Elimination Communication

opinion 1
Has anyone here tried or worked with a family that uses Elimination Communication? This is new to me and I want to know if any nannies have experienced toilet training in this manner.


Laura said...

My aunt tried this with my cousin when she was little and I remember her saying how much work it is. You have to be able to pay a LOT of attention to the infant. If you had other duties with the baby's family (i.e. something more than just basic cleaning and organizing), it could be quite difficult.

MissMannah said...

I wouldn't be able to do it. I am a big believer in child-led potty training. I once had a phone interview with a very nice woman and was all ready to set up an in-person interview when she tacked on the kicker at the end of the call: "Oh by the way, we're currently potty training our 5-month-old." She actually said potty training, not even elimination communication! I politely told her we would not be a good fit and cracked up laughing as soon as I hung up. I just don't see how it is effective.

Bethany said...

I never have and I don't think I could do EC. Seems extremely complicated, and like Mannah I'm not certain how beneficial it is to the child.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I have never heard of this, but am quite interested to know what this means.

Can anyone tell me?


Pacificnorthwestnanny said...

I have worked with a family who followed the ec method and it was amazing! It made sense to me that babies don't want to sit in a poopy or wet diaper and that actually as responsive , sensitive caregivers we can pick up on lots of signs, including when they need to go! It does require time and patience and a very relaxed attitude. As a nanny you will need to anticipate that it will take time to build your relationship and bond with the child. I would also suggest you read up on ec to see whether it is a philosophy that appeals to you. If you really don't like the idea it will make the job more uncomfortable. From my own experience I have to say that fewer diaper changes and less poop adventures were a massive plus when working with my ec charge! Let me know if you have any more questions!

UmassSlytherin said...

I agree with Miss Mannah. I believe a child will train when ready. It worked for my child. I did not push her or stress her out in any way, and she is trained now.

Katie said...

I don't have personal experience with this, but my understanding of it is it's not so much training the child as it is training the adult to read cues.

You can use no diapers or diapers sometimes.

OceanBlue said...

This is interesting to me! I've done or done it or heard of it.

But when you think about it diapers are more convenient for the caregiver
The baby doesn't give a shit either way it will come out.

Maybe we're putting uneeded stress on a child by requiring them to wear diapers and then at some point child led or not we take them away .

That said I couldn't do it. I care for twins, and I know their signs for things very well, but I don't think I would get uch done during the day.

UmassSlytherin said...

It is not just that diapers are more convenient, they are more sanitary. You can't just have your baby peeing and pooping all over the market or the bank or wherever normal people need to go and wait in line.

Disposable diapers are a great invention. We should be thankful for them.

Susannah said...

From what I know about it and I'll admit it's not much ( maybe Pacificnanny can tell us more)

The kid just doesn't go anywhere. You place them over the toilet, a bowl, or a cloth. The kid just doesn't crap everywhere.

Thus the need to be hypersensitive to the baby or child's signs that they need to elimnate.

It's also a fairly coomon practices in other parts of the world.

It's not for me and I wouldn't be in to training that way.

I do think it's interesting and an option for those willing to try.

Claire said...

I don't post much, but I'd thought I'd chime in here as I have some experience with EC.

I once worked for a family that practiced this.

Basically the ideas is that babies by instic need to relieve themseleves and they like other living animals try to avoid sitting in their own waste.

Babies know when their going. If you've cared for a little one you know the signs they give when they are going or about to go. You watch like you would if you were going to feed the baby . Instead of watching for signs of hunger you watch for signs that baby is going to poo or pee. You get to kow whent they typically do, and prepare with a cloth, bowl, potty seat, or right over the toilet.
When they do you make a noise/or say a word so they come to associate the action with the noise or word and go.

I worked for the babies cared for both were on potty regular before than turned 2. They weren't stressed.

As far as being unsanitary it's no worse than using diapers or training pants. Kids have a funny way of getting crap in strange places. If it happens you just clean it up same as you would if a kid peed his pants in a store.

I don't I honestly don't think there's anything wrong with it.

It's just not common here like homebirth so folks wig at the idea.

I don't have kids yet but I would be open to trying it when I do.

UmassSlytherin said...

When you have kids, you come back and tell us how that works for you. And if you are going to have a full time nanny, bring her as well.

Aries said...

Just My Two Cents-
You do not know what this means and you are a nanny?

You must be stupid.

You suck! said...

I guess we can add ARIES to ISYN's most hated list. Picking on Just My Two Cents Just Now? Man, she's one of the sweetest posters here. What a little snot you are Aries.

MissMannah said...

Umass, I would have to disagree with you that disposable diapers are a great invention. I have used cloth diapers and plan to with my own children and it makes me wish disposables had never been invented. Those things are truly unsanitary. Think about it: where does poop belong? In the toilet or in the trashcan in the baby's bedroom?

One thing I don't understand about elimination communication is naptime. That's when Baby C poops most often, so how is she supposed to communicate her need to poop to me? Do yall just put a diaper on the baby during nap and if so, doesn't that defeat the purpose? Also, there is a lot of emphasis from the EC crowd that the baby doesn't want to sit around in her own waste. Well, tell me what good caregiver allows that?

bostonnanny said...

I totally love cloth diapers and hate disposable but I'm hippy dippy. I think putting toxic products on an infant is horrible and diapers have tons of chemicals. You save a ton on cloth diapers and for me the environmental impact is huge. Then again, I make all my own cleaning products, buy locally grown and try to make all my food from scratch so going cloth shouldn't be a surprise. I would def attempt EC with my own children assuming I could be a stay at home mom. It's very common practice in most parts of the world. China makes toys that double as potties, most south/central American cultures do it as well.
I def can't wait to have children, ppl will think I'm crazy because I plan on having a home birth, never using bottles or sippy cups, Never owning a crib, rocker, swing, bouncing seat or play mat or any battery operated plastic toys.

Penny said...

This is such a waste of time! Lets get real Elimination Communication is a fancy word for potty training infant babies. It's ridiculous to even try! It's one thing to use disposable or cloth diapers but the start the training from day one is crazy! There are bigger issues in raising a child than teaching a 5month old to potty train. I have a friend who had little experience with babies and was hell bent on using the EC method, as soon as her baby was born she started to understand that was the least of her worries and pitched that EC method in the trash! I am with UMass on this one wait till you have two kids and you will see this is a headache! I could understand using the EC method if your were a caveman or lived in rural Asia where bathrooms are almost non exisitant but we have technology at our fingertips why not use it! Now I'm not advocating kids wear diapers until they are 8 but let babies be babies for heavens sakes!

leftcoastmama said...

I was an EC mom with my first child.

It's not easy.

We weren't as hardcore as some. We put cloth diapers on if we were going to be out for a long period of time.

At nap time we did a loose swaddle with a cloth diaper between her legs.

We didn't continue with the second because we were in the process of gigantic move at the time of his birth .

The third had to stay in the NICU for the start of his life.

The last two weren't EC from the start but we used a modified version on them.

If I were to have a 4th I would go for it again.

Last I read some 50% of the world's children and thus 50& of the worlds parents do this. It's just not common in American culture.

It's not something that's wrong or right.

It doesn't mean you are more or less of a parent.

It's just a choice it works for some and not for others.

leftcoastmama said...

I'm also a homebirth advocate.

Two of my little ones were born that way.

I'm not saying every woman on earth should have a homebirth.

I do think it's a great option for those that want it.

I'm also a huge fane of hospitals as without them my youngest wouldn't be here.

@boston, you sound a lot like me in my younger years. My friends & family used to call me the crunchy hippie.

Some things went as planned others didn't. Just stay flexible and don't feel guilty if your ideas change a bit along the way.

Phoenix said...

okm to the poster who said that this method was good as it made both the kids be potty trained by age of 2.

Well so what? My family uses conventional disposable diapers and we have all the kids potty trained between 12 - 15 months. so how is this complicated method of training more effective? Seems less so in reality

it is only beneficial for people who can't afford disposable diapers. and for people who have all the time in the world. people used to use cloth diapers but that was it. They didn't go this far.

this kind of stuff is insane and just another new kick for wacko parents to be freaky over.

leftcoastmama said...

It isn't new!

Is it so hard for you to disagree with something without resorting to name calling, Phoenix?

No I don't think it should be a requirement.

No I don't think I'm a better mother because I did it.

It's something my husband and I did because we wanted to, it made sense to us, and worked for us.

If someone else wants to use disposables or cloth, or EC have at it. It's their life and their kids.

Phoenix said...

I know the method isn't new.

I'm talking about it being a new trend that people gripe about telling other parents they are better because they do it. Like the whole beef about corn syrup. Its sugar from corn. Its not bad unless you give it to your kids in mounds and let them sit in a stationary spot for the rest of their life.

leftcoastmama said...

To the author of this post:

Go online there is plethora of information on the topic.

Research, that way you can be informed and decide if this is something you are willing to try or not.

Are you already working for these parents?

If you are, would they be ok with using diapers while the baby is with you? would they be open to using another method?

If you are already working for them, and this isn't something you're comfortable with don't be afraid to be honest with the family.

leftcoastmamma said...

There i always a buzz about something. I suppose that is part of the business of being human.

I'll give you that some people jump on every new thing they hear which in my opinion isn't very wise and potentially dangerous.

We like to take out time and research things and if it makes sense to us and what we value, and works for our lives we go with it.

UmassSlytherin said...

I respect your opinion, mannah. But I say "Yay disposable diapers!"

I think the elimination communication thing sounds pretty crazy.

Katie said...

So I had far too much free time today and did some quick research on this.

There seems to be two camps:

Camp A: Parents who really believe in this method and are doing so because they believe it's best for them and their family.

Camp B: Parents who want to be cool and trendy and brag about training their baby at 5 months.

I will say it's very interesting , but there's no way in hell I would consider doing it.

More power to you if you go that route!

bostonnanny said...


Yeah, i have some fairly strong ideas of how i'm going to raise my children but I know when reality hits it might not go exactly has planned. I'm hoping to be able to do everything but won't be upset if i have to modify a few things.

MissMannah said...

Yay, thanks for posting a picture, Bostonnanny! You are so cute! I agree with you for the most part on parenting practices--I'm kind of moderately hippy dippy. I started out making my own cleaning products a long time ago because I'm so allergic to many chemicals and I think it snowballed from there. And I am totally with you on the no battery-powered toys--and absolutely no toys or clothes with cartoon characters. I hate that crap! The only thing I can't wrap my head around is home birth--too scared to try that the first time around. Maybe if all goes well I might consider it for the second one.

UmassSlytherin said...

Dora the Explorer's mother had a home birth.

Phoenix said...

boston you look like my cousin. Waaay sexy mama!

I love it!

my husband has been the one to outline most of his parenting ideas and i don't agree with some of his ideas but that is really not my call. so i just support him

Britney said...


Why would you call out "Two Cents" and call her stupid just because she doesn't know what EC is. Geez...that was uncalled for. Not everyone knows what it is.


anon mom said...

I'm with you Britney. It's really sad that a person, who was only being honest about not knowing what something was, had to get flamed.

I'm sure there was a time when Aries had to ask was EC was and I very seriously doubt anyone called her stupid.

Being a nanny is a learning process and I applaud Two Cents for being open and honest, that just shows me she's a great nanny.

UmassSlytherin said...

I had never heard the term before, myself. Trolls are irritating. Just ignore them.

bostonnanny said...

I also didn't know that EC was the term used for this practice.

Thx Phoenix and missmannah, glad I'm part of the cool kids club with my new account and pic :)

Interesting said...

This all sounds very interesting. As nurses we are taught to not potty train til 18 months as your body is only ready then. I guess from what I am reading EC is simply when you look for a child's cue that e has to go and then you provide them with a potty or something? So perhaps then it does not contradict the 18 month rule? I would probably like to do something like this around 6-9 months. I am a firm believer in being potty trained under 2 yrs as well. Great question OP!

erica said...

I wonder how 'stupid' Aries feels now with so many coming forward that didn't know about EC. And here comes a nurse! Thanks you guys, you rock! lol

Interesting said...

Oh Erica, so many people think they know it all. Including me sometimes. Don't allow people to make you feel bad. Aries sounds a bit childish if you ask me. It's not something I know much about but I look forward to learning about those cues. I would think if your child had a rash and we were able to teach parents the signs of EC that it could possibly help aid the healing of a rash as baby is not over exposed to stool and urine. Everything in life has its benefits.

erica said...

Interesting, I like you! I'm sure you made quite a few people few better with your post! :)

erica said...

Sorry, lol... meant to say -

"made quite a few people FEEL better!"

Where's that delete button when you need it? :)

Phoenix said...

I actually didn't know what EC was. When I first read the title of the post I thought it had something to do with acutal oral communication, LOL.

I was like, 'how can you parent a child eliminating communication!?'

boy did I feel stupid. LMFAO

you learn new things everyday

Dr. Juris said...

My little brother was potty trained by a year old, and he wanted to potty train. I hadn't heard the 18 month rule, Nursie :), but I'd wager to say it's based on the child.

On a different tangent, I get extremely irritated when parents are too damn lazy to potty train their children. (I realize some kids don't want to potty train, but I didn't want to eat my vegetables and my mom still made me do that, lol.)

Leah said...

I very loosely (VERY) used a modified form of EC with my daughter. We cloth diapered, but first thing in the morning and whenever she woke from a nap I would hold her over the potty. We started around 5 months old. By 7 months old, she was staying clean and dry all night long (and that never changed). She was 100% using the potty by 22 months and has never wet the bed nor had an accident.

Is EC responsible? No idea, but I definitely think it helped her stay dry and clean at night. It's one of those things-if it works for you, you do it. If it doesn't, you don't.

Phoenix said...

well i do think one major benefit from this would be perhaps less of occurance of diaper rash and UTI in girls. My sister was prone to UTIs as a child.

I don't know this method at all. People who have used it, or even cloth diapers like PP. Did you notice less diaper rash?