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Embracing Elimination Communication for Stress-Free Potty Training
elimination communication
April 21, 2024

Are you starting your parenting journey and already dreading potty training? That's because, from day one, we inadvertently teach our babies to soil themselves, only to spend years unteaching this behavior later on. The booming diaper industry and societal norms perpetuate this cycle. But what if there was a better way? What if we could sidestep the frustration and tears often associated with traditional potty training methods?

Enter elimination communication (EC), a practice deeply ingrained in many cultures worldwide. It offers a gentle and intuitive approach to toilet training. In this blog post, we'll explore the transformative power of EC, drawing from my journey and experiences.

What is elimination communication?

Elimination communication, or EC, is a parenting approach where caregivers tune into their baby's natural cues and rhythms to facilitate their use of the toilet from an early age. Instead of relying solely on diapers, caregivers learn to recognize when their baby needs to be eliminated and provide opportunities for them to do so in a suitable place, such as a potty or toilet.

My Journey with EC:

I first stumbled upon elimination communication with the birth of my second child. Just 12 hours old, captured in the photo here, she surprised me by successfully using the potty for the first time. Inspired by this early success, I delved into the world of EC, guided by resources like Andrea Olson's "Go Diaper Free." I started with what Andrea calls "easy catches," offering the potty to my daughter every time she woke up, tapping into her innate ability to hold her pee until given the pottytunity, as Andrea says, to go.

Using a convenient top hat potty, I established a routine, offering potty opportunities after waking up and between feedings, noticing her tendency to poop halfway through a feeding. This proactive approach spared us countless diaper blowouts and messy clean-ups. By the time she reached 1.5 to 2 years old, daytime diaper use was a thing of the past, and she even held her pee overnight, a testament to the effectiveness of EC.

Benefits of Elimination Communication:

  1. Promotes Early Communication: EC fosters a deeper level of communication between caregiver and baby, laying the foundation for trust and understanding.
  2. Reduces Diaper Dependency: By offering regular potty opportunities, caregivers can reduce their reliance on diapers, leading to cost savings and environmental benefits.
  3. Supports Early Potty Independence: Babies who practice elimination communication often gain independence using the toilet at an earlier age, empowering them to take control of their bodily functions.
  4. Enhances Bonding: Enhances Bonding: Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of elimination communication is the opportunity it provides for bonding between caregiver and baby. The close interaction in EC strengthens the emotional connection, fostering a deep sense of security and attachment.

Part-Time EC:

It's important to note that elimination communication doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing approach. In my journey, I practiced EC part-time, catching opportunities when they made sense, and using diapers as backups. This flexible approach allowed me to integrate EC into our routine without feeling overwhelmed.

Lessons Learned:

In my journey with EC, I learned the importance of gradually transitioning away from diapers, especially overnight. By relying on backups for longer than expected, we experienced some regressions. Trust in your child's abilities and take steps to eliminate diapers when feasible, even overnight, to avoid setbacks in the potty training process.

Elimination communication (EC) offers a gentle and intuitive alternative to traditional potty training methods. It allows caregivers to tune into their baby's natural cues and rhythms. By practicing EC, caregivers can foster early communication, reduce diaper dependency, support early potty independence, and enhance bonding with their baby. Whether you practice EC full-time or part-time, the benefits are well worth the effort for many families.


  1. Go Diaper Free: A Simple Handbook for Elimination Communication by Andrea Olson
  2. The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative by Christine Gross-Loh
  3. "Elimination Communication: A Gentle Way to Respond to Your Baby's Needs" - American Academy of Pediatrics
  4. "Elimination Communication: Potty Training From Birth" - Mayo Clinic