Elimination Communication, also called Infant Potty Training or Natural Infant Hygiene, is a form of “potty learning” for babies. Even if only practicing EC part-time, kids are often out of diapers and reliably dry during the day by about 12-18 months.
EC is not space-age new. In fact, it was the norm in pre-industrial days. Until disposables became the new norm since its introduction in the 60’s, most mothers practice some form of EC, with cloth diapers as back-ups. Even with disposable diapers available, my mom and MIL still talk about how their kids (yes, us!) were all out of diapers during the day by the first birthday.
DS’s EC started very early on. Whenever my parents changed DS’s diaper even back when he was a few days old, they would make this “shhh” sound, and often times DS would pee. Not knowing any better, I was really skeptical and thought it was pure coincidence.
Starting at maybe 4 months old, my mom was laid off and she came over to our place every day to help me taking care of DS. Most of the time, she took care of bathing DS. Before the bath, she would hold DS in-arms over the bathtub, and DS would pee for him almost every time. By then, I have already heard about EC, but thought it was too much work.
After I switched to cloth diapers at 8 months, I read more about EC. DS has already started solids by then, and some food was giving him constipation. There was a particularly memorable EC instance: We were out on a weekend road trip, and DS has not pooped at all for days. On our way back home, we saw him straining really badly trying to poop but failed. So I decided to do something I vividly remember my mom doing to my little brother: I sat on a stool, held DS in arms, and helped him poop on the newpaper-protected floor.
That worked, and I have “missed” only a handful of poops since then.
In terms of pees, my mom started dressing DS without diapers during the day since his first birthday. We went from a lot of wetted pants and mopping to very reliable dry pants for the past two weeks.
The next challenges I’m planning tackle? Having DS *tell* us he needs to go to the bathroom, instead of us taking him to the bathroom every hour or so. Oh, and switch to potty.