Thursday, 1 May 2014

Baby-Led Potty training

I have been wanting to share our love for Baby-led Potty Training with you for a while, and what better time to do this than the EC Awareness week (28th April to 4th May)?
I first found out about Elimination Communication (EC) on this website well before Finn was even conceived. I became fascinated by it and I was lucky that I didn't need to convince my partner to give it a try as he saw it as the most natural way, just like I did.
Two weeks after Finn was born, I removed his trousers and nappy and laid him on a towel on the floor. I sat with him and observed. A minute later, he started wriggling and making "eh eh" sounds. Then he did a wee. That was all I needed to do to know that when I heard that sound, he was about to wee! We also noticed that, from birth, he would always grunt while passing faeces. So naturally, when we heard him grunting, his nappy came off and he was held over a potty.
In the next months, most of his poos and half his wees went into the potty. I really felt like my baby could communicate with me and I was able to respond to him. I felt empowered as a mother and ecstatic that my baby did not have to soil himself.
When Finn was about 7 months, we started going to the wonderful Nappy Free baby workshops where we met like minded parents. Finally, I wasn't the only one!
Have you ever dressed your baby with a nappy OVER their trousers? I cut the crotch off of the trousers so we didn't have to take them off to use the potty and put the nappy on top for backup and warmth!
We were always day-ECers but one night, as Finn was 8 months old, we had a big surprise. He cried and cried, and when we realised his nappy was dry, we sat him on the potty. He did a big wee and went back to sleep. That's how he taught himself to be dry at night. I can't remember many night time accidents since that day! He actually stopped wearing nappies at night many months before he (or we!) was (were) ready to give them up during the day.
We decided to switch to training pants when Finn was 15 months old. By the time he was 19 months, he was always able to communicate his needs with us and never had an accident.
Have you tried Baby-Led Potty Training (EC) with your child? How did it work for you? Please share!


  1. This is so encouraging. Our experience has been very similar! He is 8 months now and does wake up to feed with his diaper dry but I only take him at night if he needs to poop. I don't want him to wake up and have a hard time going back to sleep. Maybe I'm being selfish?

    Today after his bath, I had to do a few things so I was carrying him naked. He started to pee like maybe 3 drops came out and then he caught himself and held it till I finished what I was doing, locked the door, walked all the way to the bathroom and put him on his potty. I was really amazed. I just bought him training pants.

    Please tell me how the crotchless pants work. Does he stand to pee?

    1. Nduoma, thank you for your comment. I had so many selfish moments at night when he wriggled because he was uncomfortable and I was telling him to go back to sleep even though I knew he needed a wee (I ALWAYS ended up getting up anyway). In the end, he fell back asleep super quickly after he had had a wee. It was just really hard for me to get up!

      So few people would believe that an 8 month old baby can hold their wee! Definitely follow his lead if you can. I regret not switching for training pants earlier with Finn as he was ready before I was!

      Crotchless pants, or split pants ( have overlapping flaps in the crotch area that open up when the baby is in a crouching position. There are some patterns online to make them yourselves, or do like me and just cut off a slit or opening in old pairs of pants. Finn only just learnt to stand for wees, before that he would always sit on the potty.

      Good luck!

  2. Thank you for this post, Elsa - how interesting! I had no idea that you were ECers! I read two EC books before Elise was born, but then after she was born, I was too overwhelmed to try it! I didn't even feel brave enough to try cloth diapers until she was 4 months old!!! I did try to be aware of when she was peeing or pooping from the very beginning, though - if she peed I made a "sssss" sound and if she pooped, I would grunt. In the end, this actually helped a lot with toilet learning because long before Elise could say "pee" or "poop," she was able to make the sound effects to tell me what was going on. If we ever have another baby, I think I will feel more confident trying EC. You've inspired me!

    1. Oh yes, EC can certainly be daunting! What I love about EC is tha you can take in as much information as you are able to handle at that moment in your life, and it will always be beneficial for your child. For example, I didn't have the courage to do it at night (before Finn forced me!) or outside the house for the first year or so. There was even a period of a few months when it was cold and he was learning to walk, when we had a long EC pause. It didn't really matter in the end. Any amount of time that you spend trying to communicate with your baby about their elimination needs is beneficial! And I will also feel more confident at EC with a second baby, I'm sure.


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