Starting Elimination Communication


A few days shy of her 4-week date, I held our baby girl’s butt over a potty chair for the first time and out came the all-knowing ass “SPLART!” I managed to catch all but two pees and half a poop this night and guess what? She slept soundly through the night and woke up with a bit of wetness and to then pee and poop the following morning. WTF am I doing, you may ask. I started what’s called elimination communication with our infant. Elimination communication isn’t what you may think it is. It’s not “potty training” a newborn nor is it “diaper free time.” It has elements of each but elimination communication is actually just an extension of my (sometimes failed) attempt at peaceful parenting.

TheLaotianCommotion.com: Starting Elimination Communication

Elimination communication (EC) is when the caregiver (it is I) responds to their baby’s (that’d be Lanoy’s) elimination needs (i.e., when they need to pee or poop) rather than let them just go in a diaper. I guess it’s more like ‘potty training‘ the adult, who has to learn the baby’s elimination behavior. When this trust is instilled between parent and child, the baby will continue to communicate this trust and will associate their elimination needs with a potty and their parent to help them. EC is a practice that is used in hunter-gatherer societies or less industrialized areas where diapers are unheard of, unnecessary, or unavailable. A couple vain benefits of EC is avoiding the hassle of potty training at a later (perhaps more difficult) age and less waste of diapers (disposable and cloth, alike). While those are awesome reasons for EC, the important one is the deep level of understanding in a parent-child bond. This blog wouldn’t be this blog if I just didn’t want to deal with pull-ups in a couple years though.

I am no potty expert as I am testing out her cues and signals just as I am learning my intuition with a newborn’s behavior. So far, it’s just me getting the idea that after she breastfeeds and doesn’t fall asleep, she will need to pee after a few minutes. It’s also me recognizing that those adorable little grunts and leg kicks are precursor to her next assplosion. It’s also me making sure I don’t get it all over the walls, myself, or her. It’s all a learning process for everybody and that’s exactly what elimination communication means- learning more about your child’s needs as a basic element of active parenting.

TheLaotianCommotion.com: Starting Elimination Communication with newborn

Please expect much more detailed posts about our EC journey (including Humnoy) in the future so make sure to follow the blog!

How do you handle your kid'(s) elimination needs?

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23 thoughts on “Starting Elimination Communication

  1. I think this is awesome. I had wanted to do it with my #1, but when I held her over the bowl she screamed and didn’t poop for 11 days. So that kinda freaked me out and I never went back to it. Kudos and bravo to you for some EC success right off the bat! That’s awesome!

    • Awww, it’s been going great so far. There are hit and misses (both literally and metaphorically) with it complete with a tired mama and frustration but we’re still learning. πŸ™‚

      the thing I love about EC is that it can be done at any age! Definitely try again, if you’re still interested in exploring it.

  2. Assplosion! That is awesome.
    I haven’t started EC with AMos yet, but I’m working on an update post about Malachi’s EC so far. I didn’t start with Malachi till about six weeks, and Amos is six weeks now so I guess I better get on it! Especially when cloth diapering, any diaper I don’t have to clean out is completely worth a trip to the potty!

  3. WHen my kids were babies, I didn’t know about this. Then I was skeptical and ignorant. Today I know I’d be all over this stuff if I had another child. “Elimination Communication” sounds so clinical and yet you have so simply identified several awesome aspects of it – it makes for a more confident parent/child relationship, it is less messy and less drama really, and like you say – it fosters connection. I’m so happy to read this, this morning. Good luck!

  4. I’m really interested in hearing more about this project πŸ™‚ I’m not home during the day so we couldn’t try it, but I appreciate your explanation of the process!

  5. Hey there. I EC’d with Bean beginning at 3 weeks when I was on maternity leave and it was a pretty fun experience. I was a bit skeptical at first but it made so much sense after the first few catches. I was surprised when my husband and even my mom and brother wanted to try. It was definitely a good idea to introduce the potty early on. Now that he’s 18months he goes through potty protests but he knows what it’s for. I strongly believe that if I didn’t have to go back to work :/ and could have continued to EC full time (instead of switching to part time) we may just be out of diapers now. It’s really a fun journey. Will you also EC on the go? What does Homnoy think of this process? Can’t wait to hear more about the journey.

  6. I’m so happy that you’re writing about your experiences with this. I didn’t do this with Fae (I hadn’t yet heard of it) but I’m planning on using ec with our future babies and have a lot to learn.

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