I first heard the term Elimination Communication while I was pregnant with my son Logan. I had read an article and thought “Well that will never work!”, but for some strange reason it stayed with me and I started to try it, just to see.
With EC, you are encouraged to listen to your baby and learn their cues for when they need to go. The best time to start is from birth to 3 months as this is when they best communicate that they need the toilet as they haven’t gotten used to having a wet/dirty nappy on but you can start at any age.
The cues can include;
- latching on and off when feeding
- getting jiggly
- crying or becoming more verbal
- becoming very still
At this point you then hold them over a sink/potty so they can relieve themselves.
Unconsciously, we probably started around 5 weeks old. I like Logan to have nappy free time and when I noticed he was getting grumpy, I would just pop a nappy on him and give him a feed. This would normally consist of him latching on and off for a few minutes and then settling down to eat and fall asleep. What I wasn’t realising was he was trying to tell me he needed the toilet.
Also after bathtime we would have skin-to skin while he fed and napped, and I started to notice that we never had any little accidents until he started to wake after his feed.
I consciously decided to really try EC after a really bad nappy rash outbreak. I went out and bought a potty and kids bed mats and cleared my schedule for a few days.
I started off just watching him and noticing what he did before he needed a wee. He had a few accidents and several changes of clothes but by the afternoon I had noticed a link between his grumpy wiggles and going for a wee; he had a desperation dance!
And if he wanted to poop then he would get smelly wind and become quite still. When I spotted the signs I would sit him on the potty for upto 3-4 minutes and sing a potty song (Twinkle Twinkle but adapted by me).
By the end of the day I had managed to get 4 wees in the potty and I was so happy. That was about 5 weeks ago now and while we are at home we are completely nappy free from when he wake up in the morning until bedtime, and his night time nappies are much drier too. I hope as Logan gets older, and I become more confident, we will be able to go nappyless when we go out.
It’s common to keep babies under 12 months in nappies as a back up as accidents happen still.
Elimination communication has been an eye opening experience for me and I wish it was something that was more common knowledge.
Have you tried Elimination communication.