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Back in 2008 we published an article that provoked a lot of interest with our readers, and opened up a whole new world for me as the mother of a new baby. Happily, my son took to the potty like a fish to water (loves playing with toilet paper and flushing the toilet), and I’d like to believe that we are well on our way to potty training. Brazelton’s recommendations were incorporated into the American Academy of Pediatrics Toilet Training Guidelines in the 1960s. Before disposable diapers were introduced in the ’50s, 95 percent of children were potty trained by 18 months. As the debate rages on between cloth and disposable diapers, their is a lesser known third option that bypasses diapers alltogether: elimination communication (EC). When Cedar was little we lived in student family housing for college – UNM in New Mexico, and there were a lot of families from other countries living there while they went to school.
I also think that the fewer cloth diapers I use the less of an environmental impact we will have so that is a HUGE bonus. I have a 3 week old newborn and I’ve been offering him the toilet (or sink or tub) since the day we got home from the hospital. I am a doctor and they never trained physicians in the fine art of potty training in my medical school. My sister is of the old school thought and waited until her son was 3 before trying to potty train him. Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments.
I have two boys – one who is still in diapers and one who is just about fully potty trained.
Just stick to it – they will have accidents and it will seem exhausting, but it’s totally worth it!
Elimination Communication, or EC for short, is an alternative, more natural way of toileting babies and toddlers. It is what most of the world, for almost all of human history, have intuitively practised with their offspring, just without giving it this label. We parent in as gentle, natural and conscious way as we can, practising full-term nursing, bed-sharing, baby-wearing, etc. EC is about connecting with our children on a deeper level, being truly in-tune with our babies.
A year into our cloth nappy wearing journey I discovered elimination communication (EC), also known as natural infant hygiene and infant potty training.
The theory goes that newborn babies communicate their wish to eliminate, but in the West we are blind to and ignore their signals, training them to eliminate in nappies instead of potties or toilets.
WelcomeA family exploring and learning while out on outdoor adventures, at forest School and at home. This blog is a collection of material inspired by Ewan and Tessa about our transition to parenting in a more natural, green way, consistent with attachment style, continuum ways of parenting. Brazelton and his Pampers-paid proselytizing, in just two generations, knowledge about teaching babies how to control their bowels has been pretty much lost in the U.S. Thanks for sharing all of this insight and background into one of the biggest stages parents must usher their tots through! So it makes total sense that they can also learn bathroom behavior with a little extra guidance from loved ones. All the mamas from other countries I became friends with, especially mamas from Japan used this method.

I started college in Humboldt when Cedar was 4 mos old and was taking 20 credits or something a semester.
With all these so-called experts on the loose, it’s not a bad idea to listen to your own parental instincts—you are the one, after all, who knows your child best. I know this is super difficult to do for some of you busy or working moms, but it’s really important! I thought about giving up several times but I know my child was ready and I had to just keep moving forward.
It is about connecting and communicating with your baby, learning their signs and signals for when they need to go, and responding by assisting your baby in relieving themselves. This communion between parent and child is an instinct once necessary for survival, submerged over the last century with the advent of industrialised living. However, being aware of and practising part-time EC has deepened my responsiveness and communication with him. This concept was a revelation to me, causing me to re-think how I approached my child’s elimination needs. EC involves learning and responding to these signals, lifting our baby to squat on a potty or toilet bowl in order to eliminate. As our greatest teachers, our children have taught us to view the world through fresh, questioning eyes, as well as to trust our instincts.
I personally believe that this is an ignorant, ill-considered, and just-plain-wrong view to take. The current popular wisdom seems to think that early training is impossible or cruel, but in Early-Start Potty Training, author Dr. At seven months I could pretty easily tell when my daughter was going to have a bowel movement so it became more a feeling of why just sit there and watch her poop her pants?
I have 7 children and they were all diaper-less by year one… there were a few accidents now and then but rare and they are all normal well adjusted lovely people now age 10-30.
While I did carry him with me to classes so we could breastfeed, practicing this potty method would have been hard. The really important thing to keep in mind is that it really is just another way to communicate with your child, I don’t as much like the term infant potty training since that implies something that it is not. I just didn’t really feel that he was ready but now looking back on things I believe we may have started too late and we possibly missed the window (the window where it may have been a little easier to train him). To do this takes a leap of faith, both trusting your baby to communicate their toileting needs to you, and trusting yourself by really listening to your instincts. I am also attracted to the minimal environmental impact of EC compared to conventional toileting of an infant. Our reliance on material aids means we no longer have to rely on our senses to alert us to our baby’s actions; just as we have lost the art of reading our baby’s signals of elimination, we have also passed night-time communication over to a baby monitor sleep. It has also reduced the number of nappies we use, a bonus as reusable nappies still use up valuable resources and energy and take time to care for. After extensive reading online, as well as reading Christine Gross-Loh and Laurie Boucke’s books, I decided to try this theory out. The process takes a lot of time, patience and attention to our babies, which many parents in the West find conflicts with our busy modern lifestyles. Inspired by this article, I started putting my first son on the toilet around age 6 months, and I’m about to start infant potty training with my second son as well. Besides, how can millions of moms, and millions of children around the world who are practicing elimination communication be wrong?

Brazelton showed up (I’m not kidding) and scared moms into waiting a lot longer to start the potty training process. Linda Sonna, a professor of multicultural psychology at Yorkville University, states that babies are much easier to work with than older children. Especially when I started clinicals because then I couldn’t take him to classes anymore.
But I do think having enough time to follow through might be a major issue for many mamas and dads.
I am learning his cues and he is learning mine, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Our strategy had always been to wait for our son to communicate in some way that he was ready to graduate from diapers. I feel that if I had started working with my son every day after he turned 2 he probably would have caught on a whole lot faster. This means living in the present moment, a real challenge for many twenty-first century parents. I discovered EC too late to really practise it with our son Ewan, who is now 4 and a half, but was keen to try it after our daughter Tessa was born.
It may appear radical, but it is how parents have managed their children’s elimination needs for millennia, and how many societies still function today. After all, the greenest approach to the whole diaper-debate is to do without (or do with less in my case). Toddlers have a hard time sitting still long enough to learn, are attached to their diapers, and many resist putting aside their toys for potty trips. I also think it brings us closer together since I am really aware of his potty habits, so I know how what I eat (and he gets through breastmilk) affects him.
They had lots of accidents in the yard, but by the end of the summer they got the connection. I did some research on-line and read a few books on the topic to support me, then decided to give it a go.
I hear kids can be scared offbeat toliet, at least I know that won’t be a problem with my girl!
Then, I realized that is what my mom has been using for many years, but we just don’t have a name for it. Day 2 came and I spaced the time apart that I would put him on the potty – that didn’t work! Our son was diaper free during the day at 8 months and totally diaper free at 14 months – before he could even walk!
Honestly, we stuck to this method for a few weeks and he finally got better and better and had fewer accidents. As far as the poop goes, he had maybe 2 poops in his pull ups then he got the idea that he could go while on the potty peeing. He occasionally will have an accident (usually if he is distracted for a long while) and I will tell him that he cannot go in his pants and that he needs to use the big boy potty.

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  1. Joe_Black, 28.01.2014
    Sit on the toilet seat simply because he did iNTEROCEPTION - may possibly be you all know.
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  3. T_A_N_H_A, 28.01.2014
    For #2 (considering that that seemed her second birthday, I'm beginning.