Friday, April 26, 2013

Elimination Communication

*Warning: Just about a baby pooping on the potty.  I have had a few people ask questions about it so thought I would share.**

We have been doing a part time sort of Elimination Communication (EC) for about 4 months now.  I think.  Had I known how easy it was, I would've started earlier.   I am NOT an expert and didn't read through a website to learn how to do it, I just followed my gut.

It all started because I noticed that like most babies, when she was upright in the jumperoo or the bouncy chair, that is when she would have a bowel movement.  So, why not do it on the toilet?  The gravity PLUS the bare bottom just made her go right away.   It was AMAZING and so cool.  And besides, in so many countries they can't afford diapers (or have access to them) so they do this from day one.  This is normal.
{Usually I hold her under the arm pits but I got Koen to help as I was taking a photo}

The benefits that we have found from doing it are:

1.  Fewer diapers.  She goes through a maximum of 3 (which will just have urine in them) per 24 hours.  This is cost saving and environmental saving.  This also includes wipes...very few used.  Pooping on the toilet is not messy for a baby and you just need one wipe afterwards (or could just use toilet paper).

2.  No diaper rash

3.  No constipation

4.  Better feeds (babies will often stop breastfeeding early if they need to go the bathroom) during the day.

5.  Great naps (babies will often wake up if they need to go to the bathroom OR have a hard time going to sleep).

6. I don't have to change a dirty diaper!  I think that in the past 2 months, there was just one day up at Green Lake where I had to.  Gross.  It's gotten to the point where I rarely think to bring a diaper or wipes with me when I go out.  I think I have a spare diaper in my purse but I'm not sure.

How do you do it? 
I only feel the desire to do it part time so you could definitely do way more to keep them dry all day.

After her morning feed (6:30am ish), I will put her on the toilet.  We have a toilet insert that makes it softer and more comfortable for her.  As a side note, she is now pretty dependent on sitting on the insert which is not ideal.  She will generally have a bowel movement within 1 minute.  I just hold her under her arms to support her as her bottom is so small, she would fall right in, even with the insert.

After each nap (two per day), I put her on the toilet and she will have another bowel movement or she will pee.  In most cases, if she goes down for a nap with a dry diaper, she will wake up with one too.   Babies can hold it while napping for up to two hours.

How do you know when they need to go?
For us, we just know the timing of her digestive system, she likes to go first thing in the morning!

However, when teething, she goes more frequently and I can tell if she does some small grunts while she is playing OR yesterday she didn't go to sleep for her nap so I put her on the toilet, she pooped and then went to sleep for her nap.

Peeing is more difficult to catch but usually right after nap is a good time.

Also, if a baby is feeding and will keep latching on and off, that is often a sign that they need to go.

What if she doesn't like sitting on the toilet?
She doesn't mind sitting there because she's used to it but there are times when she tries to get off.  She will arch her back, especially more lately as she doesn't like her high chair or car seat either.  Generally I will give her something to play with that she never gets to hold (a toothbrush, cup, shampoo botttle...whatever is there).  That keeps her occupied for the minute or two that we need.  If she has to go badly though, she will go right away.  Like the second she's sitting down.  Also, she likes it if I blow air on her belly or legs and sometimes that helps her to go.

What will happen potty training wise?
I have no idea if this will make it easier or harder but we will see!! I'm assuming easier since she's so used to it but who knows once she is able to walk there and do it herself.

If you have any questions, please ask!

PS You like all my teeth?! You better. They were a lot of work:) 


  1. i SO wish i'd done this with Thomas, and wish I'd started when Elliott was smaller! i've been potty training Thomas for almost a year, this would definitely have saved me a ton of time, i think!

    she's so cute! love all her teethies!

  2. Love the toothy grin! Maybe I'll do EC with Cole soon :) Hahaha!