Use elimination communication (EC) to help your baby stay clean and dry. Human babies are as smart as animal babies – they know when they need to go!
EC is also called infant potty training, natural infant hygiene, and diaper free. It’s about listening to your baby’s cues for elimination needs – with or without diapers.
Here’s a video of me and my fourth baby, Galen, when he was 5 days old:
I’ve kept journals or logs as I’ve used elimination communication with our last four babies. Click here for a list of each journal entry (opens in a new tab).
People the world over care their baby’s elimination needs without diapers. They even do it without the baby wetting or soiling everything!
This natural way of caring for your baby also brings the baby and you in tune with each other. It’s a powerful way to connect with your baby and it’s simple to get started.
Babies are very responsive to having “potty help.” They’re aware of elimination, despite what you’ve been told. Babies are intelligent and learn to go where parents and other caregivers teach them – if they haven’t been trained to use diapers!
You can begin to observe your baby’s elimination communication signals right from birth. It’s much the same as watching for hunger cues.
You can also begin later than that – I started with my own Cassidy around 6 months old, and other families have started even later. You can consider EC’ing up until your baby is 18 months old or so. Then you’re in early potty training territory (which can also be done respectfully and successfully).
Rely on timing in relation to feeding in the early days of discovering your baby’s signals. You can give a vocal cue, such as a gentle “ssssss” sound when you notice your infant eliminating.
Babies can learn to use the big potty, a small potty seat, sinks, or small containers designated for their use. They will even come to understand that the position you hold them in means “potty time!”
Your baby goes potty in a container – be that a toilet, a child’s potty, or a small bowl. Even the sink or the great outdoors will work! You simply flush away your baby’s waste without another thought.
No need to carry diapers around or worry about finding a clean changing table. You just EC while you’re out. Of course, you can still have your baby in diapers when you go out. Offer the potty when you’re at a clean restroom, or just explain to the baby that the diaper is fine to use. You may just come home with dry pants!
Your baby stays clean. He doesn’t have to sit in urine and he doesn’t have to have his own waste smeared all over him. You can wipe your baby with toilet paper, give a quick swipe with a wipe, or do a quick rinse under running water – and that’s it!
Surely soft cotton diapers are more comfortable than paper and plastic disposables. But no diaper at all is the most comfortable. Your baby is free from wetness and waste and has no uncomfortable bulk between his legs or belly.
Some mothers have noticed that their babies spit up less when diaper free and seem more content in general.
It’s much more comfortable for a baby to use the bathroom when held in a gentle squatting position than when in a diaper. Imagine trying to go to the bathroom when sitting on the floor, or when lying down!
Time for your baby to walk? Getting up and going with no diaper between his or her legs is good for posture, stride, and hip development!
Even nighttime and naptimes can be comfy, diaper free experiences with a little planning if that’s what fits your family!
Elimination communication is a natural way to respond to your baby’s elimination needs. It’s deeply satisfying to keep your baby clean, dry, and rash-free. It helps build an intense bond with your little one. It’s respectful of your baby’s innate intelligence. And, remember, you can always use diapers as back-up… we do 😉
(NOTE: Want proven, practical strategies to make elimination communication work for you? Use these 5 proven techniques to connect when your baby and have EC success! Get them here.)