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Sound association: Why to make noises when your baby goes…and how to do it effectively.

GDF Podcast 38

Today on the Go Diaper Free Podcast we're talking all about sound association!

You may have heard the term sound association tossed around the EC community, and are wondering what this means.

Or, maybe you already know what sound associations are but want to know how you start utilizing this great technique with your baby.

Don't worry! We've got you covered.

Today we are going to dive into the topic so you know all of the hows, whys, whens and wheres of sound associations.

You will hear:

  • When to begin building sound associations
  • Why we use sound associations
  • What sounds to use
  • When to switch from sounds to words
  • How to use misses to your advantage
  • How to find noises that work for you
  • How to incorporate sign language

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: Sound association

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!

Have you used sound associations with your baby? 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 Viv on April 19, 2019 at 1:03 am

    I only used one sound from the get-go: psss. I figured she would eliminate whatever she wanted (#1 or #2) and didn’t need different sounds. Sure enough, she stopped pooping in her diaper at four months of age and always poops in the appropriate receptacle. She’s diaper-free during the day but I still have her sleep in a compostable diaper overnight. Shes nineteen months.and I’m sooo glad I chose EC. I feel grateful to have learned about it during pregnancy 🙏

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 20, 2019 at 2:09 am

      Hi Viv! That is wonderful! Thank you for sharing your EC success story. xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Elaine on May 4, 2019 at 9:12 am

    How do you recommend making the transition from sounds to words? Completely stop sounds and build the new associated word through more observation time? Start by alternating old sound and new word while potty-ing eventually phasing out sounds? Thanks!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 8, 2019 at 2:29 am

      Hi Elaine! If you want a slower transition, you can cue with the sound then say the word/do the sign. Then you can drop the sound once it seems like they understand. xx Andrea

      • Avatar Alyssa on June 30, 2019 at 10:55 am

        This might be a silly question, but is it important that my partner and I use the exact same word-sound association?

        For context, we are a bicultural family wherein each parent speaks their own native language. Our 12 month old daughter responds to both languages, but prefers me when pottying.

        • Avatar Andrea Olson on July 14, 2019 at 8:33 pm

          Not a silly question at all! Since you are working on having your kiddo be bilingual, I think it is perfectly fine to have each parent use their native language. xx Andrea

  3. Avatar Jonah on January 29, 2023 at 2:17 am

    Hi Andrea! My baby is 13th month. She will only say wee-wee for potty and poo-poo and peeing. She will say wee-wee also when her pants or clothes got wet. Sometimes she will say wee-wee and go the potty but will not pee. I think she associated the word wee-wee for potty/pee/and poop. What should I do now? Thanks!

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on January 30, 2023 at 10:51 pm

      Hi Jonah, I just answered your other comment, but I’ll copy my response here for you as well. First of all you are doing great! Trying some diaper free time where she is in trainers or undies so you can focus on her timings and signals would be a great place to start. This way you can catch her right as she is going to help solidify that mind body connection.

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