Psst, psst: EC at 16 months

Well, it’s been almost ten months since I wrote an official Elimination Communication (EC) update, though I wrote a summary in April and mentioned it briefly in August.

So, after more or less giving it up as a lost cause for a couple of months over the summer, I resumed the EC journey in August, when I became a temporary (?) SAHM.  I felt we were making enough progress that I made room for the little blue potty in our checked luggage when we traveled to Portland in early September.

However, we chose to use disposable diapers on the trip, and I despaired of any EC progress under those conditions.  Surprisingly, it almost seemed that he was MORE reluctant to wet the disposable diapers than the usual cloth.  On the occasions where we did some day trips from Portland in the car, we would often stop to find the diaper dry and a fussing baby very relieved to pee.

Since then, Gabriel figured out how to climb on the potty by himself, which seems like a big step to me.  Up until last Thursday, there was a lot of unproductive climbing on and off.  Then, he peed in the potty completely by himself (I was in another room) twice in one afternoon, though that feat has yet to be repeated.

He still lacks a consistent way to let us know he needs to use the potty.  One semi-consistent signal (that we do not want to encourage) is coming up and biting us, but even this is confusing, because he also uses it as a general “I want attention” signal.

I’m cautiously optimistic about our progress, though we clearly have a long way until we’re “diaper free.”  I still have my doubts about the usefulness of the work we put into EC in the early months (and hence, the whole method, really) — the subject could use better information about when it really makes sense to start putting time and energy into potty learning.

Past EC Posts
Baby steps
Psst, psst: Thoughts on EC so far
Psst, psst: EC at six months


  1. Do you try baby signs? That might help with communicating when he needs to go. For diaper change, we always just had them pat their bottoms, which was pretty easy.

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      I’ve been using the ASL sign for toilet pretty much from the beginning, but he doesn’t seem into that. We have started trying something like what you used, trying to get him to pat his diaper area, which should be more intuitive.

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