What is Elimination Communication?

Baby Held in Classic EC Position

Elimination Communication (AKA Infant Potty Training or Infant Potty Learning) is a method of communicating with your baby in order to get pee and poop in the potty. Parents and care providers who practice Elimination Communication (EC) learn to respond to their baby’s signals and natural timing for pee and poop in the same way that they would respond to their baby’s need for food, sleep, or other forms of care. Babies also learn to respond to sound cues from their care providers when they are offered a “potty-tunity.”

Most families who practice EC with their 0-18 month old baby still use a diaper as a backup, but by offering the potty regularly, they help maintain their baby’s natural born instinct and desire to not soil themselves, their bed, or their care providers.

Elimination Communication can be practiced full-time or part-time, during the day or at night, depending on each family’s unique situation.

Benefits of EC include:

  • Reducing the number of disposable diapers and amount of human waste in landfills
  • Reducing the time and water, needed to wash cloth diapers
  • Reducing the money spent on disposable diapers
  • Reducing diaper blow-outs and butt cleaning
  • Reducing the frequency of diaper rash by allowing more diaper-free time and less time sitting in one’s own waste (ew!)
  • Developing a different kind of special relationship between baby and care provider

Elimination Communication is the original method of working with babies to get their pottying needs met.

What is the difference between Elimination Communication and Early Potty Training?

The primary difference between Elimination Communication and Early Potty Training is whether a diaper is used, either as a backup or as a learning tool. In EC, a diaper is used. In Early Potty Training, we say goodbye to the diaper forever (at least while the child is awake). The other major difference has to do with the child’s mobility and motor skills. An EC baby relies more on their parent or caretaker to get them to the potty and remove their clothes, whereas the potty training toddler is working on the necessary skills to be fully independent.

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Man holding an earth globe in his hands. Earth image provided by NASA.
Man holding an earth globe in his hands. Earth image provided by NASA.