Attachment parenting

Handling Accidents during Elimination Communication: Expert Tips and Strategies

Jul 8, 2023


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on handling accidents during Elimination Communication (EC)! If you’re a parent or caregiver who is practicing EC with your infant or toddler, you may have experienced the occasional accident along the way. Rest assured, accidents are a normal part of the learning process and can be effectively managed with the right strategies and mindset. In this tutorial, we will provide expert tips and strategies to help you handle accidents during EC confidently and successfully.

Understanding Accidents in Elimination Communication

Accidents are bound to happen during EC, especially in the beginning stages when both you and your child are still learning the cues and signals. It’s important to remember that accidents are not failures but rather opportunities for growth and improvement. By adopting a positive mindset and implementing effective strategies, you can navigate through accidents smoothly and reinforce positive habits in your child’s elimination routine.

Step 1: Stay Calm and Positive

When an accident occurs, it’s crucial to remain calm and maintain a positive attitude. Your reaction sets the tone for your child’s experience with EC. Avoid getting frustrated or upset, as this can create negative associations or anxiety around elimination for your child. Instead, approach accidents with patience, understanding, and reassurance.


Let’s say your child has an accident while sitting on their potty chair. Rather than expressing disappointment or scolding them, try saying something like, “Oops! It looks like you needed to go potty. That’s okay! Let’s clean up together and try again next time.”

Step 2: Clean Up Gently

Accidents may involve messes that need to be cleaned up promptly. Remember to handle the cleanup process gently and calmly to avoid making your child uncomfortable or anxious. Here are some tips for cleaning up accidents during EC:

  • Use gentle wipes or warm water and a soft cloth to clean your child’s bottom.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or strong fragrances that may irritate your child’s sensitive skin.
  • Be patient and thorough when cleaning up, ensuring your child feels comfortable and secure throughout the process.


I remember when my daughter had an accident during EC while we were out at a park. I calmly took her to a nearby restroom, cleaned her up with gentle wipes, and changed her into fresh clothes. I made sure to reassure her that accidents happen and that we can always try again next time. By handling the situation calmly and positively, she remained confident in our EC journey.

Step 3: Identify Patterns and Triggers

Accidents often occur due to specific patterns or triggers that you can identify over time. By paying attention to these patterns, you can anticipate your child’s elimination needs more accurately and reduce the likelihood of accidents. Here are some common patterns and triggers to look out for:

  • Timing: Notice if accidents tend to happen at certain times of the day, such as after meals or upon waking up from a nap.
  • Body language: Observe your child’s body language for signs like squirming, crossing legs, or holding their diaper area, indicating the need to eliminate.
  • Vocal cues: Listen for grunts, sounds, or vocalizations that may indicate your child needs to go potty.

Troubleshooting Tip:

If you’re having trouble identifying patterns or triggers, consider keeping a log or journal to track your child’s elimination habits. This can help you recognize patterns over time and adjust your EC approach accordingly.

Step 4: Reinforce Positive Habits

Accidents provide valuable opportunities to reinforce positive habits and encourage your child’s progress in EC. By focusing on the successes and celebrating small milestones, you can create a positive and supportive environment for your child’s learning journey. Here are some strategies to reinforce positive habits:

  • Praise and encouragement: Offer words of praise and encouragement when your child successfully uses the potty or shows progress in recognizing their body’s cues.
  • Rewards system: Consider implementing a simple rewards system, such as a sticker chart or small treats, to motivate your child and make the process more fun.
  • Consistency: Stick to a consistent routine and schedule for potty breaks, which helps establish a sense of predictability for your child.


Let’s say your child successfully uses the potty after several accidents. You can celebrate their achievement by saying something like, “Great job! You did it! I’m so proud of you for using the potty like a big kid.”

Step 5: Seek Support and Guidance

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Seeking support from other parents practicing EC or joining online communities can provide valuable insights, tips, and emotional support. Connecting with others who share similar experiences can help you stay motivated, gain new perspectives, and troubleshoot any challenges you may encounter along the way.


I found immense support in an online EC community when my son was going through a phase of frequent accidents. The members shared their own stories and offered advice on how to handle specific situations. Their encouragement and understanding helped me stay positive and motivated, even when accidents occurred.


Accidents are a normal part of the learning process in Elimination Communication. By staying calm, handling cleanup gently, identifying patterns and triggers, reinforcing positive habits, and seeking support, you can effectively manage accidents during EC. Remember that each child’s journey is unique, and progress may take time. Embrace the learning curve, celebrate successes, and approach accidents as valuable opportunities for growth. With patience, consistency, and a positive mindset, you’ll navigate through accidents with confidence and create a successful EC experience for both you and your child.