Elimination Communication

What is Elimiation Communication and Diaper Free?

Whatever you want to call it is a gentle, natural, non-coercive process by which a baby, preferably beginning in early infancy, learns with the loving assistance of parents and caregivers to communicate about and address his or her elimination needs. This practice makes conventional potty training unnecessary.

EC’ing families experience first-hand what families in traditional cultures around the world have known for centuries:

When can you Start EC?
You can start EC from birth, and to be honest I wish I had with Isabelle, but its never to late and were going to throw ourselves into it now.  We started EC with Isabelle around 9 months.

Issy diaper_9 months

Issy doing her poo by herself unassisted on the Potty at 9 months. ( I wish we had have started at birth – lucky were going to have one more!)

Does this mean you don’t use diapers at all?
A Diaper Free Baby celebrates the ability of babies to be “free” from (not dependent on) diapers and does not require or expect all families to avoid the use of diapers altogether rather using clothing and/or diapering system that best allows them to pursue communication about the child’s elimination needs.

As we do it part-time. That is when we are at home we do diaper free. We use diapers at night and when we are out.

What is EC Clothing?
There are a few options you can go for

Slit pants and Leggings I decided to go with Leggings for now! And have purchased a set of four to get Issy and I started!


Hug-a-Lugs are great to keep your bubs legs warm when nappy free.  I also use big girl pants on Issy at home if its a bit cold by Bright Bots ( these have a little plastic in the crotch so its a little uncomfortable if baby pees or poos – which can help when teaching bubs to communicate.

EC clothing websites:

So how does it all work?

Timing, Cues, Signs and Signals

The timing catches are easy to get, are regular times, such as when she wakes up and after feeds or at nappy changes.

The cue is the “sss psss” sound that lets your baby know when to go pee. The position is also a cue, as is running water. And the Erghhh erghh is the sounds we use for Poo.

The signals come later when the baby can indicate with a voluntary action that he needs to go, such as moving towards the toilet place, using sign language, and later, speech.

Intuition is when you get the feeling baby needs to go, and they do! This comes with experience as a combination of timing and subconscious awareness of subtle behaviors and a sense between mother and child

RESOURCES… One of the best books to get you started is…

Diaper Free! The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer

Website Resources to check out on Elimination Communication inlcude

  • www.tribalbaby.org – a detailed account of one Australian family’s Nappy Free journey, every single step of the way. This is such a fantastic resource.
  • NappyFree.com.au – An Australian site with a great DVD on Elimination Communication. They have a gorgeous  DVD as well which you can check out the trailer here..
  • www.pottywhisperer.com – An American 2-disk informational DVD set covering all the basics of infant pottying, including how it works, how to get started, techniques and tactics, medical and professional opinions, contributions from parents, and resources.

Book and DVDs