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A Sample EC script

Elimination communication - EC for short - is a way of communicating with your baby about his or her elimination needs.

Communication goes both ways, but until you figure out how your baby is communicating with you - and it may be by sounds, actions, signalling or subtle movements, you might feel that you are the one doing all the communicating. It won't always be like this.  In fact, by the time your child is three or four or five and in the middle of asking the interminable "Why?" questions, you may be wishing they'd go back!!

Here are some suggestions on what to say to your baby - an EC script, if you will - based on an email I posted to the Eliminaton Communication group at Yahoogroups in response to a question from someone. I suggest that you read this and then use your own ideas and words etc! By no means would I recommend learning this off, word for word!!

What should I say when he has a wet diaper and I change him?

"Oh, you have a wet nappy. Let's take that off. If you let me know you need to go next time, I'll help you get to the potty so you stay nice and dry. You know where pee goes - it goes in the potty, doesn't it. Now, which pants do you want to wear now - these bright red one or the ones with cars? The cars - ok - they are great aren't they. How does a car go? Broom, broom. Auntie Jenny has a yellow car like that. There, nice dry pants. It is much more comfortable when you are dry, isn't it. Remember - you let me know when you need to do another wee and I'll help you onto the potty. Now let's get back to that game..."

He never got used to peeing in the sink or potty

I think someone has suggested a pile of towels on the floor, but a pot of dirt on the balcony might be an interesting alternative. We have two potties and they are forever moving around the house. Different days and times led to different preferences for where DD wanted to sit on the potty.

He is all about role modeling and wants to brush his teeth, use the phone, dress himself, etc. just like us.

So brush your teeth together, have a spare phone for him to use, give him clothing choices, make it easier for him to put his own pants on and off (training pants rather than nappy, for example), encourage his help when you want to take him to the potty, take him to the toilet every time you go, let visitors (choose which ones!) take him to the toilet when they go, a step so he can stand up high enough to pee into the toilet like Daddy does...

During a potty resistance stage, should I do a diaper-patting sign *after* I find a wet diaper as a way of teaching the sign?

If you are going to use a patting sign, then do it along with talking about having gone in his pants. Use it every time you mention about it go, going, having gone etc - and not just for when he does it - show him the sign when YOU are going to the toilet too.

In Conclusion

A script or at least lots of talking can make a big difference with EC and general pottying of infants and toddlers in my experience. With DD#1 I started a form of EC when she was 6 months old, but I didn't know/think to make a cueing sound or to use signs. I also did not talk so much to her as I have with DD#2. If I had given DD#1 the "words" (whether sign or sound) to tell me, I believe that she would have been able to tell me (in some fashion) that she needed to go from the time she was about 13 months old, of her own volition.

I also think that the more you communicate with your baby when very young, the better they will become at communicating in retunr.  This can also help reduce the famous "terrible twos" tantrums, which frequently result from the child's frustration about being unable to communicate well enough to get his or her own view across (and accepted!)