Warning: Post Contains Potty Language!
One extreme method indicated that I could do what is called "Elimination Communication", and train a new born to use the potty on command. You could conceivably raise a diaper-less child. I even watched a few videos of babies using the potty. Whoa! But due to the weather I did not want to leave the bare butt hanging out in order to work out the potty "que's". The other extreme indicated that I could let the child direct the entire potty training experience. It could take years with this method, but my child wouldn't feel pressured, or end up with a squelched personality. Uh huh. Yeah. Some how I didn't see a child led experience working for me...until my child started taking the lead before I was ready.Now the "experts against elimination communication" very clearly listed reasons why I shouldn't bother potty training a child under 18 months of age. One of their reasons, actually their main reason, was that the child does not have control or knowledge of their functions until 18 months. I would like to believe the countless websites chocked full of experts, but here in my hand (no, not literally) I have the evidence quite to the contrary. So what is a parent to do?
Just for fun, my husband successfully practiced EC with our daughter when she was just 7 months old. I thought he was nuts, and "poo-pooed" the idea, since she wasn't even walking yet. But, sigh...Honey, you were right. He was instinctively putting the little one on the potty, without the aid of books, movies, YouTube tutorials or any other outside influence. He was just doing what came naturally to help his daughter heed the call of nature. Oh, how I WISH I had let him keep it up! The giant grin on our little girl's face should have been enough to know that SHE knew her body better then the "experts" that were paid by disposable diaper companies. Oooh...snap!Well, here's what happened this morning...I was changing the Pink Princess out of her night time diaper when she told me she wanted the potty. It's been hiding in my sewing room for a few weeks, and Mr. Fix-It retrieved it for us. The Pink Princess gladly sat down on the potty, but nothing happened. Was I worried? Nope. She's having fun and she has a cute bum. So we let her play. It wasn't until I grew tired of the games a few minutes later, and tried to put a diaper on her, that we saw results. The Princess did NOT want her diaper on! She twisted up off the floor and SAT on her potty...that's when the magic happened. There was a lot of cheering all around. About fifteen minutes later Mr. Fix-It and I caught her poising herself for a big ol' number two (also one of her new words, she says, "two!"). I asked her if she wanted to do a "poo pee" on the potty and whisked her to the pot. By the time I got the Snappi off the pre fold, "it" was on its way out the door (yeah, that's what I said). Her end's result did land where it was supposed to. Big sigh of relief from me! We wiped and cheered some more. So now where does that leave me? I was planing on making more training pants for a friend's little one this week. Something tells me that I should go ahead and make up a few for my little squirt, too. I am sooo not ready for this!
The Pink Princess potty trained over a period of about two weeks, after I started following the helpful information from the book, "Diaper Free Baby", common sense, and the direction of the Princess. Except for night time issues, which we are still battling, she was fully potty trained at 18 months. A series of events and vacations (it's a hard knock life), kept us from being able to fully follow Her Majesty's Royal lead sooner.
My daughter was potty trained at 18 months old. I know people define the term "potty trained" differently. For us, that meant our daughter could tell us when she needed to go, she was capable of getting herself to the potty on her own, and only required clean up and pull up assistance from us. We had to help hold her tiny tush on the porcelain throne, to keep her from falling in; which DID occasionally happen when she insisted on doing it entirely on her own. I don't think I'll ever stop chuckling about the time she was SURE she could climb up and do her thing completely unassisted, in a new location. You know exactly what happened. SPLASH! She was two and a half at the time. Poor thing's ego was deflated to the size of a pea.
I've since been thrilled to witness and help guide a few other parents on ways to save a few diapers. I've even had the "pleasure" of being peed on by a newborn, trying to indicate to us he knew something was coming. I'm not saying you HAVE to start with a newborn. I'm just pointing out that the little ones really DO know, and will let YOU know, if you will only listen.
My parting thoughts: Listen to your baby. From the beginning. Have FUN with potty learning. Practice elimination communication as often or as little as you wish, and when it's really "time" to learn, it will be a natural step. No tears, and no frustration.