Now that we have covered the basics of how to practice elimination communication, let's take a look at how to dress your baby for elimination communication. Dressing your baby in EC friendly outfits will make pottytunities and diaper changes quick and easy.
When practicing elimination communication, it is important to respond promptly to your baby's elimination needs. The most important thing to consider is how quickly you can remove your baby's backup (diaper or training pants) to offer a pottytunity. When relying completely on diapers, you can wait until your baby has finished peeing or pooping and then casually remove a pair of pants, unsnap a body suit, and take off the diaper. But when a young baby signals the need to eliminate and you want to catch the pee or poop in a potty, removing layers of clothing and undoing snaps, buttons, or belts may take too long.
With full time EC, pottytunities are often given more frequently than typical diaper changes. An outfit consisting of a bodysuit with pants layered over may be fine when changing a diaper every two hours, but when offering pottytunities every 30 minutes during morning peeing time, removing that layered outfit can get old fast.
Here are some tips on how to dress your baby in a manner that helps you get him or her to the potty on time and dressed again with ease.
Tee Shirts Rather than Bodysuits
Bodysuits or Onesies™ are commonly worn by babies in the USA, but they are not the most practical clothing for elimination communication. Instead, you can build your baby's wardrobe around tee shirts. Depending on the weather, choose long or short sleeve tee shirts. Kimono style tee shirts that wrap around your baby are easier to use during the newborn phase. One your baby has more head control, lap tee shirts work well. T-shirts are hassle free, since your baby can keep wearing one during a pottytunity or diaper change.
Leg Warmers or Long Socks Rather than Pants
Dressing your baby in leg warmers or long baby socks rather than pants makes offering pottytunities much easier. Rather than removing pants, and leaving your baby cold, keep the leg warmers or long baby socks on while your baby is using the potty. Just watch the aim, so he doesn't pee on his socks! You can also layer leg warmers over long socks, for extra warmth.
Split Crotch Pants or Chaps for Cold Weather
In colder climates, you can dress your baby in split crotch pants or chaps. That way he can stay snuggly warm wearing pants while using the potty. Split crotch pants work especially well for toddlers, who can walk over to the potty and sit down. Chaps are great for younger babies, since they can be paired with a cloth prefold and diaper belt or cloth diaper worn over the chaps.
Sleep Gowns and Sleep Sacks for Nighttime EC
Rather than dressing your baby in those cute footie pajamas, opt for a sleep gown. Sleep gowns have gathered elastic at the bottom to keep them in place, but you can pull them up easily. This is much faster than unsnapping rows of snaps along the legs. Sleep gowns can be worn by boys, as well as girls.
For even more warmth, you can add a sleep sack over the sleep gown. Be sure to choose a sleep sack that opens along the bottom, for quick pottytunities or easy diaper changes.
Diaper Belt for Modified Diaper-Free Time
If you do not feel comfortable with your baby being butt naked during diaper-free observation time, you can use a diaper belt around your baby's waist, to hold a cloth prefold diaper in place . This allows you to notice right away when the prefold becomes wet. When the prefold is wet, you can swiftly remove it, wipe, and replace it with a dry prefold.
The prefold and diaper belt combo can also be paired with split-crotch pants, leg warmers, or thigh high socks, to keep baby warm.
Cloth Diapers as Backup for EC
Especially when beginning elimination communication, it is easiest to use cloth diapers as backup, rather than literally allowing your baby to "go diaper-free". Cloth diapers allow your baby to feel wetness, helping them maintain awareness of the sensation of peeing. Modern cloth diaper covers fasten with either Velcro or snaps. Choose the option that is easiest for you to remove and replace.
I like gDiapers gPants, which secure with Velcro. When practicing EC around town, I am able to cradle my baby with one arm and remove and replace the gDiaper with the other hand. I wouldn't be able to do that with diapers that fasten with snaps. I also find the Velcro to be quiet enough for nighttime EC.
gDiapers gPants can be paired with a variety of inserts, including traditional cloth prefolds, cloth inserts made specifically for gDiapers, or even biodegradable or flushable disposable inserts.
Cloth Training Pants as Backup for EC
Cloth training pants can also be used as elimination communication backup. Training pants absorb one pee and are much trimmer than a cloth diaper.
Non-waterproof training pants are great for around the house, and for going out you can add a wool soaker or shorts, to keep any misses contained.
Tiny Trainers were designed for babies practicing elimination communication and start from size 6-12 months. I also like Under the Nile organic cotton training pants, which start from size 12-24 months.
I recommend switching from cloth diapers to training pants once your little one is walking, and you are catching most of the poos in the potty.
Tiny Underwear for EC Graduates
Once your toddler is consistently eliminating in the potty or toilet, you can move on to dressing him or her in small underwear. But don't feel pressured to ditch the diapers too soon. It still counts as elimination communication, even while using diapers as backup.
Tiny Undies were designed especially for babies doing elimination communication and potty trained toddlers. They start from size 6-12 months and come in gender-neutral solid colors and prints. I love the high quality organic toddler underwear made by City Threads, which start from size 18-24 months.
I hope you found these tips on dressing your baby for EC helpful! Next up, I will share some advice on practicing nighttime elimination communication.
Do you feel prepared to outfit your baby for elimination communication?