infant toilet training

Age two is a big step in a toddler's life. It's a time when they become more independent and start to truly develop their own sense of being. They explore their world and eagerly test their boundaries with that world and their parents as part of a natural and important stage in growing up. This is also a time when many parents are just beginning to ask their friends how to potty train and research the potty training readiness signs. Many, but not all that is. There are some parents who often quietly and without fanfare, successfully tackled potty training when their children were infants, just as their great-grandparents and generations before them did. With this they never experienced a potty training battle with a two or three-year-old and they tossed out diapers months to years before most of their parent friends.

Can I potty train before baby is walking?

Yes, you can even potty train a newborn. Learning elimination communication techniques and baby sign language will help with this.

Can potty training too early damage a child?

Absolutely not. This idea is a myth and not based on any science or medical research. Teaching your child hygienic habits and providing potty time opportunities will not damage a child, whether as an infant or toddler, as long as you are using positive and gentle methods that do not involve force or punishment.

What is the diaper free baby method?

Natural infant hygiene and elimination communication are other terms for the diaper free baby potty training method. The basics involve keeping your child bare-bottomed as often as possible to get to know your child's elimination signs. Then you take your child to a potty to eliminate. While your child pees or poops you make a corresponding sound, such as an "sssss" for pee and "grunt" for poop. Then you can also initiate the elimination by holding your baby over a potty and making the sounds.

What is the average age range for potty training?

The average age range for potty training completion depends on where you live. In most countries it's before 24 months of age. In East Africa, it's by 6 months of age. In the United States it's 36 to 39 months of age.

When potty training babies, what type of potty should you start with?

If you are potty training a newborn, there's no need for a potty seat yet. You simply hold your child with his back against your stomach and your hands supporting his legs and thighs over a bowl or potty. If you are holding him over a potty, you sit on the potty and face the back of the toilet. For babies just starting to sit up, a potty with a high back and front will help support him. By 9 to 12 months of age, most babies can side up without support on any child's potty or toilet seat. If you are using a potty seat that sits on the toilet, don't leave your baby alone as he can fall.

What are some expert opinions on infant toilet training?

Many medical professionals support infant toilet training as beneficial to babies and their parents.

Pediatrician Linda M. Lekovic in Diaper-Free Before 3 writes, "The truth is that there is no physical or developmental marker of toilet training readiness in children, and no point when it has been established that there is some benefit to delay training."

Linda Sonna, Ph.D. in Early-Start Potty Training states, "Experts have established that infants possess the physical capability to delay elimination and respond to cues to use a potty as early as two or three months." Later she continues with "Parents would do themselves, their children, and the environment a big favor by following the schedule that worked in the United States from the beginning of time until Pampers hit the market…"

Most surprisingly is the statement made in the American Academy of Pediatrics' book Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. Despite the AAP's strong promotion of the potty training readiness signs the AAP states, "In general, you won't cause any damage if you start the training prior to eighteen months of age-as long as you keep your expectations for your child's success realistic and don't punish him if he has difficulty following instructions or has accidents."