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Pros and Cons of Starting EC with a Mobile Baby

pros and cons of starting ec with a mobile baby

Hi I'm Andrea with Go Diaper Free and I teach new parents about Elimination Communication. And today I'm going to talk to you about the pros and cons of starting with a mobile baby. Mobile baby, I mean six to 12 months.

Okay so mobile babies, six to 12 months. We've got crawlers, my first son started crawling at five months. He dragged himself across the floor in Mommy Yoga and my Yoga teacher went, "Oh boy, you're going to have your hands full." He's now years and years older and yeah, he's quite a handful. He's awesome. But definitely a go-getter so you've got mobility that comes into play. If you start EC when your baby has just become mobile, or is working on becoming mobile, it may be a little bit more challenging.

There's also a lot of pros with starting between six and 12 months so let's talk about those first. The pros of starting between six and 12 months, and sorry if you can hear the footsteps above. There's nothing I can do about that. Six to 12 months, they are starting to develop language and this is not really usually speaking, although my son started speaking at nine months, and so did my daughter. My third did not. He's still working on it. Every baby's different, but usually there's language developing, or at least eye contact. You know by now, when your child's hungry. You know when your child's sleepy. You know when they want that, or this, or whatever. There's a lot of budding communication. That's definitely a pro at starting at this age, for sure.

You've also got mobility, so they can use this signal that's very common for babies of this age, of moving to the toilet, moving to the bathroom, moving to you, which doesn't mean, "Hey, hi Mom, pick me up because I just want to be loved." No, "Hey, hi Mom, pick me up because I need to go to the bathroom. I need to get this thing off of me." The other cool thing is, they are creeping, pulling themselves up, and sometimes starting to walk at this age. This definitely helps. If you're starting EC between these ages, by the way you're not too late, it is never too late to start EC. Between zero and 18 months, you're good. 18 months and over, do some potty training. I got stuff for you on my website,

But anyway, back to the topic, they're probably starting to stand during this age range and definitely starting to veer towards walking. When they're walking you can ditch the diapers. I talk about that in another video. But really this is to your advantage because they are independent and this is when the baby can sit up by himself, that's when in the early 1900s and before for all of human history, well only human history that had potties and chamber pots, but before that, they would just hold them and point and shoot.

At six months, they can crawl outside and go to the bathroom if you're in an intact culture outdoors kind of situation with no clothes. If you've got a chamber pot and you're in the early 1900s in America, or wherever, parents would sit their child on the potty starting when they could sit up on their own and start to get those poops and get them trained and they'd be done by the time they're 12 months.

Around the world in today's reality, 50% of children are potty trained by one year old, around the world, today. It's possible during this age to start and to finish if you have the right set up. Now if you're like me and you've got several children, it might take a littler bit longer because you're a little bit more distracted. If you also are an entrepreneur, or you work outside the house, whatever, it does complicate things, but it's still... the fact of the matter is that the baby is capable.

If you're starting at this age, don't worry that you're too late because you're not. You can start and finish. You can start and make steps towards finishing. At walking, you can start ditching the diapers. But at least when they're creeping and standing up and pulling themselves up, you can change them standing up, which is a great thing. And they can move toward the potty, which is a huge pro.

The cons of starting with a mobile baby between six and 12 months are obvious, the baby is mobile. They are going to be a little bit harder to observe. I recommend observing sumo-style and I cover that in another video, but you basically use a diaper belt, or a scrunchie around the waist, and a burp cloth, or a pre-fold in the middle, and you check occasionally to see when they're wet. That's how you can learn about timing. I do have a video on how to observe babies' natural patterns and do observation. Go watch that, definitely. You want to learn that.

I also have a course called Potty Time Master Course at If you want to be a master at when to potty your baby, go take that course. It also includes me demonstrating how to do this observation with a mobile baby, an eight month old. With my own daughter who were getting back on track, you can see me, I film it, so you can see how to log your baby's timing and get to do that.

But the challenge herein is that they are mobile, so they're going to be moving around and there's a lot of activity going on, right? You're not just having a newborn who's just laying there. Also, a lot of babies in this age range do not signal at all, because they have too much going on in their budding environment. They aware of everything, they're getting into everything, you know what I mean. And they are definitely out in the world. It's a little bit harder because they're not going to stop and signal to you if they need to pee.

Now if they need to poop, they might be more likely to tell you about that. If your baby doesn't signal, it doesn't mean you can't do EC. There are three other ways to know that your baby needs to go. Please see my video called When Does Baby Need to Pee, for that information.

Also, my book Go Diaper Free covers all of this, so if you can't keep up with this and remember it, just remember one thing, go to my website and get my book, because it is the best resource on how to start, and it's multimedia. End of pitch.

Now I really want you to know that the cons of starting at this age are not insurmountable. And again starting at this age has a lot of benefits. There's a lot of good things about it, and I just converted all of that so watch this video again, if you need encouragement. If you hear about EC at this age range and you really want to start, go for it. Because most parents say, "Gosh, I really wish I would have started when I found out about EC." Or, "I wish I would have known about it earlier," but hey, how can you do that unless you have a time machine? In which case, I want a ride.

So that’s it from my mobile babies video...hope you enjoyed listening if you’re contemplating doing EC with your mobile baby. Again, this episode is sponsored by Getting Back on Track with EC, my minicourse on restarting EC (or starting EC from scratch) with a mobile baby. This combined with my book, Go Diaper Free, will set you up with success to start ECing your mobile baby in the most effective way. Visit to sign up for that class.

xx Andrea

PS - here’s the video version of this episode in case you prefer to YouTube it. ;)

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.)

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