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One More Time

January 15, 1996

My name is Susanna Beachy. I am a 30-year-old mother of three children. I didn’t potty train my first two babies, but when the third one came along the Pearls came over one day when my little girl was just two months old. Mike and Deb asked, “Why aren’t you potty training this child?” I looked at my tiny squirming girl and said, “Can it really be done? Is it possible?” I didn’t believe it, but I knew the Pearls didn’t lie, so I asked them to tell me how it is done.
Well, after close instruction I tried it. It was harder training me than it was training my infant. For the first week I kept her in cloth diapers and maintained close contact. I held her nearly all the time or kept her sitting close enough where I could keep a hand or foot on her cloth diaper. When I felt the diaper grow warm from wetting, I make a sound like running water — “ssssssss.” By the end of the third day, “ssssssss” meant it is time to pee-pee. When I suspected that it was about time for a wetting, I would make the sound and she would respond by wetting. Her “let down” was automatic. She never even knew she was being conditioned. When I started putting her on a little child’s potty, the added cold on her bottom became an additional cue to respond with a wetting.
I kept this up for about a month, even though it was time consuming. I had success most of the time, but there were times when she would still go in her diaper. I thought I was failing until I went back and talked to Mama Deb [very local endearment only]. She explained that the idea of early potty training was not to achieve perfect results but to communicate to the child that going on the pot was the natural and normal thing to do.
My four-month-old is comfortable going on the potty. It is natural to her. She knows what I expect of her when I sit her on it and make the appropriate sound. By the time she is walking, I expect her to be taking herself to the toilet.
If you train them to think that going in their pants is natural, then when they are older and you suddenly start putting them on the cold, unfriendly toilet, you can not expect it to cause a “let down.”
I would encourage you other mothers: Don’t let this become another pressure on you. It is a lot better for the children to have a relaxed contented mother than it is for you to potty train the baby. I don’t let this be stressful to me. I only take the baby when I go or whenever it is apparent that she needs to go. I don’t push myself or the baby. If the baby gets red in the face or gets a still, concentrating look on her face, I know she is going to relieve herself. Once you become aware of you baby’s cycle it is not hard to catch it. I use pampers with velcro, and a diaper will often last all day, if I am careful. It saves a lot of diapers, and it is bringing my baby up with the right idea.
I think, if it is possible, it has made my baby even more precious, through the extra time I have spent with her. When everything goes off right, and with a satisfied, smug, little smile she looks up into my face, it is worth every moment.

Author: Susanna Beachy

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4 comments on “One More Time”

  1. Smugness is akin to ARROGANCE, and so to PRIDE; and so your Daughter’s “smug, little smile” is a mark of SIN. It is good that she is trained in Godly Cleanliness; but now you must instruct her in God-Fearing Humility.

  2. Thanks for this article. found it very helpful. My first baby is 3 months old and we are giving this a go and I pretty much have done what you did with your daughter and so far we are having some success. He goes almost everytime I use our word (“potty”). Thanks for sharing.

  3. Susanna, my hat goes off to you, dear. My baby is almost 10 months old. He is my 6th. I wanted to try to “potty train” him from the start, but recovery from a c-section made this difficult. Also, I must admit, I’m afraid I simply didn’t have enough good old-fashioned gumption to stay dedicated. I believe it can be done, and I believe it is a great blessing to many who have successfully trained their babies. Alas, I will also potty train my son, but not at such a young age.

  4. Its never too late I started doing this at 11 months with my daughter when I first heard about it. It is really great to know it is not going to be your kid who pooped in the public pool 🙂 Now I am starting with my 4 month old son.
    It is extremely important not to tense up about it or get “performance oriented.” Your baby will sense the tension and tense up and stop learning. Need the fruit of the Spirit for all potty training to be sure.