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Diaper Free Experience

Diaper Free - Diaper babies without diapers!

Do you already know diaper free? This is explained quite simply - Diapering babies without diapers. How to live diaper-free and healthy with your baby and what my experience with diapering without diapers, I show you in this article.

"Without diapers? Your baby doesn't wear diapers? Are you crazy?"
"That's disgusting, I can only use diapers, because I like it clean."
"Well, I don't believe in forced potty training at all. It has to come from the child."

These are just some of the few horrified comments that fly around my ears when I mention that we live diaper-free with our baby. Incidentally, these are the nice kind of horrified comments. I'll now show you why diaper-free is still a great, plastic-free alternative.

Why diaper-free at all?

I would like to share my diaper-free experiences with you here. Long before my polar bear baby was on the way, it was clear to us that we didn't want to use conventional disposable diapers under any circumstances. So as not to produce any more waste. Especially now that the trend in China is towards disposable diapers. So I went in search of cloth diapers, in the spirit of the Zero Waste Lifestyle. Quite complicated, so many different systems. On some blog I stumbled across the term diaper-free, which stands for baby changing without diapers. No waste and no mountains of laundry - the perfect solution.

How diaper free works

Diaper Free - Baby Diapering Without Diapers

Even with the smallest baby, you can live without diapers, because every newborn, no matter how tiny, is born and communicates. Just as it signals that it is hungry or tired, it also makes it clear when it needs a nap. Every baby sends its own signals. They are very different. It suddenly becomes restless, squirms in your arms, grumbles... Perhaps it refuses to be put into the carrier or car seat. Maybe it's crying because it feels uncomfortable. You're there for your baby when they're hungry, so you're there for them when they need it. Our baby was usually terribly restless. It was obvious that he was uncomfortable. Then we took him "to the toilet". In quotation marks because a newborn cannot go to the toilet, of course. There are special so-called Asian potties that you can hold your baby over. Others simply use old tupperware bowls.
You can also hold your baby over the sink, shower, bath or anywhere else. When it gets bigger, you can also hold it over the toilet. If they can sit, you can use the potty. There are even biodegradable potties, my insider tip! Every time you hold your baby down, make a key sound to signal that it is now allowed. This can be a sound, but also a word such as "wee-wee".
So much for the theory on the subject of diaper-free.

Diaper Free Experience: How it went with us

As soon as we got back from the hospital, we started holding the baby.
First of all in the so-called standard situations: After waking up, after drinking, before Go to sleep. From the second day onwards, the big business landed reliably in the potty in the morning.
So basically we lived without diapers from the beginning and were super happy with it.
Of course, our baby had to pee a lot more. A newborn even pees really often. So it could happen that he had to pee every 15 minutes. Then there was nothing for an hour.
Looking back, everything seems really easy and relaxed to me. Luckily, I kept a diary at the time and wrote down how it went with the diaper-free period - for a bit of objectivity in my memory 🙂
In fact, right from the start we always had days when my polar bear stayed completely dry. Because it signaled to us, we recognized it in time and were able to react. Other days went badly: we simply didn't recognize what the little darling wanted from us or the little darling didn't give us the opportunity to react.
But it was still clean for us.

Diaper-free is a question of the right equipment

Where the baby slept, played or chilled, we put such washable incontinence pads underneath. So nothing went wrong, even if actually something went wrong. We washed and dried the underlays alternately.
In addition, we used these cotton burp cloths. We still use them. They serve as a soaker in a simple woolen cloth diaper. So the pants stay dry.
We also use underpants and training underpants in the warmer months. Or sometimes nothing at all because it's warm. In the cold months, our baby actually always wears the cloth onesie with the burp cloth because it's just too cold for nothing. Or to get wet.

What diaper free is not 

Diaper-free actually has nothing to do with classic potty training or getting clean.
Instead, you simply assume that your baby knows that it has to. That it doesn't want to wet itself (or worse) because: Do you want to lie in your own feces? Then why would a baby want to?
Diaper-free doesn't mean that your baby soaks himself all day long, on the contrary. You pay attention to his needs and help him to meet them.
Until our baby started crawling, we honestly didn't have a single poop that missed. Then came the classic crawling strike. But even that was over after 2 weeks.
Believe me, those two weeks were frustrating! We stuck to the guides and smiled, wiped, washed. Then, as quickly as it had begun, this phase was over. Diaper-free works!

At 8 months completely without diaper

The summer favored this great development, because warm temperatures are really helpful. You don't have to dress the baby as much, it's easier to hold and everything is more comfortable.
So I was able to go swimming and back home without a diaper. The looks from the other moms when I simply put my baby's pants on were worth their weight in gold. 😉
On vacation in the south of France, we went for weeks without even a single wet burp cloth. Thanks to the warm temperatures, we were able to keep our polar bear outdoors on walks or excursions. Supermarket parking lots also worked perfectly, and we used the washroom in the restaurant. Things also went wonderfully at night. Our baby went to bed at 9, woke up at eleven because he had to pee and then slept blissfully until the next morning.
The good phase lasted until we returned to Germany and it got cold.

From summer to autumn and snow

At first, we were spoiled by a golden fall. Without diapers, we spent our afternoons in the village playgrounds. I learned to ignore skeptical looks and smile away silly comments. Depending on the mood, I offered a discussion about the benefits of disposable diapers.
A friend of mine, who also practices diaper-free, is still quite embarrassed to keep her baby out of the house. A matter of type! I can understand her, but: I don't believe in using disposable diapers and I don't constantly tell people that. So I couldn't care less what they think of us.
Of course, when it got really cold, we stopped going outside. We don't want our baby to get sick because of it! It surprised us again and now just stops when we're out and about.

The advantages of diaper free

Sure: you produce virtually no waste. Apart from toilet paper. That's a pretty important point, in my opinion. But there are also lots of other advantages.
Our baby never had even the slightest red bottom. We saved a lot on various creams and wet wipes. Our baby also never had any other problems without diapers: He never had gas. You know, those horrible three-month colic, for example. The fact that he could always relieve himself without lying in his mess meant that he could do so without inhibitions and his tummy was always fine.
It is also said that babies who live without diapers are generally happier and whine less. They don't have to whine if you cater to ALL their needs. In our case this was true, we have the happiest baby ever thanks to diaper-free 🙂

Why you can easily live with your baby without diapers

If you practice diaper-free, you are prepared to respond to all of your baby's needs. You accept their way of communicating and assume that your baby is perfectly capable of controlling their excretions. In addition to the right attitude, you will need some equipment, I recommend burp cloths in particular! Incontinence pads are also great, especially before the baby becomes mobile. Living diaper-free doesn't mean more work. Instead of changing, diapering and cleaning, you just hold your baby. Both take time. You also don't have to watch your baby 24/7 to make sure you don't miss a wee. You can't do that either. It's not good for you or your baby. My baby always attached great importance to his alone playtime and yet we worked wonderfully. Even very small babies are able to let you know. You just have to get involved.
If you are not yet convinced of diaper-free, look at it the other way around:

  • Why spend a lot of money on diapers that you're going to throw away? Then you can just throw the money in the garbage can.
  • Why would you teach your baby to relieve himself in a diaper only to wean him off it later? (Because I really believe that nobody comes into the world and wants to wet a diaper. It's disgusting...!)

Diaper-free - A plastic-free alternative?

I hope that my diaper-free experience has given you a little inspiration. Diaper-free is a great alternative to raising your baby without diapers and therefore waste-free. On the beaches of this world we find an infinite number of diapers that float in the sea for about 450 years until they have decomposed into smaller components such as microplastics. As you can see, diaper-free parenting has a lot of advantages, you just have to be open to a new way and then you will learn to appreciate the benefits. If you would like to find out more from me, please visit my blogWe are not superheroeswhere I provide support for the self-employed & people returning to Germany after a long absence.

What do you think about diaper-free? Can you imagine living diaper-free? Or are you already doing it? Do you have any questions, suggestions or personal experiences about diaper-free that you would like to share? Then please write me a comment under this post.

Kind regards,


PS.: In the article Plasticfree lifestyle you will get a lot more tips on how to avoid waste!

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!



I'm Anne, mom of a toddler and not only since his birth on a mission to avoid plastic and live environmentally conscious. That's why we practice diaper-free, don't buy the kid every piece of junk there is, have a self-catering garden and live with the seasons. I also work in marketing and blog on my blog for self-employed people & people who are returning to Germany after a long absence.

20 thoughts on “Windelfrei – Babys wickeln ohne Windeln!”

  1. Wonderful! Not only did you save money, avoid a bunch of garbage, but -and most importantly (!)- you gave your child full attention! You saw your child! Great. Inspiring. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    1. Hi Isabel 😉 I'll answer once on behalf of Anne.
      I see it the same way! If it brings mother and child even closer together, it's definitely worth trying out diaper-free.
      Best regards

      1. Hello you two!
        Oh yes, that is also a very big advantage! Glad to have inspired you, Isabel!
        By the way, the dad can also participate there quite wonderfully 😉
        Many spring greetings, Anne

  2. Greetings from East Africa 🙂
    Here, the diaper-free method is completely normal, as there simply aren't that many diapers (yet). There is hardly a toddler who still wets himself at 12 months.
    Great that you are promoting the method for Germany!
    The diaper is one of the products of capitalism that made us completely forget our natural behavior and interaction.

    1. Hi Britta! Thanks for your comment. I totally agree with you!
      Greetings to East Africa!

    2. Hello Britta!
      Funny enough, the only comment our pediatrician had on the subject was, "Other cultures do it too, we're just too lazy to do it." Totally agree!
      In the past, there were also no Pampers in Germany. I once talked to an eighty-year-old acquaintance who then told me about the old days and bequeathed me lots of Molleton cloths (still super usable!) - so things used to be different here, too!
      LG Anne

  3. Dear Anne, I think it's great for your child to be able to live diaper-free from the beginning. Generations before us have already practiced it.
    And also child had already read a very interesting book about it years ago. - My daughter is now 33 years old, I still handled it very conventionally, although even then not with a clear conscience.
    Thank you for taking the time to swim against the tide with all your consistency. It was worth it 🙂
    Love greeting from Gundula

  4. Hello.
    I find the diaper-free approach super good and very interesting. However, I already have a child and can hardly imagine always having the time and attention to pay attention to the signals. Then I would leave my first child quite often just stand I think.
    That's why I'm considering at least using cloth diapers on the second one.

    1. Hi Anna! Cloth diapers are a great plastic-free approach too! 🙂
      Wish you all the best and best regards,

    2. Hello Anna,
      Cloth diapers are also great!
      Also, the less time you have to observe your baby, the better! The stronger your intuition becomes! Constant "lurking" is not fun for either of you and stressing about whether the little one has to go now is the wrong thing to do. You can also use cloth diapers as a back-up. If you have the time and the opportunity, you can keep the little one out. That's the good thing: You just do what works for you!
      Am also curious how it will be with the second 😉

  5. Hello Anne,
    what a great article. Why have we lost this intuition?
    In the past, mothers hardly had time for their children considering the work they had to do to feed the whole family with the tools of the time without electricity and ready-made products? Of course, in the past there were large families with divided tasks. There was always a sister, aunt, grandma, mother, big daughter or mother-in-law who took care of the many little children who came every year and the mother had to rest. In my family tree there were families up to 23 children from one wife. These are conditions that do not occur today. My great uncle once told me that as soon as he could walk, he was dressed in a little dress - with nothing underneath. The children were always outside in the warm season - on the unpaved roads, where it didn't matter if they had to pee. Especially since every house had its manure pile and there were often horse droppings on the streets. Fortunately, those days are over.
    But I also had a drastic experience when my daughter was about a year old. At that time, we visited relatives in the GDR who, for lack of Pampers, wrapped their children in cloth and a plastic sheet. The joy of our visit was so great that my cousin was joined by all his sisters and their children. There were six children from one year group. All at once they all disappeared into one room (not bathroom, that was outside the apartment). I found the five GDR children sitting side by side in rows on their potties while the mothers talked. When our little mouse saw this, she wanted to sit down. So she got a potty, too, and she didn't understand at the time what was happening. But she noticed that all the potties were filled and she looked at it with great interest. The second time she also succeeded and was very proud of it.
    Back home, I had (also due to my physical disability) soon forgotten this scene. But our mouse obviously not. Because she suddenly sat on her potty and proudly brought me the result. I knew then how important it was to support that. At 1 ½ years old - in November, she didn't want to wear a diaper anymore. So I just dressed her in little dresses with pantyhose and put a potty in the car behind the driver's seat. Every time she would come out, I would quickly find a place to park, quickly pull her pants down and put her on the potty in the car or in front of it. It was very exhausting for me, but it was worth it. I can proudly say that my daughter was dry at 18 mon. My sister did not go to this trouble and diapered her 4 children, all 18 months apart, in Pampers. She was too comfortable for this action, especially since she was told by her pediatrician that children can't control their bladders until they are years old. That doesn't motivate our moms very much. Our pediatrician didn't believe me that our daughter was out of diapers.
    Despite my severe disability and a lot of pain (my femoral head died during pregnancy), I changed both of our children with cloth diapers and woolen panties. Only when we went away, I had Pampers with me. So I was already protecting the environment in the 80s, which is more important today than ever before.
    Sincerely greets
    Evi, 61 y.

    1. Hi Eveline! Thank you for your detailed report and your great feedback 🙂 .
      I wish you personally all the best and send best regards from Berlin!

    2. Hello Evi!
      Super interesting what you tell! And great that you just listened to your child and let him potty - is not self-evident, I know many whose child signaled desire to potty, but for whom it was too exhausting.
      Today, by the way, it is said that children are only able to control their excretions from the age of four. For whatever reason, because: complete nonsense.
      Love, Anne

  6. Hello Christoph,
    thank you for your kind wishes.
    Reading through it again, I noticed that something essential is missing. According to the pediatrician, children should not be able to control their bladder and bowels until they are 3 years old. If children used to take this long, mothers would have had several diapered children at once. Mothers rarely had that much time to wash diapers and dirty clothes because there were no washing machines in the past. My mother washed once a month in the laundry room with a wood stove and by hand, my grandmother used to wash in the river, later in summer in her own garden in tin tubs. Hurray for the washing machine. Even today I have an exceptionally good relationship with my children.
    Greetings from the beautiful Oberkirch

  7. Hello 🙂
    Unfortunately, I have only now come across "diaper-free". It's a shame, because now my mouse has been living in diapers for almost eleven months and I've missed getting to know her signals. Do you have any tips for me on how we can best start now?
    Thank you and best regards

  8. Hello all,
    Your reports are mega exciting. I have been dealing with this topic for a few months and my daughter is now one month old. To be honest, I was a little overwhelmed with everything at first. In the first week, the topic of "diaper-free" went under.
    But I always watched what my daughter was doing for signs and how full the diaper was afterwards. When she was exactly 1 week old, she then made the first pee on the potty. This was followed by 3 days where we didn't have to change a diaper because every little business went into the potty. But then followed several days where every time she would either pee in the diaper before or right after. Now there is also the fact that she has a lot of bowel movements. Because she has a lot on at the moment and at the same time makes a lot of wee-wee and poo-poo, keeping her off is very stressful right now... and the little one also starts crying again and again when we mistakenly keep her off.
    I am torn between the two. The diaper-free method is actually exactly what would be natural and ecologically correct for me. Only at the moment more goes in the diaper than in the potty. Besides, we don't have as many clothes as we have "accidents" at the moment.
    So at the moment we practice a mixture of keep away, cloth diapers and Pampers. Because even with the cloth diapers we have noticed that we wash meeega much and that probably the ecological effort is not really less than with disposable diapers. 🙁 But I'm not completely satisfied with it. I really hope that we still get the diaper-free.
    Maybe someone has another tip for me?
    Ah yes, the signs are difficult to interpret right now. My daughter makes the same sounds just before a fart (with material) as she does just before she bellies and spits up. So there's also a good chance I'm holding her off and then she just spits up....
    Thank you for your important contributions. I am curious what you advise me.
    Love greetings

    1. Hi Nadja, sorry for my late and unfortunately unhelpful reply. I am not yet in the situation of being a father myself and suggest to wait for answers from the experts on this topic first 🙂
      Have a great new year!
      Many greetings, Christoph

  9. Not everything works with every baby! Some sleep through the night, some don't, some cry, some barely, some communicate clearly, some don't... I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all solution and you shouldn't judge one way or the other.

    1. Hi Lisa,
      we think so too. But the attempt to at least switch to cloth diapers is always worth it 🙂
      Best regards

      1. Hello Christoph,
        Even cloth diapers are not practical for every child. With the first child (diaper-free I had never heard of at the time, but I think 12 years ago it was hardly a topic of conversation), I was full of enthusiasm and wanted to use cloth diapers. However, the son had thereby constantly fungi in the intimate area and at the Poppes. So I switched to plastic diapers with a heavy heart - the fungus never came back.
        I didn't even try with the next two kids, the diapers had long since become cleaning cloths and the even nicer ones were dyed as cuddle and drool cloths.
        So much me the many garbage and the knowledge of how unpleasant the plastic stuff on the skin is (Who has ever used plastic bind as a woman, can understand this very well) - I was afraid that the kiddies suffer from constant fungus. And you don't want to change diapers every 30 minutes....
        But ne acquaintance of us with several children, makes diaper-free - and there it works wonderfully 🙂 if I wanted another child, I would try that too!

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