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Elimination Communication – save yourself some diaper expenses

We are back to talking about baby potty. But this time there are no (or a few) diapers. Elimination communication is about learning your baby’s cues and timing to help teach him that a potty is where he should pee and poo. It also goes by the names of infant potty training, natural infant hygiene and diaper free baby. In essence, you will have a baby who does not wear diapers (for some or all the time) and instead will be relieving himself in the potty or the loo. This makes baby raising a much cleaner, respectful and also so good for the environment.

Many families begin elimination communication at birth or start soon after, especially when baby has slightly more control of his body and can sit up when supported. Elimination Communication is definitely not a new age phenomenon. In most parts of the world, this was how baby’s hygiene was managed. This was especially true in the lesser developed countries where diapers could not be afforded.

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Pin me! Elimination communication – basics #eliminationcommunication #AtoZchallenge #clothdiapers

Diapers are a modern innovation which helped families manage elimination. While babies who have been EC’d go diaper free relatively earlier, babies on diapers take till the age of 2, 3 or even beyond to become diaper free.

How to practice elimination communication?

If you want to follow the EC way, it means you will have to learn to read your baby’s cues when he wants to relieve himself. When you have read the sign you simply pick up or escort baby to a space where he will relieve himself, usually a potty.  This is done till baby’s gain independence and knows when and how to relieve themselves on their own. Like many other things, it is only the natural way of doing things as nature intended it.

This does not mean there are no diapers at all. Most families follow elimination communication on a part-time basis when they are around at home or have access to a potty space. Diapers are not a permanent solution, but a back up when they cannot EC.

In order to start with elimination communication, you will have to

  1. Observe and learn baby’s cues – this will involve watching your baby and keeping him diaper free. You then have to observe the faces, actions or sounds he makes when he wants to relieve himself. This sounds a bit funny and like you have to wait around all day and watch. However, most babies relieve themselves just after they have woken up or after a feed so you can just choose to observe them in these instances.
  2. Training the baby to communicate – Introduce sounds like “sssss” for pee and “guhhh” for poop. Use these words every time you have an episode so that baby builds a connection with them and the actions.
  3. Always have a potty or a receptacle where you will catch waste nearby. If not the device, and you will carry and hold the baby on the toilet in the bathroom build that connection by maintaining consistency of using the same toilet and the same bathroom
  4. Attachment Parenting is a great way to build connect and learn to read your baby’s signs. Carrying baby in a baby carrier is this a great way to do this.

My baby is a toddler now and in diapers. Did I miss the bus?

Elimination communication is not an all or nothing case. Most families adopt it on a part-time basis to accommodate professional commitments and leaving the child in the company of another caregiver. But whether you want to do it full time or part time, elimination communication needs the commitment of time and effort.

I personally attempted elimination communication around 7 months but found that it ended in a lot of tears, so rescinded my efforts. Since then, many efforts were made. We had a few small successes and many misses too. However, I know that if you haven’t begun elimination communication in infancy, all is not over. You can still follow the steps whenever you and the child seem ready.

As a cloth diapering parent, for me, elimination communication is actually potty training now and involves –

  1. Not putting on a diaper on babyT and using a light cotton briefs or training pants. I only resort to using diapers on days when we are out and about and for the nights.
  2. Encouraging him to go to the restroom immediately after he wakes up and after meal times.
  3. Asking him every now and then if he would like to visit the restroom
  4. I rely a lot on books and educational videos so books on potty and Youtube have been used too.

If you look at it, elimination communication is what most Indian families adopt with respect to their children’s hygiene. For those of us who have not been swayed by the colourful and multi-hued cloth diapering world, elimination communication can be a savior indeed.

Had you heard of elimination communication? Do you think it is right to train an infant in this manner?

Last year for the #AtoZChallenge – E was for eCommerce

This blog post is part of a series for the #AtoZBloggingChallenge where my theme is
New Age Parenting: Parenting in 201x.
Read my theme reveal post here.

To read all the posts for the #AtoZChallenge go here – #AtoZ2018

You may also find this post on Cloth Diapers very helpful.

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13 Comments

  1. New lingo for potty training is it?
    A big milestone for the mother and the baby.
    It all seems like a blurred memory now. But it can be very exhausting and frustrating.

  2. This sounds like a great way to start potty training early
    Debbie

  3. Absolutely right, if you ask our parents or grandparents use to do it the same as there were no or say less usage of diapers in those times. It’s a good way to have a routine for kids. Good, write up. the sounds and time pattern do work I have myself tried them & I am proud of it as this makes your kid diaper free. imagine what that speechless kid goes thru in that covered bundle.

  4. This seems like a new term in new age. Very scant memories remain now. Those days we went by instinct for all this training.
    Do drop by if you may https://sukrisblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/energize/

  5. I can’t remember exactly what method I followed with both my kids but it was not that stressful …as you rightly pointed out one needs to take the cue from the child
    E for Emerald

  6. I always thought its difficult for babies to learn all this until they are toddlers. Nice article!

  7. I didn’t know that potty training had a name too, 6 years ago. I started potty training when she turned 6 months old, and like you, I looked for the signs. I remember buying a potty with music and all, and when she was afraid to sit on it, even started giving her a bath on it, to make her comfortable with it. At 9 months, she eventually started sitting on the big potty with the help of the potty seat. You made me relive the old days with your post, Nayantara. Good luck to you with potty training and diaper weaning!

  8. I wasn’t aware of this particular terminology . I trained my daughter after she turned one and it seemed like a Herculean task but after 2 years some of the memories have faded away!

  9. I didn’t know of the term ‘Elimination Communication’ . But Mishti was trained for pee & potty very easily. I think there were 2 reasons: 1. She started speaking quite early. I think she must have been 1.5 years old . So communication became easy.
    2. I was at home with her and she started school only at 3 years of age.
    So most of the time we were at home and I could easily sense her behaviour .
    I always used a potty seat for her and so she had a habit of going to the washroom very early . I guess she must have been 1.5 years . So that helped me too. By the time she was 2 she was potty trained .
    I am glad that though I don’t know the terminology of new age parenting concepts , I did follow them and so it was easy for me to raise her in her infancy and toddler age.

  10. I haven’t heard the term “Elimination Communication” but I have heard of various methods of practicing it. A friend of mine just let her children run around the house naked for a few days and sleep the same way, it worked for her family and it didn’t take long. Another friend let his mother help train his child and she had that little one out of diapers in 3 days. Potty training is an interesting period of parenting.

    Letter E: https://writingiscommunication.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/eye-opener-the-space-between-bookstore-presented-by-a-to-z-100-word-stories/

  11. Very helpful article. I had raving success with EC until I messed it all up with a few regrettable mistakes. Now I’m struggling with toilet training and getting nowhere!

  12. Very unique term you have used and yes a very informative post! Thanks for the share!

  13. I needed this! My little one will turn two soon and I think he is ready for potty training. I try every now and then but for him, it’s like sitting on a joyride. Will have to make timely and sincere efforts. Thank you for sharing about EC. It’ll definitely come handy.

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