Elimination Communication or EC, is responding to an infants cues to toilet. It can be done at any age, but is best to be started before 6 months of age. Starting can seem daunting, if it’s something you have considered i would recommend you start by educating yourself on the subject before embarking on your journey.
What will i need?
Parenting is an expensive job. But pottying doesn’t have to mean an expensive investment. You can use any of the following to ‘catch’ a wee or poop:
Muslin nappy or towel laid flat
Ceramic chamber pot
Your own toilet or sink
All are easy to wash or clean and are inexpensive to purchase, if you don’t already have them around your home.
When to start?
Starting at nappy changing time is a great time to try, as babies usually wee once the fresh air hits their bottom. So try holding baby upright over your vessel of choice to make your catch. After a feed or on waking are both great times too or could be added once you start.
What do i use between times?
There is no reason you shouldn’t use regular nappies and take them off when baby cues. Whilst it is easier to have an outfit that has easy access such a EC trousers or Flaparap nappies, there is nothing to say this is how it has to be. Elimination Communication doesn’t have to mean all or nothing.
How will i know when they need to go?
Babies get the urge to go as we do, so they will give off subtle clues by wiggling and squirming or even crying when they get the sensation. Poops are the easiest thing to tell at first as most babies grunt and strain quite loudly. If you are quick enough you should be able to get them on the potty if you undress them on the first cue.
If you watch you will see a pattern emerge on when they go. It may be after food or on waking. Even the act of squatting them will begin a signal to their brain that means ‘time to go’.
At what age can they sit on the potty?
Each child is different but its advised that you should hold you child securely supporting them upright until they gain a good amount of head and neck control. If you decide before this to use the potty you will need to hold your baby carefully ensuring you support their spine, head and neck.
Benefits to Elimination Communication
ECing has many great benefits such as less nappy rash, less waste to landfil and financially its far cheaper than purchasing nappies. You will also be responding to baby respectfully and helping to build a greater communication bond.
The book ‘Nappy Free Baby’ by Amber Hatch is a great place to start. It is a simple start-up book that gives a run-down on how to achieve EC at each age and stage. There are many people that teach both in-person and online about EC, Jenn Philpott of Born Ready does a range of online and offline courses in EC, which help you hit the ground running when looking to EC or to further your knowledge.