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Potty Training Communication

Have you been hearing about potty training communication and want to know how to get started? See this great article below from Mama Natural for more information!


Baby Elimination Communication (also known as infant potty training, natural infant hygiene, and diaper free) is the practice of learning your baby’s potty cues and timing to help teach him that a potty is where he should pee and poo.

EC might sound weird, but consider the global perspective. In most non-industrialized countries, EC doesn’t even have a name because it’s the norm. In these societies, babies can be consistently dry and wear underwear full time as early as 6 months, while the average in America is 3 years.

EC is a lifestyle that encourages natural toilet learning. Baby elimination communication is not about getting your child to use a potty as soon as possible (although earlier potty learning often occurs). EC doesn’t mean your child has to never use diapers. It simply means freedom from dependence on diapers.

What are the benefits of baby Elimination Communication (EC)?

It encourages a deep connection between you and your baby. Newborn elimination communication is a great way to build communication and trust between child and parent.

It’s cleaner. Baby doesn’t sit in his waste, which means less chance for diaper rash too!

It’s more comfortable. Diapers are bulky, so it goes without saying that being diaper free would be more comfortable for most infants.

You can use fewer diapers. When you EC, even part time, you’ll inevitably use fewer diapers, which is great for the environment as well as your wallet.

Baby gains self esteem. When she cries for help to potty and is responded to respectfully, she begins to understand that what she communicates has value and, therefore, she has value.

Explains unexplainable behavior. Many babies become fussy, pop off the breast, wake, or have trouble falling asleep when they need to eliminate (or just have eliminated, and don’t like being wet).

How to get started with EC Elimination Communication

There are many ways to practice baby elimination communication. I would highly, highly encourage you to get support as you will definitely be going against the grain. Here is a fabulous resource you can check out!

Many parents begin EC’ing from birth and are glad they did, but many of those who start later have success as well. Some families EC full time (including through the night), while others choose to do baby elimination communication part time. Whichever path works best for your family, getting started is simple.

Begin with observation. Give baby diaper-free time on a waterproof mat so that you can begin to learn her cues. Keep in mind that many babies need to eliminate shortly after a feed and upon waking. Pay attention to your baby’s natural potty times. This is a great way to help baby recognize his own cues as well.

Introduce cues. When you observe baby eliminating, consider introducing a cue sound like a “pss” sound for pee and a “hmm” sound for poo. Baby will start to associate those sound with “letting go.” You can also use the baby sign language sign for bathroom. For some babies, just the act of sitting on the potty can be a cue.

Keep a potty nearby. Many parents choose to have an elimination communication potty such as this one in each room so there is always one close. When baby shows signs of needing to eliminate, bring her to the potty (or whatever receptacle you choose).

Carry baby in a sling or other carrier. Babywearing can be a great tool for learning baby’s potty rhythms. Many babies won’t eliminate when held close, therefore will be quiet and alert when they don’t need to eliminate and will become fussy and show signs that they want to be taken out of the sling when they need to go.

What do I need in order to practice the baby Elimination Communication method?

The only thing you really need is a place for baby to eliminate. Here are a few nice potty options that are specially sized for babies who start early. Some parents choose to use the toilet, sink, a Tupperware container, or other small container.

Other things that may help are:

  • Infant nightgowns

  • Legwarmers

  • Crotchless pants

  • Tiny Undies! You’ll find that, when your baby is potty trained early, there are no underwear that fit them. No undies, that is, except Tiny Undies.

  • Clothing that is easy to pull off quickly

  • Notebook to record observations about timing and cues

  • A tote bag to carry the potty when traveling

Will I have to buy any diapers at all?

That all depends. Are you planning on full time baby elimination communication including at night? If yes, then you may not need diapers. On the other hand many parents choose to use diapers as backup or to EC part time (while baby is at home for example) and use diapers when traveling or at daycare.

If you choose to use diapers, using cloth can help baby stay aware of when he has eliminated because cloth doesn’t wick wetness away like disposables.

What are the disadvantages?

  • More time and dedication necessary (at least initially)

  • More messes when you’re still learning

  • It can be isolating when you don’t know anyone in real life that EC’s

Comment below if you're ready to try!

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