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A camel: Starting at 6 months with a baby who rarely pees.

GDF Podcast 36

Today on the Go Diaper Free Podcast we're talking about what to do when starting elimination communication with a mobile baby who hardly ever pees...and waits for naptime to go. Or, what we call this here at GDF - a camel.

Specifically, we are answering a listener question from Anne from Minneapolis, Minnesota who is ECing her 7.5 month old.

“Hi. My name is Anne. I've been trying EC for about a month and a half. And we've been stymied because he is an infrequent pee-er. His preferred method is to just pee right as soon as we put him down for a nap, which screws up the nap and also makes EC pretty hard. I can hold him over the potty and he might eventually pee, but then he'll pee just a little bit, I'll put him in a diaper, put him down for his nap, and then he will pee some more. He also, I think, pees right when he wakes up before I have a chance to even get him out of bed. So it's been a challenge. He also never caught a poop. Does not poop outside of his bed. So it's been a struggle, and we keep at it, some days more than other days, but I'm hoping there will be a developmental change that will make this easier, but any input you have is very welcome. Thank you.“

It can be so frustrating to start EC and hardly ever get a catch...especially when offering plenty of pottytunities.

When nothing quite lines up when beginning EC with a mobile baby, many parents give up.

But not Anne! Today we'll talk about a few methods, and routine changes, that may help a child (like Anne’s, who can hold it for ages) relax enough to use the potty during awake time.

Listen to the full podcast episode for a special musical surprise at the end!

You will hear:

  • Potty choices that may help baby relax
  • Why knowing baby’s timing is power
  • Tricks to getting that morning pee
  • Ways to relax baby before offering the potty
  • How to catch that first poop
  • Which developmental leap may change everything, and
  • Alternative paths for when EC just isn’t working for you

Links and other resources mentioned today:

Download the Transcript

If you can't listen to this episode right now (um, sleeping baby!?) and read the transcript here:

Transcript: A camel

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Lastly, if you like the podcast and have a sec to leave a review, please do so here. It means the world to me (in that more new parents discover EC the more people leave reviews...yay!).

Do you have a “camel” or a child who has an interesting potty rhythm? Please leave a comment below with your experience!

I look forward to chatting with you in the comments.

xx Andrea

Andrea Olson

About Andrea Olson

I'm Andrea and I spend most of my time with my 6 children (all under 12 yo) and the rest of my time teaching other new parents how to do Elimination Communication with their 0-18 month babies. I love what I do and try to make a difference in one baby or parent's life every single day. (And I love, love, love, mango gelato.)


  1. Avatar Anne on March 28, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Hi this is Anne again! Just an update: it turns out our child was not getting enough milk, so he was constipated and not peeing enough. It took us a while to figure this out because he was exclusively breastfed and then started getting solids. Infrequent pooping is normal in both those circumstances. But then his percentiles started dropping, so that was a good clue. Anyway, we started supplementing and he started peeing and pooping when not asleep. Just another possibility.

    • Avatar Anne on March 28, 2019 at 2:15 pm

      Ps Thanks for taking my question!! The tips are really helpful!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 29, 2019 at 2:28 am

      I’m so glad you figured out what was causing his constipation! I hope he gets back on track with his growth soon, that is worrying I’m sure. xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Angela Ladner on April 28, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    thank you for all this wonderful information

  3. Avatar Elysium on April 28, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    This episode has been a huge help!! We started EC with our little girl when she was 5 months old, and at first things were amazing. Then, suddenly, she wouldn’t go anymore. She would squirm when we held her in the EC hold over the sink, and if we put her on the tiny potty, she’d just sit there for as long as we let her. We knew she had to go, per her natural timing, and as soon as her diaper was back on…she’d pee! It was so frustrating that I reverted to only waking pees and almost gave up ECing, but my good conscious and care for her hygiene kept me hooked. After listening to this podcast episode, I tried all the calming tricks mentioned, and now we’re back in EC bliss!! She relaxes, is happy, and almost always pees, as long as it’s her time. She is 8 months old now, and EC is back on track. Thanks a bunch!!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 29, 2019 at 1:38 am

      That’s wonderful! I’m so glad the calming tricks helped. xx Andrea

  4. Avatar Amanda on April 30, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    Thanks so much for this post. It was super helpful for my little guy who is also a bit of a camel. I’ll be trying some of the calming tips out on my 10 month old who stopped wanting to use the potty (just probably not turning my back because he’s just started walking). Giving him something squishy to hold sounds like a great idea though. Hoping we can get him interested again.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 2, 2019 at 1:46 am

      Hi Amanda! I’m sure you are right, learning to walk threw off potty use. It should improve soon. If it doesn’t, check out my Potty Pause Resolution class. It will help you work through it. xx Andrea

  5. Avatar Samantha on August 3, 2020 at 8:28 am

    I started PT my son at the end of 21 months and I am realizing he is a camel. If he starts to move/make noose over an hour before he usually wakes up, do I try morning pee then?

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on August 3, 2020 at 6:01 pm

      Hi Samantha! If he is wet when you would usually get to him, then yes. I would go in once you hear him start to wake. If he stays dry, just offer like you usually would. xx Andrea

  6. Avatar Moriah on March 31, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    Hello! I’ve been on the EC journey with my son since he was around 2 months old and is now 15 months. Daytime pottying is chugging along with some ups and downs, but naptime has been throwing me for a loop. At around 13 months he started peeing A LOT during his nap and, after listening to this episode, I tried catching him when he starts shifting to take him pee with varied success for around a month. This was also happening when he was transitioning to one nap, so naptime was anyone’s guess and the length as well. I got so burnt out with only one naptime to have some mama respite, plus constantly checking him every few minutes during that one nap. (We don’t use a monitor) I’ve been taking a break for a couple weeks now and he gets up soaking wet (my most absorbent cloth diaper is not up to the job). Is this naptime pee something he’ll grow out of? Or do I need to be more vigilant again? Thank you so much!

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on April 10, 2023 at 10:00 pm

      Hi! First of all you are doing great! 15 months is such a great age! There are lots of developmental milestones still happening, teeth coming in and all of those things can have an effect on EC. Most children will grow of it as they complete their milestones, however continuing to offer the potty upon waking, even though he is wet, can help establish the connection to try to stay dry during the nap, until you can get him to the potty.

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