Category Archives: Elimination Communication

Potty Power – My Favourite ECing Tools!

It’s no secret that I love Elimination Communication – I was so excited today when I read Emily’s post on how she had stated her ECing journey with her gorgeous 5 month old baby girl ! It made me think about our ECing adventure and how it has taken leaps and bounds over the last 6 months so I thought I would share some of my favourite ECing tools that I have found to be invaluable (and great fun).

ECing at 3 months
We started off with a cheap potty from IKEA
I placed it on BiP’s changing table and would hold her facing away from me so I could support her back.  I quickly learnt that placing a tissue in the bottom was incredibly useful. The tissue would help identify if she had peed and, if she pooped, it was much easier to clean as breastfed baby poops tend to have a certain gluey texture to them and would be a pain to clean out!

BiP's favourite potty

ECing at 6 months
As time went on, BiP was keen to try and sit on her potty without my help and the IKEA potty was just a bit too high so I went searching for another potty. I came across this funny duck potty, the beak squeaks and she can hold on to the handles. It was an instant hit!

ECing at almost 9 months
BiP has now progressed to the toilet, I have a small toilet insert which she now loves using.

She looks so proud when she sits on the toilet – I usually let her look at magazines or books during her potty time. Best part is the clean up is just a wipe and a flush! I chose this toilet seat as its small and sits ON the toilet seat rather than under the seat which makes it more hygienic and easier to pull  out when you need to use it.

And finally!
The success of our ECing adventure to-date has largely depended on our desire to make it easy and enjoyable. Occasionally BiP will arch her back, signalling she doesn’t want to do this right now, and we give it a break.  Once she got the hang of going in the potty I stopped making a big fuss of her going (it felt a bit odd congratulating her on going to the bathroom where she should) so now I just say “doesn’t that feel better?” You don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy ECing products, unless you want to. There are plenty of regular potty training accessories on the market that work even for tiny babies!

BTW! We still use diapers!!

Elimination Communication for Everyone

I have to admit that I am obsessed with Elimination Communication (EC). It is an ancient practice of natural infant hygiene – sometimes called  infant potty training or potty whispering I prefer just to call it ECing.  Many people find the concept interesting, perhaps wacky and ultimately don’t even bother trying it because it seems like hard work!

You don’t have to throw away your diaper’s!
In order to start ECing your baby you do not have to commit to a period of time where your house is full of puddles (or worse) nor do you sit there waiting for your baby to pee. On the contratry – there are different levels of  ECing commitment to suit everyone:

  • Full Time ECing is for hardcore families who endeavour to catch every pee or poop and keep their babies diaper free
  • Part Time ECing is for families who catch some pees and poops but keep their babies in a diaper most of the time
  • Occasional ECing is for families who catch what they can, when then can

How can I try out ECing my baby?
Most babies need to pee upon waking  or 10-15minutes after a feed or a drink, so you can either put them on a potty, or hold them over a bowl or the toilet. Make a cueing sound (psst psst is a popular one) and give them a couple of minutes. Usually, if you’ve timed it right they will go. If your baby objects stop! You don’t really have to buy any equipment to EC your baby – a few companies have developed EC friendly products but I personally manage with a cheap potty, and now and insert for the toilet (the garden works too!)

As times goes on you will start to get into a rhythm with your baby and instinctively know when to take them to the potty. You may notice they become fidgety or, in some cases make a lot of noise, straining etc … I know with BabyinProvence it was easy to detect when she wanted to poop and would, more often than not, wait until I got her diaper off and put her on the potty to go.

The fundamental point of ECing is to make it managable and enjoyable for you and your baby. It should not hinder your life. For more information visit

REMEMBER! It’s about the catches not the misses!

A Diaper Free Baby in Provence

You baby pees where?!
She goes in the potty, just a few times a day, sometimes more” I reply, ensuring my French is correct
But she is only 8 months old!
Well, that is not very French!” … where have I heard that before?!

I sometimes wonder why I bother telling people how I raise BabyinProvence but on the other hand it really can be amusing!

The Diaper-Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh – a must read for anyone interested in Elimination Communication

Finally I found out what Elimination Communication is in French! At last! I now have the vocabulary to explain what it is! Elimination Communication (or EC) is also called Natural Infant Hygeine or “L’Hygiène Naturelle Infantile (HNI)” in French – it is the practice of responding to your babies cues and signs to eliminate waste or, in short, potty training (although this term is often contested).

I don’t consider myself to be a hardcore EC-er – rather, a part-time EC-ing mummy who does what’s manageable each day without it becoming a burden or a chore (95% of poops are now caught in the potty, and more recently in the toilet). BabyinProvence has been using a potty, occassionally the outdoors and now the toilet for the last 5 months or so – it’s something that works for US and is a personal decision to do what WE feel is best for our baby. It does not, cause psychological problems as some baby literature (probably funded by diaper manufacturers) states – BabyinProvence actually enjoys her “potty time”.

So … more info on:
ECing in English
HNI en Français

If anyone wants to know more please feel free to ask me a question

Who said you can't potty train at 3 months?

I stumbled upon Elimination Communication when I was pregnant – its an interesting concept that pre-dates diaper’s/nappies and all the debates of today that go with it. Ironically it is Elimination Communication that is now considered to be the controversial stance as far as infant hygiene is concerned.

Described as
a toilet training practice, Elimination communication (EC) is when a caregiver uses timing, signals, cues, and intuition to address an infant’s need to eliminate waste.

When I mentioned ECing to my friends I have to admit the typical response was “Huh?” and some had  fairly strong views on the subject: “babies at this age aren’t cognitively aware enough” and “babies are not aware enough to understand what’s going on” and even “children should not be potty trained until they are old enough to be interested in it” or my favourite “I simply don’t have time to sit around watching my baby for signs that it needs to pee”.

in it? Don’t have time? When most of the world’s population do not use diaper’s/nappies what exactly do they do? I can assure you babies who spend their day being carried by their mother’s in slings whilst they are at work are not covered in their babies bodily fluids. AND they certainly don’t have the time to sit around watching their baby … SO … how do they manage without diapers?
I realised that the modern world had fallen victim to the diaper industry giants such as Pampers and Huggies and once we realised that they were bad for the environment, the landfills etc… the diaper industry brought back cloth diaper’s, made them cool colours and incredibly trendy but in all honesty how eco-friendly is it when you have to wash and dry all those diaper’s? All that water and electricity? Plus, give me an example of one mammal that urinates and defecates in their bed out of choice? I digress.
Today I decided I was going to start ECing with my little princess. She is 3 months old. It started this morning when she woke up after an 11 hours sleep (yes, my angel!) with dry diaper!  I gave her half a feed as she was starving and then held her over the potty. About 30 seconds of “pssst pssst pssst” sounds she peed in the pot! I was elated! As the day progressed I started to notice how she wriggled and made a certain sound when she needed to go and managed to end the day having only consumed 3 diapers compared to the usual 15+*.  She even held it until we got home and I took her diaper off!

So today’s summary is 9 to me, 3 to Pampers! If everyday was like today I would be happy. Its all about the ones we catch not the ones we miss. Also, ECing does not have to be a full time thing, it can be practised only at the weekends, evenings, whenever really!

It was slightly time consuming today but I think my little one preferred it as we definitely skipped the squirming and squawks after she has peed and needs changing. I am certain it will get easier.

We are also going to save a fortune on diaper’s/nappies, rash cream and at the same time I got to know my daughters signs a bit better. More info on the benefits can be found here
PS – I do have to admit, you need to be attuned to your baby’s needs and pay attention to her sounds and movements in order to EC.
our consumption of diapers is high because our little one, since the day she was born, has squirmed and cried the minute she was wet. The upside to changing her so regularly is that we’ve never had diaper rash.