Elimination communication is also known as baby-led potty training, infant potty training, and natural infant hygiene.
It is the practice of allowing your baby to attune to their natural needs and communicate these to prevent them from soiling themselves.
Across the world, around half of all babies are completely potty trained by the age of 12 months. In the United States, this milestone is often reached around age 3.
The product entitled
She is a mother to 5 young kids and has completed a Master’s degree in Psychology, so you can be confident that her advice is useful. It is also endorsed by DiaperFreeBaby.org, one of the main sources of information on this topic.
What is the book about?
The book centers around the practice of elimination communication and how to instill this in your baby. This is commonly associated with potty training, however, they are not synonymous.
Elimination communication is all about teaching your child to understand and express their elimination needs. This is a gentle process and involves compassionate support to build trust between the child and caregiver.
It will teach your child to be in tune with their natural feelings and awareness of themselves and their surroundings.
You pay attention to your child’s personal signs, signals, and indicators. This is then combined with elimination-place associations and cue sounds to gently associate your child’s needs with the necessary response.
The book is written in a very informal and conversational tone, making it easy to read. It feels as if a friend is there with you, talking you through all of the necessary steps and supporting you on your journey.
The layout of the book is highly optimized, with the bare bones of the elimination communication method laid out simply at the beginning of the book.
This means that no matter the stage of pregnancy or postpartum you are at, you can feel confident getting stuck into the method if that is what you choose to do.
How much does it cost and what do you get?
There are 2 different packages that you can purchase for this course - paperback and digital.
The digital package costs $97, but at the time of writing is on sale for only $37. In this package, you get a digital pdf copy of the book (339 pages) and an MP3 audiobook version too.
You have lifetime access to course updates, access to a private support group, private downloads library, and private video library.
The paperback package costs $117 (sale price $47). This includes all of the digital package, plus a 347-page paperback copy of the Elimination Communication principles.
The digital book is compatible with all computers, tablets, and smartphones.
It has hundreds of visual aids, ranging from photographs to flowcharts to drawings. This is designed to make the steps as clear and easy-to-follow as possible.
The content is divided up into specific segments for each age category. This helps you to adapt the way you communicate with your child to suit their developmental level. It compiles research and practical techniques that have been proven to work.
Areas the book covers include part-time elimination communication (EC); nighttime EC; late start EC (for those 5-18 months); praise; potty pauses; breastfeeding and EC.
It also includes information about how to continue your elimination communication practices while out in rural or urban areas, and while traveling.
It discusses potty pauses, following on from the foundations of elimination control, responsible diaper-free time, how to use the diaper back-up as a tool, mobile baby and toddler elimination control.
It also teaches gentle ways to correct any accidents that your child may have on the floor. This is by no means an exhaustive list, as the guidebook is very complete.
The audiobook version is in an MP3 format, meaning it is compatible with most devices. It is split up into chapters for easy listening. The book has a runtime of around 5 hours in total.
The private video library is a godsend! It has more than 45 minutes of videos demonstrating what common elimination communication signals look like.
They also instruct you how to best learn your child’s signals and timing for potty cues; as well as how to adapt your practice to a wide range of scenarios.
The download library has lots of resources to help you keep organized and remain on track with your training.
These include blank logs that you can fill in to document your child’s progress. If you send your kid to a daycare center, there is also a template letter in here to explain to the staff what you are teaching your child.
The support group is a great place to ask personalized questions from Andrea herself, as well as a team of certified coaches.
If there is anything you are struggling with, or if you feel alone in your journey, drop a message in here and someone is sure to help you.
On those days where everything seems too much, this is a safe space for you to feel supported and heard.
There is also an option to search a ‘knowledge base’. This is like an FAQ section with helpful hints for common elimination communication issues.
The lifetime updates element simply means that as Andrea contributes more to her digital copy of the book, you will be sent an email with all the newest information.
This is perfect, as child developmental studies are constantly expanding and this feature allows you to always have the most up-to-date advice.
What are the basic steps of elimination communication?
Once you have understood your baby’s potty signal, you can begin to implement the steps of EC. As soon as you notice their signal, you should tell them that it is potty time.
Your next step is to take them to their potty space. This may be a potty on the floor, in the bathroom, over the toilet, over a sink, or whatever feels natural to you and your child.
Help them to undress and prepare themselves.
You should then hold them in the position they seem most naturally inclined to. At this point, you should give them the verbal cue that you have chosen to use.
This will allow them to make an association between the elimination action and the cue word.
You should give your child the time and space they need to do their thing, taking care not to rush them. Take cues from the baby, if they don’t seem done, don’t move them away yet.
You should then give them some kind of reinforcement for their actions. This can be in the form of a smile, a positive remark, or could be just silence.
The book discusses various ways to deal with the aftermath of a potty visit, debating the positive and negative impacts of each.
Your final step is to make your baby clean and comfortable again before cleaning up the potty area.
Why bother with elimination communication?
There is some evidence to suggest that elimination communication can help you to develop a better and deeper bond with your child.
It not only builds trust but teaches you to instinctively and non-verbally communicate with your child. It will also give you a deeper understanding of the types of cries your child makes and the reasons behind them.
It can help to reduce waste. On average, babies trained in elimination communications use half to three-quarters fewer diapers than regular babies.
This not only saves you the hassle of having to change their diapers so regularly but also means that fewer diapers end up in landfills.
Scientists estimate that it will take around 500 years for a diaper to fully decompose - so everything we can do to reduce diaper use is amazing!
Additionally, using fewer diapers will also mean that you are spending less money. Even if you have opted to use reusable diapers, the less they are soiled means the less water, energy, and chemicals you will be using.
Kids are expensive, and the more money you can save, the easier your life will be.
It can help to keep your child cleaner. If they are wearing diapers there is always going to be a period of time where they have sat in their waste before you notice and change them.
If you can teach elimination communication effectively, your child will not have to worry about this, and you will not have to worry about diaper rash or urinary tract infections as much. Win-win!
One of the biggest advantages of the elimination communication method is that you will instill in your child a sense of self-worth and accomplishment from a very young age.
This method teaches them to trust the way their body is feeling, and to be confident in their expression of these feelings.
This will give them a great base from which to build their confidence as an individual.