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Super-part-time EC success story

super part time elimination communication success story

If I had a dollar for how many moms didn’t start elimination communication because they had to return to work, use a daycare, and didn’t think it would be worth the effort..., I’d have a bunch of dollars!

You see, I am convinced that with the right story in your mind, you too will realize that you CAN do EC super-part-time, use a daycare, and still have early potty independence.

You can have it all.

And we are going to use Andrea’s example to prove it, once and for all.

When Andrea learned about Elimination Communication

Andrea (no relation ;) ) lives in California. She heard about EC and grabbed my Go Diaper Free book when her daughter was 13 months old.

Her words: “Man, I’m late. I wish I would’ve discovered this sooner.”

You see, Andrea is a teacher and has her daughter in daycare 5 days a week, 6:30am to 3:30pm.

“But, I’m a teacher...a full time mom.”

She was immediately discouraged. Like many other moms, she thought, “there’s no way I can do this - they’re all stay at home moms. I’m a full time teacher, a working mom.”

But, unlike most other moms, she responded to her inner dialogue with “If I don’t do it, I’m lazy. I’m just gonna do it.”

So, she and hubs committed to doing EC very consistently at home, part time.

How they did EC super-part-time at home

They immediately switched their daughter to Seventh Generation diapers while at daycare (because they feel more wet in them than the bigger brands).

At home, Andrea was at a loss because, her words: “I don’t even know how to cloth diaper!”

They ended up figuring it out with my book and used cloth diapers as a backup while at home to encourage their daughter to feel wet.

At home, their daughter was always given an opportunity to go at wake-ups, when she returned home from daycare, after naps.

Bonus points: their daughter also very quickly began to wait to poop until she got home from daycare.

At daycare, she wore a Seventh Gen disposable backup and they did not do any EC with her.

Trying to ditch diapers at 18 months at daycare

After 5 months of doing EC part time at home, with consistency, she checked in with the daycare to see if they could send their daughter with no diapers. They were unsupportive at this 18 month age, even though Andrea showed them upon arrival one day that her daughter poops in the potty.

So, feeling somewhat defeated, they waited until their daughter was 2 years old to take her out of diapers at home and did the potty training method right away. 

They simultaneously started a new preschool that DID support their diaper-free goals and being out of diapers at 2 years old became a quick reality.

Their super-easy potty training experience at 2 years old

The first day of summer vacation off from teaching, the family used their last diaper EVER. Potty training was so easy.

Within 2 days she was telling them she needed to go. They quit diapers at night the same day, cold turkey, and never looked back.

(She had already begun to wear Tiny Trainers at naptime because she was waking up dry.)

Andrea had always read that “if you do EC, you won’t have to potty train,” and for her, this was pretty darn true.

Part time EC, the way they did it (consistently), was a great preparation for potty training.

“The potty was already part of our routine.”

Within two or three days, using my Tiny Potty Training Book to wrap it up, Andrea’s daughter was totally finished. Day and night. Done deal.

Her biggest struggle with EC

Her biggest struggle with elimination communication was daycare not being supportive at 18 months.

(If you want to learn how YOU can change that at your daycare or preschool, listen to episode 84 in a few weeks.)

Andrea also admits to being so self-conscious about doing EC. She thought others would think she’s crazy. She told her BFF and got a crazy look from her, even.

(If you want to learn a great elevator pitch to tell others about EC without getting the stink-eye, tune in next week to episode 83!)

Andrea was a “closet ECer,” by the book. She wanted to share about it and normalize it, but she wasn’t confident in what she was doing until she looked back on the experience afterward.

She was part of our Go Diaper Free private online community group, so she def got a lot of support from other book owners there, but IRL it was admittedly hard.

Her biggest struggle with potty training

Her biggest struggle with potty training was...nothing. It was easy because she’d already consistently exposed her daughter to the potty for the 11 months prior to the training.

Going against the grain

Andrea did such an amazing job and I just want to take a moment to recognize that.

She did EC even in the face of starting later, and full-time daycare...she decided to go against our propensity toward laziness and just do it.

And she stuck with it! Potty training after super-part-time elimination communication was a BREEZE for them, you guys. A breeze.

Her advice for you full time moms out there...

She wanted me to tell all of you that “even if you work full time, any effort you put into EC will make a difference.”

She recommends that you learn the steps you need to take, by whatever age your baby is, with the help of my book.

If she could do it, you can do it!

And she’s probably gonna have another baby in the near future! She really wants to do EC from birth with her new baby...and I don’t know about you, but I think she can do it. :)

So whatdya think? Amazing, yes? But oh so realistic, normal, and possible.

Tell me in the comments below:

Is your kiddo in daycare and are you being lazy, or inspired, about doing EC at home?

Let’s talk in the comments, help each other out, and be heard! See you below.

 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.)


  1. Avatar Sarah on February 25, 2020 at 6:09 am

    I did part-time EC with my first, and we just kept consistent at it from birth (trying to catch poos mostly) and by 6 months she learnt to do all her poos on the potty, by 1 she waited until the potty, and by 1.5 she was doing all her pees on the potty. We had a little regression after her baby sister was born just after that, and now she’s 2 and 100% out of nappies (day and night) and totally self sufficient. Never, ever need to help her with the toilet (except to wipe her bum). She’ll just take herself there, sit down, poo and call out… “Mummy, Poo, Wipe Bum.”

    My second born does her first morning poos on the potty every day. We are lazy though with her (we have a busy pace at the moment) and she wears disposables (unlike her sister who only wore cloth), but we still take every opportunity we can to be nappy free and try to teach her about her body. Even if you don’t do it 100% you’re still teaching them from day 1 about their body and as they develop with their abilities to do it themselves, it all makes a big difference.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on February 25, 2020 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Sarah! Thank you for sharing your part time EC story!! Part time EC really does help pave the way for early potty independence, I’m so glad to hear you had such success. xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Putri on February 25, 2020 at 6:34 am

    Regression! Aaak! And only with pee. It’s been going on for 4 months now so I’m not sure if we’ve just trained her to pee outside her potty (we always catch the poo just fine.) We do day-time since birth but since she turned 6 months she’s been refusing to pee in her potty. Sometimes I catch her actually holding the pee in when I take her to the potty. For the past few weeks she also wants to feel the pee come out and ‘catch’ it with her hand. It’s been a ride.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on February 25, 2020 at 2:38 pm

      Hi Putri! Don’t worry, potty pauses are very normal. It sounds like you are doing a great job working through it. This article should give you some ideas as well. xx Andrea

  3. Avatar Tarah Hercus on February 25, 2020 at 9:30 am

    I’m a very lazy part-time ECer and I am a stay at home mom. Wish I had an excuse, like daycare, to justify it lol. But I’ve learned that the last thing you want to do is stress about EC. Just do the best you can and that’s the end of it.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on February 25, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Hi Tarah! There is nothing wrong with part time EC! You are doing something wonderful for your baby. Being a stay at home mom doesn’t mean you have lots of free time lol, it is quite the job. xx Andrea

  4. Avatar ReVaH Loring on February 25, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you this has been inspiring!

  5. Avatar Krissy on February 25, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    This gives me hope! We’ve been pottying our daughter since she was 5 months (she’s now 14 months) and she started daycare (where they won’t humor us) around 7 months (poor thing is there for 9 long hours a day). At home we potty her after wake ups and with every diaper change, but she hasn’t been so great about actually communicating to us when she needs to go. (she doesn’t talk yet). She will pretty reliably wait to poo during her final pottytunity. We cloth diaper so it’d be great to get her out of diapers soon after #2 comes later this year. Here’s hoping.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on February 25, 2020 at 2:42 pm

      I’m so glad it helped you Krissy! It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with part time EC. When you are ready to wrap up/potty train it will go great. Congratulations on your pregnancy! xx Andrea

  6. Avatar Sarah on February 25, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    My 17 month old daughter is in daycare, and at home I just feel defeated and discouraged. I have done full time EC at home starting day 1, and that has been great. She’s been in tiny trainers at home since 12 months. But since daycare starting also at 12 months, it feels like EC at home is one step forward and going to daycare is two steps back. On the weekend we get back on track, but it’s a struggle during the week. This story is inspiring to me. Maybe things will work out for us too.

    • Avatar Tan on February 25, 2020 at 6:37 pm

      Dear All, dear Andrea!
      Life can get in a way of EC or potty training, but please for the sake of your children continue at any pace that fits your schedule. In my experience the only wrong way is giving up. My son was on potty since he could kind of sit (5 months or sth) and he was great, we had great success from the beginning. I was so proud. Daycare from the 1st birthday and zero cooperation, but only two days a week, the rest of the week we were at home and continuing. At 18 months daycare 4 days a week, soon I had diaper free child day and night for 3,5 days a week and years and resistance against diapers for the rest of the week. At some point I got really mad at day care, brought my son in and said: here are 5x underwear, 5 pairs of socks, 5 T-shirts, 5 pants, shoul suffice for the day, but there are no diapers. My boy and I won a great victory, despite the father not cooperating, day care not cooperating, pending divorce and permanent stress, moving out, leaving everything, me working 40hours a week – my son was potty trained at the age of 30 months (a virus meningoencephalitis was also a massive setback around his 2nd birthday)…
      Trust your instincts, trust your child, accept the child’s pace, never get discouraged and accept that it may not be as straight forward as hoped for but never ever let the external circumstances make you doubt.
      Love you all. Love and have faith in your child

      Andrea, you are an inspiration and a role model

      (Suddenly) single working mum of a fantastic 3,5 years old boy

      • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 1, 2020 at 2:21 pm

        Thank you for sharing your story Tan! You did an awesome job advocating for your son. It sounds like life threw you some curve balls and you have done a wonderful job dealing with it. I wish you all the best in your new life with your lovely son. xx Andrea

    • Avatar Tan on February 25, 2020 at 6:45 pm

      The things will work out, trust your child, trust your instincts, we’ve been there, we’ve done that, setbacks and complications, no cooperation from daycare, even baby’s father thought I had been crazy. Just have patience, and let the child take some breaks and strike, it will work out

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 1, 2020 at 2:19 pm

      Don’t worry Sarah! You are doing a fantastic job with EC, you will absolutely see the payout. Once daycare is willing to work on the potty there things will wrap up so quickly. If you haven’t already, have a talk with them about your goals. See what their policies are, you might find they’ll be willing to start very soon. xx Andrea

  7. Avatar Leslie on February 25, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Just offering your child the potty before a socially acceptable age is an accomplishment! Also stay at home mom, but lots of drama is going on at home and in marriage. Have always felt that any work done at this age, second son is now 13 months, would lend itself favorably to potty training, after all it’s really Potty practice.

    Re: how different people react. My sister and her husband gleefully note the correlation between low income level and lack of time in diapers in the third world setting. In other words, the poorer you are, the faster you potty train :! They also like to extend this statistic to breast-feeding, as my sister stopped breast-feeding all five kids around one year. In other words, the poorer you are the longer you breast-feed. outside the US people traditionally breast-feed quite a bit longer, 3-4 years according to my nursing cont. Ed class. People can be quite disrespectful, even in your own family

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 1, 2020 at 2:24 pm

      I totally agree Leslie! Offering the potty at all at a young age has such a positive impact. I’m sorry your sister and her husband are so negative. It sounds like they are lashing out because you are making different choices than they did. I hope you have other family who supports your decisions. xx Andrea

  8. Avatar Kristina on February 28, 2020 at 8:39 am

    What a great story! Really inspiring 😊❤️
    I am doing EC with my second baby who is now 14mo. We started soon after his birth. We had loads of ups and downs, like a lot of other parents. I love this community where i can see that others experience similar problems. Now he is in underpants and cotton pants through the day. We still have misses, but the main thing is he is getting used to the fact that being wet is no fun and he tells us straight away when he does it in his pants 😊
    I am super happy that i had courage to do EC with my second and it is not so complicated once you know what you are doing (with Andrea’s help!).

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 1, 2020 at 2:25 pm

      I’m so glad you found it inspiring Kristina! That was my hope. It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job with EC! Well on your way with wrapping up. xx Andrea

  9. Avatar Molly on February 28, 2020 at 9:17 am

    Thank you for this story. We just found out about EC and started while on vacation with our 8 month old daughter. We were in the tropics so being diaper free or quickly removing a diaper was easy. I was shocked to start catching pees and poos right away! It has been pretty Inspiring! We are back home now, both hubby and I work full time so EC will be on a super part time basis. Any and all advice and tips would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

    Right now we still have her in disposable diapers but pretty much just give her pottytunities on the regular toilet after waking up from naps, post feedings or if it’s been awhile. She has never really signaled to us that she needs to go, I kind of just feel like we have gotten lucky.

    I’m just starting to read and dig into everything but I’m pretty busy… so again, any and all advice would be great! I’m assuming I need to get some cloth diapers????

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 1, 2020 at 2:30 pm

      Hi Molly! I’m so glad you decided to give EC a try, it sounds like you are off to a great start. If you can use cloth diapers that’s great, if not it’s fine too. You can always switch to a disposable that she will feel the wetness in like the Seventh Generation brand or Dyper brand. If you are feeling like you need more info on EC, my book really covers everything. xx Andrea

  10. Avatar Lily on February 29, 2020 at 4:46 am

    Just talked to another mom about PT EC earlier today! I loved doing EC Part time – it is significantly less stressful than traditional potty training. We always offer in the morning and after naps… all other times is when we can/remember. Oh, and disposables when we’re out. My LO is almost 3 months and communicated he needed to go a few times today for the first time (EC since 3 weeks). Its very encouraging.

    We started EC’ing his older brother at 2 months and out of diapers by 16 months. Still had an accident here and there but was so easy. And freeing. by comparison, my oldest was trained with conventional methods at 2.5 years … that was a terrible experience.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 1, 2020 at 2:31 pm

      Hi Lily! Part time EC really is amazing! I’m so glad you are able to practice it with your baby. Congrats on a successful journey with your son! It really is so much easier than traditional potty training. xx Andrea

  11. Avatar Samantha on May 7, 2020 at 12:39 am

    My baby girl is just about eight months old.
    We are putting her on the toilet in the morning, 20 minutes after meals, before we go out, once we get home and whenever she shows “signs”.
    Although there is so many terrible things going on right now I am so thankful for this quarantine. I’ve been reading about EC since I was 4 months pregnant and I notice every poop and I would say to myself take her to the toilet but everyone else’s opinions got in my head. Being with only my baby and husband allowed me to discuss it with my husband who is completely supportive. And! My baby girl LOVES the toilet and smiles and laughs while she’s on it. However, I still felt like I wasn’t doing it enough.

    Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me that part time is just as good!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 7, 2020 at 3:20 pm

      Hi Samantha! I’m so glad you realized that you are doing an amazing job! Part time EC is so effective. It sounds like you have a great EC practice going, keep it up! xx Andrea

  12. Avatar Olga on September 28, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    I’m adamantly doing PT EC.
    We started EC at around 3 months, and she also started daycare soon after.
    We didn’t have great communication with her, it always felt like a random thing, whether my pottytunity timing matches her need, so we focused on poops at first. We had a regression for 2 weeks didn’t catch a single pee and most poops were misses (when she’s trying but constipated it’s hard to time it right and she loved to poop during dinner strapped into the highchair). Also a huge challenge is that my partner refuses to take her to the potty, even though sometimes he knows before I do that she needs to go.
    Now at 6.5 months we had an epic moment. As we were driving up into the garage after an outing she said a single ARGH! And me and my partner rushed into the house to potty her, indeed we got the #2.
    Now we are also starting to get more pees. I’m sure she understands and usually tries to go, sometimes I see a tiny drop and I know that she tried just didn’t have anything ready. She’s waking up at night for diaper change and recently she started doing one more pee in the potty 🖤
    I feel good about doing EC and I intend to get out of diapers ASAP. We use tiny trainers for diaper free time, but get misses with those. I’m not discouraged, I’m also flexing my patience muscle, so it’s good for all of us.

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on October 3, 2021 at 10:33 pm

      LOVE this post. EC is not perfect, and I am glad you are seeing what works for your little one. Most importantly you are enjoying it!! 😍

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