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How I learned about Elimination Communication


Today I share the story behind it all! How I learned about elimination communication as a natural alternative to diapers and toilet training...BEFORE I was pregnant with my first baby.

You will hear:

  • about the super-mom mentor who thought EC was too complicated
  • What the inspirational example of my “friend of a friend”
  • how learning about diaper freedom gave me freedom to parent
  • the galvanizing moment that birthed Go Diaper Free
  • my heart for the Go Diaper Free community

Links and other resources mentioned today:

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

Transcript download: How I Learned About Elimination Communication

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How did you find out about Elimination Communication? Please leave a comment below and tell me what your searched words were in Google or Youtube!

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 Kim on November 16, 2021 at 10:59 am

    We have used EC since birth using your method and it was amazing! I had no idea that EC even existed, but I’m pretty sure “how to use fewer cloth diapers” was the phrase I searched for and that brought me to your site. The store we purchased our diapers from recommended what seemed like an outrageous amount of newborn diapers and I like to be frugal when possible, hence the search.
    My son is in daycare full time so we only did EC at home, but he has still been out of diapers since 12 months and fully trained since about 18 months!
    Thanks for all your hard work to make this method accessible to everyone!

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on November 19, 2021 at 12:42 pm

      Such a beautiful story Kim!

      Glad you enjoyed the content and accessibility.

  2. Avatar Anna on November 16, 2021 at 11:44 am

    I was at a baby shower when I was probably about 10 and the mom to be got a seat reducer as a gift and I heard my mom talking about how the new mom was going teach the baby how to use a toilet right away. My mom even put my infant sister on the potty a few times, but there wasn’t any further detail or support. I thought the concept was awesome and decided I wanted my babies to go on the potty too. I really hate changing diapers, particularly on toddlers. When I became pregnant, I realized I needed to figure out how to potty a baby and bought a book on it. The book was inspiring and made it sound easy. I then proceeded to struggle a lot with EC because it is a little more nuanced and each child is different. Also, I believe my type A personality got in the way. Andrea’s resources have been very helpful in troubleshooting. I still love EC, but there have been times that have been really difficult, which has made sharing it embarrassing. Now that I have 2 children, I’m developing more confidence about it.

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on November 19, 2021 at 12:43 pm

      Yes perfectionism will get in the way of anyone trying to EC, and it is SO common. I term it becoming potty centered. Glad to hear you are a little more relaxed and becoming an advocate for EC!

  3. Avatar Lisa on November 16, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    I found you only through recommendation by one of your German coaches – cause I was only searching for the German term “windelfrei”. There’s no resource like yours in german – I would love your book to be translated as for some of my friends it’s hard to read everything in English! I just could wrap up EC with my 19mo (with pure EC!) and am so glad I chose this way with her – also because we had so few poop diapers, I totally share your point there! I’m telling all my friends with babys about EC and find myself being disappointed and sorry for them if they don’t try or don’t stick to it.
    Thanks so much for your work!

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on November 19, 2021 at 12:44 pm

      So glad you found GO Diaper Free!

      We are in the process of getting the book processed in different languages, so thank you for your support and continued patience while we make this happen.

      • Avatar Lisa on November 20, 2021 at 1:18 pm

        Wow, that’s good to hear! Looking forward 😉

        • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on November 24, 2021 at 2:01 pm


  4. Avatar Victoria Hair on November 18, 2021 at 1:56 am

    Thanks for sharing your story!!
    Here’s mine:
    (sorry it’s long, I’m excited to finally comment on a blog)

    I too hate changing poopy diapers!!
    I cringe at the thought of babysitting and having to change a toddlers diaper. Or a smelly formula diaper.
    As soon as I saw another option I knew that’s what I wanted to do too!!!

    How I Found Out About EC:

    I go to church with a girl my age, that had a baby 14 months before me. By the time my baby was born, this girl never needed to use the nursery to change a diaper! She was already taking her daughter to the bathroom! She told me she started potty training before her daughter was even walking. I was so interested in finding out how I could do the same thing!! so I googled:

    “how to potty train early” or
    “what’s the earliest I can potty train”

    I quickly found out about the term Elimination Communication and then Go Diaper Free and read a few blogs and some of the PDFs.

    I bought a mini potty when my baby was 6 months old. Once my daughter was able to sit up on her own and was crawling, so 8 months, I started sitting her on the mini potty. I would signal ‘potty’ to her as I sat across from her and modeled how to use the big potty. I was very relaxed about it and probably only sat her on the potty one time a day most days, and not every time was a catch but it was so effortless I stayed consistently inconsistent. She started signaling back at some point and I was so proud. I started trying the easy catch of the morning with great success. That was my part time EC, the rest of the time she was in a diaper. But I knew she ‘could’ potty on the potty. There were a handful of times I put her on between diaper changes or just at random but we were always very very part time.

    My goal was to have her potty trained by at least 18 months. But I think I read something that said the best timing for early potty training was 12-16 months. I didn’t want to waste my efforts at EC by training her to use her diaper. At 14 months I bought the Go Diaper Free Book because I wanted to get serious about it, and discovered the Hybrid Plan. My daughter is 15 months and we are finally ditching daytime diapers. I am confident she is capable and so thankful for all of the amazing resources Andrea has made available through Go Diaper Free. ❤️

    And also I owe a great thank you to my friend, “the girl at church” who totally inspired me to “potty train early” and led me into my search of Go Diaper Free.

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on November 19, 2021 at 12:48 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story, and I am so grateful for the girl at church that inspired you to learn about “early potty training”!

      Congratulations on ditching the diapers at 15 months. SO exciting!!

  5. Avatar Jenny on November 18, 2021 at 3:25 am

    Thank you for this! It’s been really inspiring reading everyone’s experiences!

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on November 19, 2021 at 12:50 pm

      Your welcome!

  6. Avatar CZ on November 20, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    Similar to you Andrea, I thought there must be another way besides diapers because humans have been around waaay longer than diapers……yeah. :) I actually found out about EC (almost a decade before giving birth and years before I even wanted to have my own biological child :p) from some raw foodists I used to follow online. They started their first born on it from birth, talked about how they set up their bed, the sounds they used, and what they packed in their “diaper bag” for trips instead of diapers, and just made it look doable. I knew from then on, if I somehow changed my mind and wanted a baby, I would do EC.
    In 3 days my only baby girl will be 2 months old, and I’ve been doing EC inconsistently with her since about 3 weeks when we got your top hat potty and waterproof pad. With everything that happened immediately after her birth, I didn’t have time for observation or the confidence to hold her over the toilet instead of using all the free diapers we got first. But once they were used up it was EC time! I understand people’s temerity about EC, but I’ve actually been surprised how many catches we’ve had. Baby girl doesn’t really signal but she’s interested in my signals and may be picking up on them, so that’s a start. I went ahead and got a subscription to Dyper but I think we may be able to skip some deliveries. I highly appreciate that suggestion though!
    I probably searched YouTube for Elimination Communication or ‘diaper free’ at some point during my pregnancy. Also, Mayim Byolik (sp? the chick who played Blossom back in the day) did EC with her kids, which meshed well with her Attachment Parenting, something else I wanted to practice with my child long before I thought I’d have one.
    So that’s my EC story. One last thing I wanna say, I should’ve gotten your book Brave New Birth, then I probly wouldn’t have had to deal with the tornado that going to the hospital turned out to be. Thanks so much for living your passions Andrea, and thanks to everyone who does even a drop of EC for saving our environment even just a little more.

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