Although the use of diapers has made life easier for parents, natural infantile hygiene (HNI) is increasingly popular with them. This practice involves remaining attentive to the signals sent by baby to express his elimination needs. Babies are indeed aware of these needs from birth, and have a special way of communicating them. Providing the HNI at a certain stage is therefore a way of removing diapers and promoting your child’s hygiene. But how do you do it?
Natural infant hygiene or HNI: what is it?
The HNI is also known as the “Elimination communication” or “potty training”. This is a practice that aims to avoid the use of diapers in favor of the potty or the toilet. It consists of paying attention to the baby’s every move to identify the signals he sends in order to express his need to urinate and to eliminate his stools.
Natural infant hygiene is therefore based on communication and listening to the baby that allow you to intervene in time. However, it is important to note that this method must be done in accordance with the natural rhythm of elimination of the baby. There is therefore no question of forcing it. It is a response to the specific needs of the baby at the right time.
When can we consider natural infant hygiene?
Natural infant hygiene can be practiced from birth, because a baby has the natural ability to sense and express their elimination needs. So you are free to choose when to start this practice. But be aware that the longer you wait to intervene, the more your baby will tend to get used to diapers and forget to express his needs.
Some professionals advise to wait 2 to 3 years, because at this stage, the child is ready and really aware of what he is going through. But nothing prevents you from getting into it part-time to work on communication with your baby and familiarize him with his potty. For example, it is possible to practice HNI only during the day and when you stay at home.
Start before 6 months
It’s much easier to get started before your baby is 6 months old. The practice will be less tiring since the baby still weighs only a few kilograms. As he is not yet able to move around, he will relieve himself only in his zone.
Start after 6 months
If you have never tried to potty from birth until 6 months old and have only had them in diapers, they are at high risk. to have lost consciousness of his elimination needs. It is also at this age that the baby begins to move. Which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. It will be easier for him to get to his potty, but if he has not yet adopted the best practices, he may pee and poop all over the house. The rate of elimination, however, is reduced as your baby grows. This will prevent you from having to put it on the pot too regularly.
How do you go about practicing HNI?
To practice the HNI, it is important to locate the rhythms of the baby, to identify its signals and to accompany it as well as to encourage it in its needs.
How do you recognize your baby’s signals?
Each baby has their own way of communicating the need for relief. This is why you will have to be very attentive to your child’s every move when it comes to practicing HNI. He may manifest his elimination needs through grimacing, growling, restlessness, sudden immobilization, or crying. If you think you have identified the signals, feel free to communicate with your baby while intervening.
To achieve natural infant hygiene, we must therefore go through a few distinct steps:
- You need to start with the observation phase of your baby. It is important to leave it without a diaper for two weeks to identify the actions that indicate its elimination needs. It is also a way to learn about the rhythm of his stool and urine.
- Interpreting these signals is the next step. You have to listen to baby to be able to communicate with him afterwards.
- To meet his needs and get him used to it, there is nothing like choosing a word or a sound to describe the act of elimination. A “psssss” can help the child when he is urinating, while defecation can be translated into growling. The goal is to make him understand your support.
Baby’s comfort during his needs is essential to avoid frustrating him. It is important to put him in the correct elimination position to make his job easier. Keep talking to him while he’s settled on his potty.
What equipment for the HNI?
Many options are possible in the context of natural infant hygiene. If the pot, basin or sink are the most popular solutions, it is also possible to choose the toilet. It is easy to find WC reducers to support older children in their weaning from diapers. Special HNI diapers are also available on the market.
How to go about going out
As has been pointed out, the HNI is not mandatory 24 hours a day. So you can keep diapers on when you go out to avoid the risk of your child getting dirty for lack of availability and attention.
What are the advantages of HNI?
Adopting natural infant hygiene has many advantages, both for the baby and for the parents.
For its part, the baby will feel confident thanks to your listening. Not wearing layers is not only more comfortable, but it also makes it easier to move around. The risks of diaper rash are greatly reduced or even zero. By dint of getting used to recognizing his elimination needs, just like hunger or sleep, he won’t have a hard time getting potty later. In addition, this practice is smoother since it respects the rhythm of the child.
For parents, HNI is a means of strengthen the bond cared for with their baby. It is a way of getting to know him better, to understand him and to communicate with him. But natural infant hygiene is also beneficial financially since parents will no longer have to spend so much on diapers. Although this technique requires a lot of patience, it is worth practicing.
As you will have understood, the HNI is especially essential for meet your baby’s natural elimination needs. By mastering and listening to their body from an early age, your child will quickly be able to go to the bathroom when the need arises. Listening, communication and patience remain the main keys to the success of the practice of natural infant hygiene. In short, HNI is a practice similar to breastfeeding, and not toilet training. It should not be experienced as pressure and should be put in place while respecting the baby’s rhythm.