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Understanding Baby Potty Training

Updated on February 5, 2014

Baby potty training, also known as elimination communication or natural infant hygiene, involves teaching a child before the age of 12 months how to use a potty. In the U.S., this concept is promoted as “new” and often look upon with suspicion and disbelief. Babies simply cannot be potty trained is the usual first reaction. However, in the U.S. 100 year ago, babies were potty trained as part of their normal care. At that time, the idea of having a 3-year-old in diapers would have been looked upon with suspicion and disbelief. Parents that choose to use elimination communication do so with the belief that their great-grandparents had the right approach of not allowing a baby to rely on diapers for their elimination needs.

After the initial disbelief that people can and do potty train their babies, the common misconception that it must be more difficult and the idea that “it’s not for me and my family” sets in. In fact, most who embark on potty training within the first few months of their child’s life find it easy to do.

The first step is to watch your infant for signs that she is about to poop or pee. Just as you watch your infant's every coo and grunt for signs that she is hungry, tired, or upset, you can do the same for when she eliminates. It helps to learn these cues for pottying if you have your baby go diaper-less while you are holding her. And to do so as often as possible. Keep a burp cloth or receiving blanket between you and your baby to catch the inevitable mess this will cause as you learn. With her diaper off while you are holding her, you’ll find that there won’t be more than one or two messes before you start to learn her cues.

Next, hold your baby over a potty or basin as she “goes.” When she pees make a “sssss” sound and make a “grunt” noise when she poops. Eventually you use these as cues to stimulate her to go over the potty.

That’s really all there is to understanding baby potty training or elimination communication. Over time, you’ll get in tune with your baby’s cues and know her habits. Not only will you have a potty-trained baby, years before your friends’ children, but also you’ll have established an even closer bond with your child.

An Elimination How To Video

Have you tried elimination communication?

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