The first time I came across the diaper free method, it was by accident on YouTube. After watching some videos and finding information on the internet, I found out that it made sense to me and I decided to follow it.
Here is the main idea:
When my first daughter was born, I decided to give the DFB a try. When I saw her moving fast with her legs, I held her above the toilets and in ten seconds, she was peeing. “Excellent, it works!” And as I am a lazy parent, I put her above the toilet “only” before changing diapers, especially after her sleep, the method worked every time. But if it does not work at the first time, please keep trying as babies will understand the logic very quickly.
What were the results and benefits of this method?
You use less diapers because most of the poop is going into the toilet. It does not mean you will stop using diapers at all but you will save some diapers every day.
The second benefit is to avoid irritation of the skin of your child as the child does not stay in excrement. Therefore, you do not need any (or less) cream for the irritation and your baby is happier as he/she does not feel any pain.
The third positive impact of the DFM has on colic. Logically, its better to pee/poop in a vertical position than lying on a back with a diaper. So every time I saw my baby feeling uncomfortable, I said: “the pants down!”:)
But the best benefit of this method is that your baby is doing what he/she knows from the beginning that pee/poop outside of pants is a standard. Having diapers all day long teaches your baby other way round: pee and poop into the diaper is normal. And later on when the toddlers are 2 years, you teach them not to use diapers which is confusing.
I am not saying that my daughter never pooped into the diapers.. A few times it happened. But when it happened, she came to me and cried as she felt uncomfortable. She has never been walking with a pooped diaper like nothing has happened:) And that is the situation we want to reach.
In conclusion, my daughter is without diapers since 1.5 year old without any potty training.
When she needs the toilet, she makes a specific sound and heads to the bathroom. As this method works very well for both of my kids, I wanted to share it with you. It is saving your time, energy, money and especially, it has a very positive impact on your kids to feel more comfortably and happier.
PS: My both kids were excellent sleepers since the birth (6-8 hours in a row at night). I have not read any article about a connection between sleeping habits and the DFM but logically, babies who do not have an irritation of skin, who feel comfortable, who have empty stomach so they can suck more milk, these babies are more likely to sleep longer.
More about the contributor:
Denisa Skrickova is a mother of two daughters born in Luxembourg.
Before her maternity leave she worked for corporates such as Honeywell, Amazon and White & Case, spending high amount of time traveling around the world. Now she fully occupies herself with fingerprint drawing, singing kids songs and dancing with her daughters.
“#greenparenting is about making conscious choices, good for us, our children AND good for our planet. Creating little humans and accumulating stuff as we raise them, accrues a heavy ecological footprint. It’s their future after all, so it makes sense to be mindful about how we support nature, not only take from nature…” – Luxmama
In 2019, the European Economic and Social Committee along with Make Mothers Matter hosted a seminar highlighting the importance of engaging families as changemakers for sustainable development.
EESC President Luca Jahier explained that families, as the cradles of the passing-on of
cultures, traditions and behaviour to the next generation, have a key role to play here. Firstly, because parents focus naturally on the well-being of their children and this characteristic makes them natural candidates to pass on the message of sustainability.
Secondly, in view of the role of mothers specifically, in despite of shifts in society, more than a third of women in the EU still work for free while caring for their family members, and almost 80% of those working outside the home nonetheless cook or do the housework to a much larger extent than men. This means that, at least in the domestic domain, they are the ones deciding what to consume, and are thus primarily concerned when making more sustainable choices. Thirdly, still in view of the role of women: because, when working, women are still over-represented in sectors such as healthcare, care and
education, which are paramount for people’s well-being, and they can use their position to push for sustainable options.
Women thus have a crucial role to play and need to be especially made aware of this power and empowered to play it right. He affirmed: ‘we must stop living at the cost of our children. Instead, we must create frameworks for sustainable lifestyles – and we must act now’.
Here are 5 steps towards #greenparenting and a better future for our children:
Composting, Refusing (waste prevention), Reducing, Reusing and Recycling
Consider consuming differently…
Yes, you’ve heard “reduce, reuse, recycle” it a million times. But this time we’d like to emphasise the “refuse and reduce” bit. In general, most of us are over-consuming, creating tons of waste. Consider consuming differently, buying bulk, local and seasonal, more vegetables, second hand and sustainable. Instead of opting for disposable products, turn to other alternatives, or homemade articles or use rental, second hand etc.
There are tons of second-hand markets in Luxembourg and lots more on Facebook.
Zero-waste consumption is now made easier by Ouni, a packaging-free, organic cooperative in Luxembourg. Other online options like Zwoice is also sprouting up.
Consider how you give gifts to loved ones. How about shifting from giving things to giving experiences or your time?
Consider eating less meat and if you do choosing sustainable options.
2. Vote for political players that prioritise the environment
3. Learn more about climate change and support local action
Greta Tunberg has created a movement like no other. Children world-wide are standing up. Support this movement. Show your children you care and that they can too can make a difference. Children (before conditioned otherwise) naturally respect nature.
Visit the Transition Network Luxembourg, a non-profit organisation that provides an experimental space for thinking, researching, disseminating and practising post-carbon lifestyles and regenerative culture.
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. In 2019, Luxembourg already over-shooted ecological resources on Feb 16th…
Learn more about climate change and solutions here:
4. Vote with your funds – say no to players still investing in fossil fuels
Believe it or not, one would have imagined that all banks and other big players are supporting renewable energy all the way. Well it turns out, many are still investing in what’s killing our planet. So ask your bank where they stand. The collective voice of consumers are the strongest…
Here’s a cool ecological search engine powered by green energy and using profits to plant trees: www.ecosia.org
Do yourself (and the earth) a favour and check in with other services you regularly use (e.g. amazon, itunes, facebook, spotify etc) to see if they have made/have plans to make the energy shift away from dirty sources of energy like coal towards renewable sources.
Ask your energy provider if you can opt for renewable energy sources.
Next time you buy a car, why not opt for an electrical one (whilst ensuring you will recharge it with renewable sources of course). In fact, use your car less and opt for the growing network of public transport, cycling or walking. Your kids will love it too…
5. Speak up where you can
You’d be surprised how shifting to more conscious ways in your community is possible if someone starts planting little seeds (no pun intended)…
Where can you speak up so habits start shifting? At your little one’s school/creche? Sharing your enthusiasm with your friends on how your family managed to shift consumption behaviors etc (ensure at all times not to judge others, not yet understanding the urgency of the matter. That’ll just scare them off 😉
Thank you for just thinking of this, much love to you! Together, you would be surprised at what we can do!
Mother of two, holistic maternity coach/educator, Marise Hyman provides worldwide coaching, healing and education in preparing for an empowered conception, pregnancy, birth, life and parenthood journey. She is an IMPI Maternity Coach/Educator, IMPI Holistic Pregnancy & Child Sleep Practitioner, Happiest Baby on the Block Educator, “Becoming Us” Facilitator, Dancing for Birth™ Instructor, Birth Advocate, Holistic Childbirth Educator, Reiki Practitioner, Head-trash Clearance + Fearless Birthing Professional and “Birth into Being” Facilitator (level 1-3).
She is also the founder of the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep asbl, a non-profit organisation raising awareness for green, natural & holistic parenting alternatives, birth rights and perinatal mental health by offering a variety of social and educational events in Luxembourg.
As a mother, you will carry your baby around nine months in your belly. After the birth, you might feel an emptiness, like something is missing. The belly is still there, kind of. But the baby is in your arms now. You might feel the need to have a smoother transition than that. It is normal! You wonder how. There comes the wrap or carrier!
And believe me, your baby needs this transition too. Did you hear about the benefits that carried babies experience? And you as parents too? It stimulates the cognitive development, promotes sleep, ensures proper development of joints, muscles and especially the tiny hips, facilitates digestion and it is perfect for premature babies! It is proven, that they gain weight faster when carried.
Baby carrying contributes the parent-child bond – even if the beginning was hard for both (difficult birth, post partum depression – there are many reasons and often things which don’t work out as we wished them to, but nothing is lost).
It reinforces the sense of parental competence and self-confidence. How to carry your baby? Avoid neck, back or shoulder pain with an adapted wrap or carrier, get this freedom of movement and make a choice for your economics and our ecology. Baby carrying is definitely saving you money and it is better for the environment. I became a baby carrying consultant because it’s my passion and a lifestyle. Before the birth of our daughter, I was convinced about the benefits of carrying. I always adored the images of men and women in warmer countries, wearing their little ones in beautiful wraps in a way that seems so obvious and easy. I wanted to do the same. But I didn’t see many people carrying their babies here. I bought a wrap. I watched videos and tutorials. I read and watched again. I watched them slower. I was motivated…and ended up lost with my super long elastic wrap. I didn’t give up with my wrap and found out that you can do this even professionally. Why not, with the equipment that I got in the meantime, I could have opened even my own shop, I told myself. I knew directly: this is the thing to do! I want to become somebody that helps parents through and out of this labyrinth. This is a call!
Our daughter participates from the beginning in all daily life activities as she is carried a lot. And we ARE active. She sees everything and everyone and she is seen. And she is such an easy and happy baby.
When I meet somebody in the street, she can make eye contact. If she wants. If she has enough of the world out there, she turns her head against me and sleeps or rests. Strangers often want to touch our babies, do you agree with me? And us, the parents, we hate it – you agree on that one too? Not so simple in a wrap. You protect your tiny treasure so much easier. Now baby is not so accessible to dirty outside fingers. The place in front of our hearts is a safe haven.
When I carry my daughter, I take a break from this daily madness. How long will she want to be carried? Thanks to good quality material and wrapping techniques, it is not a problem to wear up to 20kg. Carrying is not just for babies, it is for toddlers too. No, my back doesn’t hurt. Yes, don’t worry, she can breathe in there. And no, the position is not unhealthy – it is the contrary in fact.
I wish we learned to trust ourselves again and listen to our intuition. I am here to help you with this too, not just how to put your baby in and then out and where to adjust the node. We need to become the competent parents, which our children need, especially nowadays.
I am Honorata, 31 years old. I live in France at the Luxembourgish border with my family. I am passionate about baby wearing and obtained my certificate via “Die Trageschule ®” in Germany“. During my free time I enjoy horse riding and long walks. I offer individual and group workshops around baby carrying in the whole area. It is also possible to rent baby carriers that I have in my assortment or to try them out during group walks that I organise regularly. www.mieux-porter.com
Historically birth & postpartum were home-based. Up until the 19th century women gave birth in their home with the help of an elder experienced woman from there village at first and a midwife in more recent years.
The strenuous nature of birth along with the fact that breastfeeding was the only way to keep a baby alive mandated the great care new mothers received from the people close to them and from their village. Most people used to live in small communities and after birth the mother was supposed to stay in bed and learn to breastfeed her baby. The older women were there with valuable guidance and advice and the community was there to provide food and help with older kids and housework.
The modern era
Medical advances combined with the urbanization of societies meant that Postpartum care declined greatly in quality in the 20th century! Now we know that mum is safe, there are doctors that take care of her for 3 days at the hospital, midwives that teach her the basics and then off she goes…alone to the house with no one to help!
And then we are sad about low-breastfeeding rates and high rates of Postpartum depression in most developed countries! What we need to understand is that this should not surprise us. Breastfeeding is a learned skill and requires a lot of support from other women that have the knowledge to share in order to be successful! Dana Rafael, US Anthropologist and Breastfeeding advocate that studied birth & postpartum of around 200 traditional societies, said that:
“breastfeeding was a physiological process that needed to have something in place in the culture or else the lactation function would not work. Breastfeeding needs support”
Also, birth and breastfeeding are energy draining activities and the new mother needs nutritious meals and help with all the tasks she previously undertook with ease. And foremost she needs psychological support, confirmation that she is doing ok, that things are going to get better, that she is a good mum! A new mum needs to be mothered also and in modern societies we have forgotten that…
In Luxembourg a recent survey conducted by Happy New Mama showed that 65% say they were not prepared for life after birth & especially for the postpartum period, although 74% amongst them had received a Prenatal education course. When asked to describe this period the majority (66%) is on the negative side, with 27% responding “Very Hard” or “Not Good” and another 39% said “Average” which is amazing if we think that this is the period were we finally meet the person that was growing inside us for 9 months! When it comes to negative feelings, “Tired”, “Exhausted” and “Overwhelmed” were naturally on top but some other not so obvious were highlighted. 1/3 of respondents reported feeling “Isolated” or “Lonely” and 27% “Scared”. Finally, around 25% felt “Depressed” and experienced the “Baby Blues” with 11% reporting “Postpartum Anxiety” and 6% “Postpartum Depression”. The majority of the population that took part on the survey relied on help from their partners mainly, 46% had an independent midwife visiting and 40% had one of their parents helping. However, these numbers are only an indication) as Luxembourg does not publish data on Postpartum Mental Health!
Factors associated with a negative experience seem to be C-sections, especially emergency ones. And consequences involved lower rates of long -term breastfeeding (39% breastfed their baby over 6 months vs 80% for women with a ‘very good’ postpartum period).
Moving finally on what would help during that period, top answer were more sleep, a warm cooked meal or help with housework but “company, someone to talk to” was also chosen by 42%, which is in line with the loneliness of that period!
In Luxembourg the state provides some visits after birth from an independent midwife (sage-femme liberale). They visit at home, check baby’s weight, check the breastfeeding and if there are any medical or other issues with the new mom (e.g. excess bleeding, any infection, pain etc) and this is a valuable service for new mums. They visit in the first 15-21 days postpartum and reimbursed by CNS. However, the visit lasts 45 min and often there are not enough midwives in Luxembourg to cover the demand. Many midwives also offer other services in private and are an invaluable resource.
For sure the postpartum experience of women giving birth in Luxembourg is a topic that needs to be explored further and official authorities should start paying more attention to it as this period affects women’s well-being and is probably the most fragile period of their lives, mentally and physically.
Role of doulas
This is the point where, in many modern societies, a Postpartum Professional (or Doula) comes. The role of a postpartum doula is NON-medical and it’s focus is Mothering the mother, it is to give space to the new mum to recover from birth and to get to know her new baby. They offer practical help and emotional support to the new mum until she is confident and strong enough to take care of her new family. A Postpartum Doula will prepare nutritious meals, will give a massage to increase oxytocin, will take care of older kids, support and encourage mums with breastfeeding and give them time to have a nice bath or show some exercises to help recover from birth. But most of all she will be there to listen! Listen to her birth story, her worries and anxieties of being a new mama and to celebrate the most intense transition they will go through, the transition to Motherhood. A postpartum doula is the village we have lost!
Because postpartum care should be given again the position and value it once had and because..
It is not enough to keep new mamas alive, we need new mamas to thrive!
More about the contributor
Christina Anyfanti is a Certified Postpartum Professional & part of the Newborn Mothers Collective as well as a Birthlight™ Motherhood & Baby Yoga Teacher.
She also has a Diploma in Counseling Psychology among others. happynewmama.lu
A few months after your new baby is born and the initial fog has lifted, you start getting organized. As most of us are expats living in Luxembourg and/or we loooove to travel, we need a passport/ID card for the new little person in our life.
Here are our recommendations to how and where to get the passport PHOTOS done!
The most popular method seems to be taking the picture yourself! Once you have managed to keep the baby still and on a grey or white background (check with your embassy what is allowed as some countries can be pretty strict with their passport pictures), you can either send the photo per email or bring it on a USB key directly to the photo shop and they will print it for you.
It is very important to be clear on the requirements of your photos, for instance it is sometimes required that baby should:
not be smiling
with open eyes (fair enough but if it’s a newborn that can only stay happily awake for around an hour, impeccable timing is going to be of the essence)
with a closed mouth (getting tricky now…)
not be sucking on a pacifier or anything else for that matter
not be crying. And again here, timing is going to be of the essence. Therefore plan the session so baby is not overtired, or over-hungry and just freshly woken up from a good nap
not be wearing any hats, bandanas, glasses or tiaras… Really!
If you do not trust your own photographic skills there are a few places you can go and they will take great care of you and your baby!
You can simply go to your commune and they will take it for you!
Finally, you can also hire a professional photographer to take the photo, perhaps as part of a fabulous family shoot! We really love to work with the following wonderful talents (and regular photography volunteers for Luxmama):
Our top tip: before going to the Photo shop, check with the authorities to see how they prefer to have them done. The Danish Consulate in Luxembourg suggested we send our photo by email. We therefore didn’t have any cost regarding the printing of the photo. We did have a lot of takes at home as baby would not lie still, but we made it in the end!
What are your experiences? Share in the comments below!
More about the Author
Anne Louise is a mother of two small boys and works as a Holistic Health Coach in Luxembourg. Her passion is helping people, just like you, feel better about themselves through self-care, nutrition and exercise.
Her dream is that we all start taking better care of ourselves, by eating better, exercising, having healthy relationships, healthy careers and everything else we need, to be at our absolute best. Her dream is that we all Get Real about lives, our health and our well-being.
Why not start Getting Real about your Health and Wellbeing today? You can join her mailing list where you will learn all about her private practice and stay up to date with her events. Sign up here: bit.ly/getrealwithanne