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Our adventures in EC (elimination communication)

If you are reading this and wondering what in the world I am talking about, here is what elimination communication is.  EC is when the parent or other caregiver uses timing, signals, cues and intuition to tend to a childs need to eliminate waste (go potty).   
When Maggie was born, I decided to try EC with her at one point, but really didn’t follow through with it at all, and quickly gave it up completely.  
With Charlie, I figured I would give it a shot again.  I figured that since we are working on potty training with Maggie, I may as well take him to go too.  That, and I have a hard time finding a great nighttime solution for him so that he doesn’t wake up mad because he is wet, and I don’t wake up in wet sheets.  I also know that if I wait until he pees in the morning that half the time, the result is a leaky diaper for super pee’r boy.  Plus, if I am going to change him, only to have to change him again a half hour later, what is the point!  So I give him a few minutes in the morning to wake up, and then into the bathroom we go.  I was excited the first morning I tried with him and he actually peed in the toilet!  Way to go little dude!  Fast forward the rest of the day, we tried a few times, but it didn’t happen.  Next morning, he peed in the potty again!  Yay!  I could get use to this!!! 
Now, we go every morning, and we try to go every time he wakes up.  We have had some random luck hitting it at the right time, and just last night, John got to see Charlie go on the potty.  His first time going in the potty was at 3 months old!!!
Tonight, I was watching him because learning his cues is a big part of making this EC business work out for us.  Well, he made this little face, he got all serious suddenly, so I took him to the bathroom.  Guess what….he peed again in the toilet.  
So that is where we are at right now.  It’s going good.  I don’t take him into the bathroom as often as I would or should, but hey, I’m a busy mama.  We generally go do something every morning, so the mornings don’t work good for us except that first little bit when we wake up.  The little successes make me want to keep going with it.  While I LOVE my cloth diapers (ahem, I mean their cloth diapers), I’m okay with early potty training too!  
I’m thinking of writing a “how to” type of post on EC.  Would you be interested in reading it?  Have you ever tried this with your little ones?

10 Comments

  • We are awaiting a mini toilet for our son, and have also been doing a lot of diaper free time on a wool blanket trying to learn his cues. I would love to hear more about your ECing experience!

  • I’ve been (lazily) doing EC with my daughter. I put her on the potty when she wakes up (mornings and naps). We have had some good success. She likes to watch and giggle while she pees =)I have been catching her when she starts to poop and putting her on the toilet for that, but she got slashed the other day and it upset her pretty bad. I would love to read more about your journey with EC and hopefully pick up some tips!

  • Yeah I’d read it. I’d want a discussion on practicality though–no one seems to want to discuss that aspect. I’m with you, early potty training would be great. 🙂

  • I practiced part time EC with two of my children. I don’t think we could have done it full time since I had other children that also needed my time. I think the most important thing to glean from the EC experience is the attitude: catch what you can, don’t worry about the rest. I think my children greatly benefited from the idea that poop and pee go in the potty rather than teaching them to go only in their diapers for the first two years (or more) of their lives and then suddenly stress about them switching gears and going only in the potty at the age of two or three when they’re most likely to rebel simply for the sake of rebelling.

    Potty training my first two children was horrid and stressful. We didn’t practice EC with them. My part time EC’d babies were amazingly easy to potty train when the time came. I think it was a combination of their previous experience with the potty almost since birth and the fun of the Potty Parties we threw them that was a perfect combination.

    I now have a 7 week old baby girl and I absolutely plan on practicing EC with her. I’m simply going to potty her when I can and diaper her bottom in cute fluff when I can’t and not stress about any of it.

    I’d be interested to read up on your experiences with EC. Good luck and most of all have fun. 🙂

  • I would love to have you do more on this… I hadn’t heard of it until recently, or would have tried with my older four. But I have a 5 week-old now, and would love to try it with her. My kids always potty train on the early side, but my son was weird about potties and would only go on a little potty seat we had. So hauling it places with us was fun! :-/ I think he (and my sanity) would have benefited greatly if I had known about EC and done it with him!

  • Wow I didn’t know EC started so early! I really haven’t researched it but it in depth. It sounds like he knows to go on the potty in the morning, which is a great start! Since you do a combo of EC and cloth I’d definitely be curious if he starts to potty train a lot sooner than children exclusively in diapers. Good luck!

    • Hi Laura! Yes, EC can be started at birth. He got off to a great start. For awhile, he would go days without having a wet or poopy diaper. Then, I think me more than anything got lazy. Now we have been sluffing off, but we are finally starting to get back into the swing of things. Early this morning, he woke up and I knew he was dry and that I should go put him on the potty. INstead, I tried to get him to go back to sleep. Then, he peed. After we go up for the day, he went in and pointed at the potty so I helped him sit on it. He didn’t go and I know better than to let him down. It tends to take him a little time. Instead I let him down….5 minutes later, he pooped on my floor. He tells me and we still fail sometimes. Ugh! Be sure to check out the Elimination Communication tab at the top of the page and read the rest of my posts.

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