Diaper-free Time: Are We Teaching Our Babies to Pee on the Floor?

Elimination Communication: Teaching Baby to Pee on the Floor?A new trend has emerged in the field of Elimination Communication:

Babies are learning to pee on the floor, whenever, wherever.

I've been doing a lot of work with my readers on my private support Forum and have been trying to figure out, for a long while now, why this has been happening.

Why Do Lots of ECed Babies Pee All Over the Floor?

The answer is simply that we teach them that.

Just like we teach them to go in diapers. Or to call us Mama or Papa. Or how to sing a certain song (by modeling it over and over again).

More specifically, once a parent chooses to begin ECing their baby or young toddler, they generally tend to go from one extreme to another...from exclusive dependence upon and use of diapers to --> completely naked all the time. (Not that all parents do this...but some do.)

This allows the baby to pee anywhere, anytime, and doesn't actually teach anything new.

It's kind of like allowing a child to urinate in a diaper for 4 years straight. Allowing her to pee on the floor for 4 years straight is no different, is it?

Some parents love the title of "ECer" and would rather clean up a puddle of pee than change a diaper. I totally get that. But, in the end, it's just as extreme as diapering full-time. (My apologies to those who might disagree.)

NOTE: Even babies in tribal villages are "shooed" out of the hut if they pee on the floor after it is certain that they both know where pee goes and are able to get it there.

So How Do You Prevent Your Baby from Peeing Everywhere, Anytime?

The solution would obviously be to go from exclusive dependence upon diapers to --> using the diaper or another back-up (undies, trainers, or commando-just-in-pants) as a tool. Strategically. Responsibly.

We wear clothing in the Western world.

Having them in clothes or some sort of back-up (while doing EC) teaches them how to work with such things, which they'll have to do for the rest of their lives.

Sure, a college kid will get it, but a 2 year old will get mixed messages if he's just allowed to pee anywhere, anytime, while naked. We wear clothes.

There is, indeed, a way to do EC AND to do regular diaper-free time responsibly...we just need to re-examine what being "diaper-free" means to us.

And, to reverse the peeing on the floor habit? Well, you just turn that ship around. "We don't do that anymore. We wear clothes, and we pee in the potty."

Said out loud or not, it's really that simple.

Remembering What "Diaper-free Baby" Really Means

I think that we really need to define what "diaper-free" means once more:

free from exclusive dependence upon diapers

Note that it doesn't say anywhere that this means "naked all the time."

There is a distinct difference between "diaper-free time" and "naked time."

In fact, using underwear or trainers or just pants qualifies as "diaper-free time." Yay! That's what we want, right?

Yes, it's cute to see that bare bum all the time, but when you're cleaning up yet another puddle of pee off the tile floor, doesn't it somehow feel wrong?

NOTE: If it doesn't, and you don't have this particular problem...awesome. Keep her naked! It's really only an issue if there's pee everywhere AND it bothers you personally.

An excerpt from my book

So, I wanted to go ahead and share an excerpt of my (freshly updated) book, Go Diaper Free, that addresses this issue and discusses some of the new perspective I've taken about "diaper-free time" and how to do it more responsibly.

Version 3.0 of the book actually has about 20 new pages addressing this idea, questioning our present beliefs about it, and offering solutions of how to "un-train" your baby from peeing on the floor.

By popular demand...here is the excerpt:

Doing Regular Diaper-free Time, Responsibly

I added this section because recent trends show that overdoing naked diaper-free time can actually hinder the EC process, teaching a child to pee on the floor. Read on....

The Bottom Line

IF your baby signals best while naked and you don't have a peeing-on-the-floor problem, then do naked time as much as you want!

If your baby doesnʼt signal when naked, and there is pee everywhere, then youʼre better off limiting naked time.

The Importance of Diaper-free Time

Although diapers are commonly used as a back-up, after youʼre finished with Part 1, Step 1, and diaper-free observation time has served its purpose, you may choose to continue giving your baby some diaper-free time every day or week.

1/2 hour per day is common, and before bathtime is popular.

The most important thing here is to do any naked diaper-free time *responsibly*.

Hereʼs how....

Deciding Whether to Continue Offering Diaper-free Time

Once naked or modified diaper-free observation time has served its purpose (to inform you of your babyʼs signals and natural timing, and to inform your baby of what her own elimination feels like, which is what the whole “Part 1, Step 1” was all about), you can decide whether you want to keep doing regular diaper-free time or not, naked or not.

The key here is that diaper-free time can mean naked or without diapers (in clothing or undies or whatnot).

You will know when you are done with the diapers. You will know when naked time will benefit. You will know when itʼs time for underwear...or when itʼs time to strike a middle ground.

If you donʼt, visit me on our private support group and weʼll have a little chat. No worries!

In general, lots of folks start doing away with diapers when their babies resist them more than not, or even begin to prefer other things like underwear. This can begin around pre-walking or 9 months.

Usually by around 14 months parents start to look at permanently ditching daytime diapers. We did it at 9 months and it was a lot of pants/undies laundry for a few months...but it felt right for our son.

But letʼs take a look at the main culprit here: whether and how to do NAKED TIME or not. Because thatʼs the real point of this section!

When Naked Time Becomes Counter-Productive

When naked, no one needs to signal, now do they?! Naked time (observation or regular) can become counterproductive when:

  • you already know his signals
  • you already know his current natural timing
  • and *baby* is already aware of what's going on down there.

If you've got all this going for ya, naked observation time may have already served its purpose. Any naked time beyond this and you could essentially be teaching him to pee on the floor (depending on how you handle things).

In EC terms, if you continue to give naked time when itʼs become counter-productive, you are just being lazy.

Sorry.

But itʼs no different than using a diaper all the time, teaching baby “pee in here.” Too much naked time without communication or action or any boundaries will result in teaching “pee wherever.”

It could be time to add in some 'resistance' (think: opposite poles of a magnet): clothing, since soiling his clothing will eventually not feel socially/physically/emotionally cool, clothing can and may become your new “diaper-free time.”

Remember...“Diaper-free” means free from exclusive dependence upon diapers.

It doesnʼt mean having a naked baby or toddler running around peeing all over your floor 24/7.

Once observation is complete, youʼll want to know how to continue diaper-free and/or naked time...responsibly.

First letʼs state the obvious.

How to Continue Diaper-free Time, not Naked

Pick a time of day and a desired location to do some time with underwear or just pants (commando) as your “back-up.”

Training pants (besides being expensive) often feel like a diaper, but see how your baby responds.

Increase this non-diaper time over the weeks and before you know it you will be done with dipes.

Now letʼs cover how to continue naked time....

Some Reasons to Not Keep Doing Naked Time

First of all, your baby could stop signaling as strongly, or at all. Which makes sense.

Why signal if Iʼm already naked?!!

Next, your baby might learn that peeing on the floor, or on the cloth heʼs laying on, is okay. Which itʼs not, really...right? Right.

Lastly, we wear clothing in our society, so your baby will also need to learn how to wear clothing and not soil it.

Reasons to Keep Doing Naked Time

If you are starting with a more mobile baby (5 months+, and especially 12 months+), you may decide to spend some additional time naked to reinforce the cause & effect rule.

If you just like having a naked baby bum around, no matter the babyʼs age, you might want to do more nakey time too.

If you have a baby who doesnʼt pee on the floor when naked, go for it yaʼll! If baby signals better when naked, awesome. Do it.

Also, if you struggle with diaper rash, naked time is one of the only things that helps. So youʼd want to do it then, too.

In any case, just see #3, below, to learn how to modify it with an older baby so you donʼt teach her to pee on the floor (again, a common problem faced by some ECers).

How to Modify Naked Time After Its Purpose Is Served...and When Baby Becomes Mobile

Okay, so youʼve gathered your info (signals/timing/awareness), cleared up the diaper rash, want to continue having a naked feral child, whatever.

Your child is becoming more mobile by the day....and her brain is building permanent pathways on how to do stuff.

Letʼs modify naked time to place some building blocks for eventual potty independence into your EC practice....

I'll just leave you hanging there. :)

If you'd like to read the rest of this section in my book, AND the new Troubleshooting Section called: "How Do I Untrain My Baby from Peeing on the Floor?"

...then get my book right away. It's all in there. Version 3.0, baby. I can also help you personally in our group when you buy the book.

Would love to read your thoughts about this ground-breaking news in the EC world: that diaper-free doesn't necessarily mean naked!! Thoughts? Please add 'em to the comments below....

And please share this with others via the fancy new Like buttons. Thanks a million! And here's to less pee everywhere.  xx Andrea

Resource Recommendation

Getting EC Back on Track: you can totally re-learn your baby's pattern with this step-by-step MiniCourse

Potty Pause Resolution: A deep dive into getting you thru that deplorable potty pause.

Go Diaper Free: my popular EC book that simplifies EC, beginning to end

Andrea Olson

About Andrea Olson

I'm Andrea and I spend most of my time with my husband and 5 children (newborn to 8 years old) 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.)

48 Comments

  1. Avatar Heather on October 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Thanks! I read your thoughts on this in an email a month (or so?!) back, but this just reinforces it for me. Very helpful. If I’ve already bought your book, do I need to buy Version 2.0 to get the whole scoop?

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on October 30, 2012 at 9:10 am

      Hey Heather…glad this is helpful in reinforcing things for ya. You can visit http://ecsimplified.com/update2.0 to get your free update to Version 2.0. Definitely check it out! There’s a page at the beginning that shows exactly what’s new in the updated version. Big hugs! Andrea

  2. Avatar Lacey Sutton on October 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Many thanks for discussing this – it is precisely what I needed! Because my son is 20 months old I was sort of doing a combination of EC and the potty-training method used by Jamie Glowacki, and for both we’ve been doing the diaper-free time… and the only signal my son seems to give that he needs to pee is the “pee-pee-wee-wee” and the increased tendency to play in corners/out of the way places. And so I’ve cleaned up a lot of pee and poop off the carpets and only had 2 catches, one of which meant I just literally caught the stream in the insert to his toilet. I think we’re taking a break for now while I try to figure out how best to get the whole idea of pottying in the toilet/potty chair through to him.
    The strange part is I have a daycare that is SERIOUSLY into potty training, and they give him regular potty opportunities, but he’s still been hit-or-miss (mostly miss) with that method as well… he just is NOT making the connection….

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on October 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

      Hey Lacey! Thanks so much for sharing. My honest opinion about working with a 20 month old is to completely stop doing EC (I know, sacrilege), and to commit to ONLY doing Jamie’s 3-days and then a brief 4 day follow up. In her 3 days she only has ONE naked day. It’s very step-by-step and I think that at your son’s age it’s much more appropriate. Commit to that fully and I think you’ll just be done. And WOW – your daycare’s into it!!!!! That is priceless. :) Good luck! xo Andrea

  3. Avatar Emmy on October 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you Andrea, Libby has been dry most nights…If I am quick to put her on the potty in the morning she will go but lately I been so tired (pregnant again) and she has not been given the opportunity quick enough.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on October 30, 2012 at 9:06 am

      You’re welcome. Yes, it’s so hard to be pregnant and have that completely sleepy feeling with a child to take care of…..feeling for you! Do what you can…and that’s good enough. :) Andrea

  4. Avatar Annaliese on October 30, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Could not have said it better, wonderful job Andrea! I fell into that trap with my first child who is now 2 1/2. I made sure this time I wouldn’t let it happen, and now my daughter who is now 10 months only ever had naked time to teach cuing in the hospital after she was born. I have not had to do naked time since the 2 days I was in the hospital :-)

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on October 31, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Oh, Annaliese, thank you so much for sharing your story!! It totally confirms what we’re discovering in the ECS Forum…I’m happy to hear that your 2nd child is doing EC without over-doing naked time. Hope to hear how it all ends up, and how the two differed. Keep me in the loop? xx Andrea

  5. Avatar Bonnie on November 1, 2012 at 4:47 am

    I have a very mobile 10 month old boy. I would love to start ECing principles, but I’m scared to begin because I’m afraid when I do naked time that the pee is gonna go everywhere!! He likes to stand , crawl, etc. and .. well.. since he’s a boy, pee could literally hit the ceiling.. haha! Any tips???

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on November 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      Hey Bonnie! Thanks for writing in….and guess what? I literally JUST yesterday wrote one of my November Q+A blog posts on this topic and it’ll be posting at 6am EST tomorrow, Saturday November 3, 2012! Look for it here at that time (when it turns “live”) – NOV3: Clean-up: How do I clean up the poo and pee while observing a diaper-free mobile baby?: http://ecsimplified.com/clean-up-how-do-i-clean-up-the-poo-and-pee-while-observing-a-diaper-free-mobile-baby – and I think you’ll get a load of great info on how to do naked time without too much mess (with preparation, planning, and some active stuff *during* the observation time period). I LOVE synchronicities like this! :) xx Andrea

  6. Avatar jessie on February 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    andrea, i appreciate your bringing this up. i think it has been difficult for me to figure out what was appropriate with naked time, since my son for a while did seem to pee more frequently on the floor. now he’s 20 months and he does do better with a cloth diaper back up and i ask him if he needs to pee every couple of hours. whereas if i leave him naked, and i forget to ask him to pee, 50% of the time he will go himself and 50% of the time he’ll pee on the floor.

    however, those difficult months of beginning mobility, crawling and beginning walking, i did find that having him naked for most of the day (and yes, cleaning up a fair amount of pee) probably did keep him aware of his peeing and did aid EC.

    but back to current: i am a bit conflicted about naked time vs not. because although he pees more frequently on the floor while naked, he also is much more inclined to go pee by himself in the bathroom. and if he is wearing cloth and i forget to ask, he’ll pee in his clothing or diaper.

    basically, i do a combination of both, since there are pros and cons to both, depending on where we are at.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 16, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Hey Jessie! At 20 months I’d go ahead and ditch the diapers altogether and use just clothing, no more naked time either. If you need help wrapping up EC go ahead and get my friend Jamie’s book at http://jamieglowacki.com where she has written a chapter on how to potty train (non-coercively) if you’ve done some EC in the past. Good luck! xx Andrea

  7. Avatar Shona on October 5, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Hi Andrea, reading this seriously couldn’t have come at a better time for me! I have had my 13 month old girl with a naked bottom at home for a few months because we were missing soooo much. I thought it was an EC pause due to learning how to walk but I can’t identify her cues any more, she just pees on the floor. And even if I offer the potty she won’t use it, she’ll just pee on the floor minutes later. Then if I put a diaper cover on her (I use a grovia hybrid shell to contain pee but for her to feel wet) – she will pee in it almost immediately after me putting it on her. She will also pee in her car seat and stroller, even if I offer before bucking her in. I am in such a rut and don’t know what I am doing wrong! Should I just put clothes on her and see if that helps?

    • Avatar Atur Bhuck on January 16, 2018 at 2:01 am

      With me I hated being bottom naked esp peeing naked! While I got a crush esp peeing inside my cloth diapers that if I got too pee and was naked, I held my pee and pinned on my cloth diapers and peed inside my cloth diapers and if my pee was cold inside my cloth diapers, I got a crush to cry and spread my legs! I even got a crush with my cold wet cloth diapers that I only want the front legs of my cloth diapers opened to be drained! I am of severe/profound mental retardation! The same for her! She must hate being bottom naked esp peeing naked! She must get a crush esp peeing inside her new cloth diapers that she got too pee and she was naked, she holds her pee and pins on her new cloth diapers and pees inside her new cloth diapers and if her pee is cold inside her new cloth diapers, she must get a crush to cry and spreads her legs! She must get a crush with her new cold wet cloth diapers that she only wants the back legs of her new cloth diapers opened to be drained!

  8. Avatar Cassandra Barker on March 23, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Hi, Andrea!

    Thanks for this! About a week ago we switched to training pants for many reasons – 1. My girl doesn’t want to put diapers on 2. I needed help identifying her pee signals 3. We were only have 1-2 pee misses in diapers a day! Since starting EC when she was about 10 months old (almost 15 months now) she communicates the need to poop always with no misses and pees when offered during her natural timing (upon waking) and will communicate the need to pee when wearing or holding her. But when in a diaper playing there is no signaling. If she pees more than once while I’m busy doing things she’ll go into the bathroom and pat the toilet lid, asking to be changed! So, I thought to myself “maybe switching to training underwear will help bridge these ‘gaps’ left between 1-2 diapers a day and potty independence?” The first time she peed she stopped, looked down and said “uh oh” as her training underwear and legs became wet! I said “you’re going pee, to the potty” and she happily went in to change into dry ones and sit on the toilet, never going more. Long story short, I realized after a few days and lots of misses there was too much naked time, she was peeing everywhere, and was bored. Hah! I’ve learned a lot from your podcast this week, just purchased your book, and have started implementing some things from the podcast. We’re using a diaper backup again to give us both a break, but she’s been signaling and back to 1.5-3 hours between pees!

    I look forward to reading your book and being a part of the private forum!
    Thank you!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on August 6, 2017 at 10:48 pm

      Cassandra – I’m just now seeing this – thank you for writing your comment! I’m so happy to have been helpful to you both earlier this year. :) Andrea

  9. Avatar Lillias on April 24, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Hi, I came to this post because I am on lesson 3 of your ‘mid streamers’ and it definitely applies to me!.
    I have a 1 year old son. We have been doing part time EC from birth. He wore nappies but we would hold him over the potty first thing in the morning and after naps / food and we would catch 99% of the poos. This worked great for us but then at around 9 or 10 months he started planking his body and resisting being held over the potty. After a week or two thinking this might just pass we started him sitting himself on a potty and reading books to him. He got some pees in the potty and the occasional poo but he would often get off the potty and poo or pee next to it! I have been giving him lots of naked time when at home to try and tune into his signals but although he knows how to sign with his hands this isn’t always reliable. Sometimes he just signs if I say the words poo or potty and he doesn’t often give many body signals before peeing. He can sign poo and potty and will point to his poo and sign poo and sometimes will come over to me and point to the potty. I will sit him on the potty but he will then get off and stand up next to it and poo! He claps his hands when he gets a pee or poo in the potty so he knows it is a good thing – or at least pleases his parents :-) If he pees on the floor I will pick him up and put him straight on the potty – the same if he poos on the floor. Do you think I am giving him mixed messages?

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on August 6, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Lillias – just seeing your post now! Not that it’s relevant any longer (is it?) :) but you are not giving him mixed messages. Our kids test us up and down. You seem pretty clear to me! xx Andrea

  10. Avatar Wendy on May 18, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Around 8-9 months my son started showing us that he wanted to pee and pop independently. We were allowing him to go on the floor, although it was getting a little crazy cleaning up after him like an untrained puppy. I started bringing him to the bathroom when I knew he had to go and hanging out in there so he could do his business, independently. ( meaning he resisted being held, to squat.). We had a little potty, but he just wanted to play with it and it did not seem time to train him for the potty. He was also in a phase of not giving us as many cues. After reading lesson 3 I can reflect back to this time… and apply the knowledge now at 11 months he seems ready for potty training. It’s good for me to keep in mind that allowing him to go on the floor is just another habit we’ll have to in-train. Thank you!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on August 6, 2017 at 10:50 pm

      You are so welcome, Wendy!!! Thanks for sharing your story with us. xx Andrea

  11. Avatar Jamie on May 26, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Thanks for the post! My son has been using the potty since 6 months. He’s now 13 months and has learned that if he pees on the floor he can play with it… now he refuses to sit on the potty or only does a half pee then runs off to do it somewhere else. Has anyone faced this before and what did you do?

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on August 6, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      Hi Jamie! Sorry, just now seeing your comment. No one told me they were all here! ;o) Yes, that sounds like a typical potty pause (whether full-on or partial, or just resistance/testing you). My book talks quite a bit about potty pauses – http://godiaperfree.com/thebook – and I have a minicourse coming up on that, too, in case this is still happening (but I hope it’s not!). He is now about 15 months so I’d wager he’s evening out and cooperating again. :) xx Andrea

  12. Avatar Lisa on June 29, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Hi Andrea, I’m also on lesson 3 of your ‘mid streamers’ and also almost fell into this trap. The reason being laziness. I didn’t feel like constantly changing my babies underwear or cloth nappies since I missed all the signs. Thankfully, I had read about naked time and weeing on the floor in advance and didn’t have to deal with this.
    With my 2nd baby I now enjoy disposable nappies with a yellow line that will change its color once the baby wees or poos in the diaper. This way I can observe for longer periods. :)

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on August 6, 2017 at 10:56 pm

      Wonderful, Lisa! I’ve also felt lazy at times while ECing my 4 little ones. So long as there aren’t permanent habits forming, we can enjoy whatever tools make it work best. Good for you for finding a solution that works for you both!! xx Andrea

  13. Avatar Triin on August 4, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    We moved to the country side with our 1 year old just 2 momths ago and were excited to start diaper free time, cause its summer and he could be naked all the time, as we learned that going commando is the best way to teach a toddler how to go potty. How wrong we were! And now I see it clearly. And I was wondering why hes actually fighting to even sit on the potty for a second. I thought its a phase. Uups! When fed up and the weather not so warm I got right back to diapers ALL DAY! Thanks for the heads up.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on August 6, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      You are very welcome, Triin! Glad to be of service. ;) Hang in there! Oh, and I do have a minicourse on potty pauses coming up on Friday. Stay tuned on my email list if you’re on there. Should help your situation! xx Andrea

  14. Avatar Liselot on September 24, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Hi Andrea,

    I’ve been doing EC with my daughter from 7 weeks on. Never really git het signals, but every diaper change, on the usual timing, we had a pee. From 7 months on, we found her poo-signal and catched 80% of those (even grandma noticed and succeed). But with 13 months she refused her potty, planking and shaking heads, crying. There was a lot going on: emigration, moving house twice, holiday without daddy and with disposable diapers in stead of cloth, and she started to walk, got tooth. More recently (she is now 15 months old) she started kindergarten and in a week I will start to work. But, I really want her to pick it up again, she has a lot of diaper rash and hates to be changed.
    So we attended a diaper free meeting and were advised to change her potty, make her more independent (I was still holding her above the little hood shaped one). Yesterday I did a full naked day, to see if she signaled and to see what her ritm is. She is still not very fond of her new potty, it is a bit to big and she needs help mounting it. But she did walk up to it sometimes.
    What I found out was: she is peeing with 1h intervals, knows the potty is to pee (makes the pee-sound while sitting on it), likes to read a book on the potty and goes to the potty right before or after a pee on the floor.
    What I learned from your blog today, is that this was enough naked time, I was just wondering: did I now already learned her to pee on the floor (we had just one catch yesterday) and did she learn to soil herself in the diaper during our pottypause? Can we go back to ec? Even if she still refuses to the offered pottytunities? Or do I now have to wait until at least 18 months and then find a way to pottytrain her?
    Thanks!

  15. Avatar Mimi on October 30, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    I just ran into your EC method last week. I liked learning about how to verbally be more direct with my son about him needing to pee in the potty. I am pretty sure we taught him to pee on the floor because he has been at this for the last 1.5 months (he is 20 months old). I wrote a longer post but lost it oops. I can’t wait to learn how to handle helping him with his poop. He acts scared and doesn’t like how it feels, but we have been able to have him stand over the potty to poop a couple of times now.

  16. Avatar Elaine on October 31, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    Hi, Andrea! I am here courtesy of your “mid-streamers” email class. :). Doing my “homework” by commenting here. We’ve been doing EC for several months now with my almost 9-month old. I think we started around 4 or 5 months old. If he signals for pee, I have no idea what his signal is, and for poo, well, sometimes he signals, but other times not. We cloth diaper 90% of the time, and we don’t really do naked time, because I am not into cleaning up pee or poo from the floor. From reading this post, though, I’m getting the sense that I need to give him some more time in just his tiny undies and/or clothes–I tend to pretty much always keep him in a diaper as a back up, because frankly we are having so many misses lately, and I just can’t see the point in having him pee on the floor. I’m worried that I’ve basically already taught him to just go in his diaper. Have I used the diaper back up too much? Can I reverse this? We offer lots of potty-tunities throughout the day, mostly based on generic timing and intuition, because again, no signaling here. We were having a lot more catches when he was younger…of course now he’s teething and learning to crawl…maybe he’s just busy learning other things and can’t be bothered with going in the potty right now? Your thoughts are always appreciated! ??

  17. Avatar Emma on November 1, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Just starting to consider training pants instead of naked time. My 7 month old hates a diper change and doesn’t signal when he needs to go so using timing. Maybe a few wet pants might b what he needs. And it’s easier to toilet him with these.

  18. Avatar Melissa on January 15, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Hi, I have two questions. The first one is is it normal for baby to cry after going? I have twins that are 7 weeks and are doing great on peeing in the bowl during the day. One of mine cries a lot after going sometimes. The second one is, how do I keep my other baby from peeing when I do the sss sound for the other over the bowl. When I’m in bed using the bowl the other one pees in the diaper at that sound.

  19. Avatar Sarah on March 18, 2018 at 11:47 am

    First of all, I just want to say how much I love your work and the way you present it. I don’t have babies of my own yet, but I do work with infants and toddlers professionally at a center (and I’m hopefully thinking ahead).

    My question to you is this: How do you do EC if you are only home with your baby for six weeks, and then you have to go back to work? Will baby learn that they don’t have to do it at school, and be entirely dependent on diapers when away from you? Is the previous few hours you get with baby in the evenings enough to work on EC?

    Thank you so much.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 17, 2019 at 9:57 pm

      Good question Sarah! Babies are very smart and they will adapt to the change. When parents are working, they do EC when they are with baby. If you can find a nanny or daycare willing to do EC it is great. If not, it is fine. Baby will learn which caregivers offer the potty. xx Andrea

  20. Avatar Amanda on May 7, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    What resonates with me is that diaper-free time does not need to be “naked time”, and that even having underwear on instead of a diaper counts as diaper-free time.

  21. Avatar SP on May 26, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    I am mid ECing and having episodes when intuitively I know she has to pee, but she will not go on the potty. Within 3-5 mins after offering the pottytunity she pees [on the floor, in the diaper, etc]. I find myself frustrated at this, but know I should be staying calm. There are days when she is on with her cues and I’m on with paying attention and responding…then there are the other days.

  22. Avatar Denise Bradley on June 7, 2018 at 1:42 am

    Such a informative article about teaching baby’s peeing. I am expecting for the first time. And i think it will be helpful for me when my baby came on earth. Thanks for the sharing this.

  23. Avatar Jocelyn on July 29, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Thanks for this! I hadn’t thought to put my 11 month old commando before. That might be a good idea. Naked or in trainers, she just pees whenever and doesn’t signal. Maybe feeling the wetness on her legs will help her to ask for help!

  24. Avatar Amanda Miller on November 22, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Thanks for the link! I have DEFINITELY made this mistake with my little one before I found your site. We are on a 2 week reset, but my husband still gives a pottitunity before bed and she peed on the toilet, start to finish, for the very first time tonight! Sad I missed it, but feel like she us ready to turn a new leaf :) Hope to some day buy your materials when I can afford it!

  25. Avatar My House is a Mess but My Kid’s Not...yet ? on January 29, 2019 at 12:04 am

    I recommend your site all the time, Andrea. I’m truly grateful you were born ;)

    My one and only (I’ve been a single mom since pregnancy) and I have been practicing EC since I was able to hold her (it took a few weeks because I had an emergency ceserean and post-op complications). She has not pooped in a diaper since she was four months old and I am THRILLED about that. Peeing is another story. EC was easier before she was mobile ;) She was a ten month-old toddler and now she’s sixteen months-old. Besides in her diaper, she generally only pees if I hold her outside and she’s hovering over the grass. Thank goodness we have a yard! She resists (says a clear no and/or straightens her body) the other ‘toilets’.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you :)

  26. Avatar Tamara on February 13, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Andrea,
    thank you for your wonderful book and all your helpful e-mails, I learn something new every time! We’ve been EC-ing our 5-month old son for a couple of months now and I am amazed by how successful we’ve been – I’ve already inspired two friends who are now taking first steps toward EC as well. Naked time is actually something I’m still debating internally as he signals a lot less when naked and not at all when naked and on his belly (which at the moment is 80% of naked time). We are enrolled in a PEKiP class which we both enjoy very much – do you think it’s a problem if his totally naked time is limited to one hour a week, even if he pees on the floor/towel then? Also, if I see him pee on the floor, would you recommend signalling or just ignoring it completely? I will definitely try to get in some diaper-free time in clothes soon and see how we go then!
    Thank you for everything :)

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 7, 2019 at 11:40 pm

      Hi Tamara! Keep in mind that diaper free time doesn’t have to be naked. Undies, training pants, and commando are all great options. He may signal better clothed than he does naked.

  27. Avatar Anja on March 9, 2019 at 6:15 am

    Hi Andrea, our son is almost 10 months old and we’ve been doing EC right from the start. We are also amazed by how good it works :-)
    Currently we are diaper free while at home or other places indoors (because still cold) and he signals really well, using pants/leggings as backup!
    He will go to daycare fron age one, I hope that he keeps signalling, even though we might put him in diapers while hes there :-(

    I wasn’t aware that naked all the time might teach to pee everywhere, but will definitely keep it in mind when its getting warmer (cant wait for summer!!! :-))
    Thank for your work, keep going!!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 17, 2019 at 10:00 pm

      It sounds like you have a great EC practice going! When it is warm maybe just have him in shorts or legging shorts instead of naked bottom. That way there won’t be an issue. xx Andrea

  28. Avatar Svetlana on March 11, 2019 at 6:56 am

    Thanks for this info Andrea. It’s winter time here now and having our mobile baby naked on floor sounds not quite right. I’m only beginning the EC now and did let her go naked a couple of times and been watching her signals, But was naturally thinking of dressing her into some sort of warm pants (perhaps my older son’s baby pants, which I don’t really need and was going to give away. She has peed the floor in the meantime and nothing in potty yet.Do I understand it right? – if I let her wear pants for some time during the day, it will help her to have a new feel for wetness and uncomfortable, so we can try potty more successfully afterwards? Is this correct thinking?What do you do with poop then? let her poop the pants (if I miss the signal) and chuck them? Thank you so much, looking forward to yr reply.Thanks

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 17, 2019 at 10:03 pm

      For diaper free time Svetlana, you can use undies or training pants or just pants. Whatever works best. If you have a poop miss while she is commando, there will be some clean up. Luckily babies and pants are washable! If you haven’t caught anything in the potty yet, you might need to do some observation. Figure out her signals and natural timing. xx Andrea

  29. Avatar cmdigman on May 7, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    We’ve been doing EC since my son was 5 months. He’s now 12 months and we’re ready to ditch diapers. I just ordered tiny trainers to help since baggy underwear chafe and naked time is short in my house. My mom and grandmother talk about how they just let babies run around naked outside for potty training. I don’t like cleaning up messes because my son will resist some of the time. He’s learning to walk and does not want to stop for a minute to sit on the potty. He seems to be aware of what his body is doing. So when he pees on the floor I calmly explain, “You’re peeing. Next time let’s go on the potty.” I’m trying to pick up on his body language before a miss happens. I really appreciate all your information.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 8, 2019 at 2:49 am

      It sounds like you are doing a great job, keep it up! You are right to keep him in undies. Letting him run around naked won’t really teach him the appropriate place to go potty. xx Andrea

Leave a Comment