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What is Elimination Communication and how to work out if it's right for your child

Being a parent is like riding a rollercoaster where every twist and turn is a new learning curve. While there is a wealth of more traditional parenting advice at our fingertips, there are many alternative types of parenting style that are gaining traction. A more conscious, “natural” type of parenting has been grabbing headlines recently with the idea of elimination communication at the centre of it all. 

What is Elimination Communication?

Otherwise known as baby-led potty training or natural infant hygiene, elimination communication (EC) is a type of training where the parent or caregiver looks out for the key signals and cues that the child needs to wee or poo and takes them to the potty. While the parent gradually learns to understand the natural rhythms of their baby’s body, the child learns how to communicate their need to go and what needs to be done when they feel the urge.

By keeping an eye out for the signals and taking the child to the toilet when they need to go without relying on a nappy as a back-up, EC relies on the fact that babies will instinctually resist soiling themselves and learn to master potty training and associated independence.

How do I practice it?

Many parents who practise EC start early – at birth or beyond – to support their child’s independence from the outset.  It is a process that is free from dependence on nappies and encourages natural toilet learning through a respect for your child’s understanding of the process and desire for independence. Parents who choose EC may do it full-time, part-time or occasionally.

While we would usually recommend consistency in any potty-training process you choose, EC can help to support a healthy potty-training plan - and we recognise there are times when it just won’t make sense – for example, when the grandparents or a friend is looking after your child for the day.

What are the benefits?

There are a few key benefits of choosing EC for your potty-training needs:

  • It’s eco-friendly and cheaper (uses far fewer disposable nappies, if any)
  • It strengthens the bond, communication and trust between babies and caregivers
  • It’s cleaner (baby doesn’t sit in a dirty nappy and reduces the chance of nappy rash)
  • Supports your baby’s independence

What are the downsides?

We cannot emphasise enough how important it is for your child to show signs of readiness before potty training begins. While EC works on a different type of premise with the baby’s natural body rhythms, research has proven time and time again that starting potty training too early can impede the process and lead to regression.

Encouragement and Independence

If you are interested to pursue EC, we would recommend that you make sure to fully understand the benefits and downsides before starting. While it is an age-old concept, it can also be tricky to maintain in modern society. Instead, we might suggest pursuing a regular potty training process but focusing more on the many ways that you can physically and mentally guide your child towards being prepared.

The Family Seat is built with an ergonomic, solid construction resulting in a strong, stable seat to give your child confidence during the potty-training process. For advice on any aspect of potty training and for any help purchasing a Family Seat, email our team at .

Family Seat supports the children’s communication charity I CAN, who are experts in helping children to develop the language, speech and communication skills that they need to thrive in our 21st-century world.  We donate 50p to I CAN on each and every seat purchased through the official Family Seat website.



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