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FAQ: On the Road With EC: Staying Focused In the Face of Skepticism

If you're traveling with your baby, you may find yourself staying with relatives or friends who are unfamiliar with EC. Their reactions to infant pottying may run the gamut from full support and enthusiasm to skepticism or hostility. Author Laurie Boucke shares some thoughts on dealing with naysayers during your travels.

By Laurie Boucke

Any change in a baby's daily routine can introduce a pottying challenge. While traveling, visiting and vacationing, some EC'ing families do even better than at home while others do not. When you plan and pack for a trip of any length, remind yourself that it helps to stay calm and relaxed. Your baby picks up on your mood and feelings, so your mind-set can make a difference.

There are likely to be disruptions to sleep patterns, diet, potty visits, play times and more. There may be encounters with people who are skeptical and non-supportive of EC. It can be hard to stay positive in these types of situations unless you stay focused.

The Western world has been indoctrinated to reject any form of early toilet learning. Doubts stem from "medlore" - maturational readiness theories which are based on opinion and commercialism rather than scientific proof. Some fear "psychological damage" based on old theories relating to an early toilet training method used before the 1950s.

There are other myths that you may also encounter. If you choose to share your practices with those unfamiliar with EC, or have a need to explain your actions, be sure to make it clear that with infant pottying, timing is based on baby's natural rhythms and on spontaneous and learned communication between caregiver and baby, and that there is absolutely no punishment, anger or coercion involved.


  • Stay positive, relaxed and balanced
  • Don't worry about accidents ("misses") or "making progress
  • Take essential pottying equipment and clothing
  • Don't overdo the pottying
  • Do your best to avoid stress at every phase of travel, including planning and packing
  • Work through any feelings of impatience, irritation, or frustration as soon as you notice them
  • Don't hesitate to use diapers more than usual or even full time
  • Take an EC book for support and to show friends and relatives
  • Don't hesitate to resort to minimal or no pottying for a while
  • Listen to and act on your intuition with respect to potty visits
  • Don't show off or try to get your baby to perform for others
  • Learn from your travel experiences.


Plan which EC equipment and clothing to take. It may prove helpful to make a list some days in advance. Here are some things to consider:

  • Portable potty, bucket with lid, or other suitable container
  • Toilet seat insert
  • Training pants or underpants
  • Cloth or disposable diapers
  • Diaper inserts
  • Plastic pants or equivalent
  • Wipes
  • Waterproof bags for damp clothing

Potty Places

While away from home, be prepared to use or improvise different potty places. For example, you can use a portable potty or other container in a car, plane, train, restaurant, tent, hotel or other lodging. If you are out and about, explore your surroundings for clean and comfortable pit stops. Use discretion in public restrooms. If you are carrying your own potty, you can use the changing table, a counter top or toilet stall. If using the toilet, you can sit on the seat and let your baby sit on your lap for warmth, sanitation, comfort and security. If your baby is frightened by loud automatic flushing toilets, cover the motion detector with a cloth or clean toilet paper until you are done.

If you are staying with friends or relatives and feel some negativity or other resistance on their part, or if you worry about the opinions of others, be discreet by taking your baby to the bathroom and closing the door for privacy. Most will assume you are just changing a diaper.

And finally, don't lose sight of the big picture. Take it easy and enjoy your family, your trip, and pottying!

Laurie Boucke is the author of Infant Potty Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living and co-producer of the DVD Potty Whispering


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