Newborn Potty Training

A Guide to Easy, Simple And Effective Steps To Take From Day One

A Newborn Potty Training Guide: find out how to start elimination communication (EC) with your baby. You will find easy, simple and effective things you can do from day one or ten. Zero to four months is the optimal time to start ECing as newborns don’t have lots of happenings on their social calendars, and are far more compliant than the resistant and strong willed twos.

Stage One of Newborn Potty Training

Observation + Cueing

Though parents tend to think that newborns eliminate throughout the day – newborns begin to settle into discernible patterns fairly soon. The objective of this stage is to establish patterns and can last a couple of hours, days, or weeks.

I started this stage of newborn potty training when my baby was about 5 days old ... and I stayed in it until he was 2.5 months. This might not be typical but every child-parent relationship is unique. I was not ready to move to the next stage, mostly because I could not handle complex maneuvers while being totally sleep deprived and overwhelmed with all that comes along with first time motherhood. My husband was skeptical and did not get on board until he started witnessing potty successes every morning.

What is EC Observation: it’s a time when you gather information by paying close attention to your child’s signals or natural timing and note any behavioral changes or signals your baby makes pre-elimination and during.

The noises or movements are typically different for urination vs. bowel movements.



Distinguishing your baby’s need to go potty is no different from knowing his sleep or hunger signals.

Newborn Elimination Signals Can Include:

  • Grunting
  • Passing gas
  • Wiggling or squirming
  • Looking intent
  • Spitting up
  • Straining
  • Any sudden change in behavior (fussiness, going quiet after, or appearing unsettled)
  • shivering
  • kicking legs
  • popping of the breast while nursing

Some say the best way to observe when your little one is eliminating is with naked time. Leave your baby naked on a towel and when you witness elimination start cueing.


What is EC Cueing: a consistent sound a parent makes along with baby’s every pee and poo. It can start en-route to the bathroom and while the baby eliminates. “Pssss Pssss”, “shshsh” or “sssss” usually works well for pee. The same sound can be used for both or you can mimic the sound the baby makes when pooing or something along the lines of “eeeeh”

While you are newborn potty training already use the words you plan to teach for independent toileting (such as "potty"). Be very consistent in your words and sounds so that your newborn begins associating them with the sensation they feel.

You can also use signing “toilet” to reinforce the pattern and to give your baby a way to communicate to you that he needs to eliminate before he can vocalize it.

Naked Observation time did not work for us. It was messy, as our baby would pee a little bit every 10 – 15 minutes. My husband was not impressed with newborn potty training and thought it was a waste of time. And I failed to associate any consistent behavioral change along with peeing. So instead I focused only on catching poo and relied on natural timing.

As soon my little darling would wake up in the morning (or often I’m sure he would wake up because he had to eliminate) he would strain, grunt, change color, and straighten out his legs.

I would lean against the wall while sitting in bed with baby in sitting position with back against me and cue. My baby was wearing his diaper - since he was so tiny and it was awkward for me to get him out of his clothes and hold him over a container.

But:

  • It was much easier for him to eliminate in this position.
  • He associated the position + the cueing + the timing with eliminating.

This was newborn potty training I could handle. My baby eliminated every morning and almost only that one time a day. I continued to put him on a blanked with a folded cloth diaper between his legs to give him a break from wearing a diaper.

I also hoped this would help prevent diaper rush – my little darling never had a diaper rush but I can’t promise you its because of his naked from the waist down intervals.

Stage 2 Of Newborn Potty Training

Once you are familiar with your babies’ patterns you can give him a potty opportunity before pee and poo accumulate to the point that their body automatically expels it.

Take Your Baby To Potty.

Here is what you do once you are ready / confident and recognize your baby’s elimination signals. When you expect your baby to eliminate hold it over the potty or container and cue. Voila - très simple! Don’t be surprised if you have an immediate success.

  • It is very important to give your baby proper support while they go potty.
  • Do not insist that your little darling sits on the potty when they don’t want to.

Your baby will start to associate your cueing + being over their potty with eliminating. They will push as soon as you offer them a potty opportunity and if there is anything is in their bowel or bladder, it will come out.

Start offering your baby a potty opportunity at other times when it’s natural for babies to eliminate. Many babies eliminate upon waking or around feeding time.

Natural Timing for Newborn Elimination

  • After awakening
  • After coming out of a sling or car seat
  • Before, after or during a feed
  • When diaper comes off for a diaper change

Once my little darling was around 2.5 months old and gained some weight and volume, and I started having a bit more sleep I was more confident about being able to hold him diaper less over his little potty. The first time was a messy disaster. Entirely my fault – I was already in my sitting with baby against my torso position when I got inspired.

It was the perfect day! My husband had already left for work so he would not witness any imperfections in technique and I had a decent couple of hours of sleep and was relatively lucid.

So I fumbled with getting to the potty / removing clothes while trying to appear composed so not to alarm the baby. … aaand that was quite a mess I ended up with. But I was not deterred – my little darling did eliminate albeit I don’t think any of it made it to the potty but he was quite blasé about the whole procedure.

So the next morning I had the potty ready by the bed. As soon as my baby started waking up I took off his nappy and whisked him to the potty. We had a catch! And one the morning after, and the morning after, and the morning after! At first my husband thought it was a fluke but with a 100 percent success rate over the next 2 weeks he started converting. And when he was able to duplicate the success he became an enthusiastic supporter of newborn potty training.


I stated incorporating more potty opportunities into our schedule – every time I changed a diaper I would offer the potty. And my little darling would pee every time I said “psss” – it was magic!

During newborn potty training some parents keep their baby’s bottom naked while others, like us continue to use diapers after successful trips to the potty. There are certainly times when diapers are very helpful if not necessary. The final decision on this depends heavily on your family, the living environment and your schedule. This is a learning process for you and your little darling – relax and adapt to your circumstances.

Leave a comment or share your story about kids potty training.

Return from Newborn Potty Training to Elimination Communication .

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