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Potty Training after Elimination Communication (does it make you a failure?)

This post was originally posted on June 1, 2019, and has been fully updated on June 1, 2021 to include an audio (Podcast) version, a video (YouTube) version, and to include some basic updates. Enjoy! xx Andrea

Listen to the Podcast

Watch the Video Version

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

This is a guest post from Ariane Blais-Lacombe, our certified coach in Chicago/Quebec. Enjoy her very wonderful and unique journey where she combines elimination communication with potty training in a guilt-free and positive manner! xx Andrea

When I started Elimination Communication, I thought I would never have to potty train my child. I read that EC babies usually become toilet-trained, by themselves, somewhere between 12 to 24 months. I was really hoping that would be my experience...but it wasn't.

My EC journey

I discovered Elimination Communication when my first son was 3 months old. I was astonished, skeptical, but also very curious. After gathering some information, I started right away.

I was amazed by our first successes. I was catching a few pees every day. Within a month, my baby started pooping in the toilet exclusively. It was going so well, I was telling all my friends about it.

During the next 6 months, we had less than 10 poopy diapers and we had double the time between our cloth diaper washes, going from washing every 2-3 days to every 5-7 days.

Do I need to say that washing pee only is 100 times easier than dealing with poop, especially when baby starts eating solid food?

If it hadn’t been for EC, I don’t think we would have continued to use cloth diapers after we moved to Chicago, where we don’t have a washer and dryer in our apartment. Just the cost of the laundry 2-3 times per week would not have been worth it. So thanks again, EC!

When my son approached 1 year old, I thought we were done with diapers. I could keep him dry all day long. He even started to wake up dry, even if he was still waking up once a night to drink milk.

But then we traveled home for the holidays and we had a big regression. Looks like we were not done after all.

My son started walking at 15 1/2 months. As you know, walking is a big developmental milestone and it helps a lot with potty independence. How can you get to the potty, push down your pants, dump your potty and everything...if you can’t walk yet?

At 18 months, I thought again we were ready to graduate from EC. It was the beginning of the summer and I kept him dry for a few days. He was gladly going when I offered him to pee or poop.

But then again we traveled in Germany that summer and we faced another major regression. Ugh.

Transitioning to Potty Training

So here we are, back home in Chicago. My son is now almost 2. I was able to get him back to part-time EC for the past month. He went back to pooping only in the potty (thank goodness!).

I am so ready to be done with diapers.

Two years of washing diapers...that’s way more than what I thought I was signing up for.

While pregnant, I thought babies wore diapers during only their first year of life...which is true around the world. 50-60% of babies elsewhere in the world are potty trained by around one year old.

But here in America, the average potty training age is 3. I am NOT going to change wet diapers and underwear for another year, or more. No thank you!

That’s why I’m officially tired of doing EC.

I’m tired of doing it part-time only, with diapers and training pants as a back-up. I think it’s confusing for my son, now that he is 22 months old. I'm ready to jump ship and do potty training to the finish line.

While babies let themselves be guided by their parents, toddlers want to do things on their own. To get that autonomy and independence they aim for, they need clear boundaries. Simple expectations. Repetitive tasks.

They need potty training, not EC.

This is the difference between Elimination Communication and Potty Training:

  1. EC can be done part-time. Potty training has to be done full-time.
  2. EC can be done with diapers. Potty training means ditching the diaper and never looking back.
  3. With EC, you try to get some or most of the pees and poos in the potty. With potty training, you try to get ALL the pees and poos in the potty.
  4. The goal of EC is communication, the goal of potty training is completion.

In both cases, you have to respect your child in the process. You have to TEACH them what to do. You have to give them as much independence as they can handle. Some parents forget that, both in EC and potty training.

This week, I am using potty training to wrap up EC.

With all this in mind, I started potty training my son YESTERDAY and it went sooo well. We only had one accident, when I was distracted folding laundry. Very common error.

(During the intensive teaching days of potty training, DON’T DO ANYTHING ELSE.)

Other than that, we got every. single. pee. (and poop of course) in the toilet.

And that’s because we did EC for all those months previously!

Elimination Communication has helped me...

  1. know my toddler's natural rhythm
    He usually goes every hour. Since I gave him extra fluid, I knew he would go every half hour. I simply prompt him and he just goes.
  2. develop tricks to stay on the potty
    We have been through many potty resistance phases. Now I know what potty position my toddler prefers, what books he likes to read (it’s Tiny Potty, by the way), what songs he likes to hear (Wheels on the Bus, of course), etc.
  3. know my toddler's signals
    In fact, I didn’t have to prompt him all day long. Sometimes I would just see him grab his crotch or wiggle in his high chair. I knew what that meant! I would just honour those signals by bringing him to the potty.
  4. connect my toddler with his own bodily functions
    When he had his only accident of the day, he came to me saying “peepee.” That’s HUGE! Kids who wear diapers 24/7 for 2-3 years sometimes don’t even know what pee is, what it looks like, what it feels like. EC helps connect your child to his own elimination process. He even said “peepee” by himself BEFORE peeing a few times, too.

So I’m not saying potty training will be like a fairy tale if you did EC previously.

Mine isn’t. We are on Day 2 now and things are already more complicated.

I’m just saying we started off on the right foot THANKS TO EC.

And you could be too.

Does wrapping it up with potty training mean you failed at EC?

Short answer : NO.

You have not failed at EC if your child is not yet potty independent.

If you are there too, wondering how to wrap up EC after 18 months, know that you are not alone.

You did nothing wrong. It is perfectly normal.

People who complete EC at a young age without much effort are always more talkative about it than people who are struggling!

So hear me out:
My name is Ariane.
I am a Go Diaper Free Coach and
my EC'd baby is still not independent
at 22 months.

And that’s OK.

What can YOU do to wrap up EC with your baby?

You have two options.

Option 1 : Stick with Elimination Communication

If you continue with EC, building blocks towards independence, ditching the diaper for good, trying to move from part-time to full-time, chances are things will wrap up by themselves in the next few months.

If you need a little help, grab Andrea’s minicourse on Wrapping up EC.

Option 2 : Switch to Potty training

If, like me, you are READY to be DONE, then just potty train! No shame!

Potty training is not EC failure. It’s just a faster, more direct way to complete EC.

The things is, potty training is different from EC. You will need guidance to switch from one to another. Such guidance can be found in the Tiny Potty Training Book. It has a simple, quick and effective method that is inspired by EC and follows the same spirit.


Now please tell me I'm not the only one who had to potty train after doing EC!

Please comment below: At what age did your child became potty trained or potty independent? How did you do it? If you’re not there yet, what are your expectations?

Thank you and best wishes!

xox Ariane

Ariane Blais-Lacombe

About Ariane Blais-Lacombe

Ariane is a French-speaking Go Diaper Free Coach. Born and raised in Québec City, she currently lives in Boston with her husband and their four children. Ariane discovered Elimination Communication when her first baby was 3 months old. She started right away and was amazed by the results. Since then, continued to potty her babies (even from birth!) and started to teach infant and toddler potty training, both in French and English.


  1. Avatar Angie on June 1, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Hello Ariane! This is a great article and I am in the same exact boat as you with my 20 month old. I have been wanting to do potty training after EC (since 1 month) but unfortunately I haven’t gotten around to it yet because we just moved countries and I”m starting a new job Monday, and before that I had really bad morning sickness since I”m also pregnant with #2. I also haven’t been able to finish the coaching program with so much going on :( But my main questions about potty training after EC are: (1) How do you improve the communication aspect if your kid still doesn’t talk so they tell you before they go in their pants? My son will usually do the wiggling and grabbing his crotch thing so I can take him before he goes, but this morning he just started pooping in his trainers! First time in a long time and not fun!! I am sure we are having a regression with all these big changes in our lives, but I just wonder after starting potty training if it’s easier to get them to communicate with you before they go, as we never really mastered that in EC. (2) Is it possible to teach potty independence when you don’t use a mini potty? We have almost always used a seat reducer on the big toilet because it’s easier to get him to go without escaping, but there’s no way he can potty by himself without help, so I don’t see how independence as possible. Should we keep working with the big toilet or switch to a mini potty? Any advice about that would also be great. Thanks again! This exact topic has been on my mind the past few months so it’s great to read about it. I’m hoping once we settle into a new house, routine and job we can jump on the potty training boat and follow in your footsteps.

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 8:52 pm

      Hello Angie, thanks for your comment. There sure seems to be a lot going on in your life right now, so don’t be too hard on yourself. I wouldn’t worry too much about your child not expressing himself verbally at that point. Wiggling and grabbing the crotch are quite obvious signs, you know them and you respond to them, and that’s wonderful. About potties : I like to have both a toilet seat reducer with a foot and a mini potty. I’ve been surprised that he brings himself to the potty sometimes! But I think at 20 months you don’t have to worry about autonomy to much. If he likes the toilet, keep that. You can still work gradually on different elements : pulling pants down and up, flushing, etc. It will all work out in time! :)

  2. Avatar Anisa on June 1, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    We did EC since birth and my son just kept getting more and more resistant to using the potty and only wanted to pee or poop outside. I recognized the growing resistance and his growing need for independence at 16mo old and decided potty training would be the best thing for both of us. And it was! It took 10 days for him to learn to sit on the potty and use it all on his own for pees and poops.

    We are both happier because of it! He will still get some wet pants every now and then as it’s only been 4 weeks being diaper free but all in all, I’d say it’s been a success! I’m so thankful to have done EC as well because it made the whole transition so much easier

  3. Avatar Viv on June 1, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Yup, I hear you and I feel you. EC has been wonderful for my daughter and me and I would do it all over again without a doubt. She was four months old the last time she pooped in a diaper, which makes it all worth it, in my opinion. She’s twenty months old now and uses the ‘chimmy’ frequently (always for poop). But it seems that she’s peeing in her clothes ever since we night-weaned a week ago. I don’t know why :/ I just hope it’s a brief pause. Thank you for your post!

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 8:57 pm

      I hope it is too! But if not, the Tiny Potty Training Book could really help you ;)

  4. Avatar Helen on June 1, 2019 at 10:44 am

    This is great to read! thank you.
    We are in exactly the same boat. My LO has been in undies for months now except for hiking (ie long road trips). However starting Daycare 2 days a week along with something else and my son regressed again with lots of wet undies. THEN the tiny potty book arrived and since we haven’t turned back, he loves reading it and trying to copy it thought he still prefers the big toilet with reducer but hhe is much better at communicating and going. Only accidents are when he is far to interested in getting lunch ready or playing that no matter what I say interms of you need to pee he won’t go. (he learned the word No last week!!!!). Day care have been great once they understood and once I gave them his reducer since for some reason the toddler seats are still too wide for him. Misses will still happen until they understand him better but they have been minimal misses.
    Only other issue we have had is that he is now refusing to go in public toilets 9/10 times. He was generally ok with them but something has made him not want to go unless he is desperate!
    Anyway it is good to know you toilet trained an EC baby too. When I was reading the potty training book I felt it was a step backwards until I worked out what stage we could start at. Mind you he loves running around BBB (bare bum baby) now the weather is warmer. Glad to hear someone else did it to

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 9:04 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience Helen. Having the daycare on your side is great! And there’s nothing wrong with a naked baby running around at home! ;) About public toilet : I like to carry our travel potty (the Potette Plus) with us. I place it next to the toilet and we usually go together. I also use it in parks, at my parents house, in the parking lot, etc. It is suuuper helpful!

  5. Avatar AJ on June 1, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Thank you for this article! I have seen that while continuing EC during the Montessori “sensitive period” (12-18 months) it is super helpful to completely ditch diapers. For us, we did daily diaper free time whenever at home, and then at 18 months we stopped daytime diapers completely. It felt like jumping off a cliff but I see how being diaperless hugely facilitated the learning process. Perfection is a long way off but he makes progress every day. We have some international trips coming up this summer which I was a little worried about, but I am 100% committed to be diaper free, even if it means putting a pull-up over his undies in dire circumstances (hopefully rarely). Some relatives thought diapers would be more convenient while traveling, but I think the opposite! I don’t want to have to continually lay my extremely squirmy toddler down on a dirty bathroom floor (when no changing table is available) and carry around stinky diapers trying to find where to dispose of them. Accidents happen and we just move on :) also, it’s helpfuk to get some “quick dry” summer shorts. Just rinse and they will dry in an hour or so.

  6. Avatar Jenny on June 1, 2019 at 11:19 am

    Thanks Ariane! This is very helpful. My son is almost 19 months old. I didn’t learn about EC until he was 9 months old and too was intrigued and started right away but only party time. He was doing so well for a while we’d catch all pees except night and nap time ones and most poops but we just traveled for a couple weeks and he did great with pees he even peed in the loud airplane toilet. Now that we’re home he’s regressing a bit. I will probably potty train after the summer before he’s 2 if he’s not done with diapers soon!

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 9:09 pm

      That’s great Jenny, wait and see how summer goes. You’ll know what to do if your child need some extra help to complete the process.

  7. Avatar Bethany on June 1, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Thank you for sharing your experience Ariane! I am almost 7 months into EC with my almost 7 month old. We are doing part-time EC and I am planning to ditch diapers as soon as he masters walking. Almost all of his poops are in the potty and we catch 3-5 pees per day. I think he still hasn’t consolidated his pees yet, but it was helpful to know that your son pees every half hour to every hour, so when we do get to that point of ditching diapers, its okay to feel like he is pottying frequently. Thanks again for sharing your story…I have a feeling we will be doing potty training to the finish line as well. You’re doing a great job! Keep up the good work!

  8. Avatar Jenn on June 1, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    This is a great post, thank you. We did EC part time from birth and saved so many cloth changes! Around 6 months 70% of baby’s poops were in the potty. At 17mo he became highly resistant to me putting a diaper on him so at 18 mo I ordered the tiny potty training book and ditched diapers. We are currently on day 14 and last night was our first no bed wetting night (one dream pee at 3am.
    Pooping on the potty was no problem and not really even a transition, we sit on the potty after every meal and have been 100% with poops before potty training with no regression so far.
    Pee is another issue entirely. We did 2 naked days with lots of pee on the floor. He would say ‘wet’ or ‘pee’ as he was peeing but had no warning signs. Dayn3 we start d commando and I took him to the potty about every hour (his natural timing) and he peed on the potty almost every time. We are now in undies and pants and have between 0 and 3 accidents a day but still no warning before a pee. Any advice on helping him learn what it feels like before he needs to go? Any advice on how long 1 should expect to be prompting for every pee?
    Thank you for your story and ideas.

    • Avatar rebekah on June 1, 2019 at 2:26 pm

      This is us, but 2 months in. We have only had a few days of 0 accidents while potty training, but we also never figured out his cues while doing ec (I don’t think he signals). He got worse when a new baby came home at 2 weeks in, but is just now doing better now that I have added big boy undies (trainers and normal underwear stuffed with cotton in the crotch pocket). It certainly isn’t the 3 day training I expected, but even still it is better than changing diapers (he had more accidents when wearing diaper backup).

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 9:20 pm

      Hey Jenn, thanks for commenting. You should be proud of what you have done so far, poop in the potty and a dry night are great successes. Maybe your child needs more commando time. Sometimes a good 2-3 weeks in commando really helps. It feels so much different than diapers and undies. Prompting can last a while… even with older kids and adults, we sometimes have to remind to go to the toilet! If at some point you feel it’s too long, wait and see : will he bring himself when his bladder is full or will he have an accident? That will help you decide how to act regarding prompting.

  9. Avatar Sarah on June 1, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    This was encouraging to read. I know I’m
    Not supposed to feel like a failure in this, but I’m having a really challenging time with my 17 month old daughter. We didn’t start EC until 8 months but by 12 months I decided to put her in undies at home and just cleanup when she had accidents so we could really be all in on it. She’s been exclusively in undies at home for almost 5 months and seems to have made such minimal progress. She’ll have days where she’s happy to sit on the potty and has no accidents and other days where she’s having multiple accidents and doesn’t seem to be bothered. And sometimes she’s so angry when I want her to sit on the potty even if it’s been 2-3 hours since she went at all. I don’t know anyone here doing EC/earlier potty training so it can feel isolating. Especially since everyone has always thought it’s totally crazy!

    • Avatar Kristin on June 1, 2019 at 3:11 pm

      We didn’t start EC until about 14 months. She was doing great and then around 18 months tried to do full on potty training. It was going well for the first few months with about 0-3 misses a day. Then when she was almost 2 it became a battle to use the potty for pee – screaming, crying and peeing everywhere – car seats, beds, high chairs, endless laundry. We were both frustrated and I felt like it was impacting my time with her she was resenting the potty and me. I know they say never back after potty training and don’t go back to diapers. I felt like a failure at first but we switched to pull ups – when she goes on the potty great but if not oh well. I feel more relaxed and so does she. My new outlook is she’s not going to go to college in pull ups – when it happens it happens but don’t let potty training run your life and time with your toddler.

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 9:23 pm

      Hey Sarah, I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. It can be so frustrating when our child doesn’t cooperate and we put a lot on our shoulders. I invite you to join an online support group, it’s a great way to exchange experience and advice and to feel less alone. Here is my Chicago group. We will gladly accept you even if you’re not local.

  10. Avatar Emily on June 1, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    We have potty trained both my girls right after their 2nd birthday. Essentially we just got more serious. No diapers (except at night) and a few days of my full attention. Honestly it took a few months to get past the frequent accidents, but as some of you have said, it was still easier at more age appropriate than part time EC. We are currently EC-ing our third and expect to do the same after her 2nd birthday!

  11. Avatar Mireia on June 1, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Awesome thanks! I’m so glad to hear your story, I also felt I failed at EC :)

    • Avatar Jenn Hydefrost on June 1, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks for this post. I am also a Certified Go Diaper Free Coach. I have two kids both EC’ed from birth. They are 9 & almost 5 now. The first smoothly transitioned from EC to independent around 21 months. There were some points of resistance, especially when he started being constipated at 10 months. My second was a whole different beast. From 12 months (starting to walk) to 22 months there was so much resistance! At 22 months I had had it with the resistance. Someone on an EC Facebook group suggested Potty Training & recommended Andrea’s book. I thought she was crazy! I totally thought I had failed. Then I checked it out & got the book. We potty trained & 4 days later the resistance was gone! It was really incredible. I was also a bit frustrated by the 10 months of resistance that was so unnecessary. I was so impressed with Andrea’s books that I became a coach! So I’m right there with you. Potty training is so the right thing for toddlers. Thanks for thus great post!

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 9:26 pm

      We are not failure Mireia! Far from it!!

  12. Avatar Keeley on June 1, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Success is the small steps every single day. That’s the way I HAVE to look at EC otherwise I’m not relaxed enough. I could only manage EC part time because my husband wasn’t fully on board. Because he works nights, I’d practice in the morning. Until my daughter started figuring things out. Lol then he had to catch up quick. Unfortunately after we moved, we had a HUGE regression and potty pause. I’m glad that we were able to pick it back up, work through constipation, and eventually potty trained her by 18 months at home. Out of the home we had her potty trained completely by her second birthday. I was pregnant and don’t remember exact dates. 😄 Now I’m doing part time EC with my second and I’m LOVING IT! More parents need to at least give it a try.

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 9:30 pm

      Yay! That’s great Keely. I can’t even IMAGINE having two kids in diapers! You are right to say more parents need to know about EC.

  13. Avatar Adrianne on June 1, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Phew! It is nice to know we’re not alone in ‘failing’ at EC. We did PT EC since 3mo with 100% poo catches since 12mo, and ditched diapers 2 months ago, when my daughter was 16mo, and she made progress for the first two weeks, (a whole day without misses even!) and since then we have had up to 8 misses a day. It is exhausting, and there are times I really want to give up, but we’re still holding out… At least she’s night-dry 5 out of 7 days, and we catch all of the poos, usually with her asking. I’m continuing to try and teach her the steps to go by herself completely, and just received teddy LEARN undies, so hopefully she will want to avoid ‘getting teddy wet’. If that works, I’ll let y’all know! I really hope Andrea has a follow-up, with there being so many responses to this article :)

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 9:34 pm

      Hey Adrianne, it’s good for ME too to know I’m not alone! I hope the undies for well. They are so cute!

  14. Avatar Alaina on June 1, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    Me too! Thanks for the post because it felt like a fail to me. I felt let down…like what I’d learned and seen was possible with EC didn’t work for us. I EC’d at least part time from birth. It was AMAZING. And I’m so thankful for all the laundry and diapers we saved those first 7 months. But then he could pull himself up and it felt like one pause or resistance after another. Around 18 mo I bought him a little potty he was excited about and started potty training, or maybe more like practice? We were traveling a lot for a job and decided to use pull-ups and the toilet. It was months of practice. Of course it’s hard when you can’t pull your pants down on your own. But we did it. I can’t remember exactly when, but sometime around 2yo he’s been consistently in underwear and using the toilet. Hallelujah!

  15. Avatar Adri Lopez on June 1, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    I love this! I was one of those kids who was potty trained at 10 months (yes, months). We lived in Mexico in a small town and that was the norm – kids were potty trained between 10-12 months. When I had my own kids I thought I was going to train them at age 1. LOL…with my first I discovered EC at about 13 months and he picked it up quickly. For months he would poop only in the potty. Pees were harder to catch. Baby #2 came when he was 19 months and we had a major regression. It took a couple of weeks for him to start doing anything in the potty at all. Finally when he turned 2, I was so tired of changing diapers for 2 kids that we ditched the diapers and he got it in 7 days! With baby #2 I started EC when she turned 2 months old and I thought it was so amazing but she was a late walker and didn’t walk til 23 months. I wanted her to walk before I ditched the diapers completely. So as soon as she turned 2 I did and it took ONE day. ONE!!! I was FLOORED. Night trained on her own and everything! I definitely think EC was worth it – with my little girl, we changed maybe 10 poopy diapers every 6 months after we started EC. She had one blowout in her life. ONE. It wasn’t always perfect – I did EC part time too, but the transition to potty training was awesome with both kids because they knew where to poop and pee. They just had to learn it went in there EVERY time. All in all EC is one of the things that as a mom, I consider a great accomplishment. :)

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 9:37 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience Adri, I’m waiting for my second baby any day now!

  16. Avatar Michelle on June 2, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Thank you for this post! I started doing elimination communication part time at 2 months with my now 6 month old son. We got him a baby Bjorn potty at 3 1/2 months because he was getting too heavy to hold over the potty multiple times a day. He likes the potty and almost never pops in his diaper now. I haven’t learned his cues for peeing but we catch pee occasionally because I potty him each time he wakes up (except in the middle of the night) and before each diaper change or if I have a feeling he needs to go. I often wonder if I will need to potty train him or if he will just transition on his own when he learns to walk. So this post was very helpful. Thank you so much. <3

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 9:38 pm

      It seems like it’s going well for you Michelle. Just wait and see how the situation evolves, you might be one of the lucky ones who never have to potty train! ;)

  17. Avatar Floc on June 2, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Very interesting post, thank you! I am a lucky mum as my daughter is fully trained since the age of 15m, even though we have had a few regressions. She is now 22m and she can take off her pants and knickers pee/poop and put back on hef clothes. She has also night trained herself at the age of 10m and she stays dry most of the time. We have pee accidents from time to time, but not often. It is often due to toothing.
    We started ec at birth for poops and 3m for pees, and we ditched diapers at home right away. It worked well until she went to a nanny 3 to 4 days a week at the age of 7. I think she got totally confused as her nanny didn’t want to offer pottytunity at all. At the age of 10m we ditched diapers outside most of the time also. Even though at that time she did not communicate well, her pees had consolidated so well that we only had to offer pottytunities from time to time to keep her dry. At the age of 13m she started with a new, super nanny who decided to offer pottytunities every time she would change the other kids’ diapers. It worked super well and she started to ask explicitely for the potty 2 months later at 15m.
    In my experience, part time EC has gotten my LO confused but I am really happy we have done EC. Now I hate it when I see a baby or a toddler pooping on himself/herself, I feel really bad even though i know i shouldn’t as it is none of my business! I have loved the communication and also i love the idea that we have helped my daughter master her body fully and naturally instead of pushing her to forget about it by asking to go full time in diapers.

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 9:43 pm

      Wow that is a really encouraging story Floc! There are ways we can spread the word about EC without looking crazy or intrusive… with such a great experience, I’m sure you would convince lots of parents, or at least make them curious about EC!

  18. Avatar Tara on June 2, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Great post!
    Sounds similar to the way it went for my daughter. At 19 months and with another baby on the way I was ready to ditch the diapers and so was she. We started potty training and it was like second nature to her because of EC (especially compared to my older 2 children with whom I’d not done EC).
    The only thing that started happening was she started to pee at nighttime which she never did before. I’m not sure why, but because of that she is still wearing a diaper to bed at night, 8 months later. She sometimes will cry out and then we will change her or take her pee, but I’m hoping this will stop soon so we can officially be finished! (And not be woken in the night to go pee which never happened before we potty trained!)

  19. Avatar Cara on June 3, 2019 at 1:07 am

    Thanks for the post. We did part time EC starting fairly early with variable success – my son has no signal that I’ve been able to figure out for pee. We stopped using diapers and did potty training at 18 months with the Tiny Potty Training book, and my son is 23 months now. Finishing EC with potty training seemed natural for us. I feel like we could have done it earlier, and we skipped a lot of potty training issues by doing EC first. Now, most of the time, everything goes in the potty (mini potty preferred by my son), but changes in schedule and public toilets can be a problem for pee. We’re still figuring out how to be successful everywhere every time.

    • Avatar Jennifer on June 3, 2019 at 9:30 pm

      Hey Cara, I just wanted to say what really helped my sons in public toilets before they were tall enough to pee into the toilet while standing was using a collapsible silicone travel cup! I would pack it in my wet/dry bag & have it with me. And even when I stopped carrying a wet/dry bag around I could just put the cup in my back pocket! And in the dishwasher at night! It worked great. Just be sure it get one that holds 8 oz. Less than that & you could have an overflow issue. Speaking from experience, whoops! Good luck!

      • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 9:50 pm

        Thank you Jennifer, that’s a great tip! For our part, we use the Potette plus with it’s reusable liner everywhere (public toilets, parking, friends’ house, etc.) ! It’s really common for children to be afraid or hesitant to use public toilets, Cara. They are big and loud and not always really clean… We often potty together in the toilet, or outside the restroom, in a calm corner. Maybe that’s something to try! :)

  20. Avatar Jennifer Harvey on June 3, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    Awesome post! And also on the EXACT same page as you! Just potty trained our son at 22 months (two months ago now) after having done EC since he was two months old. And also from Québec! hihi :) The potty training experience was awesome and he did so great exactly because we did EC with him almost his entire life! Now, our current struggle is with wrapping up at night. We tried several nights diaper-free…with different clothing arrangements…waking up at specific times to pee and then not waking up…and it was one completely wet and messy adventure. He peed on average 4 times per night where we were unable to catch those, and he would not realize he was peeing when it happened, but would wake up later cold, wet and crying. We actually put diapers back on at night (even though I know we shouldn’t once we start) and are wondering what to do now? Will diapers at night eventually affect his potty independence in the daytime? And if we need to move forward with night time potty training, which path to use with a deep sleeper? Many thanks and great job on this awesome post!

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 3, 2019 at 9:56 pm

      Hey Jennifer, I wish I can help you more, but I’m just about to start night training as well! From what I have read, nighttime training does not affect daytime training and most kids achieve it at some point before 3. So those are two positive points! But if you have issues after that, or in the case of a deep sleeper, you might need more personalized help. It is up to you…

    • Avatar Kelsey on June 5, 2019 at 12:39 am

      My son right now has been successful at night with no diaper or anything. And that made a HUGE positive impact on daytime. He is in the bed with me though so I know that helps with immediacy. Although now a couple months in, if he wakes and I’m not in there, he does wait.
      My daughter was more of a struggle to night time potty train. I did the various methods you mention and limited liquids about 45 minutes before bed for a while (then I noticed it didn’t matter so ditched that). I set alarms on the hour she most often had an accident and over time, it moved and then finally she woke me up to take her. Various accidents with major life transitions but my best advice is to keep on keeping on and hang in there. It’s the hardest to do when you’re tired also, but being sweet and understanding and warm is huge when they wake up cold and unhappy. Also, there have been times with both that I’ve simply let them scream at me for a couple of minutes and then told them, “potty first, then back to sleep.” Especially if it’s one of those nights where I KNOW they need to and they’re just angry. Best of luck! I know it’s hard but as they say, “this too shall pass.”

  21. Avatar carissa on June 4, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Yes! we are just a month over 2 and honestly, i thought we’d be done by now. He’s been out of diapers (day and night) for months now, and what i didn’t realize, was i should have started “training” sooner! He was trying to tell me he was ready to be done around 15 months by refusing and wanting more independence. I should have been listening to him! well, anyway, we are doing better now that he can verbalize more and that i am on board with shifting gears into wrapping it up.

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 11, 2019 at 9:01 am

      Hey Carissa, it’s hard to know in advance what we should do as parents! But you seem to be catching up, I hope it all goes well!

  22. Avatar Melodie on June 4, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    I have four kids, and have EC’d all from birth. The first and fourth were still not fully potty independent at age 4, having occasional pee misses. But the second and third were potty independent before 18 months. Same family, same methods, different kids. I like to remind myself that 1 and 4 might have been nightmares to toilet train if we hadn’t done EC. And no matter how long it took them, our practice of EC was kind to the earth, too, which is no small thing.

    • Ariane Blais-Lacombe Ariane Blais-Lacombe on June 11, 2019 at 9:02 am

      Wow Melodie, that’s so good to know! All kids are different for sure!

  23. Avatar Kelly Sim on June 4, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    Hey Ariane! I also potty trained after EC (using the tiny potty book)! We jumped ship from EC to potty training a little earlier…around 15 months. I felt like my daughter was relying too much on my promoting and I was ready for her to really take the lead. It went pretty smoothly and I am so grateful for EC’ing with her up until that point. Potty Training really was a great way for me to hand over the baton in a clear and timely manner.
    Thanks for the post!

  24. Avatar Kelsey on June 5, 2019 at 12:29 am

    I did EC starting at 6 months with my first, 2 months with my second and 3 days with my third. Finished all three of them with potty training (at 20 months, 16 months and 17 months) and each one was a vastly different experience! Still technically on the tail end of the last one (he just turned 18 months and we have had plenty of good and not as good days). Overall, he amazes me and when I get frustrated (which is sometimes more often than I would like to admit), I am thankful for the moments that snap me back and help me realize how amazing he really is doing. Definitely not a failure to end EC with potty training… but each experience is its own. My advice is to remember when you’re struggling, most of the time a little reconnection is in order. :)

  25. Avatar Isabelle on June 6, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Hello everyone!
    Before my son turned 14months we finished the 2 week reset period (using cloth diapers daytime), did the two day modified naked observation and modeling on the potty, and with that info we jumped right into EC (with focus on the easy catch). The fallowing days, I’ve gone on some easy outings using the Learn back up underwear with my cloth diaper covers (without the inserts) and during a transition before going in the store, caught a full pee with the top hat potty as he was busy eating a pear; that boosted my confidence alot. On the first weekend away from the house, we caught alot of poos because he suddenly started to signal with the sign for “toilet” while in cloth diapers; we would sing a French version “vite vite vite, cour cour cour, reculon, assoie ton, derriere Sur le petit Po……” And then I’d hold him over the toilet in classic EC hold, he’d turn to look at me (seeing if it’s okay to release) and sign again as he goes. Catching up to 5 poos in a row felt like such a huge accomplishment, and I will say that I think the change of environment was in our favor, which was a bit of a surprise. Starting into the fallowing week, he started to sign “toilet” for pees while in the cloth diapers, another surprise, I was so happy about my efforts to help him communicate with sign language. Today, I started reading the potty training book for 18months up, and could relate the term that my boy is “clicking”, his progress timeline alternating “i need to go – I’m going”. While reading, I realized that the process is very similar to the modified EC I recently initiated, and thought that I would like to do the potty training very soon (@ 15 or 16 months maybe). He’s getting really good with walking and has resently been squatting more as a result of the 2 day naked observation and modeling on the potty. Lastly (and in relation to other posts on here), the only thing I’d say is that when he signs “toilet”, and I put him on the seat reducer, he’ll screem and want to come off, unless he’s very close to actually going. Same thing with putting him on the potty, he’ll come off, or take the potty for a cruize (now that I’ve removed the carpets), but it’s very cute when he does. Thank you Andrea and her amazing team!

  26. Avatar Isabelle on June 6, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Hello everyone!
    Before my son turned 14months we finished the 2 week reset period (using cloth diapers daytime), did the two day modified naked observation and modeling on the potty, and with that info we jumped right into EC (with focus on the easy catch). The fallowing days, I’ve gone on some easy outings using the Learn back up underwear with my cloth diaper covers (without the inserts) and during a transition before going in the store, caught a full pee with the top hat potty as he was busy eating a pear; that boosted my confidence alot. On the first weekend away from the house, we caught alot of poos because he suddenly started to signal with the sign for “toilet” while in cloth diapers; we would sing a French version “vite vite vite, cour cour cour, reculon, assoie ton, derriere Sur le petit Po……” And then I’d hold him over the toilet in classic EC hold, he’d turn to look at me (seeing if it’s okay to release) and sign again as he goes. Catching up to 5 poos in a row felt like such a huge accomplishment, and I will say that I think the change of environment was in our favor, which was a bit of a surprise. Starting into the fallowing week, he started to sign “toilet” for pees while in the cloth diapers, another surprise, I was so happy about my efforts to help him communicate with sign language. Today, I started reading the potty training book for 18months up, and could relate the term that my boy is “clicking”, his progress timeline alternating “i need to go – I’m going”. While reading, I realized that the process is very similar to the modified EC I recently initiated, and thought that I would like to do the potty training very soon (@ 15 or 16 months maybe). He’s getting really good with walking and has resently been squatting more as a result of the 2 day naked observation and modeling on the potty. Lastly (and in relation to other posts on here), the only thing I’d say is that when he signs “toilet”, and I put him on the seat reducer, he’ll screem and want to come off, unless he’s very close to actually going. Same thing with putting him on their potty, he’ll come off, or take the potty for a cruize (now that I’ve removed the carpets), but it’s very cute when he does. Thank you Andrea and her amazing team!

  27. Avatar Melody Matsuura on July 13, 2019 at 10:14 am

    Thank you for this post! Very encouraging! I have a 25 months old daughter whom I did part-time EC from birth. I didn’t read much on EC and also thought she would become toilet-trained herself! At 18 months we had some successful days when she did not dirty a single diaper. She was consistently telling me when she needed to poo at around 20 months. Then our next baby came along when she was 22 months and we regressed significantly. I became very discouraged and frustrated.
    Thankfully, she is now telling me when she needs to poo again but she is very strong-willed and resistant, often refusing to sit on the potty for pee. At home, I have her now wearing underwear but we have misses all the time.
    I just bought Andrea’s Tiny Potty Training Book… I would like to dive in and Potty Train now but thinking of waiting till late August when we have nothing planned and I feel a little more prepared…

  28. Avatar Nathalie Nick on August 23, 2019 at 12:34 am

    Hi Ariane, thank you for this article! You have inspired me to switch from EC to potty training with my 23 mo son. We successfully practiced full time (except nights) EC from 1month on, and much like you, we only had a handful of missed poops until around 15mo. At 15 mo our son had a long potty pause and at around 19 mo we were full time EC’ing it again. My son is currently potty trained if naked from the waist down and at home and is also wearing underwear full time during the day if we are out and about, as I can usually keep him dry with EC. He also occasionally will also tell us he has to go if we are out and about. However, if he is with grandparents he will go in his underwear and we have had requests to put him in diapers on those occasions which I don’t want to do! I feel as though he is ready to be potty trained!

  29. Avatar jess martin on January 23, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    EC helped but hurt my back a little so recommend a SOLID real fixture that is tall to have them poo and pee in. still need to invent this for myself for third child in 2 months.
    When tired of EC and organic cloth diaper washing (did anyone else have trouble with rashing in the cloth? the answer was incessant changes if there was a little drop, plus tried to keep diapers bacteria free and hand washed right after to get pee out for prewash). I was FINISHED the basis of potty training by 15 months. the trick? Take baby OUTSIDE to pee and poop when they learn to stand well enough. clean it up by throwing poo in your bushes w/ a big leaf. These were boys but hoping will work with our girls. bring wipes with you outside.
    Then, when they give you the cue well, start finding good reasons to use the toilet (since they do not prefer it at first). It’s raining… could get a sunburn at hours after 10am. Mommy knows best.
    EC was full time for us because we were ALways trying. had to also change granny’s diapers at 97 so it was full time diaper job. was very tired of diapers. kind if excited to just have one set of diapers this time but granny was a very good patient compared to the baby.
    best wishes

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on January 25, 2021 at 5:35 am

      Thanks for sharing!

      Sorry to hear about your low back, typically when they are infants we use the sink in hopes to prevent any low back problems, as they get older and eat solids we usually switch to holding them over the toilet or have them start using the tiny potty. Nonetheless, once you make your EC stand for your next little one, please share on Instagram so we can see what it looks like 😊. Congrats on getting your little one out of diapers at 15 months! 🙌🙌🙌❤️.

  30. Avatar Pía on May 8, 2021 at 9:10 am

    Hi Ariane, thank you for sharing your story! Now we know we’re not alone.

    The time frame of our son is very similar to yours. We started EC one week before he turned three months old and it “saved our lives”. He would cry and cry, for apparent no reason, for hours and hours. The pediatrician said he was having an infantile colic that would disappear in a month or two. It disappeared the precise day we started EC and never came back.

    Once we recognized his signals, it was very easy to catch pees and poops. There were some days that we caught 17 evacuations in the potty. We used disposable diapers as a backup that we would discard after one or two days of use cause they became very wornout. Our son became a stress-free baby who cried very little. This allowed him to develop advanced learning skills to the point that he knew the whole alphabet by 12 months (but that is another story). We had accidents, of course, but mostly wet diapers. I think we have changed one pooped diaper once a month since EC.

    Al 18 moths he started to tell us “hold it” when he wanted to use the potty and we thought we achieved potty independence. But my husband did not allow me to eliminate diapers cause we were staying at his mother’s house and did not want to have accidents on the carpeted floor. I think that was the first mistake cause our son, as a toddler with his own will, started to see the diaper as an option to continue playing without interruption. When we got back home, I removed the diaper but my husband kept using it because he did not want the accidents in the playground or car trips. This was only for pees and not for poops. Also, our son figured out that we knew when he needed to potty and stop to verbalizing his needs. Then he became constipated and started to reject the potty afraid of the pain.

    Finally, we suddenly relocated to a new city and we have been doing long car rides (10 hours each way) that our son hates, for the last three months. Also, my husband stopped working from home (which he did since our son’s birth) and that affected our child a lot. Currently, he is 29 moths old and always rejects the potty, even he kicks it away. He knows very well when he needs it, but does not tell us, in spite of his advanced language. We have offered the potty just before he pees his pants and he always says “NO, NO, NO”. He does let us potty him, after insisting a lot, for poops though.

    During the day, we are not using diapers anymore (this means a lot of wet pants). We have done the three-day potty training method but it does not work. We’ll try to read the Tiny Potty Training Book.

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on May 14, 2021 at 1:05 pm

      Glad you are going to give the Tiny Potty Training Book a chance.

      It sounds like your little one has a lot of changes going on, and that can really affect them in all areas of their life. Dad not being around anymore, plus driving 10 hours in a car is a some big changes. When there is no structure, like a change, kiddos can feel out of control. You can try offering the big potty or tiny potty for him to choose which one to pee in, that way he feels like it is more his idea.

      I also have a podcast on peeing 5 minutes after sitting on the potty. I recommend giving that podcast a listen for a few tips. 💕

  31. Avatar Beth on June 3, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    I”d love to know some advice on resistance in the potty training stage. Our son is 20 months. We’ve did part-time EC with diapers as a back up starting at 14ish months. We’re on Day 7 of potty training, and he gives his grandmothers who watch him during the day such a hard time, us too. We’ll read his signals and sometimes he will sit on the potty (big or little) no problem. Other times, he throws a HUGE tantrum to the point we can’t get him on the little or big potty at all. What can we do? :( He’s also VERY private. He has always tried to hide to poop, but now he’s getting sneaky about poop and pee.

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on June 8, 2021 at 4:41 am

      Sounds like your little one is asking for some privacy. I would suggest giving your little one a little more privacy when he is on the potty and offering less. ❤️

  32. Avatar Hannah Jenkins on June 5, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    I am currently part-time ECing my little 11-month old. After reading this article, it opened my eyes: I can do potty training too? When he’s about 18 months I will definitely want to switch over to potty training.

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on June 8, 2021 at 4:45 am

      Yay! So great to see this. 😁

  33. Avatar Kayla on June 25, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    Hi! This is encouraging to read. My twin boys just started walking at 16 months and they were doing so well at EC before that happened. They are now 17 months and its a battle to get them to even stand to take their diaper off, let alone to sit long enough on the potty to pee or poop. Its becoming such a chore but I don’t know if this is a regression and a phase, or if we just need to wait until they are more ready or if we should switch to the “hard stuff” and just potty train at 18 months. I was sort of hoping to have things wrapped up by now!

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on June 30, 2021 at 6:20 am

      Sounds like it is time to take the diaper off. The fact that they are resisting diaper changes shows they are ready to ditch them.

      Make sure to post this question in Mighty Networks so you can get follow up support, but it sounds like your twins are asking for more independence. So handing over the baton to them, will be really helpful.

      • Avatar Kayla on June 30, 2021 at 10:01 am

        Thanks for the advice! I’m excited to try some no-diaper time (maybe outside too)

  34. Avatar Melissa K on February 12, 2023 at 2:47 am

    I think we might be a little lost. We have been doing part time EC since 4 months and started walking just after 9 months. We use cloth diapers. I think around 14 months we started leaving our little guy naked from the waist down at home and he would climb a footstool to get onto the potty reducer and make most potties into the toilet, recognizing the need to go and being able to get himself to the toilet with little to no prompting . We were still using cloth diapers if he went outside, at night and most anytime he had clothes on. I don’t think I realized I should have been working on fully potty independence and clothing barriers at the time. We are working on that now. We have tried for short periods of time padded trainers which he pees in, and a bit of commando which he pees in as well although seemingly less than diapers and trainers. He very rarely has accidents in the house nude, but obviously that’s not always an option. I don’t know what to do next. Should we potty train? Maybe longer stretches of commando, trainers or underwear?! I thought we were still practicing EC but maybe not the case since he is self aware and independently taking himself to the potty. I have been trying to figure out what to do next but have not found very many other babes who have had quite the same path with so much bare bum time for so long. We are working on pants up and down and getting it fairly quickly but getting the pants all the way over the booty is not quite mastered yet!

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on February 13, 2023 at 4:29 pm

      First of all you are doing great! It does take a little while for little ones to figure out getting their pants over their bums. Doing the hybrid EC / Potty Training plan would help tons, since he is very self aware. Definitely incorporating some Tiny Undies that way he gets used to having undies on during the day, providing less padding than trainers but a tiny bit more then being bare bottomed would also be a great starting point for getting him used to having some clothes on during the day.

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