Well, now, for all you mothers out there who read my last article on potty training (Sept–Oct 2007) and said to yourself, “The only reason she could potty train her first child is because all she had was one, and so had lots of time,” I have completely discredited your presumptions. For now I have my second little girl potty trained, and that while working for NGJ, teaching and training Gracie, gardening, doing yard work, keeping house, cooking, and entertaining my husband who is around most of the time.
Lots of mothers have said to me, “Well, I just do not have the time, and after all, it is not that the baby is trained; it is the mother who is trained to remember to take them.” So? Are you then saying that your baby can be trained, but you can’t? Maybe you are more trained than you think. Do you still ask your three-year-old, “Honey do you need to go potty?” I do. So does that make her not potty trained? I don’t think so.
A mother spends more time with her baby during the first few weeks than at any other time. I hear many mothers say, “All I do is nurse and change diapers and nurse again.” Then, why not use that same time to begin training your child for when she is two? Gracie was potty trained from a newborn to poop on the pot, and now my second little girl is ten months, but she has also been potty trained to poop on the pot since she was born. She still wears diapers to catch her little tinkle, tinkles. She is not perfect, but I never get that greenish brown stink on my hands in the grocery store. I won’t have a two-year-old walking around dragging a loaded diaper.
You can do it.
First, you must let go of everything you have been led to believe about potty training. Stop using all the standard excuses: “Well, I just don’t have time. It is too hard. I don’t know what to do. How can a baby understand?”
Secondly, choose a word or expression that means, “Go potty!” It does not matter what word you use, but it is important to have one discernible word you always use for “Go potty.” Even when we are out where I cannot easily or quickly take her to go potty, and I get the signals that she is near to relieving herself, I still use the word, giving her permission to “go.” In so doing, I am reinforcing the fact that Mom is in charge and knows that she is going potty in her diaper.
Step three: You never know when your new baby is going to go potty at this age, because they are not very consistent. So, what you do is, every time they do go in their diaper, instead of going to the changing table and pretending all is well and normal for a child to poop on themselves, go to the bathroom and put them on the toilet. Sure, it is too late, but right now you are trying to familiarize them with the act. Use your chosen potty word; always use the same word. If you are out somewhere and you notice that they are going potty, do not just sit there and laugh at them, “Oh, isn’t she so cute? Look how her face is all scrunched up and all red.” Come on, parents; it is not normal. If it is, then why don’t you start walking around in a diaper? Just say your “potty” word to them, and if you know they are going, run them to the bathroom if you are home. For the first month or two, I always have a half-dirty diaper and a half-dirty potty.
By the time your baby boy is three months old, his back is beginning to get a little stronger so he can hold himself up better as you hold him on the potty. If you have been faithful in putting him on the potty every chance you get, then by now you can put him on the potty and say your word, and he will most likely go for you.
At about three months old, Laila was beginning to control (hold) her bowel movement until I put her on the potty. And, even if she did not need to go, if I put her on and told her to, she would try to go and did on most occasions. Of course, there were always those times when there would be an accident, but that is OK. You are trying to set a norm so that when they are one year old, it will be easy to just go right from diapers to panties.
When Laila was just about six months old, my husband and I took a trip to visit my sister. The first day we arrived, I was bragging to them that Laila was potty trained. I explained that she arched her back to tell me when she needed to go. And, you guessed it, as I was telling them, we all began to smell a nasty odor. With just a little investigation, I found that I had bragged too soon. It did give us all a laugh, and then I hurried to put her on the potty to finish her job. So, as a side note, don’t be too quick about bragging, because the moment you do, your baby will throw you for a loop.
One of the best things about baby potty training is that you are training your baby to learn self-control. To have a five-month-old wait to be put on the potty and then obey Mama’s voice when you say that special word to him and see him go potty for you, then you are not only beginning to train your baby in self-control, but obedience — almost from the womb. How cool is that?! I love to take Laila to the potty and know that if I tell her to go potty, she will cheerfully sit there and go.
You are also teaching your baby self-respect.
Laila knows the difference between having a dirty diaper and having a clean one. She will put up quite a fuss if I get too busy and forget to take her to the potty, until she cannot hold it any longer. She likes to be clean, and I like her to be clean — who wouldn’t? What about peeing in their diaper? It would be very hard to catch a baby peeing in their diaper, especially boys, because it seems that they are always tinkling. What I want most of all is to have my baby trained to go potty, and upon command.
Start right now teaching the good habits. It is not productive to allow your children to establish habits that you plan on training out of them when they are older and understand better. Start teaching them now when they are young, so you do not have to retrain later. I say, train now while the training can be fun, and that way you will not have to go to war with your children over a habit that you “taught” them in the first place. Do this in every aspect of your life, and you will not only have obedient children, you just might be a happy camper yourself.
If you have a story or some suggestions about potty training a baby or a toddler, please write it down and send it to NGJ. I am going to put together a book of potty-training ideas that will be helpful for all of us.
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All the articles I've read on potty training are about training from birth. Unfortunately my son was 8 months old before I found out about No Great Joy so it was a little late at that point. He's now 20 months and I want to start potty training but can find no info on your site about how to train a 20 month old. Am I missing something? Thanks.
@ Kim, my mother-in-law trained her boys by stripping them down naked in the house so that they would need the toilet, they could not hide in their dipper.
To Kim - check out http://www.tribalbaby.org - they have good ideas for potty training older children, who are still young to do it the conventional way.
When I 1st read this article, I was pregnant with my 1st child, and I have to admit that I was skeptical. However, I decided I would at least try using the 'command word' when I could tell that she was "going," just to see if it would help when I did start to potty train her. At 9 months old I bought her a potty chair intending to start using it once she could walk, but my curiousity got the best of me and I decided to try it. To my amazement the very 1st time I sat her down and told her to "potty," she did! In the past 7 days, she has successfully used her potty 16 times!! My only regret is not sitting her on her chair sooner!
I am 5months pregnant and considering this method of training. I plan on staying at home with the baby the first year but my concern is; if I have to leave my baby with someone that can't go with her to the toilet will the child psychologically be trained to wait until someone can take her to go? Would that mess up her system or cause her to be upset?
I will admit, I thought this would be really hard. But it's EASY!! I started my girl at one month old. I pay attention to her signs, and she goes 8 out of 10 poos in the toilet. She even fusses when it's time to pee, oftentimes. For two weeks, she screamed when I sat her on the potty. Now she sits there pleasantly. If she doesn't have to go, sometimes she'll try anyway. It's really cute and totally blows my mind!! I used to think, like others, that babies were somewhat mindless. I am convinced she holds her poo to give me a chance to get her to the potty. THANK YOU for this article!!
Very Fun! I actually read an article that was written back in the 1950s... I decided as soon as my little boy could sit up I would teach him to sit on and get used to the potty... He is 9 months and for the last two months he has been going poop on the potty. It is a challenge at times... especially at restaurants, stores, etc. Quite funny actually, but worth it! He gets excited every time the poop hits the water and Mommy yells "Yeah! Give me a High Five". I was excited to hear your CDs about starting even earlier. Most of our family and friends cannot believe it... until they see it. My son will fuss when I put him down for a morning nap to let me know he needs to poop. After the poop, there is no fussing when I put him back down. Just sleep... Praise God! Thank you Pearls... We respect and love your ministry! 🙂
Mom put us on potty very early and that was in the Fifties/Sixties. Result: We WANTED to be clean and not have sticky mess up our diapers. Needless to say that we didn't have diaper rash either.
I'm a new comer to this mode of child raising and I'm trying very hard to keep an open mind about some ideals that just seem very foreign to me - but for you to feel that you have the right to control your child's biological functions, so that she needs your permission to defecate I find very upsetting.
"What I want most of all is to have my baby trained to go potty, and upon command."
What I want most for my infant is for him or her to be healthy...
Why do you need to command your child to do something that all children manage to do quite well without any in put from anyone? We don't train our children to use a diaper - they have no control over the muscles involved in defecating until close to their second birthday. And if they did they don't have the ability to get them self there. While I have no trouble with you taking your infant to the toilet 20 times a day if needed - why can't you allow your child the pride of deciding for himself to use the toilet; when he or she is physically able to do so?
While I admit changing a dirty diaper is not high on my list of fun - it is something I graciously do for my child until he or she has the muscle control to handle the job herself. And as far as getting greenish - brown stink on my hands at the grocery store? If I do, it's a sure bet it wasn't from my baby's freshly changed diaper! Why would an adult who does have control of this function and has the ability to walk them self to the toilet wear a diaper?
"One of the best things about baby potty training is that you are training your baby to learn self-control. To have a five-month-old wait to be put on the potty and then obey Mama
I agree with you, Abbey. Raising children shouldn't be about controlling them, it should be about teaching them how to eventually become independent followers of the Almighty God.
I think the elimination communication is great, but not if you're looking at it from a standpoint of controlling your child.
while i was pregnant, i read this article, but now my son is 3 mo. old and thought i'd come back for a refresher....only to find the last two comments : 0) too funny! i potty trained two kids at the age of 2, before the third and on a serious note my second froze up during potty training because she is shy, and got constipated to never want to poop again-this caused a serious illness in her. she was painfully bloated she couldn't walk, and pooping hurt too bad to go. she layed around imobile, and lost a lot of weight-short of us taking her to a specialist(she was already under the drs care) almost 2 yrs. later from the start of potty training she regained the confidence she needed as well as trusting me it was ok to go, and well now she's healthy and happy 3 yrs. later. For that reason alone, is why I chose to potty train from the start, when it's fun and the baby has no pride and hasn't been taught keep your pants on, be modest, only for you to have them run around naked to learn to poo. my son is put on the potty after a good meal; ) "IF" he pees i say "good job! peepee in the potty" "IF" he poos i say "good job! poo poo in the potty" the first couple of times he startled himself, but then again, when i sneeze it startles him. but now he smiles when he is going poo and pee-it's simple positive reinforcement. my son doesn't like to be wet, and as a newborn had some seriously embarrassing rashes-not anymore. i will caution you though, once you start this fun time, your baby will beck and call for you to come set him on the potty-he loves all the attention. so this potty training style isn't for the "laid back" kind. also just to let you know after baby was born, and would be doing a poo in the diaper- i would also say "good job, you're doing a poo poo!" as long as baby is doing a poo, baby is healthy in my oppinion. sorry had to post this, because i'm so tired of negative reactions to someone else's positive victories, it's just like the devil to steal our joy when we are only doing what makes sense in the first place. Peace!
Poop on command. This is your wish? Wow. I'm just totally stunned by this. I raised 3 children and the thought of controlling my children's bowel movements was never at the top of my list. If you young mothers want to spend you time running your newborn, 3 month, 6 month babies to the toilet every time he grunts, well have fun with that, but don't pretend it's for your child. It's for you, so you won't have to change diapers, or so you can brag about it, or that's what I'm hearing. Babies don't mind diapers unless they aren't being changed regularly. Potty training a child too young, or before they are mature enough can cause many problems, including physical ones. (see m.josephine's comment) Putting pressure on a child to "poop on command" can cause her to have problems not only physically, but emotionally, even throughout their lives. 2 years old is plenty young enough to potty train your child. Pooping on command? I can't even comment on that because I'm shaking my head so hard. Put all that energy into playing with your child, hugging her, reading to her. The diapers will be gone soon enough.
I too came across this when my little girl was already 2 months old. She had no head control, and obviously couldn't hold herself on the potty, but she had such bad constipation and cramping while trying to potty in her diaper that I thought the position might help her along (as well as a change in her diet from Soy to organic cows milk formula). And it has! I am very thankful for this encouraging article and the use of a specific word. My little girl is 5 months now and does give signals before she pottys, like a grunting or passing gas. Then I calmly walk to the toilet, sit and cuddle her while she is trying to go. We do have a nice time, even in the middle of the night if that is when she signals her needs. I have noticed she pees about every half hour and pouring warm water on her privates or having her hand in warm water will trigger her to go. I only do this if I need her diaper to be dry longer, but it does work. I am going to look into diaperless training next. I do cloth but even that takes more loads of laundry as I don't have very many. Thank you Shalom, Melissa
Wow. That sounds like a lot of effort on your part.
Here's what I did. For the first 2-3 years, I changed diapers. I didn't spend any time zooming an infant to the bathroom with a half-full diaper. I spent no time watching my baby for "signs" of pooping.
I waited till my kids were 2.5 or 3, when summer was here.
I explained to them what to do. Then I took off their diaper and put them in underpants, for good.
When they had to go to the bathroom, they did. At that age, they could handle their pants by themselves. I spent no time reading or sitting in the bathroom with them. When they had to go, they went. I'd go in after them to help, if needed.
Of course there were accidents in the first few weeks. But they learned pretty quick.
I also did not feel the need to brag about my child being "trained" at an early age. That made it easier for me to wait till the time was right (child at least 2.5, weather warm outside so there were minimal clothes).
This article is obnoxious on so many levels. Like the boasting about how the author has potty trained her kids from birth, the distain for changing diapers or getting poop on one's hands in the grocery store (dirty diapers and the occasional diaper blowout are just a part of life with kids), the insinuation that a baby not having control over his or her bowels is a sign of lack of self respect, the author's need to control a baby's biological functions. I fail to see what is wrong with waiting until a child is 2.5 or 3 to toilet train?
My baby (#6) is 9 months old now. He sits on the potty first thing in the morning, and if he goes everyone claps and cheers and he loves it--he actually thinks when people clap for anything they're clapping for him! If I see during the day that he is ready to poo, I'll quickly put him on his potty. My objective is simply to make training easier when he gets older. I've heard of too many 2-, 3-, and even 4-year-olds who had a mental hang-up, not being able to make themselves poo in the potty, and I want it to be natural for my little fellow. The only time I make him sit on it when he doesn't want to is when I know he's in the middle of a poo; otherwise, if he wants off I let him off, figuring he doesn't need to go. I love not having to wash out very many dirty diapers (we use cloth)--I don't mind wet, but dirty is another story. Thanks for the encouragement!
I think it's really funny how some people negatively view infant potty training. It is not violating the baby's natural biological functions, or some twisted way of getting control and obedience. Anyone who is very familiar with the No Greater Joy method of training would not take the article this way. It is a gentle loving thing to do for your baby. The fact that it encourages "obedience almost from the womb" is a side bonus. It is NOT true that infants have no control over the muscles involved in defecating until they are almost two. Babies have a lot more control than most people think. This method of potty training also opens your awareness to how much your baby can communicate as they very quickly learn to let you know when they need to go. I have used this method of toilet training for all of my 4 children. ( ages 7, 41/2, almost 2, and 2 weeks old ) my 3 oldest were all out of diapers before they were two. My last son hasn't had an accident (pooping) since he was 18 mo. old, and before that it was like once a month that he would start to poop before he told me. He got to start wearing "big boy underwear" at 19 mo. old and he was proud of his accomplishment! Today he takes himself to the toilet and calls me when he needs help. It in no way has forced him to grow up too fast. He thinks it's normal for everyone to go on the potty, especially as he watches me take his two week old sister to the potty. (She is already going mostly in the toilet! and just turned 2 weeks today) I don't say all this to brag, just to say that it really works! It's not always convenient, and really is a lot of time & work. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it, but I figure it saves me a lot of work later on. You also have to be very aware of your baby, but what's wrong with that? If you think I must have a lot of extra time on my hands to potty train this way, I assure you with 4 children, homeschooling, 20 acres to keep wet (we live out west and have to irrigate everything) milk cows and all the regular house wifely things time is precious. For me the time spent taking my baby potty is well worth it. The benefits? We use cloth diapers, and while I am not squeamish I sure don't mind spending my time sitting on the toilet with an infant rather than washing out pooped in diapers. We also have 1/3 rd the expense on diapering supply's. I figure on average between all of my children from the time they were a month or two old 90- 95% of the time I had no messy diapers and 70 - 80% of the pee went in the toilet also. I don't have to take diapers with me when I go out, and most important my children never had to go through the sometimes frightening and difficult transition from diaper to toilet. I know that many children potty train easily at 2.5 to 3 years old, but I have seen enough children have trouble with it to make me glad
for the early training. Thank you
Pearls for introducing me to this method 8 years ago in "To Train Up A Child." Trina
Oh, some of you are missing the point. The word isn't there to make your child mindlessly obey. It is there in case you can't get to a potty, he knows that it's okay to go in his pants. He won't get so upset about it, nor hold it to the point that it hurts him. A child this young can't wait 5 minutes. They communicate the need, and you respond! And if you're in the back of the grocery store, and the toilet is at the front, immediate response sometimes isn't possible. They learn that they can hold it, and that mom will provide a place for them, and the word indicates here is the place. Otherwise, how could you communicate to a 3 month old that it's okay to pee in his diaper? Loving is the parent who works hard to teach their child to put bodily waste in a place other than right next to their skin in a waterproof piece of plastic.
My baby is now six and a half months old and she definitely shows how she controls her bowel movements! If she begins to grunt, we take her to the toilet. In the process of taking her diaper off, I have WATCHED her stop, mid-poo and hold it til she is sitting on the toilet. It is adorable. And she much prefers to do her business there. She has even started flushing the toilet when she is finished! And if I put her on the potty and she doesn't have to go, she flushes it. So cute. I wanted to add, to anyone trying this, that three times in our five months of using the potty, she has decided that she doesn't want to sit there. Three times, meaning, a few days in a row she wailed and wailed. I calmly told her she was going to sit there and when she changed from an angry cry to a sad cry, I took her off the potty. After a few days of this 'outrage', she calmed back down and went back to happily and cheerfully using the potty. I am really surprised at the level of intelligence my six month old has. Babies are so much smarter than we give them credit for sometimes.
Wow, it is funny how potty training can be such an intense topic. It is nice to keep the perspective that we are all potty trained at some point and no one will ask you, in an interview, just at what point. I don
I have two boys, and so far - the "leak n learn" method as wreokd! My little guy has been peeing in the potty since I wrote the first comment on November 16!! I'm so proud of him. The only problem...poo! He's still unsure and scared of using the potty for poo. So, we're still workin' on it!
I received a book from a friend of mine about EC'ing... learning about Elimination Communication...which is pretty much what you are talking about. Having your baby communicate to you when she/he needs to "eliminate" bodily waste. We started our baby at about 1-2 weeks old...as a result, she typically tells us when she needs to go potty and we are getting better about catching number 2's... she is now 8 months old and HATES being dirty or having a wet diaper... my mom at first thought I was crazy when she heard I was doing this. The first time she saw my daughter pee on the toilet after I said the "Potty word", she was sold! She (my mom) now is just as excited as I am every time someone wants to hear about Ec'ing... God bless and happy potty times! 🙂
I have four boys, including a set of twins. I never pushed potty training. They trained in their own time in their own way. They are all VERY respectful, hardworking, smart, and in general a joy to be around. They are 13, 11, 11 and 3. They all LOVE the Lord!!! So I ask you, what is the big deal about potty training? Getting "green and brown poo on your hands" is not a big deal. I work in a nursing home and part of my job is to clean "poo" off the wonderful elderly people that I care for. It washes off when you wash your hands!!! It is not a big deal to clean someone when you love them. When you love someone you do a lot of things that are unpleasent and you don't even think about it. My advice to a new mom is to love your child and follow their lead. Teaching them about the Lord is way more important than teaching them to potty train. Teaching them about love and compassion is more important than worrying about diapers.
Hi, just wanted to share with you that at 10 weeks I started to potty train my son, before that, from birth, I would just use the word (popo in spanish) everytime he would go on his diapers. He's 14 weeks-old now and he has succesfully gone to the toilet for number 2 twice already, and everytime I change him, I sit him, say the word and he tries to do number 1, and almost always does! I've seen how he stops n
I appreciate the self-respect aspect of baby potty training. The fact that 'mom is in charge' and training the baby to 'obey' and go potty when 'told to' is disturbing. Elimination is a personal act that is not designed for someone else to control. That sets people up for problems later on.
I have successfully potty trained two children, the first I started at three months and the second from birth. I have now started with from birth with my third baby, and this is the easiest yet! With the first two I did not have the energy to take them at nights, which ended up as more work in the long run, wearing pull-ups, etc. But with this one I started taking her at night from day one and now she holds it all night long! Now I'm not saying all kids will be the same, and everyone has to find the balance that works for them...but I have found that this method sure makes it easier in the long run! Take the time to do it! But don't stress about it either...just relax and know that every bit helps in the direction of good child training in every area of life!
A chat buddy told me about this site and the books. I have a 21 month old daughter that I have had in pull ups since she was 18 months. The funny thing is that I always take her to the potty every morning, so she goes EVERY MORNING no matter where she's at. This article really opened my eyes so I'm inspired to have her in undies by her birthday!"Consisistency is the key!"
Wow...There are some seriously strong opinions about this topic in the comment section. I have 3 boys (5 yr old and 2 yr old twins) and a 4th boy due in April. I'm excited to train our infant when he arrives. Why? because I'm attempting to potty train two boys who are almost 3 and clean off their cloth diapers when its not going so well...which is most of the time. I don't like using disposable diapers (waste of money and bad for the environment) but REALLY don't like cloth diapers, so I figured this time, why don't we try to without either as much as we can!?!
What I don't understand is why anyone cares what others do. If this method works for your family, more power to you! If you'd rather let your child be in diapers for a few years before you train them...that's fine with me. Let's not be so critical of each other!
I am using natural infant hygiene for my 6 week old baby. I just started. I do not view this as a method to "control" my baby though. To me helping my baby pee and poo on the potty from the beginning makes more sense. If I train a baby (I trained two babies the "conventional" way) to go in their diaper when most babies come out hating being dirty, then later I have to train them to stop doing this too. It makes more sense to allow their natural senses to not be dirty work in the baby's favor. I don't want to train my baby one way and later her that's wrong now.
Other benefits of natural infant hygiene include no diaper rash! My other babies had horrible diaper rash no matter how vigilant I was to change them quickly. Also, paying attention to my babies cues is forming an incredible bond between us. I understand her needs now! Most of her fussing is do to trying to communicate that she needs to pee or poo. I am no longer ignoring these cues and we are both happier for it. Not to mention how nice it must be for her to know that mommy understands her and is working with her. Its great to me to be doing my best to understand her and not give her a diaper rash.
Is it a bit more work now? Yes, but worth it. Lets face it potty training toddlers is usually a struggle (there are toddlers that take right to it and their moms sure are lucky) have a small struggle when they are infants and already give cues that they don't want to be dirty and are going, it makes more sense to help when they don't fight you on it!
Again this is not and should not be a control issue. You use an association word because it allows them to associate an act with a word, its a training tool to help them learn the proper place to go, its for them and mom!
You all should read 'Diper Free' by Ingrid Bauer. It's a totally great way to potty train like this, just not quiet for the same reasons described in this article.
To me it wasn't so much a control-obidience issue, as it was a great communication tool. Just as I learned when my child is hungry and I would feed her, I learned when she needed to eliminate and I would take her. It's a beautiful mother-baby dance, a relationship deepened and improved by yet another way of communicating.
I found that it was easier for my to keep her close to know her signals better and I also was excited that squatting with her in the grass at the park or over the toilet at home was a ton easier than changing diapers all day long!!! A diaper change is totally more time consuming, not to mention that it becomes a power struggle as soon as that baby learns that she can move! lol...
Self-respect? I am not sure that babies really know what that means, but they certainly know clean! 🙂 and that is why I even looked in this direction - I don't wear a diaper and think peeing or pooping in one would be totally gross, so why should my baby do this for the first year+ of her life!!! You know, not having to wipe poop off the whole diaper area alone is totally worth it for me.
The article was great and helpful, though I think it would have been more of an enjoyable read without the critical commentary about parents
I'll be giving birth to my first - a boy - in a few months. I'm excited to do potty training this way!
I have had 5 girls in 5 years, and I read about baby potty training when my first was about 3 months old. I have always used cloth diapers so anything in the potty is a plus, and I immediately started trying to put her on the potty every time I changed her. I'm afraid I stressed about it a lot and worked very hard with her until I became too sick with the next one to do more than give her a try when I could manage. She was doing very well when her sister was born, and I kept # 2 perfectly dry by running her to the potty every time I thought she might need to go - until she hit 3 months and then she couldn't hold it as long and I was pregnant again and too sick to manage. I still tried and she was clean and dry both day and night by the time she was 18 months old. We figured out then that if we avoided all sugar and fruit that my first born could also be dry at night which has been a blessing as both I an my husband wet the bed so I hadn't had much hope. My third, I also tried really hard with, but she simply didn't care, she is 2 1/2 and still struggles with getting to the potty and not being too lazy to bother, (she's decided she likes the cold hose). I'm not sure how I could have worked with her more, I think personalities have a great deal to do with it. My 4th baby refused to go in her diaper and was always much relieved to be put on the toilet as a new born. She still lets me know when she needs to go even in the middle of the night and at 18 months is trying to be dry, but for some reason prefers to mess her diaper for naps, not sure why, we are still working on that one. We were moving country and living with in-laws when my 5th was born, and I knew I would get no support and they couldn't deal with the baby's screaming fit which is inevitable when first putting them on a potty, so I never even tried until we were settled and she was starting solids at 5 months and she has done amazingly well, she loves to stay clean and tries to stay dry as well. I have learned not to stress, and just praise when they do well, not get upset when I try and they don't. It is definitely worth it for anyone out there considering it. Just remember to be thankful when they do well, and don't take it personally if they don't appreciate your efforts, some will, some apparently won't. Prayer always helps too, for them and you. God has promised wisdom if we ask.
My 17-month-old has been pooping in the flush since he was just under a year old, I think. I never intended to do "EC". But one day, just as I was taking his diaper off, he was starting to poop! So, I held him over the flush, and away he went! It requires paying more attention, but now, at 17 months, he will often get out his potty seat from under the sink himself, and put it on the flush! Rarely do I miss it and have to wash a poopy diaper. Meanwhile, I know children 2 and 3 years older than him who STILL aren't potty trained. 🙁 My suggestion for pottying an infant would be this: you can buy a "tophat potty". Just Google it. That way, rather than running to the bathroom, you can keep this little plastic "tophat" nearby, and potty them anywhere. For babies old enough to sit up, or to get on the potty on their own, ones like the Bjorn potty, or the Pourty Potty, are handy. I have a Pourty coming in the mail, but so far, we've just used a potty seat with a "pee-guard" especially for little boys. 🙂 EC is great. It's also how many cultures have been doing it for millenia. Paying attention to their babies' cues, just like you would learn your baby's cues for hunger, sleepiness, etc. It's so much more respectful. Nobody wants to soil themself, babies included.
I love some of these comments! So helpful. My son just potty-trained at 23 months (we took the diapers off so he could connect going potty with needing to get to the chair, then stuck him in shorts, commando, for awhile). I was so proud of him, and he was definitely feeling that sense of accomplishment. I think the success gave him extra courage, because he really shot ahead in all areas. I'm dense with watching for potty signals, but I really did find that training was as much about his catching on as it was about my catching on. I don't think we give little ones enough credit sometimes. Now that I grasp the process, why NOT try with a baby? I'd appreciate not spraying off messy diapers, and we've gotta walk through this process sooner or later :). Potty training--it's very much for the kids, and about their development. Mama's gotta take her ego out of it. Great article.
I don't know. I don't think you can just disregard the "too busy" issue. I have 6 under 5. My kids are 4, 2, 2, 12 months, 12 months and the newest is 2 months, but only 2wks adjusted age. Btw nursing the twins, giving the babies bottles, cooking, laundry and homeschooling, time is hard to come by. Specifically when you need to be free right when they need to go potty. Add in kidney defects in one, and low tone/develomental delay in another (she doesn't even know when she's pottying and she's two and a half) and it makes potty training a bit ridiculous. It makes sense that you would train them to use the potty just like you teach them to use a spoon or cut with scissors or put on their clothes, but the article uses absolute statements in way that implies inferiority/stupidity on the part of those that don't follow this method. I just want to encourage the author to also have love and grace towards others.
Interesting article! I haven't heard about this method before, but definitely makes sense:) I know my mom had all 6 of us trained by the time we were 6months. And the reason for that was, we lived in a third world country, therefore no diapers! And all clothing/linens needed to be washed by hand, water brought from the well, heated on the stove, etc.
Lord willing, we will have our first child in 4mo, and I also think if it was possible for generations before, why not now? Thank you for the good information and ideas!
Hello! I am a huge fan of infant potty training and have been working on it with each of my three kids (albeit imperfectly!). Just curious how you do night times? This is a big mystery to me as my second and third are light sleepers and do not like to get up at night (my first would sleep right through it). Any suggestions?
Thanks for a great article. Being repetitive really helps with the process. I also found having an approachable potty helps alot as well. My little girl really loves the whale potty from Mindful Engineering I got her. If anyone is still struggling finding a good baby potty here is the link https://mindful-engineering.com/collections/shop/products/be-mindful-moby-potty-trainer hopefully this will help someone out 🙂
Do you have a book on potty training yet? I would love to get my hands on it. I am a little late to the game, I have a 10 month old but would like to start training her as soon as possible.
we don't have a book on potty training at this point, but there are several articles on the topic. Check out the links below: