Toilet Train from Birth

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Warning: This post talks a lot about poo and pee. If you can’t handle it, get outta here!

So toilet training seems to be a huge headache for a lot of parents. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard, “potty training has been a nightmare” or “we’re just going to wait until she’s ready.” I’ve met 4-year olds in diapers. I’ve met 5-year olds in diapers. Now, this post isn’t about shaming late potty training. It’s about reexamining the backwards form of potty training in the western world and how new parents can use a different approach to pottying that’s as natural as learning to walk.

The greatest question I get about infant pottying is, “Isn’t it a lot of work?”

My answer is, NO. It’s not harder than raising a child the “normal” way.

To give you an idea of what infant pottying looks like, here’s a timeline of my son’s toilet training progress:

  • 6 weeks: started peeing and pooing diaper free
  • 3 months: baby starts to really understand queues
  • 8 months: started to exclusively poo in the toilet
  • 16 months: diapers only at night or on long road trips
  • 2 years, 2 months: completely diaper free

Getting diaper free just after 2 years might not sound impressive. You might think, “well infant pottying is not worth it then!” I don’t blame you. In fact, when I first learned about elimination communication, a form of infant pottying, I thought, “I won’t try this unless my son is potty trained super early.” Why try some new method of parenting unless it gives you amazing results? Well, the results go way beyond just learning to potty train earlier.  Here are just some of the benefits of early pottying:

  • It saved me literally hundreds of diaper changes AND diapers. (That’s less money out the freaking window and a ton less poo wiping!!!)

  • Empowered my child with an understanding of his sphincter before he could talk. I never had to deal with trying to get a defiant toddler onto a toilet. (I honestly think trying to potty train a toddler can be the most terrible time to train).

  • Saved COUNTLESS explosive up the back poopies (because those little babes LOVE to shit really hard). I never had to deal with them!

  • Cleaned poo diapers only until 8 months

  • Set a routine for poo and pee that made my child very, very regular. (I’ve heard of many children getting constipation from traveling. My son never got this and I think it’s because we always had a regular routine of going pee and poo at specific times throughout the day).

  • I’ve NEVER had a diaper rash and NEVER used diaper rash cream/powder. Yes, you heard that right. NO butt pastes. No rashes.

Note: My method of infant pottying is closely related to elimination communication, but different. I found the method of searching for baby queues with ECing a little too annoying.

5 EASY STEPS TO INFANT POTTY:

  1. Start as early as possible. I started as soon as my son could hold his head up well, and when he began to pee out of his diaper at changes. This was around 6 weeks old.  A friend told me that babies tend to do this because it’s a natural instinct to pee once the diaper is open. I don’t doubt this theory. Babies are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. It’s only logical to try to eliminate when your nappy is undone. The only problem is that in the western world, we literally begin to force our children to eliminate in diapers all the time. They have no other options. Then, when WE think it’s time that they’re ready to go in the toilet, we strip them of what they were FORCED to do before and then force them to go in the toilet. I really think it’s all a bit backwards! Can you imagine having to poo and pee in a diaper all the time? We’re brainwashed to think  babies must not care about going in diapers or that it’s all normal. But really, step back and think about it. Shit in your panties cannot feel awesome. FREE YOUR BABY from the chains of diapers!
  2. Do diaper-free time. Let your baby play in the tub with a towel underneath them. Lay out a towel on the grass at the park. Let them roam without a diaper where possible. It only takes a day or two to notice trends in elimination. This will give you an idea of when they tend to go. It also helps their bum breathe.
  3. Set a routine. You’ll learn in most parenting books that routines are essential for children. Routines allow children to know what to expect throughout the day.  It gives them a sense of stability and control. A toilet routine just after naps, after meals, or every 1.5-3 hours is pretty typical. Now, you don’t have to feel stressed out because of such a routine. Do it at your own pace. When I had to be out with the baby and didn’t have time for stopping to pee/poo the baby, my son would simply go in his diaper. NO biggy. We’d just resume pottying whenever we could.
  4. Use queue words. Babies are amazingly intuitive and smart from birth. Don’t be afraid to talk to them! Pick a queue word or sound for pee and poo when you sit them on a toilet. Soon enough, they’ll understand what the words mean. They’ll make the connection very early on.
  5. Be gentle, not forceful. I made it a point to use positive affirmation and tons of praise. When they go in the toilet, make it a happy, joyful event. When they don’t, accept it! Don’t be forceful about going on the potty. Just because we live in a rushed world, doesn’t mean you should rush your child on the toilet. NO ONE wants to be rushed on the toilet. Give your child time. Honestly, once my son had back strength enough to sit up on the toilet alone, sometimes we’d sit there for 10 minutes at a time, playing with blocks, reading books, and singing songs. Sometimes I could step away for a minute or two and come back to him still happily playing on the toilet. The toilet does not have to be this boring place.

My greatest piece of advice is: let the process be natural. There are articles that cite the dangers of early potty training. I agree that if you scold your child and make them fearful about going pee when they need to, they’ll probably develop a urinary tract infection. However, this method of pottying is not about forcing your child to do anything. Rather, it’s about giving them opportunities to pee/poo without a diaper from birth instead of waiting until they’re defiant toddlers. I could have stripped my son of diapers around 16 months. However, I didn’t want to risk him having to hold his pee before he was physically ready to. I kept diapers on until he never made mistakes. We transitioned from diapers on all day, to just at nights, then eventually to no diapers at all.

Here’s a little video that got over 300,000 hits on youtube before someone reported it and it was “censored” off youtube -_-. Fortunately, this site scraped it off youtube before it was deleted from online history. Leave comments and questions here, on my IG, or Facebook. Happy toileting!!!

How to infant potty starting frmo 6-weeks old:


Infant Pottying at 6 weeks old with modified… by ShalaFite

 

Here’s an 8-month update on our baby pottying:

Mindy
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Mindy

Founder at Dymin Collective
Mindy Song is a mother of one, a video artist, and musician from Orange, CA. She is an advocate of social justice with interests in globalization, socio-economics, and the history of women’s rights in developing nations. By day she is a marketing specialist for a dental imaging company, milk pumper, and wannabe supermom. By night she is an asian fusion chef, art critic, and blogger.
Mindy
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