Today we're going to talk about the 10 most frustrating parts of EC. You can check out the show notes along with the full written transcript and links to everything I mentioned in today's show over at godiaperfree.com/195. Feel free to ask your questions there and comment and do all the things, and we would love to be in touch with you over on the blog.
Hey there. Welcome to the Go Diaper Free Podcast. I'm Andrea Olson, your host, author, and mom of five babies, all EC from birth, all out of diapers by walking.
Hey, you guys. I'm Andrea Olson with Go Diaper Free, and today we're going to talk about the most frustrating parts of elimination communication. Over the years of teaching this to children all over, or parents all over the world and their babies, I have definitely discovered some themes. Let's start with these right now.
The first most frustrating thing is when you try EC with your baby, and they cry when you offer the potty. The next one is when they resist after you've had success for a while, so say you've been doing great for five months, and then they start resisting the potty. That's no bueno. The next most frustrating part is when they pee five minutes later after you offer them the potty. You've offered it, you wait and you wait and you wait, score, and then all of a sudden you are like, "Well, I guess they don't need to go." So, you take them off the potty, and they pee on the floor five minutes later or in their pants. Another frustrating part is when you have a stealth pooper. So, I always say, "Oh, you know when your baby needs to poop, right?" Well, turns out not everybody does. Some babies just let one slide, and you have no idea until it's halfway done. Then we've got no signals when they don't tell you when they need to go. You feel like you can't do EC. By the way, I'm going to go over some solutions after I introduce all of these parts to you.
The other frustrating thing that people come across is erratic timing. So, their baby's like all over the place, and sometimes they go every five minutes, sometimes it's every two hours. There's no rhyme or rhythm to it. The next one is when daycare's not on board. So, you have done this amazing job at home. You're out of diapers by walking, at home, and then daycare will not cooperate. Pee accidents all the time, so just wet pants, wet clothing, wet socks, wet shoes, wet carpets, wet beds. Everything is wet all the time. How about when they won't stay seated? That's always a challenging one as well, and they won't go at night, but you know, they have to. So let's go over a little bit about each of these and then some solutions.
First of all, when they cry, when you offer the potty to them, if you're talking about a brand new newborn, this is totally normal. We want to do the classic cradle hold with their head, kind of in the crook of your elbow instead of a straight up EC hold, or we want to potty them laying down on a mat for the beginning of this. If they're crying when you offer and they're over, say six or seven months old, that means they need privacy. So, you're going to want to put them on the big toilet with a toilet seat reducer, and then leave the room if possible. I go over this a lot in a lot of ways, especially in my book, but you want to do this at your own risk. I'm not responsible for you or your decisions, but usually when they get some privacy, somehow they will go. The one about resisting after having months and months of success, then they start resisting. This either means that A, they need privacy, which is what I just described, or B, they need more control over the process. I do have a Potty Pause Resolution MiniCourse that you can check out, and I'll link to in the show notes.
The stealth pooper, very hard to deal with this one. Know that it will pass. It will become more obvious and they will take control over this soon. But in the meanwhile, if you notice your baby is starting to poop a little bit, just gently say, wait, transport them to the potty or the potty to them and have them finish on the toilet. Again, if they stop pooping at this point, you want to put them on the big toilet with the toilet seat reducer, line the floor with towels the first couple of times, just in case they decide to dive off. The closer you are to them, the more likely they are to dive off, et cetera. But if you have a stealth pooper, you also might try baby wearing for a little while for a couple of days, so that you can really tell when that signal happens for poop.
How about no signals? I have a free class on that. I'm just going to leave it at that. Just because your child does not signal does not mean EC will not work. Your child doesn't have to be verbal. Your child doesn't have to do sign language. Your child doesn't have to like look at you and grunt. There is no way that every baby will signal all the time, period. So, I have a whole little class that's free about signals. I'll link to it in the show notes.
Erratic timing, where they're all over the place. You have no idea when to take them. I highly recommend you do some logging with my log that's available on iOS and Android. If you would like to, it's called The Log. I'll link to it as well. See if there's any timing after feeding or after waking that you can find. At the very least, you're going to find a range, and you can go off of that range pretty well.
But if it's literally all over the place, then we just want to relegate ourselves just to the Four Easy Catches, and stop trying to do it off of natural timing. Just do the Four Easy Catches where it's wake ups, diaper changes, poops, and ins and outs. We will link to more information on those in the show notes as well. But I got you covered. We also have a MiniCourse called Potty Time Master which could help you with that.
Now, what about if your daycare is not on board? Yes. I'm going to mention another MiniCourse. And if you don't have them, you should just get the bundle or better yet, just get the Premium Course Pack that has the three programs for all three age ranges, and the seven deep-dive MiniCourses. One of our deep dives is about daycare because so many people have problems with it. I'm going to link to that as well. Diaper-free at Daycare, because the daycare's not on board, sometimes just filming a short video of your child using the potty at home is enough to get them on board. If they will allow a cloth diaper, they will allow a cloth training pants with a, maybe you use one of my TinyUps. It's a cover that is made of PUL material and bamboo fleece. So, it's like a pull up, but it's not disposable. You can send them in that, with a couple of extras, and see what happens there. The key with daycare too, I just want to mention real quick ,is to not allow them to ask your child if they need to go to the bathroom. They would just take them nonchalantly during diaper changes. Anywho, that MiniCourse goes over way more than I could possibly during this podcast and video.
Pee accidents all the time was the next one that I mentioned. That's one of the most frustrating things. You're just like, "Oh my gosh, there's endless wet pants." Number one advice on that is to change the backup. So, if you're using diapers, start using undies. If you're using training pants, start using undies. If you're using undies, start going commando or naked from the waist down. The other reason they pee all the time by the way, this could be reflective of a food allergy. You might be feeding a lot of diuretics, which are things that make them pee a lot, like watermelon and juice. So, you want to look up antidiuretic food and try to feed a little bit more of those, if you think that's an issue.
We got two more frustrating parts. The next one is, won't stay seated. I have a podcast on that, Won't Sit. I will link to that in the show notes as well. There are lots of solutions for that. Please go listen to that next.
Then the last one is, won't go at night, but has to, that's super frustrating. There are many solutions to it. So, I'm going to revert you or refer you to my MiniCourse Nighttime EC 101, or my book that goes over nighttime a lot. But also, two podcasts ago, I added a few more thoughts on nighttime EC, and I actually think that this will solve that problem perfectly. It's a super frustrating part of EC. Nighttime is optional, but if they won't go and you know they need to go and they won't settle back to sleep, what are you going to do? Please go back to that podcast or video, and I will let you in on some nighttime tips and secrets that will surely help.
So, those are the most frustrating parts of EC. There were 10 of them. I hope that you learned a little bit something today and most importantly, I hope that you're now connected to the resource that you need to get past the hurdle that you're experiencing right now.
Thank you so much. So again, the show notes are at godiaperfree.com/195. Please, comment over there right now and let us know, what is the most frustrating part of EC for you? I look forward to chatting with you over there. Be sure to leave us some questions, if you have any, and take care.
Thanks so much for listening. This is the Go Diaper Free Podcast at godiaperfree.com. We'll see you next time.
My baby is 7 month old. I was practicing Ec since she was 4 months. Initial 2 months i was taking care of her so had good success.
Now i have started work from home so a caretake is taking care. And we are having so many misses. I feel
I am failing at it. How can we do EC with a caregiver.?
You are doing great! EC is not a linear journey. Going over the basics of EC with your caregiver might help with the misses!
My son is 13 months old. I started EC when he was a newborn and to my amazement, he caught on quickly! I also used CD for the first several months, but though he is naturally petite, he eventually outgrew his NB NAIO cloth diapers and I had to buy a bigger size. I am a newbie at CD so I bought these horrible used ones that caused leg gaps and didn’t fit snug around his waist. The seller said they were EUC, but they were barely GUC. Anyways, they weren’t NAIO and he started getting a rash from them so I stopped CD. He kept up EC for some time, but then he stopped wanting to go. He won’t sit on his own and he twists out of the EC hold. Help! I can almost never catch pees or poos anymore! What can I do?
You are doing great! Try maybe doing a reset and some naked observation, EC is non-linear, and at 13 months baby is still undergoing some big developmental milestones. I know it can be super frustrating at times, but stay the course!
My top frustration with EC is the difficulty in finding underwear that are small enough.
Check out TinyUndies.com! I have sizes as small as 6 months!
Hi Andrea! Thanks so much for all this awesome info. I’ve run into a snag that I can’t find any info on on your blog or podcasts. I have done E/C and early potty training with my grandson since he was about 12 months. He was doing great with pees and poos until he switched from 2 naps to one. Then his poos settled into nap time. I’ve tried adjusting nap time to earlier and later to try to catch it before or after but it’s like the diaper and sleeping releases the poo. I tried sleeping him naked with a potty in the room but he decided to use the poo as playdough and finger paint twice in a row so yeah that’s not a real option. Any other ideas for me?
Adjusting his eating schedule may adjust his potty schedule enough to where you can get that catch either before or after! Also, I have launched a new subscription program Potty Tribe where coaches as well as myself help troubleshoot anything that comes up on a weekly basis each Friday.
Hi Jan! Oh my, I could’ve written that post myself!! I’m a Go Diaper Free coach, and let me tell you, I tried all that you did and also had the same results: playdough poop on the bedroom walls. Adjusting feeding times were not an option for me as I had 2 other kids and didn’t want to spend all day feeding my kids… So I turned a blind eye on the poops and just focused on the pees for a while. We did the hybrid plan when he was 13 months, hit a major resistance period when he was 14 months and hardly made a catch during that month. Which made us realize he needed more autonomy. We did the potty training experience at 15 months, and he was trained in 5 days. His pooping now is all over the place (sometimes after naps, sometimes after supper, sometimes when waking up in the morning)… And we have a stealth pooper on top of it… But we are seeing progress nonetheless. Just today he told me he had to poo (which I disregarded as he had just peed 10 minutes prior to him saying that, and he uses poo for both pee/poo). Well, he really did mean it! So I missed it, but I saw that as a HUGE progress on his part! And earlier in the afternoon, he had also told me, had done part of it in his undies, and the other part in his potty!! Why am I telling you all that? Just to say that even if things look like they are stuck in a rutt, it may not be so. He is constantly growing and learning, and as long as you follow your instincts, progressively teach him new things and stay consistent while somewhat relax… Things will evolve for the better! Good luck!
Hi! I’m having all sorts of trouble. I started EC when my daughter was 7 months old and discovered she’s a stealth pooper so I’ve never caught one. I am mystified by people saying poos are the easiest.
We were doing well with pottying after waking and during diaper changes until she was about 9 months old when she started protesting. Arched back, crying, got off the potty etc. I got a toilet seat reducer and it was a bit better for a while, then she started objecting to that too. She doesn’t signal much, sometimes tugs at the diaper but she does that randomly also.
Now she’s 13.5 months old and I tried starting with the hybrid plan but I just couldn’t do it. I don’t know, I felt insane during diaper free time, I never managed to get her to the potty fast enough. She got very grumpy as well. She’s not totally clueless, she looked down while peeing and went like HMMM but then resumed playing. When she has pooed in the diaper she usually comes straight to me and I change it.
The next morning I tried training pants which she just used like a diaper and then commando (pants only). She just peed/pooed in everything and I was too stressed and cleaning all the time. When I used natural timing like offering the potty after eating she held it and went a few minutes later in her pants.
I felt insane so I put the diaper back on with the plan of continuing to offer after waking and diaper changes. After naps when I KNOW she has to go she arches her back and I have to wrestle her to the potty (which I don’t want to do so I usually don’t offer if she does that). Sometimes she’ll sit but not go. I’m at a loss and fed up.
Do I just accept that she doesn’t want to do this and wait until she’s 18 months and then potty train? Does she even understand what I’m trying to do? I feel like a total failure =(
Oh, hon! First and foremost: you are not a failure. Keep in mind, most parents are not even thinking of potty training yet!
Also, keep in mind that at 7 months, you’re literally just establishing a routine. You may not see it as progress, but trust me, the progress is there! I tried EC with my 4th, but didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Tried with my 7th baby, and she is usually dry when we are not home. Planning on starting in earnest with my 8th at 6 months. This routine thing is supposed to take the stress out of it. Have fun. Let the actual catch go; that will come in time. You’ve got this!
First of all you are not a failure! Sometimes it is better to take a pause to ease the stress and overwhelm of it all. You are on the right track with continuing to try for those easy catches. It may just not have clicked for her yet, and that is 100% okay. If she is fighting it, trying to redirect her attention with a toy or a book could help settle her long enough so she goes without complaint. You are doing a great job and you know what is best for your family. If you want more consistent and personalized help, I launched a new subscription service Potty Tribe, where several coaches as well as myself troubleshoot the weeks EC journey every Friday over Zoom.
Hi Andrea! Thanks to your work, I was able to use EC for my first child from birth and it went very well. Especially after realising at about the 1 year mark, I had to dial back the enthusiasm and relax and trust into the process. My daughter was out of diapers at the age of 15 months when she started walking and pretty much out of diapers at night too when I stopped nursing at night a few months later. Setbacks during theething or sickness would come and go but now at 25 months of age, something is different. She used to sleep from 7 til 6 without needing to pee but now she wakes sometime between 1 and 5 am and when we come into her room she has already wet her bed. I wonder if it could have to do with her recent speech development or with the fact that I am going back to work soon and we have been trying for another baby unsuccessfully for a while now. I hope you can give me some insight and tips how to handle this situation. All the best, Amaya
First off, 15 months, Congrats! Speech development as well as other milestones and life changes can most definitely cause some regressions. Perhaps limiting liquids a couple hours before bed could be helpful in keeping her dry overnight. A gentle reminder at bedtime to stay dry that way she has it on the mind as she sleeps could help as well. Hope that helps!