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Dang this baby is getting heavy. (or, “Moving from in-arms to a potty”)

GDF Podcast 39

When and how to transition from the in-arms EC hold to a mini potty.

If you have been holding your newborn in arms over a container or top hat potty, you might be wondering "hey, when can I start my baby on a mini potty?"

Maybe your child is getting heavy, or they are starting to show you that they can sit up. Whatever the reason, it's a great question, and one we will dive into shortly.

Today on the Go Diaper Free Podcast we're talking about how to transition from an in-arms-hold to the mini potty!

You will hear:

  • When and how to transition to the mini potty
  • What developmental stages to look for before transitioning
  • Signs that your baby is ready for a mini potty
  • Other options if you can't hold your baby, but they are too young for a mini potty
  • How to position your baby on the mini potty

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 download: Moving from in-arms to a potty

Watch the Video Version (new!)

If you want to watch me record today’s podcast episode, you can do that on my youtube version right here:

Thanks for Listening!

To help out the show and help more parents find out about EC:

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  • Share your thoughts by leaving a note in the comments section below!

When do you plan on transitioning to the mini potty, or have you already? 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 Morgan on April 23, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Hey Andrea, do you have to transition to mini-potty or can you transition directly to toilet? We’re still using the sink and love the easy clean up and my husband is not thrilled on the idea of using something that needs to be cleaned out all the time.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 24, 2019 at 2:16 am

      Hi Morgan! I would get baby used to using a mini potty and a seat reducer. It is always a good idea to have options. The plus side to a mini potty is that kids can use them independently much earlier, which is wonderful. xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Meg on April 23, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    Great episode, and very timely as our 3 month old (EC from birth) has just started this “bucking”. We ask “All done?” and she practically tries to jump out of my arms, but then pees a few minutes later.

    • Avatar Meg on April 23, 2019 at 1:55 pm

      Would also love to see an episode on when to transition baby from a diaper backup to trainers/undies. Personal preference?

      • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 24, 2019 at 2:21 am

        Thanks for the suggestion! You might find this helpful. xx Andrea

        • Avatar Sandy on April 28, 2019 at 8:30 am

          I wondered what all the bucking was about! Thanks for the insight. Sounds like our 4 month old is ready to start the transition to her mini potty. Do you recommend keeping it in the bathroom to start place association or should I start in the room I normally potty her on and transition to bathroom later? Thanks, Andrea :)!

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

            I would do whatever is easiest, you don’t have to stick to the bathroom. Sometimes it is handy to have a couple of mini potties around the house. xx Andrea

      • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 29, 2019 at 11:20 am

        Annnnnd…we have one on this exact coming up next week I think!

        • Avatar Sandy on May 5, 2019 at 10:19 pm

          Thanks, Andrea :)! Excited to hear more in the next podcast.

          • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 8, 2019 at 2:34 am

            You are welcome Sandy! I am glad you are enjoying the podcasts. xx Andrea

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 24, 2019 at 2:19 am

      Hi Meg! Very timely! I hope it gave you some good ideas. xx Andrea

  3. Avatar Sammi on April 28, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Do you have any posts or podcasts about doing Ec or potty training when there is a toddler older sibling in the home? Wanting to start this, but I’m concerned that my almost 4 yr old will struggle with the ninja attention for the first 2-3 days. How do I balance playing with her and keeping her occupied (without tv or any of the “distractions” around) while being vigilant with my 15 month old?

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 29, 2019 at 1:32 am

      The easiest way to go would be to have someone help you. There job would be to care for your 4 year old. A friend, family member, babysitter. It would just be for the first most intense days. If you can’t have help, you can have distractions for your kiddo. Just be sure that you are not distracted. xx Andrea

  4. Avatar Diana on April 28, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    We started using the seat reducer (prince lion heart. So nice and cushioned) when babe was 6 months. That’s the only way I was able to hold him without aching lol
    We still do the classic EC hold over the sink or outside, or use the top hat potty in addition to the seat reducer on the toilet.
    He hated it the first few times! But now he understands that he can relax and eliminate there, too.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 29, 2019 at 1:33 am

      It’s great that he’ll use a variety of potties. That’s the best way to go. xx Andrea

  5. Avatar Maggie on October 20, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    Andrea, I just finished reading the continuum concept today because of what you said in this podcast: “I have very strong opinions on how to handle babies basically stemming from what I read in the Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff. If you have not read that book, please do. It’s amazing.”
    Thanks for the recommendation! The book was VERY interesting and challenging to my worldview. I feel like my paradigms are shifting because of it! I was wondering if you’d be able to describe the bullets on how you handle babies based on the book? Also, any helpful resources to supplement the book to help me understand the concepts more fully?
    (PS we have one baby (8 month old girl) who we have done part time EC with since birth and just started using your mini potty last week. We love it and love EC!)

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on October 25, 2019 at 8:02 pm

      Hi Maggie! Do you have the Go Diaper Free book? I have bullet-pointed this topic in my book. There is also this article I wrote on the Continuum Concept and EC. I am so glad you love the mini potty! They really are so nice to have. Keep up the awesome work with EC! xx Andrea

  6. Avatar Sandra on October 31, 2019 at 12:03 am

    Thanks for the podcast (and all the others, and the book, and the minipotty, and the tinyundies). We started using the minipotty since our baby was 2M old (EC’d since 5 days old) because my wrists are wrecked. I guess because of my job and the extra liquid in my joints from pregnancy, the addition of holding the baby was too much for my hands. Potting has been working great though!
    EC in general has been an awesome experience. I can say I understand my baby’s cycles, and I know she never fusses or cryies without a reason. She has been dry at night almost since the begining, which still amazes me.
    I have had trouble ECing in outings, that’s when I use the disposable biodegradable inserts for the Gdiapers. I potty her just when it’s convenient; and usually when I notice that poo is coming soon.
    Thanks a lot for sharing all this info
    Nature bless you

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on November 11, 2019 at 12:26 am

      Hi Sandra! I am so glad to hear EC is going so well for you! It sounds like you have a wonderful EC practice going. xx Andrea

  7. Avatar Ilana-Ruth on February 8, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    Hey Andrea! 9 month old baby will only use the mini potty once in a blue moon. He tends to just stand up off of it without going even if he needs to go (which I’ll know from holding him in EC hold over toilet immediately after and he goes with no issue). He’s getting ready to walk so I really want him to be able to use the mini potty (and my back hurts from holding him over the toilet!). Any suggestions? We are using your mini potty that’s low and I also have the cozy.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on February 9, 2020 at 2:08 pm

      Hi Ilana-Ruth! It just takes time. You can try holding him over the mini potty to start. Once you’re getting catches regularly that way, have him sit. Then use distractions to keep him sitting. If he just won’t stay on it you can use a seat reducer, that way he can’t just stand up. When he is walking independently you can reintroduce the mini potty. xx Andrea

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