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Starting solids (and how it affects elimination communication): How adding solid food to the mix affects elimination communication

Starting solids (and how it affects elimination communication)

Today we’re going to talk about a fun topic: what to expect when starting solid foods with an EC'd baby!

Are you considering starting solid foods with your baby? Or do you know it’s coming soon? Yay! Starting solid foods is an exciting journey, and one I'm just starting with my six-month-old, Twyla.

So, break out the apple sauce, sweet potato, and banana. Today we're going to talk about what to expect when you start solid foods, and how it can affect elimination communication.

When what goes in changes, what comes out does as let’s talk about what to expect.

You will learn:

  • What will change when your baby starts eating solids
  • Signs your child is ready to try solid food
  • The foods we like to start with in our family
  • How to adapt your potty routine
  • What the poop actually looks like as you add solid foods to baby’s diet

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: Starting solids

Watch the Video Version

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

Photo Gallery

As mentioned in the podcast, here are some photos for you:

Our first homemade baby food starting solids

Our first homemade baby food starting solids

Twyla's first solid meal

Twyla's first solid meal

Newborn poop, exclusively breastfed (EBF)

Newborn poop, exclusively breastfed (EBF)

Stage 1: poop transitions to solids

Stage 1: what poop looks like when you start feeding baby solid foods

Stage 2: poop transitions to solids

Stage 2: what poop looks like when you start feeding baby solid foods

Stage 3: poop transitions to solids

Stage 3: what poop looks like when you start feeding baby solid foods

stage 4 what poop looks like when you start feeding baby solid foods

Stage 4: what poop looks like when you start feeding baby solid foods

Starting solids: poop cleanup step 1

Starting solids: poop cleanup step 1

Starting solids: poop cleanup step 2

Starting solids: poop cleanup step 2

Starting solids: poop cleanup step 3

Starting solids: poop cleanup step 3

Starting solids: poop cleanup step 4

Starting solids: poop cleanup step 4

Potty in the sink trick for starting solids

Potty in the sink trick for starting solids

Twyla happy after a nice big bowel movement

Twyla happy after a nice big bowel movement

Thanks for Listening!

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

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
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  • Share your thoughts by leaving a note in the comments section below!

Have you started solids yet? If yes, how has it impacted EC? If no, has anything in this episode helped you prepare? 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 Aysha on June 4, 2019 at 7:26 am

    I found EC was very hit and miss before starting solids. Once my daughter was in a routine of having 3 meals a day and her poo was more formed we really came into our own and now she is 10 months and we catch most of her eliminations.

    • Avatar Jo M on June 4, 2019 at 7:41 am

      I was the opposite! My daughter’s EBF poops were like clockwork, on waking and at around 4pm. I introduced solids at 6 months and her poops were completely random. It took until about 9 months to really start catching them again. Now at 13 months I catch most of them. She usually needs to poop when I’m cleaning the kitchen after a meal. If she’s playing quietly, she’ll stop and sing out, or if she’s chatty she’ll go quiet. Either way, she sits like she’s riding a Harley, arms and legs outstretched, revving her little fists 😂

      • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 5, 2019 at 10:27 am

        Hi Jo! Solids definitely change their elimination pattern. It’s also not uncommon for babies to hit a potty pause around 6 months old, there’s a lot going on developmentally. I’m glad things are back on track! I love her signal, how adorable. xx Andrea

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 5, 2019 at 10:25 am

      Hi Aysha! Solids really can help with setting up a more regular schedule for eliminations, I’m so glad that happened for her. It sounds like you have a great EC practice going! xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Florencia on June 4, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Sorry but I can’t find the link to the website related to baby sleep. Can you help me with that? Thanks!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 5, 2019 at 10:29 am

      Hi FLorencia! The links are listed under the section above “Links and other resources mentioned today”. Here is the Baby Sleep Site link. xx Andrea

  3. Avatar Brandi on June 4, 2019 at 11:12 am

    Was that how much she pooped in one day and how it changed or was that over a few days? Right now I’m bf and he poops around 6-8 times a day which I feel is alot. Is that alot? Thanks

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 5, 2019 at 10:34 am

      Hi Brandi! Every baby is so different. Some breastfed babies poop once a week, some poop several times a day. As long as he’s happy, not in discomfort, etc it is fine. If you’re concerned, of course speak with his doctor. xx Andrea

  4. Avatar Latriece on June 4, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Your emails come in at the PERFECT time i am struggling with something. I love it! This was great because Ive started solids and BLW with my babe and her poops are random but i find that when my back is turned and i am busy I make sure to look back at her very often and I am able to catch the poops when i see her pushing and i say wait, lets go to the potty and bammmm she goes poop in the big potty. I do have a question though. I noticed she still kind of resists when she is on the mini potty, but she might go when i hold her over the big potty but sometimes resists as well. (she is very independent and can tell she wants to do her own thing lol) I was thinking of purchasing one of those seat potties that go on the big toilet, what do you think? She can sit up on her own shes 7 months but she still topples over if i dont hold her on the mini potty.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 5, 2019 at 10:35 am

      Hi Latriece! Yes, you can absolutely use a seat reducer with her. You might just need to support her a bit so she doesn’t tip off. xx Andrea

  5. Avatar Sarah Kaye on June 5, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    This podcast came at the perfect time! Our daughter is about the same age as Twyla, and we’re getting ready to start baby led weaning in the next week or so. Thanks for prepping us for all the changes, with great visuals to boot! ;)

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 13, 2019 at 2:40 am

      I’m so glad it was good timing! Good luck with baby led weaning, solids are such a fun milestone. xx Andrea

  6. Avatar Maiken on June 7, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    I love how your Twyla is just a few weeks older than my daugther. Everything you have posted for the last 6 months has been so relevant to me ❤️
    We just started solids, and Viola has dinner with us every night. And has started pooping 5+ times a day. Today i’ve stopped counting. She used to go once or twice a day, and do it well 😅 now it’s mostly mini poos scattered through out the day. And suddenly she refuses to use her potty and wants to use the toilet without the seat reducer😂

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 13, 2019 at 2:43 am

      I’m so glad you’ve been able to use the info with your daughter. Solids really can throw a wrench in the works, it will get better. It’s also a fairly common age to have some resistance anyway. I’m glad you figured out that she’ll use the seat reducer! xx Andrea

  7. Avatar Kay on July 14, 2019 at 11:11 am

    My son just started solids too (like a week ago) and he’s definitely been consolidating (like pooping every 2-3 days vs once per day while breastfeeding). We always potty in front of a mirror, so I can see it’s more uncomfortable now and he’s straining. Is this normal as baby adjusts to the different consistency of their poo? Or is he constipated? Just trying to figure out if he needs different foods to help him through this time, or if he just needs more practice!

  8. Avatar Jen on January 22, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    This is so helpful! We just started solids the week before our daughter Frankie turned 6 months. Her poops have still remained on schedule each morning so i have been able to catch them which is great! We cosleep and i’m noticing she is up every couple hours now. Prior to solids she would have a good 4-6 hour stretch initially and then 2-3 hour stretches the rest of the night. I catch most of her pees through the night. Is it common that she is up
    To pee anywhere from 3-5 times between 7pm-7am? I just use the top hat potty at the side of the bed and she falls bacl to sleep easily, but i have to feed her bacl to sleep. You mention your first was up every 2 hours. Were you cosleeping and feeding back to sleep aswell?
    I’m hoping she will go back to sleeping longer stretches and this is just a phase?

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on January 23, 2021 at 2:58 am

      Based on your little ones age, I would say that the number of times that she is up is about normal, epically since she is feeding back to sleep.

      I would say that it is most likely a phase that she is waking up more than before and you just introduced solids. I do find that there is often a change in sleep habits around the same time there is developmental leaps or big changes in their life, like starting solids. 💕

  9. Avatar Vanja on October 14, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    Hi! My baby has been experimenting with solids for the last month and I have been running into a couple of EC problems.
    We have been ECing her since she was one month and had a good relation. Before solids we caught a lot of pees and most poos even as she started rolling more. We also introduced the Ikea potty which she took to well.
    Now however her poop is becoming more firm and less frequent (she had quite runny poop before bc of ebf milk oversupply). The biggest new thing though is that she stretches her legs and goes into full body plank when I hold her over the sink (hoping the hunching would help poo come out easier).
    I’ve tried letting her play with things on the potty (pee comes okay, not poop) and even breastfeeding (has helped with poop sometimes).
    I’m worried that she’ll hold back the poop way too long and develop a resistance to pooping if she feels the need to block it. Any tips on how I can help her enjoy and become comfortable with the change of more solid poop?
    Thank you very much for the blog and book, I really appreciate these resources!

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on November 8, 2021 at 4:46 pm

      My pleasure!

      I think it is always best practice to try to speak for our little ones…. “yeah, the poop feels different coming out. That is normal since you are eating solids now!” Just say whatever naturally comes to mind naturally. The idea is to normalize it for her through your words. She might not understand every word, but she will pick up your tone and energy, and feel safe, which will indirectly help her go.

      Also, remember it is really common for poop frequency to change when starting solids, so if she planks up it might mean that she doesn’t have to go.

  10. Avatar N on July 1, 2022 at 2:28 pm

    Hello! I love your website! I have been using Ingrid Bauer’s book for my EC journey with my daughter since she has been a couple of months old. We do not cosleep and she wears regular diapers, as both parents work from home, so we could not really afford to watch her all the time and try to catch everything. We had ups and downs, but still I was able to catch many poops and many pees. When just breastfeeding, almost every time I held her in my lap over top hat potty I would get something – a pee, a poop, a poop followed by a pee. She is 9 months old now and we have been doing solid foods for a couple of months now. And EC completely broke down. Even first thing in the morning, when I hold her in my hap over a big plastic tub, we get nowhere. She maybe pooped this way a couple of times over the last couple of weeks. Sometimes I see her squeeze her belly like she is trying, but more often she just bends out of shape, turns to the side, scratches at upholstery of the chair I am sitting on, and looks up at me like she has no idea what I am expecting of her or what words ‘peepee’ and ‘kaka’ mean. And then I put a diaper on and set her on the floor to crawl around and she unfailingly poops within a minute or two or five. She gets it out in one or two ‘pushes’, there is not even time to catch it, and the consistency is reasonably loose. And when I try to pick a likely time during the day I get nothing, not even pee, but she might poop within a few minutes afterwards. It is like we never did EC at all. Frankly, I am devastated. EC already did good things for us in helping eliminate diaper rash, as we were catching almost all the poops, and I am grateful for that. But I was really hoping we would keep progressing, and instead we seem to have lost ability to communicate at all. I have a Baby Bjorn potty chair, but she seems to small to sit on it, and in any case, how would I explain what we are trying to do with this new setup if she seems to have forgotten what she used to do no my lap over a potty?

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on July 6, 2022 at 7:42 pm

      First off, you are doing great! EC is not a linear journey and there are nearly always pauses, and times of resistance. At nine months old there are several developmental milestones she could be going through and if she is just not interested right now, it’s okay to take a break and try to go back to easy catches. If she is still not having it, stepping back and taking time off with no stress then after some time getting back to it casually might be what brings her around. I have a new subscription service, Potty Tribe, where on Friday’s EC and PT coaches as well as myself, help troubleshoot any issues that have come up during the week. If you are wanting more help and a community of folks going through it with you that would be a great place to start along with my Go Diaper Free book.

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