Montana Lower and Tom Lindwood from Byron Bay, Australia, shared a story on their YouTube channel ‘On The Way’ about successfully training their daughter Blue to potty when she was two weeks old. They achieved this by using ‘rejection communication,’ a method that involves looking for ‘signs of a baby needs to go to the bathroom and then take them to the toilet without a diaper.
This couple hoped that Blue’s journey would make elimination communication and other unorthodox training techniques easier to understand for other parents.
Elimination communication (EC) is a gentle way to respond to a baby’s natural hygiene needs from as early as birth. The instructor will learn the signals and assist them with this process until they naturally gain independence (usually by nine to 18 months of age).
The elimination communication process relies on the parents to aptly notice when their baby needs toilet time. Once they see one of these cues, they take the baby to the toilet.
Elimination communication has definitely gained popularity over the years, but it had its benefits and caveats, like most things.
Some experts believed it strengthens the connection between parents and children and helps them develop self-esteem.
Lower and Lindwood believed that knowing their child is being noticed and their needs are being met is inspiring for them and that this is a ‘beautiful theme that leads to connection.’
However, Lower had never been exposed to this method in the West, and she was initially skeptical about the practice and concerned about possible accidents with her daughter later.
‘But it is practiced all over the world. It’s a lot cleaner if you just take them to the toilet,’ she said.
Lower just needed to take the day seriously and focus on the signs that meant Blue needed the potty or toilet.
Lower and Lindwood had to watch for signs that Blue needed to go to the toilet, and she seemed to have developed some sort of learned behavior.
Amazingly, everything went so well. After being trained by Lower, Blue began to be independent in going to the bathroom without diapers anymore. She already knew to look at her mom or dad whenever she needed to go.
Blue began by making different faces or even yelling if she needed to go, while some children shake their fists, grunt, squirm or frown.
During a family dinner in February, Blue made her parents proud when she got up from her seat, walked 40 meters to the bathroom, and knocked on the door.
‘I opened the door for her, she pointed at the toilet and she went. We’ve been using undies for the past couple of weeks and now it feels like a big sign to trust ourselves and our babe,’ Lower wrote.
‘And that’s what I’ve loved about this whole journey – it’s just been her showing us the way and us remembering to make space for that.’
Lower and Lindwood advised families to try elimination communication, even though it may not be easy.
Finally, they did not forget to share their experiences in training Blue.
1. It’s much easier to start EC in summer, so you can put your baby in dresses or clothing that doesn’t take a long time to remove on the bottom half.
2. Get yourself a potty. It’s good to put in the boot of the car for when you’re out and about. You can pull over at any time and put the baby on the toilet.
3. Set aside one day to just learn with your child. Blue took one day to realize she needed to use the potty, and after that, it was up to us to read the signs.
4. Involve friends and family if you want to. It can be a rewarding experience for everyone involved.