Elimination Communication – By Jane Rovers – Zero Waste Nova Scotia

Jane Rovers is a mother of three, an artist and adventurer from Nova Scotia, Canada where she is striving to live with less, while experiencing more.

Jane shares her family’s adventures in zero-waste living on her Instagram account @zerowastenovascotia where you can see her great local market hauls, ways to reduce food waste, yummy recipes, ideas for kids lunches and how traveling lightly to name a few.

Check out Jane’s Instagram account to follow her next adventure!

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The market did not disappoint yesterday 💚

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As our guest blogger for August, Jane shares her experience with Elimination Communication or EC as it’s commonly referred to in online parenting forums. As Earthmamas we were excited learn more about this practice as we are all at different stages in Motherhood and love to hear these stories of successes from other Mamas. Thanks for sharing!

Elimination Communication

I was introduced to the idea of elimination communication when my first child was about four months old. I saw someone use the term “EC” in an online parenting forum. I didn’t know what “EC” meant so I googled it and became curious about how it worked. After doing some reading online and watching a few videos I learned that I could start “potty training” my baby from day one. 

Essentially, elimination communication is about knowing when your baby needs to go to the bathroom (#1 and #2) and taking them to the toilet when they need to go. I think it’s also about changing your routine and mindset around your baby’s toileting needs. 

Your baby is already giving you some clues when they need to go. We are all familiar with the signs in a toddler when they wiggle or dance or grab themselves. Our babies offer signs as well such as squirming or grunting. It takes time to get to know these signs (and each baby is different!) but with some observation and practice, they become apparent. Something that makes this easier is to get into the mindset of considering elimination more often in the routine with our baby. We have been taught to look for signs that our baby is hungry or tired and we respond to those, elimination communication is really no different. 

“This is how I hold my baby over the toilet. Hands under the thighs we both kind of straddle the toilet without touching the seat. This position encourages your baby to go. As baby gets older and is able to sit on the toilet more independently you can adjust the position/routine as needed.”  

I began EC’ing my son a few days after stumbling across the word on that online forum. I started with naptime because I knew that he would often have a wet diaper shortly after waking up from his nap. I would put him to sleep with a new cloth diaper on and as soon as he woke up I would bring him to the toilet. Most times his diaper would still be dry and I could put it right back on him.  After that routine was going well I started taking him to the toilet regularly while he was awake. If you have ever had a puppy this might seem familiar to you!

I got some strange looks and comments from friends and family at the time. Some people would say “you’re trying to potty train a baby?!” I would just counter them with a laugh and explain that it was more about training myself. After some success, I would also point to the fact that it was helping us reduce the number of diapers we used and washed every day and it meant that our son was rarely wearing a wet diaper. He was completely out of diapers by age one and a half and that seemed to win over any remaining critics. 

“EC was helping us reduce the number of diapers we used and washed every day and it meant that our son was rarely wearing a wet diaper.”

I have continued the practice with my daughter and now youngest son who is nearly one year old. I felt lucky to know about this concept and have some experience under my belt so that could successfully start EC’ing them when they were only a couple of days old. So far our children have been out of diapers by the age of two (here’s hoping that trend continues!). It has saved us a lot of washing, and cleanup, time and money. It has meant that our children are more independent and they have seen another example of their parents listening and responding to their needs. 

Jane with her first baby at two weeks old. She started EC with her first and continued successfully with her second and third baby

Thanks for sharing Jane!

Have you heard of or ever tried Elimination Communication? Share your stories with us, we would love to hear from you!

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