• Thu, Apr 18 2013

13 Must-Haves For Parents Attempting Elimination Communication

shutterstock_69995371I guess Elimination Communication, or rather EC, is the new “au natural parenting trend.” Out with the cloth diapers and in with the babies of Brooklyn peeing behind parked cars. The next time I see a parent dashing by me with a baby in hand, I think I’ll reevaluate my default theory of catching nearby by subway trains.

For those of you who haven’t delved into that stack of parenting books, EC goes a little something like this:

…the Bedford-Stuyvesant lawyer-turned-Reiki healer became interested in “elimination communication” — or EC, as it’s called— responding to her son’s cues for when to go to the bathroom instead of having to rely on a diaper.

The hope is for the parent to “catch” pees and poops — whether atop open-cloth diapers, toilets, sinks…EC parents make “sisss” sounds or grunt noises when they see their babies going to the bathroom, and over time the kids start to associate those sounds with feeling relieved….Once that association is made, the parents can hold their kid over a toilet when making the noise to cue an “elimination,” she said.

But since elimination communication is reportedly the swanky new parenting philosophy that all the hip mommies and daddies are doing these days, a hot accessory list is obviously in order. Grab a pen. We’re going to do this right.

(photo: Robbi / Shutterstock)

What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • BlueBelle

    This is what I do with my dog.

    • lea

      Me too, when she was a puppy. Well the watching for signs part anyway. The only time I had to catch her wee in tupperware was when she had a suspected UTI.

      Seriously, it is damn hard work to slide that tupperware under a suspicious puppy dog without her seeing you coming (no doubt thinking “WTF is wrong with my human?”).

    • lea

      (yes, I threw it out after….)

  • chickadee

    #14 A dedicated Elimination Nanny, so she can handle all the rough stuff and you can earnestly explain to her why it’s the best plan for the child.

    • Koa Beck


  • Cee

    So..this effectively ties a “parent” ( but mother, really) to her baby at all times. Babies pee and poo a lot. What can a mother practicing EC do aside from waiting on facial cues all day, seriously? I think I’d have a panic attack holding one of these kids. “Is he gonna sneeze or shit on my arm?”

    • CortCab

      Being a new parent is hard enough, and it seems like this would definitely make it harder.

  • SDA

    I have heard people actually brag that their baby “goes to the potty” 50% of the time. Um, is that a good thing? 50% poop NOT making it into a diaper or toilet is really no different from 100% to me!

  • Jessie

    … So EC is basically just using basic dog training tactics on a human.
    Well, people already leash their kids like pets, why not “train” (see: brainwash) them to mindlessly obey as well. LOL.

    NOTE: I actually have nothing against kid leashes, in fact I am a huge supporter of them if you’re going to be in a crowded place, your child is a “runner,” or something else like that. It’s just another safety measure to me.

  • HS

    This is so bizarre. Isn’t the “noise association” going to screw with the kids later? Will they ever be able to pee/poop without hearing the noise cue? How are they weaned off that? So many questions!! My son is 4. Wore disposable diapers since birth. Was potty trained 2 months after his 3rd bday and never had to wear pull-ups or anything at night…he was just straight potty trained *pats self in back*. Is he just an anomaly? Lol! These 1st world parents who so desperately want to live like 3rd world countries/wolves are so wierd to me.

    • Psych Student

      I would be concerned about their bodies responding to the sounds if they hear it randomly in the world. Sssss is the sound a snake makes that parents make for their children. Sounds like a disaster to me. “Mommy, why am I peeing?” Because we associated sounds with actions and the rest of the world isn’t catering to your need to only hear the noises when it’s time to pee.