Elimination communication is also known as baby led potty training where one uses the baby’s cues, signals, and intuition to understand when the baby needs to eliminate waste. Therefore, the baby is then held over the potty instead of using diapers. It is a method mostly used in non-industrialized countries however it is becoming more popular as parents explore the best way to potty train their children. This method can seem controversial however it does have a history of significant success rate (BabySparks, 1970).
How does early communication work?
The idea behind early communication is to learn one’s baby’s pattern and rhythm. Hence, one will then identify signals such as facial expressions and cuing for example rumbling of the stomach or whistling. This then needs to be accompanied with the mother instinct where a mother will simply know that the baby needs to relieve oneself (BabySparks, 1970). Early communication can be done on a full-time basis where parents apply this technique day and night or else part time where one chooses periods of time during which this technique is applied. Additionally, it should either be started from birth or later in life; both have been deemed successful (Rosenbush et al., 2021).
The benefits of early communication
- Potty trained earlier
- Babies who are brought up in an early communication environment can wear underwear without accidents by the age of 6 months whereas other children usually reach this stage by age 2 or 3 years (Rosenbush et al., 2021).
- Environmentally friendly
- Since this method does not make use of diapers it is more eco-friendly (Rosenbush et al., 2021).
- Cost effective
- Additionally, since diapers are costly early communication is a cheaper method (Rosenbush et al., 2021).
- Encourages a deeper connection between the mother and baby
- This method relies on understanding signals and cues from the baby and thus strengthens the connection between mother and baby (Rosenbush et al., 2021).
- Cleaner approach
- Since the baby does not spend time with a dirty diaper then the baby is less likely to experiences rashes as well as urinary tract infections (Rosenbush et al., 2021).
- More comfortable
- With diapers being bulky, they can create some discomfort. Therefore, since the baby will be diaper free most of the time, the baby will be more comfortable (Rosenbush et al., 2021).
- Instills self-esteem
- Babies cry when their diaper is dirty or when they need to eliminate waste. Understanding this beforehand and enabling them to use the potty instills a senses of respect towards one’s child. Therefore, the baby will understand that they are valued which in turn enhances one’s self-esteem (Rosenbush et al., 2021).
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Yasmine Bonnici graduated in Nursing and also completed her Masters in Counselling. She has worked with victims of domestic violence, clients dealing with suicidal ideations, bereavement, separation and anxieties. She is currently working with Willingness Team as a counsellor seeing clients who would like to explore their own identity and deal with any surfacing issues.
BabySparks (1970) What is elimination communication?, BabySparks. Available at: https://babysparks.com/2021/03/26/what-is-elimination-communication/#:~:text=Elimination%20communication%2C%20also%20referred%20to,when%20it’s%20time%20to%20go. (Accessed: 24 July 2023).
Rosenbush, D. et al. (2021) Baby Elimination Communication: Why & how to do it , Mama Natural. Available at: https://www.mamanatural.com/baby-elimination-communication/ (Accessed: 24 July 2023).