Infant potty training: What it is and how to do it

Infant potty training: What it is and how to do it

What do you mean by infant potty training?

Potty training is about make your baby used to toilets at very early age- normally between 4 months of birth. It is also termed as "elimination communication" or otherwise called as "Natural infant hygiene".

Some parents who practice this they don't use diaper where as they rash their babies to toilet whenever they feel the baby the baby is going to pee or discharge tools. In the case of others they use diaper whenever they need. Children at the age of 18 months become well aware about the toilet and they can make this decision when to use the toilet and they will successfully take themselves there.

Where in opposite, it is found that the average baby boy can remain dry the entire day and use bathroom around at the age of 39 months where as girls data shows the age is 35. The study also shows that it requires eight to ten months to completely shift the baby from diaper to potty.

When we talk about potty training to very young infants it looks a sign of fundamentalist to many parents of America, it cannot be seen as good idea. If we go back in 1950 we will find that babies were trained for using toilets by 18 months. And at present most of African, Asian and European start training their babies to use toilet before their second birthday.

So why it is so that American still prefers to use diaper then toilets. There is a thinking that it is because of the changing thought of the experts about potty training, as well as introduction of new technology to dispose the used diaper.

Pediatrician Benjamin Spock in 1950s and other experts began favoring a more convenient way of toilet training. Pediatrician and parenting expert T. Berry Brazelton in 1960s come up with more ease, smooth and child oriented procedure. He suggested parents that baby should be allowed to follow her own routine when it comes the question of changing diapers.

Another expert Brazelton come up with new ideas at the time when disposal diaper were in action, which seems to give more easy feeling to baby because the diaper absorb all the wet and give the baby a dry feel and from parents prospective its more convenient and easy for them too. So, with the introduction of this new technology the average age of toilet training came down.

What are the benefits of infant potty training?

If we talk of scientific data on toilet training in general then we will find that it's very less, and it goes down more when we look for infant potty training. But experts claim that there are many advantages.

It improves parents-baby bonding. Experts feel that the infant potty training plays a vital role to make baby and parents bonding stronger. Because you will be keenly observing your baby's sign of discharging tools expert say that you start understanding his need in a better way. Jennifer Lynch, a mother of two says that the best thing about this entire process is that you feel more closed to your baby. This is how you will make conversation with your 3 months child.

Some parents who are used to the process would also accept attachment-style parenting- a technique of childrearing which give encouragement to certain practices such as family bed, prolonged b****t feeding, and holding the baby closely in a sling.

It's very vital for your baby. Expert feels that baby often cry and displays excitement because of non easy feeling due to diaper, even with disposable diaper and you can let your baby diaper free that will take away the discomfort and also make sure that your baby is not attacked with rash.

It permits your baby to show that he is growing on his own. The baby will try to do thing independently and it is the best and easier way to give confidence to crawl to his potty or use the normal potty in the toilet by himself that will help you to get rid of daily duty of diaper change.

You can limit the diaper waste. Americans dispose nearly 4 million tons of diaper in 2009. Even from environment point of view it saves a lot of energy which is required for cleaning and dispatching. Minimizing the use of diaper means good for environment but also economical.

It's usual and obvious. The time-worm practice of Africa and Asia is similar to infant potty training, where mother carry their baby who are without diaper. The mom of these infants can understand when the baby wants to discharge tools and that's how they don't get spoiled up by the tools or urine of the baby. She holds her baby away from her as soon as she sees a particular pattern or signal that shows baby wants to release her waste.

Experts in the United States stress on the issue of quickly getting rid of diaper and start using potty. . Laurie Boucke, author of various books on infant potty training says that it's not about the baby is doing pee or pooping all over the place but it's about giving a hygienic environment to baby.

According to Elizabeth Parise mother of five who successfully trained two of her kid in potty training says it's not about being alert all the time for your diaper less baby. You don't have to be around your baby all the time to get any signal, you will learn and understand automatically the sign of baby for toilet same way as you come to know about the sign related to your baby's habit.

Many experts are not so sure about the approach because the work need to be done by mothers may be too much:

It involves lot of time and devotion. It's very difficult even for mother who are eager for potty training and they too let their baby go without diaper only for certain time in a day for instance when you are present at home but to put your baby in to habit of potty he needs to be without diaper for a long time and then only you can expect to get success.

So it implies that it's hard for working women to have potty training, especially when both the parents are working full time. No day care center will allow kid without diaper nor will any babysitter bother to keep the baby without diaper even she is briefed about this before joining.

May be your baby isn't physically capable of this thing. Physicians at the American Academy of pediatrics including some expert says that babies are not able to control their bowel movement till the age of 12 months and can control little bit up to age 18 months.

Mark L. Wolraich, a pediatrician and professor at the University of Oklahoma also feel that most of the children can't give any signal earlier than 18 months about their bowel pressure. But, all children cannot be categories under one umbrella as each child is different in his own way.

Wolraich feels that it's too early to start the training. He feels that toilet training is the most positive experience and that has to be given to child when his mentality is developed to understand that. He farther say that he does not feel early potty training will help your child to get advance in other prospect too and according to him early training is not going to do any good for the baby.

Expect ups and down along the way. Potty training is not a continuous process. If you log on to any online forum you will see that many parents have written that their baby use the potty for few days then again start doing here and there , some just eliminate without any signal and other even stop bowel movement.

Pediatrician Wolraich also expressed concern that parents should not get irritated with their kids. It's a type of conditioning sort of Pavlov dog used to develop saliva in his mouth with the ring of a bell. He fear that if child is not conditioned properly that will impact the parents child relation negatively.

Be ready for untidiness. This is quite normal that you will face lot of accident while giving baby the potty training. But experts say that the new move is less problematic then to have diaper. At times when you are ready to clean up the mess that time itself baby gave signal to bowel but you did not understand that and by the time you take the baby to potty he may be done with his work. Well, Enzyme-based cleaner used for accidents of this kind can be of great help for human waste.

What is the way of its working?

This entirely relies on the meaning of "work". In case you want your baby to use lesser diapers and make your baby to practice a skill that he could be able to implement later on, then the answer is certainly yes. And if in case you need baby you won't need a diaper again in future and won't face any accident , then your answer will be no.

According to the success stories of some parents their babies are able to learn to read the signals of their bodies and themselves go to the potties when they are able to walk. But, the other babies must need more time to do so. If not you try for it, you won't be able to know what will be the case with your baby.

In case you want to train your baby faster than other children, then you can try for the infant potty training method or some common approaches. See if your child is not acquiring it, then give him time until he gets ready.

What are the ways to start?

As per the persons who have dealt with infant potty training ,the finest time to start is the time period from birth till 4 months.(In case of an older child, he may take some time to adapt to this as at first they have to change their habit of eliminating in diaper). The important steps are:

Observe your baby and get an idea of his elimination process. What's the time and frequency of your baby going to toilet? Whether he goes to toilet at a fixed time- after getting up, for instance? Have you noticed him doing some noises, expressions or gestures at the time of going to toilet?

At the time of your baby making any elimination, take him in your arms above the toilet, potty and a pot suiting his small size.

During the time of his elimination, create some kind of a sound that your baby will be adapted to link with every time he eliminates (some parents make noises like 'ssssss' and other sound of water or alike or certain words and phrases like "go potty")

Keep on repeating, every time you find your baby going to potty so that he got adapted with it and connects himself with the link and signals to his impulses with the process of the use of his potty.

In case any accident takes place, be casual and relaxed. Parise who is an advocate and the mother of five children says that your child gets relaxed and comfortable in case he eliminates out of potty by seeing your response. So keep your calm in order to ease the situation and behave normally with your baby.

At the nighttime, place the potty near your bed and keep your baby on it while you are feeding him. Experts also say that babies hardly eliminate during their sleeping time especially when they are in deep sleep, rather they get impatient or provide some signs for their parents to wake them up as they assume that their parents are also sleeping.( Some more advocates say that it is fine to have diapers at night. Well, in the words of potty training "evangelist" Lynch, "In our house, sleep trumps pee.")

If your baby sometimes is in the habit of having pressure outside the potty, you can put your baby on a waterproof mattress instead of the diaper to keep him safe.

Always try to be flexible. You needn't to be very tough during a potty training of infants. Diapers are a good option at night (when you are out), in case it helps to make the situation easier for you. If possible use cloth diapers as the common diapers are too much absorbent and the baby doesn't realize when he gets wet.

Always be positive. Don't create extra pressure on your baby and don't punish him. The potty training of your child would be mild and gentle with a tint of humor in it. The objective from your side should be to acquaint your baby with his body and use potty happily. The experience of potty should be a comfortable experience for your body.


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