Mother holding baby girl up wearing cloth nappy

Here we explain what elimination communication (EC) is and why it's ideal to use cloth nappies in tandem to greatly reduce your environmental impact.

What is Elimination Communication (EC)

Elimination communication, shortened to EC, is the process of learning to understand your baby's cues to know when they're about to do a wee or a poo.

This enables parents or caregivers to hold their baby over a potty at just the right time to effectively "potty train" their baby from as young as a newborn.

It involves round-the-clock observation and timing, as well as practice and patience.

Baby cues may include noises, eye contact, facial expressions, body movements or all of the above.

If your baby is very young, it involves learning how to carefully hold baby over the potty whilst supporting their body and head.

If your baby is a boy, it also involves making sure their penis is pointing down so that that firehose isn't spraying everywhere.

Why do elimination communication?

The main benefit of EC is that you are not only preventing disposable nappies from going to landfill, but in theory you're also saving the water and energy usage involved with using cloth nappies.

It's a double whammy for environmental sustainability.

Another benefit of EC is that it's baby-led.

Whilst the baby won't actually be able to take themselves to the toilet until they're at least able to walk, you are following their lead and therefore fostering their independence from a young age.

When to start elimination communication?

You can make a start with EC anytime from birth up until around 18 months old.

If you're choosing to start after 18 months old, the process is redefined as potty training rather than EC.

Why use cloth nappies in tandem with elimination communication?

Raising a baby without having to deal with nappies sounds like any parent's dream, so it's no wonder so many are giving EC a try.

In reality, even the most well-meaning parents wanting to do their bit for the environment would rather have a safety net than risk a messy situation all over their lap.

EC certainly takes a great deal of persistence and a strong knack for reading your baby.

It isn't always easy to spot a baby's subtle signals, and many babies give little to no warning at all when they're about to go.

It's therefore ideal to use cloth nappies in conjunction with EC, so you're well and truly covered if you do miss a subtle signal from your baby.

It also means that when considering how many cloth nappies you might need, you may be able to buy a part-time cloth nappy bundle for full time use.

In summary

By using cloth nappies in tandem with EC, you simply reuse the nappy numerous times without washing it (as long as it's still clean).

When there's been an accident, it's caught in the nappy, and you can change the nappy as usual.

This greatly reduces your wash load and your environmental impact, whilst giving you the freedom of knowing your baby is covered for accidents.

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Meet the Author

Natalie Lassen

Black and white photo of Natalie with her daughter cuddling

Natalie, Founder of NappyLuxe, is an eco-conscious mother and entrepreneur who discovered the benefits of cloth nappies for her family and the environment. With a mission to create the ultimate cloth nappy, she spent years researching and testing various designs before launching NappyLuxe - a range of high-quality, easy-to-use, and ultra-absorbent cloth nappies. Natalie is passionate about sharing her experience and expertise, helping parents make informed decisions and embark on their own sustainable parenting journey.

December 14, 2022 — Natalie Lassen