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When you can expect to be done with elimination communication

When you can expect to be done with EC

Last vid we spoke about when you can stop using diapers. That video is here if you missed it.

Today we're going to talk about when you can expect to be done with EC.

This is called completion, graduation, and being finished, already.

Elimination Communication does *not* have to drag on. It should be completed, at some point, because we all find pride in mastery (especially toddlers!). There is an end in sight (and one full of happy smiles and capable bodies!).

This video is only 2.5 minutes definitely have time for this. You can do it. Watch now - When you can expect to be done with EC:

You'll learn:

  • the average age range for EC completion, both day and night
  • my plan for baby Branson (now 8 months old), day and night
  • whether starting from birth helps you to finish sooner
  • whether doing EC barely-part-time with a mobile baby will do you any good, and,
  • whether starting with a 12-18 month old would even work (I have a blog post on that, too, here).

And you'll see baby B in this video...he's a wee tiny one in this one b/c I recorded it many moons ago. :)​

Please comment below with when *you* completed EC...or when you expect to!

(And if you're in the middle of a "drag on" type situation, write that. We can help.)

Looking forward to seeing where everyone's truly an honor to bear witness to your experiences. This is SUCH a special practice to share with your baby, even if super-duper part-time.

xx Andrea

PS - You do know that I made a bite-sized minicourse on this topic, yes? It's called Wrapping Up EC and it covers 2 of the 3 methods of wrap-up with your LO: pure EC and hybrid EC/PT. Loads and loads of bonus footage, including how we prepared our child to go to preschool without diapers for the first time (The 3rd method is a potty training experience with my PT book.) Just in case ya didn't know...there it is. :)

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Resource Recommendation

Getting EC Back on Track: a minicourse that walks you through observation, logging, and getting back on the EC wagon

Potty Time Mastery: a minicourse that helps you get extremely good at detecting the 4 ways to know the baby has to pee

Go Diaper Free: my popular EC book that simplifies EC, beginning to end

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 Heidi on October 30, 2017 at 6:14 am

    We started EC when my son was 1-month-old and did non-coercive potty training when he was 19-months-old. He still had a couple months with lots of pee misses during the day. Nighttime potty training was completed as soon as we started. We switched to training pants at 12 months, which gave him better freedom of movement as he practiced walking. Next time around, I would focus on preparing the bathroom in a way that provides my toddler more independence, and hope for a gradual transition to independence.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on November 7, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      You will definitely be prepared for next time, Heidi! For everyone reading, Heidi wrote an excellent blog post here on Go Diaper Free that teaches how to set up that idyllic potty station:

      xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Mallory Rae Brechbiel on October 30, 2017 at 8:00 am

    We started my son at 6 weeks, he did amazing! Would never poop in his diapers and then around 8 months he just refused to poop on the potty. He would still pee , but not poop. Now he is 21 months and still in the same boat. He walks but doesn’t talk much. So it’s been a struggle all the way through… dragging on and on . Send help! He actually has a routine of hiding in his room and closing the door to go…. I try to offer the potty and he gets super angry with me. And he hates getting a dirty diaper changed … the struggle is surely real

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on November 9, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Hey Mallory! I am so sorry you’re going thru this, dear. What I would do is a “potty training experience” (even if you’ve done one before, and especially if you haven’t) – there is something he is missing that you aren’t aware of and may never ever figure out. Use very clear pointing as the signal/prompt to go (or just bringing him with you). Do not ask, state or say nothing. Insist. Close door, ignore him and do something else (busy yourself in the bathroom with him) to give him privacy, or leave the room completely and close the door. He will figure it out. If he already does that in his room, what’s the diff? He is clearly asking for privacy! But yea the PT experience – – and then be super-duper steadfast about the direction you’re going. If you are clear and matter-of-fact (and have 100% decided to stop using daytime diapers) and you put your game face on, he will comply. But he needs that privacy and whatever other mysterious piece is missing (that will be solved when you do the PT experience, which is a common fix). Hang in there! xx Andrea

  3. Avatar Michelle on October 30, 2017 at 9:04 am

    We started EC when my son was 3 months old. We have been extremely part time with lots of stops/starts/pauses along the way. Now at 21 months he’s starting to show more initiative. I think he’s ready to potty train I just don’t know if I am!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on November 9, 2017 at 11:08 am

      Hey Michelle! I can totally understand that! Those who’ve done super-part-time EC usually have a fine time wrapping up EC, but generally they do not wing it (it’s hard to know what to do, right!?!). So if you don’t have it already, grab my potty training book – – and read up, do it exactly as-stated from start to end (even tho you’ve done some EC here and there), and have FAITH! It will be FINE! Unless you enjoy changing diapers and enjoy power struggles with your child…b/c that is what is in your future if you don’t get on that horse and get organized and do it. This is the PERFECT time to start and finish, dear. Sending tough love encouragement! xx Andrea

  4. Avatar shan on October 30, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Baby is 19 months and is diaperfree daytime but I feel night time will take forever as we don’t do EC. First son was night time free at 3yrs so I’m expecting the same

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on November 9, 2017 at 11:11 am

      Hey Shan! It can totally vary. My potty training book does have a section on nighttime/naptime training if you need more info. But if you want to know what to expect (and don’t need help knowing “how”), the range is typically 14 months to 36 months – with those who’ve done EC experiencing more like 14 months to 28 months, on average. But every baby is different, as is every mother and father (!). So, if you want to just do a night, no talking, no lights on, “dream pee” when you go to bed at night (assuming he goes to bed at 7/8 and you go to bed at 10/11/or 12) – that would help him be dry all night, with a backup still on him if that makes you feel better (and keeps him waking up to pee! That’s def what we want!). But yeah, 3 years wouldn’t be terrible. :) Glad you’re diaper-free in the day without EC – nice job mama!!! xx Andrea

  5. Avatar Robin on October 30, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    My daughter is almost 2.5. We started EC when she was 1 week old. She did great and was almost potty trained day and night until around 12 months old she started refusing the potty altogether. We just restarted potty training and it’s going okay.. she poops in the potty if we leave her naked but she still pees all over the house :(. My son is 1 month old and we started from birth and so far he’s developing a schedule but I feel more confident this time.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on November 9, 2017 at 11:14 am

      Yes, Robin! You absolutely feel more confident second time around (on all levels of baby-raising, right?). I know I did/do. We learn with each baby. So, for you guys…are you using my PT book – – ? If not, I would obviously recommend it. :) And I would not cut any corners in it, even though you’ve done EC for a large chunk of time (which totally helps, believe it or not!). Do the PT plan from A to Z. If it doesn’t take the first time, do it again, focusing on the part where the “click” is not happening. If you’ve read it, that should make a lot more sense than if not. ;) Peeing all over the house is a sign that something is missing, and a solid potty training experience with my book would resolve it. I know it’s a LOT to have a newborn and be PTing, so get some help! And then totally enjoy EC with your youngest.

      Also, IF you hit a potty pause, btw, with your new son around 9-14 months of age, please please please take my Potty Pause minicourse – – so you won’t have the same trouble this time around. I’m here for you. (and I also have a newborn course! –

      Hang in there!!
      xx Andrea

  6. Avatar Louisa on October 30, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    We have done part-time EC with little boy since 4 months, he’s now 21 months and stopped using nappies for daytime nearly 2 weeks ago. It was so much easier than I expected! Have always caught poops and he would ask for the potty if needed, but would be happy to pee and soak through cloth nappy (Flapawrap) if I wasn’t on the ball, so I didn’t think it would be much different with undies. He seems to understand that we’re doing things differently now. He’s usually dry after a nap but not after night-time, will wait a while until trying nights.

    • Avatar Heidi on October 30, 2017 at 7:24 pm

      That’s awesome!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on November 9, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Yes that is wonderful, Louisa! Good for you for taking the plunge. It is scarier than the reality, ya know? And nighttime will naturally follow. See my reply, above, to shan’s comment about the “dream pee” and maybe try that if ya want! Congrats!! xx Andrea

  7. Avatar Sarah on October 31, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Everything was going so well! From 3-6 months he was peeing an average of 8-10 times on the potty. I have never missed a poo, but he only goes every second day. Anyway, not sure what has changed, but I only catch between 2-5 pees now. Anyone have any ideas?

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on November 9, 2017 at 11:47 am

      LOTS of developmental changes!! And at crawling, most babies over human history would be “done’ and not need your help, nor tell you they need to go, anymore. They could have gone outside and done it themselves :) So, I would consider my Getting EC Back on Track minicourse or the Potty Time Mastery minicourse to get attuned with your baby and all 4 ways to know they need to go, and if you’re ever in a potty pause, there is a minicourse on that, too. The minicourses can be found here, chock-full of example videos – – and you can also be assured that things are constantly ebbing and flowing with EC as baby matures. My main advice: stick with it. It will change next week, and the next, and the next, and you just have to stay clear: this diaper is a “backup” until I teach you how to do this yourself…it is not your toilet. xx Andrea

  8. Avatar Nadin on October 31, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    I started potty training with my son when he was 16 months old and never did EC before. I’ve done it just as described in “the tiny potty training book” and it worked well in the first months or so. Now he’s 22 months old and I catch most of the pees but haven’t caught a poo in ages. He just comes to me afterwards and says “yuck” and its killing me. Please help…

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on November 9, 2017 at 11:53 am

      Hey Nadin! That has got to be tormenting you…I am so sorry. I would honestly do the potty training plan all over again. Skip quickly thru parts that seem to have fully “clicked” and then focus heavily on getting ONE poop in the potty during naked-bottom home time, ok? Then go from there. Please utilize Jennifer, my certified coach, on our book owners’ facebook group, k? – She can help you as if I were personally there. :) And check out the play-doh experiment in the TPT book? Hang in there. xx Andrea

  9. Avatar Frances on November 1, 2017 at 10:04 am

    My baby is 9 months old. We started EC when she was 6 days old. She’s doing great – we catch most of her wees and all of her poops. Nightime varies.. this week she has been dry all night without having to go potty in between. I expect to be done with EC soon after she starts walking. Fingers crossed it’ll go ok!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on November 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Awesome Frances!!! Sounds like my experience with my first and second children. Enjoy the process and remember, any bumps at all, call on us as a resource…but sounds like you’ll do just fine through the end of this lovely process. :) xx Andrea

  10. Avatar Jenny Dalio on October 11, 2020 at 2:30 am

    I’m not clear. I have a 5 week old. EC sounds like it’s more work than diapers, so if he won’t learn sooner by starting earlier, then what’s the benefit of doing it now? Why not just wait until he’s closer to 18 weeks?

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on October 11, 2020 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Jenny! Congratulations on your new arrival!! There are a lot of amazing benefits to practicing EC, not just early potty independence. Increased communication, more diaper free time which helps with developmental milestones and skin health, less fussiness/happier baby (especially in newborns) etc.

      It really isn’t any harder than changing a diaper. If you are curious I would recommend just trying for easy catches, like after waking or obvious pooping. See what you think. If you like it you can stick with part time or increase your EC practice. You can start anytime from birth to 18 months old.

      If you find EC isn’t for you, that’s totally fine too! Sometimes potty training is the best fit for a family, you know best for you and your baby.

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