Elimination Communication (also known as EC, infant potty training, and diaper-free) is the original baby pottying method used by humans for the last 200,000 years, brought to life in the modern world. Babies are born signaling their needs for food, sleep…and to potty somewhere other than on themselves or in their beds. EC is a gentle way to avoid full-time diaper dependence and conventional toddler toilet training. Above all, EC is about communication (not “training”), is non-coercive, and honors a baby’s desire for good hygiene from birth.
Some of the benefits of doing EC with a young baby include saving money, saving the environment, increasing communication and enhanced connection between parent and baby, avoiding diaper rash, and increased mobility for baby.
Most parents get started by doing some form of diaper-free observation, obviously most easily done before the baby becomes mobile. It’s helpful to learn the baby’s signals (what happens right before she goes), the baby’s natural timing (how often he pees or poos after feeding or waking), the parent’s own intuition (did you have a hunch that it was about to happen?), and then to also learn about generic, or more common, times that most babies need to potty (such as upon removal from the car seat).
Also, most parents also choose part-time Elimination Communication whether working outside of the house or staying at home full time. The best time to start Elimination Communication is from 0-4 months old, but it can begin at ages up to 18 months, with slight modifications for each age.
Elimination Communication can be adapted to any lifestyle, can be done with or without a diaper “back-up,” and parents can find quick success if they have access to the right guidance, support, and a clear starting point.
This article was written by Andrea Olson, MA. She is the author of Go Diaper Free: A Simplified Handbook for Elimination Communication and a resident EC expert at http://godiaperfree.com