Monday, October 06, 2008

Elimination Communication

I've been asked a few times what "EC" is.

ECing is essentially learning your child's potty signals and picking up on them. When you learn their signals, you can get them to a potty. Basically it's taking advantage of your Mom Sense. You know what I'm talking about: those times when you think, "She's probably going to poop soon," and sure enough, she does. Why not take advantage of that? We've been able to go whole days without a poopy diaper due to ECing (for example, yesterday). Less poopy diapers is always a plus.

ECing is NOT potty training. It might lead to earlier potty training, but it might not. There are ECers whose 3 year olds aren't potty trained and there are ECers whose 18 month olds are, just like everybody else.

Some people are really good at this. I know a mama whose 6 month old will give signals and wait to be put over a potty. We're not quite at that point. We're mainly at the "when she wakes up she usually goes potty, so let's put her on the potty" stage. But even that is great. She smiles on the potty and has a great time. At least she'll have a good relationship with the potty.

Sometimes you get them to a potty and they don't do anything. Sometimes you can't get them there in time. All of those things are ok. It's a learning experience for both of you. It'd be great to catch every elimination, but if not, it's not a big deal.

We spend some time every day without a diaper on Margaret. We'll play with her and try to notice if she gives signals before going potty. Signals can be a face, sound, muscle tension. Anything. I know when she was a newborn, she had a little cry meaning, "I'm going to pee soon."

ECing makes a lot of sense. I have one friend whose baby only poops once a week and when he does, it's a huge mess. They can see it coming all day. Why not just put the baby on the potty and prevent the mess?

Now, ECing doesn't always minimize the number of diapers you use. Sometimes she'll start going and then I get her to the potty and she finishes there. Then I need a new diaper. This can use up more diapers, but it's ok. I usually catch most poos, so at least there's less poopy diapers. :)

Notice the gold ring she's holding? I always give her a toy to help her go potty. It relaxes her.
The EC Store


  1. Margaret is just so stinkin' cute!!! I really like the EC idea more and more...maybe one of these days I'll get un-lazy and give it a go with my Ruby-booby.

  2. She looks so happy! Did you catch one in this photo? One time I caught a pee with Ravenna; I haven't done it much since because she isn't as easy to read as a newborn, but the naked time is a great idea. Maybe I will start doing more of this because it is better for the environment?

  3. Thanks, Heather. I was really curious and your presentation of the idea was a lot less confrontational than the others I read.

    You're right, I can see Soren getting ready to poop every time he does it ... and it's a big stinking mess. Maybe next time, I'll just rush him over the toilet! Would I have to get a little potty like you have?


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