Wednesday, January 30, 2008

unchi gumi: the diaper free gospel

I've been dying to post a picture of the unchi gumi since we were in Japan, alas I am only getting around to it now.

Knowing about my amusement over the golden poop stickers, some friends gave us these poop gummies at our baby shower in Kyoto. Poop candy! Will wonders never cease?

Also, these dear friends explained the mystery behind the poop stickers (skip ahead if you'd prefer to stay in quizzical pondering bliss): apparently the kanji for the "un" in unko is also used in the word for good luck. So it's punny as well as utterly bizarre!

So. While we're on the subject of poop, I have to go on a little bit about a book that my friend B just sent, "Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene." (I should note that B has graciously furnished at least half of my pregnancy library -- thanks B!) I had heard about the diaper-free method years ago, when a friend-of-a-friend was practicing it with her daughter. In the continuum of hippies, she was much more radical than I (she was using scraps of cloth instead of toilet paper for the adults in the household), so I only half-way considered it a feasible option. I remember joking with J on the way home from her place, actually -- we were on the bus and we wondered what we'd do in that situation, hold our kid out the window?

But I am so grateful to be reading this book now, before the baby is born, and before we have stocked up on all diaper supplies and paraphernalia. "Diaper Free" is well written, patient and thorough, and supported throughout by testimonies of success from lots of parents. The gist is that babies can communicate about their elimination needs from the very beginning, the same way they can communicate about their hunger needs and attention needs and sleep needs. Parents can learn to read their baby's signs and babies can learn from parents' cues how and when to eliminate without diapers. Not surprisingly, this is practiced by a majority of women in countries like India, China, and Africa, where disposable diapers are not only unaffordable but considered dirty and absurd -- who would prefer to sit in their own waste?

I'm not going to get up on my high horse until we've actually tried it, so stay tuned!


1 comment:

Renato said...

Sounds like a joyful gift to the earth, but I'll remain a skeptic until I can hear your first hand accounts of success, AND get first hand evidence at your house that you haven't just become "chocolate fondue" enthusiasts who happen to spill on the carpets a lot. Pep and Kinn are in love with the cloth ones in MI and it seems like a good compromise, but I've also heard mixed things from others on that; I think it really depends on your service locally (or "statewide", there are so few left).