Natural Hygiene: Understand the pros and cons of the method for children
In my last article I discussed what is Natural Hygiene or? Elimination Communication? (EC), a concept released by the German Tamara Hiller. Today, the idea is to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this method, which takes the baby's diapers off and makes the parents seek to know the physiological signs of the children.
There are some concerns of the author that are very valid. The environmental issue, for example: each baby can evacuate on average 6 to 8 times a day in the first month of life. That means 180 to 240 diapers a month. In a building with 5 of these babies we will have 900 to 1,200 diapers in 30 days. According to the New York Times, most Americans prefer disposable diapers. Approximately 22 billion of them are sent to landfills per year. The other option would be to use cloth diapers, which require more time, more water, soap, electricity. Thus, through this method, this situation would become less severe in some time.
Furthermore, in order for the mother to adapt this method well, the average time would be one year. This means that a mother should have closer contact with her child, watch him more, pay more attention to him. Who knows in this way we would not have an increase in exclusive breastfeeding rates? On the other hand, since maternity leave is still 4 months, when the mother returns to work, she has to delegate this proximity to grandmothers, relatives, nannies who agree and adapt to the methodology.
However, natural hygiene can be questioned. The first point is that, whether the author wants to admit it or not, her attempt is a conditioning method , using sounds, places and methods.
This method should be started as early as the first weeks of life and the author assumes that at that age the child already has conscience and voluntary attitudes. But until at least 3 months of life, the baby has a biological cycle known as ultradian, meaning that it has cycles shorter than 24 hours, making it, for example, it mums day and night and sleep day and night, that is, without a certain rhythm. And this also happens with their eliminations. There is no scientific evidence that these data can be taken into account as conscious.
Hiller suggests that parents watch for signs such as starting to shake their arms, being still and staring, making faces. movement or noise of the baby can be considered as a signal of elimination. What was missing? Cry, suckle and sleep. How many infants do they urinate or evacuate while they are nursing (gastro-colic reflex), sleeping or crying? In my experience, many. If this is so, it is time.
Exclusive breastfeeding infants can evacuate at each feeding (6 to 12 times a day) liquid stools, as well as spend up to 2 to 3 days without evacuating, making pasty stools. Arriving at one year of age, they can evacuate once every 1 to two days. They are individual and each of them has its own rhythm. There is no scientific evidence pointing to a control of any physiological function at this age.
For the baby to learn to control its elimination rhythms, it goes through various phases of neurological and psychic evolution. Thus, there is no way you want natural stool and urine control before age 2 to 3.
There is no advantage in unfurling so early. On the contrary, by developmental characteristics, the sphincter control does not occur before 18 months. This is when the anal phase begins, which shows awareness, but not control. The child begins by first warning that he or she is doing (is feeling uncomfortable with stool and urine in diapers), then understands what he is doing (conscious that the mucous membranes of the bladder and rectum are being stimulated - this happens between 18 and 24 months ) and finally say what you want to do (you have the feeling of bladder and rectum fullness and can handle). That simple. Without any sacrifice or need for conditioning, only with the accompaniment.
One of the German accusations is that diapers cause a urinary tract infection, which is not true. As for rashes, they can happen with or without diapers and are currently less frequent and dependent on certain extra care in the observation and hygiene of the children. In addition, the diaper determines today's comfort. Imagine yourself with your 6-month-old baby in a restaurant, at a party, in the middle of a trip. But is he without diapers and does he show signs of evacuating? We live in society and it is our obligation, as social beings, to recognize the limits of others. Would anyone feel comfortable on a trip by observing mothers putting their 3-month-old children to evacuate on the side of a road as soon as they gave the signal?
We are now observing that everything is based on performances. The child who walks before, speaks before, knows how to count to 10, speaks the colors in English, among others, seems to be more valued. We are preventing children from being children and from having their own development rhythms. Where are the play, the playfulness, the irresponsibility, the lack of commitment, the pleasure and the fun and the fun that has always characterized and still should be fundamental for healthy development?
Our former president Juscelino Kubitscheck said that we do not have commitment to error. Different than many people think, if we remove a baby's diapers early and see that it was not appropriate, we must go back yes and respect the rhythm of each one. It is less damaging to such behavior than to compel an unprepared child to perform functions for which it is not prepared, causing more frustration and disappointment than factors favorable to its evolution and growth as a healthy being in training.
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