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!
Hi, I was wondering what kind of diapers you use most of the time. Thanks!
I used ‘sposies for months – I found them easier to whip on and off.
Just a couple of months ago I started using Flip Cloth Diapers – not a huge fan of them but now the weather is getting better I will be leaving BiP diaper free more.
I’m really not the best person to ask about Cloth Diapers. Check out my Facebook page and ask there – lots of hardcore CD Mama’s there!
I have questions!
When would you say is a good age to start? Does it matter?
C has a very distinctive poo face. Should I stick her onto the potty as soon as I see that even if she’s already in progress?
What about when you’re out & about? (I’m thinking shopping trip, other people’s house, rather than a field!) Just stick with nappies? Is it ok to do it kind of part time?
Thanks for stopping by!
A good age is when YOU are ready to start. We started at 3 months just because I was ready to start then. I know people who have started at birth, 3m, 6m, 9m, 12m etc … it depends on when you are ready. Age really doesn’t matter although I will say from my experience I had much more success in the early days than I do now and BiP is 13m. When they start getting mobile and walking it gets harder!
I have 4 potties at home all scattered around so when I see BiP’s poo face (like that expression) I whip off her diaper and let her go on the potty – a few times she has decided to get off the potty and poop on the floor instead!!!! But that was when she was older (11-13m) I do think it helps them get the feeling that pooping into a potty is much more comfortable than pooping on themselves in a diaper.
Out and about? Well, I’ve posted a bit about when EC backfires which is mainly when we are out and about – it’s up to you. I don’t EC when I am out. I tried once on a visit to DH’s godparents and BiP pooped in the toilet, then on me, then on me and the floor – it was a disaster. From then on I decided to let her do what she need to do in a diaper when we are out and deal with the crying (she hates going in a diaper) because it’s really so hard to manage when they are so small and could literally fall in the toilet without an insert.
EC is something that can be done full time, part time and occasionally – I have gone through all 3 levels and recently am an occasional EC-er following our holiday – once we’ve got the jet lag and colds under control I’ll be looking to get back to it part time. Full time is aspirational but I can’t do it. Do what works for you! It’s not all or nothing!
Good luck and please keep me posted and feel free to ask more questions!
If you are on Twitter check out my hashtag #ECchat
I love EC too! I started part-time when my son was 8 months old, and he’s 2.5 now. We have had lots of catches along the way. He still wears pull-ups (some cloth, some disposable) but he catches himself a lot. He’s perfectly comfortable on the potty, and that is a great thing. It’s been wonderful! I would start even earlier next time. Nice post. 🙂
Thanks! It’s addictive!