No Diaper Baby

Potty training your child is an experience that is different for each family and depends greatly on cultural and environmental factors. The age at which a child should be toilet trained may vary from culture to culture and from family to family in each culture. According to my Internet research, here in the United States, before the 1950’s, most children were using the potty as early as the first few months from birth and completely toilet trained by age 1. During the 1970’s, 18 months old was when most children were potty trained. Over the years, the average age for being potty trained has increased. Today the average age is from 2 years old to 3 years old.

 Potty Training and Psychology

The philosophy to hold off on potty training until later in a child’s life stems from a change in how potty training was seen in the 20th century by psychiatrists, psychologists and pediatricians of the industrialized nations such as the United States. The emphasis on the psychological impact of how people progress through childhood growth and development, gained major momentum in the early 1900’s. During the mid 1900’s psychiatrists such as Freud, contended that anxieties and other adult personality problems stem from the mishandling of childhood milestones such as developing trust and other life events such as potty training.

Many pediatricians, psychiatrists and psychologists today subscribe to the psychological impact theory and support the “readiness” approach to everything in childhood development, including the readiness to be potty trained. Dr. Brazelton, a leading modern pediatrician subscribes to the readiness theory and advocates this, so it has become the conventional thought for potty training.

Diaper Free – No diaper Baby

Pediatrician, Dr. Jill M. Lekovic contends that toilet training can begin as early as 9 months. She also contends that this is a healthy age to begin and it is beneficial for your child. Toilet training is less stressful according to Dr. Lekovic for the parent and the child if they start early because it becomes part of the child’s  routine. Your child will not remember “unlearning” to go in their diapers because they will only remember using the potty or toilet. She has written a book, Diaper-Free Before 3.  Dr. Lekovic recommends to parents ways to help their children communicate with them and both parents’and children become aware of the child’s body signals for elimination.

(click on image for book preview)

According to my research of reference materials on the Internet, there is no scientific studies or  basis to support Dr. Brazelton’s theory that potty training needs to be an area to tread lightly. Since babies are usually potty trained before age 1 in other cultures such as in Malaysia, it seems that potty training at an earlier age does not affect the child’s developing personality.

If you look at the readiness view and the elimination communication view objectively, it is not about when your child is ready. He is ready at birth to eat, eliminate and grow. It’when his family is ready to provide a way to help him to eat and direct him where to eliminate…the diaper or the toilet that makes the difference. On the other hand, Dr. Brazelton has a point when he says  EC (elimination communication)  does not fit well in industrialized societies where the mother and father quite often are employed outside the home. They may not have enough time to observe their baby for elimination cues. The modern pace of life is a obstacle to EC but if one follows the argument for EC, babies could be potty trained by the time moms were done with maternity leave which is about a six week period.

There are benefits to EC potty training for baby’s family such as saving money, better skin health for the baby’s bottom, closeness to and bonding for baby and family members.  Environmentally, it would reduce synthetic disposable diapers filling up landfills. The disposable diaper companies would have to develop other products.


The downside is it takes time and is difficult to travel because facilities may not be available when you need them. You would have to have a babysitter or another family member willing to continue the EC potty training if you need to leave for work or other obligations where you could not bring your baby along.

All in all, potty training can be done in different ways. When it is done depends on the family and their frame of reference about child rearing from traditional or conventional views and the knowledge they are privy to. Potty training at an early age, elimination communication view or potty training, readiness view, at a later age 18 months- 2 1/2 years old, depends upon the family. The success of either potty training view is obtained through consistency, patience and love.

P.S. Why do you think children aren’t potty trained as early as they used to be in early 20th century?

Do you think disposable diapers are bad for the environment?

Which method of potty training would you use?

Please share your thoughts and comments with us. Share this post !

Delois McKay

Elimination Communication Potty Training

 

Elimination Communication

(click image above to watch video)

Children in many countries of the world learn to use the toilet on their own before age 2 and even earlier, but why not in America? The technique used to potty train children at these early ages is being called elimination communication here in America and industrialized nations. This term, elimination communication was  inspired by the traditional use of diaper-less baby care in less industrialized nations.

The terms elimination communication and natural infant hygiene were created by Ingrid Bauer and are used interchangeably in her book, Diaper Free! The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene .  Bauer observed during her travels to India and Africa that mothers carried their babies with no diapers without their babies having accidents. She observed what these mothers did and later she used the techniques on her own children and later began to share the diaper-less approach with other mothers and child care providers. Conscious Toilet Training written in 1979 by Laurie Boucke, also documented the diaper-less life for infants.  Elimination communication is also viewed as a way to meet infants’ needs. It depends greatly on observing cues, signals, timing and changes in your baby’s behavior.

The benefits of elimination communication are it decreases families’ dependence on disposable diapers which reduces the environmental problem of discarding disposable diapers in landfills. It reduces the cost of washing cloth diapers and saves families money. Elimination communication babies are also free from health issues such as diaper rash and skin yeast infections from wet diapers.

The negatives for  elimination communication according to Dr. Thomas B. Brazelton, is that it would not work in conventional  industrialized nations as the mothers return to work after babies are born and there is lack of daily close contact with babies that is needed for the elimination communication to work.  Most conventional training advice is based on research by Dr. Thomas B.  Brazelton. He promotes the readiness approach.  He supports that the readiness age for potty training is between 18 months to 2 years of age. He says that a child should be ready for potty training so as not to cause psychological damage or guilt for the parents if the child does not do well with potty training.

Other negatives is EC takes too much time and patience. Naps and travel can be difficult while using elimination communication because parents have to be in tune with cues, and signals of their baby while being preoccupied with travel activities.

Elimination communication potty training also called diaper-less or diaper-free toilet training is one of the trends today in potty training. Many parents participating in this method contend that this method is no more difficult than the conventional readiness method of potty training. EC parents say they save money and feel closer to their children because they learn to observe their needs closely and meet them.

P.S. Do you think children can be potty trained from birth and before age 1?

Is elimination communication practical?

Would you give elimination communication potty training a try and be diaper-free?

Please leave your thoughts in our comment section.

Learn more. Try diaper- free for your child.

 

Delois McKay

Potty Training Tools

After you have observed your child and decided that your child shows interest and is physically ready to start potty training, you will have to choose potty training tools. It is good to have your child participate in helping to choose potty training tools when possible. They can help pick the colors, style and types of tools needed. Even though they may like a particular item, it may not work well in your home setting so you have to use your best judgment as well.

After you pick your potty training gear, you should feel free to change the tools you have already chosen if they do not seem to help you reach your goal of toilet training. For example, I and my eldest son picked out a cute blue potty pot that had a cute puppy face on it. He ended up just sitting on it for playtime and did not actually “potty” in it. I had to move to the toilet adapter seat for the adult toilet for him to take his toilet training seriously. He needed the adapter seat on the toilet to differentiate play time from toilet training time.

Potty, Potty Chair or Portable(adapter type) Training Seat?

This is really up to your preference and what is easy for your child. The actual potties come in various sizes, colors and shapes. Basically it is like a bucket to sit on and catch the waste, feces or urine. You then empty the waste contents into the toilet and clean the potty. If you don’t mind cleaning the potty every time your child uses it, it is comfortable for him to sit on, he actually goes on it and not play with it, you may prefer this choice.

 

 

The potty chair is the potty placed into a chair. The chair has an opening where the pot fits in. The advantage to this set up is that the potty does not move around on the floor. It is stationary in the potty chair. Your child can sit on it easily without it moving around and he can sit for long periods since he can sit comfotably with back support. Some potty chairs have arms on them so he can rest his arms while sitting and waiting for his package to arrive. The disadvantage again is the clean up afterward which you may have to do many times a day, depending on your child’s elimination pattern.

 

                                                                                      

The portable potty seat is a portable potty ring, potty adapter or seat reducer that fits into the adult toilet.This makes the toiler seat size fit little bottoms comfortably. Your child can sit on the toilet without feeling like he will “fall in.” The advantage of this is that you can skip the step from potty or potty chair to adult toilet. You can also skip the continously cleaning and sanitizing the potty after each potty trip because you just flush the waste down just as when the adults use the toilet. Your child can get used to using the toilet without fear sooner.

The disadvantage is that your child may need help to sit on the toilet where with the potty or potty chair, he can sit on it himself. It may be difficult for him to reach the seat since it is higher up off the floor where potty seats are at his level. To compensate for this disadvantage, there are little potty ladders and step stools to help your child reach the toilet seat safely.

Potty Training Ladders

If you opt for the potty training adapter seats, you will need to make sure your child can get on the toilet safely. Using the toilet adapter seat means he may go to the toilet more on his own. You should purchase a potty training step ladder or step stool. They can be either attached to or placed directly in front of the toilet that your child uses. They are usually made of plastic. Some are made of plastic or wood. They have a skid-proof base and are available in a range of colors, designs, and sizes.Place a nightlight or some form of illumination on his path to the bathroom just in case, he has to use the potty during the night. That way he can see how to climb the potty ladder or step on the stepping stool to use the toilet.

Potty Training Motivations

Children love to have fun. Adding fun to potty training will make it easier and entertaining for your child. With toddlers, one has to guide them with positive motivation. One way of doing this is with incentives or rewards that boost their willingness to learn new things while also building up their self esteem.Along with praise, your child may also like to receive a little reward when using the potty. You can give him a cookie or a little of his favorite treat or a little prize that you can keep in a prize jar or prize box that you can create together. Sticker charts are a great reminder of your child’s progress to reaching his goal to potty independence. Place one where he or she can touch and see it. Place the stickers where they can get them and place on chart.

Optional Fun Tools

Part of the process of potty training is timing when to go. You can take your child at regularly scheduled times such as hourly, before or after meal times or some other set time you have determined works for your child. One of the innovations of today that we did not have when I was potty training my children is the potty watch. Today’s potty trainee can have his own watch to let him know when it’s time to go. This innovation helps with the challenge of reminding your little one it’s potty time. The Potty Watch does that for you. It alerts your child with flashing lights, music or ringing sounds that grabs their attention. It alerts them from 30, 60 , 90 minute intervals letting them take a break from playtime to go to the potty. At the same time, it is fun for them because of the flashing watch and music telling them to go and they will have fun on the way to potty.

Potty training toys and books to reinforce the potty learning steps. Toys can illustrate using the potty with dolls using toy potty seats. Books about potty time can be used to encourage your child to use the potty. They can even look through these books with colorful pictures while sitting on the potty.

 

Potty training is a journey that is unique for each child. What you used for one of your children may not work for your next child. But with consistency and the proper potty training tools that work for you and your child, you will be successful and your child will be potty independent before you know it!

Potty Training tools

P.S. What is the most helpful potty training tool you use?

Which potty training tool do you feel is most important?

What do you think about gadgets like the potty watch?

Please share this post,  and share your thoughts  in our comment section.

Happy potty training!

Delois McKay

Should You Bribe Your Kids When Potty Training?

What is Bribing?

Well first we have to define what is meant by bribe? According to dictionary.com bribe means “persuade (someone) to act in one’s favor, typically illegally or dishonestly, by a gift of money or other inducement.” Bribe does not have a “good” connotation. The gift of money or other inducement also gives bribe a bad sound. We do not want our children to think that they will receive something of material value to do things for themselves.

If we give them something like material things whenever they accomplish something, they are receiving the message that they will always receive material rewards for doing the “right” thing. This would set them up for disappointments in life as sometimes no one even knows you have done the right thing except you. You will not receive recognition or material rewards except knowing you have made an accomplishment. We do not always receive awards and gifts for doing things. We should derive reward just from the accomplishment itself.  Some parents give children toys every time they make a potty success. That is a bit much.

Watch this video for some tips.     

What Do We Do?

But at the same time, we do not want our children to feel that they have not done something that is laudable. The should still gain a sense of accomplishment which motivates them to continue and progress. We can  accomplish this by giving them little motivational words of praise, hugs and small things. When potty training, we can give them things like stickers to put on their potty charts. Give them a hug when they make it to the potty in time. We should not make it a very big occasion for everything they do, but some acknowledgement is key to them growing up with a sense of self worth. This will keep them striving for some progress and give them encouragement to accomplish their new tasks. With everything there is a balance. Rewards and praises are no exception even with potty training.

P.S. Do you think it is good to reward your child when they accomplish a goal?

Is there a difference between rewards and bribes?

Should children always receive material rewards?

What do you do when your child reaches a goal or accomplishment?

Please comment and share .

Delois McKay

How to Potty Train a Child with Autism

 

Is Potty Training an Autistic Child Difficult?

Potty training your child can be a frustrating and difficult time for parents. When you reach your goal of your child being “potty independent,” it can be one of the most rewarding time periods for you as a parent as your child grows and achieves his developmental milestones. For a parent with a child who has autism, the potty training period can be an even more stressful as a child with autism presents challenges.  For a parent with an autistic child, how to potty train a child with autism can be daunting.  But with the proper knowledge and preparedness, it can be done. (The following information is to not meant diagnose or treat. The information provided should not take the place for consultation with a qualified healthcare professional.)

What is Autism?

What is autism?  According to autismspeak.org, autism is a spectrum disorder. A spectrum disorder is a cognitive disorder characterized, in varying degrees, with difficulties in  verbal and nonverbal communication and may have  repetitive behaviors. It also includes difficulty in interacting with others in a social setting. Since successful potty training depends greatly on communication and interaction with the parties involved, the parent and child, if your child has autism, it may be more difficult to connect with each other about the goal of potty learning.

This is not to say that your child with autism can not be potty trained. They can be potty trained using the same techniques practiced with a child without autism. It just takes more patience and structured consistency. In this video made by the AEIOU foundation, the techniques for potty training a child with autism are covered. The need for consistency for all parties involved is emphasized. The same steps  to successful potty training that include timing, proper equipment and reward incentives used with children without autism are used for children with autism.

Reach Out for Support

Make sure you reach out to organizations or healthcare professionals that are knowledgeable about  autism disorder.  There are many parental support groups and non-profit organizations that exist to help parents through child-rearing and caring for an autistic child.

Please watch the video above created by the AEIOU Foundation  and visit their website.  The AEIOU foundation is based in Australia. The Foundation is a great resource for parents who have children with autism. The Foundation offers therapy and care for children with autism from 2-6 years of age. If you do not live in Australia, you can still find excellent information on their website  and they encourage you to contact them through email for additional information about autism. Please visit their website for more information – www.aeiou.org.au.

 

Remember, having a child with autism has its many challenges. You as a parent with an autistic child, are not alone.

 

 

You Can Be Successful

You can find support if you connect with others on a similar journey. Your child can progress through the child developmental milestones such as potty training. You can know how to potty train a child with autism. It may take more time, but your child is able to become “potty independent”, too.

What do you think would be the most difficult part of potty training a child with autism? Please share.

Do you know anyone with autism? What are some of their challenges? How do you help? Please leave your comments below. Thanks

If you found this post helpful, please share it! Til next time.

Check out our free e-book potty training guide, “How to Start Potty Training Guide”

Delois McKay