this issue than I! I believe there may also be a subform for Elimination Communication at the Mothering Magazine Forum.
- If you are interested in cloth diapering (and yes, I know in areas with low water, people may choose not to in order to conserve) here is an article from Mothering Magazine: http://www.mothering.com/green-living/joy-of-cloth-diapers. Here is a primer as to the different types of diapers: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/newmom.htm. There are also pocket diapers out there such as FuzziBunz. There are many, many kinds of cloth diapers, and those of us who use cloth usually have quite a few different types in our homes.
There are many posts on this blog about the Waldorf Baby,and each month I will be picking a different area to focus on as a gentle reminder.