Infant Potty Training
© copyright 2000 - 2015
you ever thought about how babies were toilet trained in the days before
diapers? Or how they are potty trained today in places without diapers? There is
a growing community of mothers and fathers who are using infant potty training (IPT) with
their babies, a method similar to the way families around the world have been
handling the elimination issue for centuries.
With IPT, it is possible to work with infants as well as toddlers towards accomplishing what is commonly known as "potty training". The ideal time to start is between birth and the start of mobility (around 6 months of age). But you can also start with an older baby by gearing some of the tactics towards a mobile child.
is no English term to suitably describe infant potty training" as a
whole, since (a) an infant cannot sit on a potty and (b) the process is more
akin to teamwork (with your baby) and interconnectedness than actual training.
In other words, IPT is really about communication and responsiveness. It has
little to do with what we normally call training. Communication is the key
to connecting with your baby about elimination, and some people use the term
elimination communication (EC) to refer to infant pottying.
I have been writing about and researching this topic since first using it with my son in 1979 and wrote the very first book about it (Trickle Treat). If you want to know more or need encouragement click here for my books and DVD on the topic.
Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living
Potty Whispering: The Gentle Art of Infant Potty Training (2-disk DVD set with booklet).
You start by briefly whispering a watery
sound such as "sssss" in your baby's ear at potty time to help the child learn
to associate this sound with releasing the sphincter muscles. If it's (nearly)
time to go, infants can release on cue. Over time, different types of cues can
be used. And rest assured, there are many different types of elimination
communication you can use if starting with an older baby or toddler.
Studies of association show that infants are able to quickly learn and that positive experiences reinforce behaviors learned in the first weeks and months of life. Opponents say that any "catching" of elimination from babies 0-12 months is merely a matter of conditioning, but much of what we learn in life starts this way.
Infant pottying can be done on a part-time basis, with or without the use of diapers, and started at any time before approximately two years. It doesn't need to be overly time-consuming or to unduly take away from other activities. Changing diapers and cleaning dirty baby bottoms take time too, so why not get some elimination in a potty instead? The key to time management is to maintain a realistic balance in all that you do.
With infant pottying, the emphasis is on being relaxed, non-punitive and communicative while keeping baby safe and comfortable. There are loads of benefits for baby, parents and the environment.
This is not the type of potty training we are familiar with and thus is often misunderstood. Some people don't even consider it to be potty training since it differs in so many ways. But whatever you decide to call it, medical professionals classify it as a form of toilet training. For a list of medical articles and supportive pediatricians, doctors and psychologists, visit the International Board for the Study, Research and Promotion of Assisted Infant Toilet Training (AITT Board).
If infant pottying resonates, please give it a try. Start gradually and gently, without great expectations. I think you will truly enjoy the amazing and reciprocal communication with your child. Your baby is ready if you are.If you have any questions please contact me. You will have to put this email in the address line of your message.
© copyright 2000 - 2015
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DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. It should be taken as peer advice and is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical advice. As each parent-child relationship is unique and each child develops at his or her own individual pace, do not rely on this information if you are having any difficulties. We recommend that you visit a qualified Health Care Professional for individual and personal attention. All advice should be discussed with your doctor or pediatrician.