Elimination Communication Potty Training


Elimination Communication

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Elimination communication-what is it?

Children in many countries of the world learn to use the toilet on their own before age 2 and even earlier, but why not in America? The technique used to potty train children at these early ages is being called elimination communication here in America and industrialized nations. This term, elimination communication was  inspired by the traditional use of diaper-less baby care in less industrialized nations.

The terms elimination communication and natural infant hygiene were created by Ingrid Bauer and are used interchangeably in her book, Diaper Free! The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene .  Bauer observed during her travels to India and Africa that mothers carried their babies with no diapers without their babies having accidents. She observed what these mothers did and later she used the techniques on her own children and later began to share the diaper-less approach with other mothers and child care providers. Conscious Toilet Training written in 1979 by Laurie Boucke, also documented the diaper-less life for infants.  Elimination communication is also viewed as a way to meet infants’ needs. It depends greatly on observing cues, signals, timing and changes in your baby’s behavior.

What are the benefits of elimination communication?

The benefits of elimination communication are it decreases families’ dependence on disposable diapers which reduces the environmental problem of discarding disposable diapers in landfills. It reduces the cost of washing cloth diapers and saves families money. Elimination communication babies are also free from health issues such as diaper rash and skin yeast infections from wet diapers.

What are the negatives for elimination communication?

The negatives for  elimination communication according to Dr. Thomas B. Brazelton, is that it would not work in conventional  industrialized nations as the mothers return to work after babies are born and there is lack of daily close contact with babies that is needed for the elimination communication to work.  Most conventional training advice is based on research by Dr. Thomas B.  Brazelton. He promotes the readiness approach.  He supports that the readiness age for potty training is between 18 months to 2 years of age. He says that a child should be ready for potty training so as not to cause psychological damage or guilt for the parents if the child does not do well with potty training.

Other negatives is EC takes too much time and patience. Naps and travel can be difficult while using elimination communication because parents have to be in tune with cues, and signals of their baby while being preoccupied with travel activities.

What are parents saying?

Elimination communication potty training also called diaper-less or diaper-free toilet training is one of the trends today in potty training. Many parents participating in this method contend that this method is no more difficult than the conventional readiness method of potty training. EC parents say they save money and feel closer to their children because they learn to observe their needs closely and meet them.

P.S. Do you think children can be potty trained from birth and before age 1?

Is elimination communication practical?

Would you give elimination communication potty training a try and be diaper-free?

Please leave your thoughts in our comment section.

Learn more. Try diaper- free for your child.




10 Replies to “Elimination Communication Potty Training”

  1. Maxon Jackerson says:

    When it comes to potty training, there are so many different methods and approaches that parents can choose from. It’s always interesting to learn about these different approaches and how they can benefit both the child and the parent. Thank you for provides a step-by-step guide for parents like me who are interested in trying elimination communication, which is a less conventional approach to potty training. The guide is very helpful and provides me with a clear understanding of how to begin the process, what to look out for, and how to adjust to my child’s individual needs.

    1. Thanks so much for reading my post. I am glad it was helpful to you and that you are going to apply this approach with your child. Best wishes for your success. Just remember it takes a lot of time and patience. 🙂

  2. I can see how this would be difficult in countries like America as a lot of women go to work during the day.  I am honestly surprised that at this point there isn’t any diaper technology to potty train babies. 

    What is the earliest that you think a kid can be potty trained?

    1. Thanks for taking time to read and comment on my post. I think you can start early with some and not with others. One of my children started at 12 months and the other three around 18 months. It depends if they can communicate with you through words or facial expressions. It takes time though and lots of observation.

  3. Delois, this is a very interesting article. I have heard of this before and was instantly a no for me. While others find it no harder than traditional potty training, I feel as though I don’t have time to constantly watch for cues from my child. So this wouldn’t work for me. But I will say that it must be very nice for those that can do it because of all of the money they can save. Have you ever used this method personally?

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for checking out my article on EC. Yes, it does take time and observation.It’s not for everyone. If you grew up with a culture that did EC, it would be normal and easy because everyone did it. I started potty training my sons at 18 months. My daughter around 12-16 months. She seemed to learn faster and was easier to toilet train. She caught on quickly. I didn’t know about EC when my children were growing up. I did notice when they had to make a bm. They had different behaviors but going to “pee” was a little harder to discern. I think if I knew about EC back when mine were little, I would have given it a try. Whatever works best for a family, early or later potty training,though, I think is what matters most.

  4. Delois,

    This is an interesting approach and one I may try in due time. My newborn is now almost 5 months old. In your article, the EC method is only for 18 months onwards, right? I like the idea that this can reduce/eliminate diaper usage, which is definitely more environmental friendly and helps parents save money in the process. In her first month, my little one was soiling her diapers about 8 times a day. Whew…talk about diaper changing.

    1. Hi Jude,

      Thanks for checking out my post and commenting. Most EC families start at birth and on with the training. Some start regular potty training after 18 months. Watch the videos posted on YouTube by Go Diaper Free. The mom in the videos started when her children were very young infants. All the best. 🙂

  5. Delois,
    Really enjoyed your article on elimination communication as an option for potty training. I am glad you mentioned that one of the reason’s why people are interested in this is because it helps cut down on the number of disposable diapers in landfills. It’s truly mind boggling to think of the number of diapers that fill out landfills.
    Being the father of 2 girls that are 15 and 18 means my diaper days are way back in the rear view mirror. That being said I remember those days quite vividly and that includes the amount of stuff that needs to be packed and carried simply to be ready to change a diaper. Sheesh!Here’s to hoping more new parents embrace the elimination communication method.
    Mat A.

    1. Thanks Mat for stopping by my site and checking out my post on EC. I think this method is a great way to help with reducing waste and also helping parents to know their children better. Parents really have to notice little changes in behavior, cues and connect with their children’s needs. I’m sure as more interest in EC occurs, there will develop adaptations to get EC to work for the busy lifestyles in more industrialized nations.

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