1. Improved Communication between parent and baby. I list this benefit first because I think that this is the most important benefit of EC. All of the others are important, but being able to communicate with your baby, regardless of when you start practicing EC, really helps you to feel competent as a parent and your connection with your baby is strengthened. You learn to trust your intuition about how to be the best parent to your baby.
2. Save Money. As you practice EC you will notice that you are spending less money on diapers. You may notice that you don't have to buy diapers every time you go to the store. Maybe you can't even remember when the last time you bought diapers was. How cool is that? If you are using cloth diapers, you will notice that you have fewer loads of diapers to do. This is because as you start to communicate with your baby, you will catch more of the pees and poops and the diapers will stay dry! You may even find yourself reusing the same dry diaper all day because you just haven't had a miss today. You will also save money because you will use less wipes.
3. Save time. It is faster and easier to hold a baby over a receptacle to pee or poop than it is to undress, remove diapers and clean poop off of your baby's bottom. When EC babies poop into a receptacle, such as the potty, you only need a tiny bit of toilet paper to clean them up and you are done. You just don't need tons of wipes to clean up.
4. Reduced incidence of diaper rash. Babies who practice EC don't sit in wet or soiled diapers. Some babies can reuse the same dry diaper all day which means that diaper rash never has the chance to develop. If you visit your pediatrician for help with your baby's diaper rash, you may be told to leave the diaper off as much as possible to "air it out".
5. Reduces unexplained fussiness in babies. Some babies will cry because they are wearing a diaper. Their instinct tells them not to soil themselves but when they can no longer hold it in, they go. Some babies will cry directly after they go because they don't want to sit in a wet or soiled diaper. A large part of EC is holding your baby. When you hold your baby many of those fussy cries go away. When babies are held close to our bodies they are safe and warm and don't have much to cry about.
6. It is more fun than changing diapers. You have the opportunity to check-in with your baby many times throughout the day and you look forward to the next pottytunity as opposed to dreading the next diaper change.
7. Reduces any struggles you may experience during traditional potty training. Many EC'ing families report that their babies have moved smoothly into potty independence with none of the power struggles that some families experience with traditional potty training.
8. Reduces potty "accidents" that are common with toddler or preschool age children. Children who practice EC have a head start on potty learning and they have years more practice to hone those skills than their traditionally potty trained peers.
9. Builds confidence and self-esteem. Your baby understands what is going on. He doesn't need to wear a diaper because his parents helped him learn. When he gets to preschool he may be the only child in the class that doesn't wear a diaper and he will start to feel a sense of pride and self-respect.
10. Helps parents get to know their child's individual rhythms and output. This makes parenting easier by being ready to act when you know that your child is going to be hungry, thirsty, tired or just needs to eliminate. Knowing your child's normal output helps you to tell sooner if he is sick. You will be clued in immediately if you notice that your baby is peeing much less than usual. This can be difficult to determine if you are using diapers, especially disposable diapers.
11. Helps older siblings feel important because they can teach the baby how to use the potty. EC families have reported a bonding between baby, older sibling and caregivers and less feelings of new baby jealousy.
12. You get to see your baby smile. Yes, babies smile when they are pottied. The easiest way to see this smile is to hold your baby in the classic EC position over the sink in the bathroom. In the mirror you will see your baby smile as she eliminates. It is so sweet and unforgettable.
13. Babies are more comfortable in underwear than they are in a bulky diaper. Babies can learn to roll over, sit up or reach other milestones sooner without a big bulky diaper getting in the way.
14. Your baby knows that he is respected. We honor his instinct to not use a diaper.
15. Requires minimal supplies. You don't need a lot of stuff to practice EC. A few key items can help tremendously in your EC journey ( and I would be happy to talk to you about what that might look like for your family) but you don't need dozens of diaper covers, diapers, inserts, diaper sprayers, etc.
16. The focus of EC is to "let go" versus traditional potty training which teaches children to "hold it". EC'ers look forward to the next pottytunity to help our children use the potty. Traditional potty training focuses on teaching an older child to realize when they have the need to go and hold it until they can get to the potty, get their pants down and go.This letting go helps teach children to pay attention to what their bodies are telling them and to allow their body to relax and go when they feel the urge.
17. Reduced frustration between parent and child. EC becomes one more tool in your parenting "bag of tricks". If your baby is fussy you can try feeding him, helping him fall asleep, holding him or giving him a pottytunity. You have one more option to try to meet your baby's needs.
18. Removes the worry of running out of diapers. Even if you use diapers as a backup, you never need to worry about not having a diaper. Your baby will know what to do and everything will be ok, I promise ;)
19. Helps in unexpected situations or emergencies. Whether you have lost your luggage, got locked out of your car or house, or just used your last diaper and no stores nearby will be open for hours, EC will be your saving grace. Any of the above situations will cause your stress level to rise, but at least you know that you don't have to worry about needing a diaper.
20. Traveling is easier because you don't need as much stuff. You won't need to carry around a heavy diaper bag with a ton of diapers. You just locate the nearest bathroom or tree and take care of business.