Now that you have learned the basics of how to practice elimination communication (EC), it is time to think about how to dress your baby for EC. Dressing your baby in EC friendly outfits makes the practice of natural infant hygiene easier. Responding promptly to your baby’s elimination needs requires a lot of effort, so it is important to simplify the process however possible.
The main consideration when dressing your baby for elimination communication is how quickly and easily you can remove the diaper/ training pants/ underwear. When relying completely on diapers it is fine to wait until the baby has finished peeing or pooing and then casually remove a pair of pants, unsnap a body suit, and take off the diaper. On the contrary, when a young baby signals the need to eliminate and you wish to catch the pee or poo in a potty, removing layers of clothing and undoing snaps, buttons, or belts may take too long. Young babies are not able to resist the urge to eliminate for very long.
When practicing elimination communication full time, pottytunities are often given more frequently than typical diaper changes. A cute layered outfit 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 for natural infant hygiene in a manner that helps you get him or her to the potty on time and dressed again with little hassle.
- T-shirts Rather than Bodysuits
- Leg Warmers or Long Socks Rather than Pants
- Dresses for Girls
- Split Crotch Pants for Cold Weather
- Sleep Gowns for Nighttime
- Diaper or Training Pants as Back-Up
- Diaper Belt for Modified Diaper-Free Time
- Natural Infant Hygiene / EC Series
T-shirts Rather than Bodysuits
Bodysuits or Onesies™ may be the most common outfit for babies, but they are not the most practical for EC. Instead, you can base your baby’s wardrobe around t-shirts. Depending on the climate and your taste, choose long or short-sleeve tee shirts and plain white or playful colors. T-shirts leave the diaper, or other form of back-up, easily accessible.
Leg Warmers or Long Socks Rather than Pants
Dressing your baby in baby leg warmers or long socks rather than pants makes offering pottytunities much easier. Rather than removing pants, which may leave your baby cold, keep the leg warmers or thigh high 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 thigh high socks and leg warmers, for extra warmth.
Dresses for Girls
If you have a baby girl, she can wear cute little dresses, which can be lifted up for potty time. To keep her legs warm, add leg warmers or long socks.
Split Crotch Pants for Cold Weather
In colder climates, you can dress your baby in split crotch pants. That way she or he can stay snuggly warm wearing pants while using the potty. Split crotch pants can be paired with a cloth prefold and diaper belt, for easy removal of the diaper.
Sleep Gowns for Nighttime
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.
Diaper or Training Pants as Back-Up
Cloth Diaper Options
Especially when beginning natural infant hygiene, it is easiest to dress Baby with a back-up, such as a diaper, rather than literally allowing Baby to go “diaper-free”. Cloth diapers are a great accompaniment to EC. 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 Baby with one arm and hand and remove and replace the gDiaper with the other hand. I am not coordinated enough to work a row of snaps with one hand. It is also smart to consider which type of diaper will be quieter to remove and put back on during nighttime EC.
gDiapers can be paired with a variety of inserts, including traditional cloth prefolds, cloth inserts made specifically for gDiapers, hemp inserts, or even biodegradable and flushable disposable inserts.
Little Training Pants
Another back-up option is either regular training pants in a small size, or training pants that are especially designed for EC. Training pants can absorb one pee and are much trimmer than a cloth diaper.
EcaPants drop-flap training pants are specifically designed for EC. There are both Waterproof Ecapants and Non-Waterproof Ecapants . They have a band that stays fastened around your baby’s waist, while the front of the training pant flips down. This allows for easy pottying, without completely removing the training pants. After Baby is finished pottying, you can simply flip the front back up and fasten the Velcro tabs or snaps around the waist.
Poquito Pants are also designed for EC and start in size small, which fits approximately newborn through 3-months-old. There are both waterproof and non-waterproof options and the fabric choices include organic cotton. Poquito Pants come in two styles, either with side snaps, or pull-up style.
You can find more options in my article about Elimination Communication Training Pants.
Once your baby is consistently eliminating in the potty or toilet, you can move on to dressing him or her in tiny underwear. You can find options in my article about Small Underwear for Babies and Toddlers.
But don’t feel pressured to ditch the diapers too soon. It still counts as EC, even if your baby is wearing a diaper as back-up.
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 dress your baby in a cotton prefold secured around the waist with a diaper belt. This allows you to notice right away when the prefold becomes wet. Once 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.
I hope these tips on how to dress your baby make your EC journey a bit smoother.
Update: December 1, 2015- I am excited to announce the launch of my own brand and online store EC Peesy, offering convenient baby and toddler clothing for elimination communication and quick diaper changes. Please come see what we have to offer!
Natural Infant Hygiene / EC Series
If you would like to learn more about Natural Infant Hygiene a.k.a. Elimination Communication (EC), please read and share the rest of the articles in the series:
- What is Elimination Communication? | Natural Infant Hygiene
- How to Practice Elimination Communication | Natural Infant Hygiene 101
- How to Dress Your Baby for EC | Natural Infant Hygiene
- Tips for Nighttime Elimination Communication | Natural Infant Hygiene
- 10 Useful Items for EC | Natural Infant Hygiene
- Elimination Communication Infographic | Natural Infant Hygiene
How do you dress your baby for elimination communication?