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Easy Catch #1: Wake up + pee

Easy Catch #1 The Wake up pee

There are 4 sure-fire "catches" in Elimination Communication. This is the first.

The wake-up pee works because of basic biology.

Every human emits the AntiDiuretic Hormone (ADH, or Vasopressin if you wanna get scientific with me!) during sleep to prevent them from peeing or pooping themselves during that time.

When you wake up, and when every human wakes up, that hormone wears off.

Healthy babies don't pee or poop during sleep.

(Neither do you.)

They pee when they begin waking up, sometimes between sleep cycles.

Thus, at wake-up is the perfect time to potty baby because the hormone wears off and the bladder fills.

Watch the video to learn more about this easy catch (which, mind you, is a GREAT way to start elimination communication with your babe!).

It is just 3.5 minutes long:

You'll also learn:

  • why cavepeoples' caves were dry and clean
  • how to know baby needs to pee if she's in another room
  • whether to nurse or potty first after waking, and why.

Your Turn:

Do you use this easy catch with your baby, and how is it working (or not) for you? Leave your answer in the comments below.



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Resource Recommendation

Potty Time Mastery: a minicourse that helps you get extremely good at detecting the 4 ways to know the baby has to pee.

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


Andrea Olson:

Hi, I'm Andrea Olson with Go Diaper Free, and I've taught hun ... Not hundreds, tens of thousands of people worldwide how to do elimination, communication from birth, or whenever they find out about it. Today, I'm going to talk about Easy Catch #1, the 'Wake up and Pee'.

Okay, so Easy Catch #1, the 'Wake up and Pee'. When any human being wakes up, they naturally need to go to the bathroom. Now I'm going to ask you, do you need to pee when you get up in the morning? I mean, who would say no to that, right? You probably need to wake up and pee in the middle of the night too, if you're like me.

Every baby is the same. They're not dumb, and they're not incontinent, they're just small human beings. They have the same exact hormones that you have, just in differing levels, but their instincts and their hormonal levels helped to keep the caveman's caves dry and clean of poop and pee back in the day, and they continue to do that today. So you have a diaper backup on your baby, I'm assuming. I always use those for mine.

When they wake up, with a newborn when they start to wiggle and start to shift, that hormone, that anti-diuretic hormone wears off, and all of a sudden the body produces urine, and all of a sudden they've got to go. So you might feed them first and then they probably pee in their diaper when they're relaxed and nursing. I always like to potty my babies right when they wake up and they're still a little bit sleepy, and then feed them because I, as an adult; I wake up in the morning, I go to the bathroom, then I
make my breakfast, right?

So it establishes a really good habit. Now sometimes, babies are really fussy and really insistent on eating right away. So, you can nurse over a pad, or you can nurse and then when they pop off the breast, which is a signal they need to go to the bathroom, you can potty them and then continue nursing, then they'll get a full feed. So the 'Wake up and Pee' is Easy Catch #1, it is absolutely awesome. You have to take advantage of nature here. It is the best way to get a catch. If you're not catching
anything throughout the rest of the day, you'll probably get the first one of the day.

Now, if your baby sleeps in another room, use a monitor so that you can hear when the baby first starts to wake up. Also, don't wake up a baby if they're just sort of rolling over and continuing to sleep, but know your unique baby and experiment. If this works for you, this could be a great time to establish a really healthy start of the day for everybody. Starting off the day well with EC usually results in a very successful catch rate for the day. So, everybody's working together and it's great.

Take advantage of nature, do the Easy Catch #1, wake up and pee. If you want to learn more about anything to do with EC, just go to I've got lots of free start guides and also things that you can pay for, because hey; this is what I do for a living. You can also like this video, leave a comment below, interact with me, subscribe. I will teach you everything I know about EC.

Thanks so much for tuning in today!



Resource Recommendation

Baby Meets Potty: A deep dive into how to start EC with your newborn baby

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 Sou on May 15, 2017 at 10:29 am

    What about babies who cosleep and nurse at night while both parties are sleeping?
    My son wakes up in the morning with a huge diaper after practically 12h in bed…
    I don’t really know how often he nurses in that time because i am mostly asleep as well.
    He is 10 monthes ECed from birth…but i have been very lazy since he has been actively crawling all over the place :/
    I hope someone can guide me with advice for night time ec :)

    • Avatar Rebecca on May 15, 2017 at 11:38 pm

      My 7 m.o. also sleeps with us and we’ve been full time ECing since 2 weeks, so I feel we have similar situations. I wake up with my daughter and take her to the toilet about twice a night. It used to be more frequent, but twice is where we’ve been for a while now. It’s really tiring, but I feel like it’s worth the extra effort. With my first daughter, I would just nurse her back to sleep and it was so easy. She would also have a wet diaper (I only part time ECed with her). I’ve tried that with my second, but now I just feel so guilty about the wet diaper since my reasons for ECing have shifted. So I know how you feel. I was never the exhausted parent the first time around (yay cosleeping nursing), but I am this time because of my commitment to my baby’s elimination needs. Do what’s best for you and your family. I wish I could get the sleep I need, but sharing toilet duty with my husband makes things easier. And occasionally she’ll sleep all night, so I feel it’s going to get easier at some point in the near-ish future. If you decide to try getting up with your son, make it easier on yourself. Set up the toilet so that all you have to do is sit up and shift a little (having to stand all the way up really disturbs your rest). And share nighttime duty! Switch nights so that one of you gets fully rested each night. :)

      • Avatar Abbey on May 19, 2017 at 10:23 pm

        Ladies! I am totally with you. Also co sleeping with number 2 and he doesn’t love to be peed during the night and I don’t love getting out of bed (he’s 13 mo) but just this week he started being dry for much much longer during the night. When I wake to nurse I just feel if he’s dry kind of semi consciously and he has started randomly sitting up at night. My first did the same thing albeit a little earlier. But when they sit up in their half sleep, for both of them it means I need to pee. That is all to say that I think it’s ok if nighttime takes longer. Let’s be easy and get some sleep and when our babies are ready to go at night, they’ll do things like sit up to tell us. :)

        • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 22, 2017 at 2:07 pm

          Abbey – yes! Sitting up is a signal I always forget about. Great that yours are super clear about it. Thank you for sharing this :)

      • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 22, 2017 at 2:06 pm

        Rebecca – thanks for sharing your experience and the different choices you’ve made with #2…with the corresponding change in sleep. I can definitely relate. Hope you get rest when you can :)

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 22, 2017 at 9:08 am

      Hey Sou! See the comments below for some more advice (thanks to both of you!) and I have some thoughts, too. If you’re cool with nursing all night, by all means keep doing it. If you ever become not okay with it, then get some help with night weaning or sleep coaching. Both of those are things I’ve done with various of my 4, and many of our gdf community have tried all, and they do work to help baby sleep thru the night. At 10 months it’s a reasonable expectation. For example Branson sleeps usually 8-9 hours then wakes to pee and eat then another 1-2 hours every night, at 13 weeks old. I’m going to jinx us by mentioning that!! :) But we are cosleeping. So that shows the range of how things can look. With my first we were up every 2 hours nursing and pottying for TWO YEARS. It was tough. With B I simply potty him first and nurse back to sleep. Then I unlatch him (or he unlatches) and he and I do not touch for the rest of sleep. Works best for us! Your situation can and will be different. Point it, nighttime ec should only be done if it helps everyone get better sleep. AND, I know a few moms who nurse all night and baby wakes up dry. Seems somewhat unrelated: amount of nursing and quantity of night pees. :)

  2. Avatar Julia on May 15, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Sometimes my daughter wakes in the night and I believe she has to pee, as her diaper is still dry. I try to potty her, but she flips out, crying and jerking around and insisting on nursing. Any tips?

    • Avatar Stef on May 15, 2017 at 11:09 pm

      I had this problem (started EC at a few weeks old) at the start. I actually stopped offering chance to pee at night cause it wasn’t worth the times when he didn’t have to go. I have him in a disposable overnight and back to cloth during the day. If I recall, I think I stopped offering the nighttime pees when he wasn’t pooping at all anymore during the night…two months? He used to also at times cry during the day also if I held him to pee…cry and pee, or cry and not pee, so it was confusing. Six months old now and still sometimes whines when I hold him to go, but that’s mostly followed by a pee.

      • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 22, 2017 at 2:08 pm

        Stef I have had the same experience with my 3rd of 4. It is not worth it at some points in their growth. Thank you for sharing your progress so far! :)

    • Avatar Angie on May 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      I have the EXACT same situation with my 5 mo old daughter. She wakes twice a night with a dry bottom but gets irate the moment I unsnap her diaper. Please help, Andrea!

      • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 22, 2017 at 2:10 pm

        Hey Angie! As I recommended to another mama above, I would try the nurse and pee combo. Over top hat potty or waterproof pad. Or mini potty. Your choice. But it will help those who don’t like to wake at night but indeed need to go (my first was exactly like that). Good luck! xx Andrea

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 22, 2017 at 9:10 am

      Julia – to get thru this (definitely just a phase) you can try nursing while pottying – over a top hat potty would be easiest. Or over a waterproof pad of some sort. If she’s dry and you think she has to go, get her comfy and give her the breast and then cue her. :)

  3. Avatar Oksana on May 15, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    I have used this one very successfully since I started EC. To begin with my daughter would pee in her diaper while I pottied, but as I continued to offer the potty first thing in the morning she began to hold ut, and wait for me to finish. She has a dry or mostly dry diaper every morning now. She is 11 months old.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 22, 2017 at 9:11 am

      Awesome Oksana!! Thanks for sharing some of your story with us – I am certain it is encouraging for others to read. :)

  4. Avatar Robin on May 15, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    I’ve been offering the toilet to my 16 month old first thing in the morning since around 6 months. Since she’s been about 9-12 months old, I don’t always pick her up first thing in the am, because I can get my workout finished and/or she will go back to sleep or rest for another 30 min to 1 hour. Therefore, I haven’t caught a morning pee in sooo long. The last few weeks I’ve been trying to get her up as soon as I hear her and offer the toilet, but she still won’t go. I’m assuming she already went before I got her as she often won’t pee again for 1-2 hours after waking. Basically, trying to catch the morning pee is not working for me, but I’m still holding onto the extra hour or so of time I have to myself in the morning.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 22, 2017 at 9:29 am

      Hey Robin! Get that workout in and don’t feel guilty. And to get it on mornings you’d like to, just go in there a tiny bit earlier.

      • Avatar Robin on June 3, 2017 at 12:41 pm

        Cool, thanks so much for the advice!

  5. Avatar Micky on May 15, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    This is our most successful catch! I think 98% of morning pees go into the toilet and roughly 50% of the night nappies are completely dry :-) We have been doing EC since my baby is 7 weeks old, she is now 11 months.
    However, where I also used to catch after every nap, that is no longer the case since she is mobile. I can’t find a pattern though, she MAY pee directly after waking (I always offer) but she can easily hold it for another 1,5 hours! (Or anything in between….)
    Not sure how to proceed, but I’m also doing the course on potty timing now.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 22, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Great Micky!! I think the course will help and def redo parts of it as baby grows. But for now, honestly, just keep offering at nap wake up. Doesn’t matter if you catch or not – it’s a matter of repetition and consistency. She’ll see it as a touch point she can depend on :)

  6. Avatar Stef on May 15, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    I Love the morning pee catch. I get Daddy to do that one! A nice tradition. For a while it was his one poop of the day too, but unfortunately those days have passed and poop timing is now unpredictable. ECing since a week or so after birth and now he’s 6 months and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that things don’t go too awry when crawling begins.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 22, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Stef – They probably won’t! It will just be different. And that poop regularity will come back too eventually. Great getting daddy involved and thx for sharing part of your story with us!

    • Avatar Jessica Marickovich on June 21, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      My baby girl (almost 5 months) did the same thing!! Used to poop every morning now it varies throughout the day.

  7. Avatar Wambui on May 15, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    After committing some EC no-nos unknowingly, I decided to just work on catching the first pee of the morning. I tried yesterday with my 2.5 week old and it worked! Gave much needed encouragement for the day :)

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 22, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      Awesome to hear, Wambui! And congratulations on your new little one <3

  8. Avatar Carol H on May 16, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    I was very skeptical about EC until we started trying to catch the wake-up pee, morning and naps. It really is the easiest catch. All the other catches started falling into place from there.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 22, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      Carol…yes! That is exactly how it can easily work. Staring here is a great way to begin and I’m glad it’s going well for you all :)

  9. Avatar Taylor on May 18, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    What about when they wake up and don’t pee for a really long time? My toddler went two hours after waking up this morning, and my baby (9 mo) went at least an hour before needing to pee. Usually this works great, but every so often it totally Doesn’t!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 22, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Well, the thing to keep in mind is that they will constantly change as they get older…and also remember that some babies are simply “camels” and can hold it a lot longer than others. No rhyme or reason. Hopefully it will get somewhat more predictable so this catch may work for you at some point. But if not, just do what works!! :)

  10. Avatar Conzy on June 20, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Hi there! We’ve been pretty successful with the morning pee, every once in a while though I just cant seem to be quick enough, my baby pees right when I open the diaper, as if she just waits for it! This Happens during the day, too… Any advice?
    Also, when I try to get the pee After napping during the day, she is usually instantly crying and wants to nurse upon waking up…should I nurse while pottying? Or is it something Else?
    Thanks for your help!
    Conzy from Germany :)

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 20, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      Hey Conzy! I would say just cue along with her if she starts to pee when you open the diaper. You can also try to take her diaper off with one hand while holding her with the other (right when you pick her up) which would encourage her to hold it for a second. Also, say “wait” while you take the diaper off. :)

      Some babies just wake up unhappy. A bunch of conflicting needs, I’d assume. So, you can and should feed if she seems hungry, nursing over a waterproof pad or top hat potty if you wish (pad – – top hat potty is coming to my store in a few months, but you can use a mixing bowl in the meanwhile). If she pees while you nurse, simply cue along. :)

      xx Andrea

  11. Avatar Heidi on June 22, 2017 at 1:24 am

    The wake up pee was always one of the easiest for us. During nighttime EC, I would nurse and potty at the same time.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on July 26, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Great! Yes, that is a familiar situation for me, too :)

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