How to “Potty Train” Your Child Early With Elimination Communication Method

25 Jul

Ask any mom if she would love to have her baby diaper free by age 2 and I am sure the answer would be yes.  Diapering babies can be a chore especially if you have  more than one child in diapers. A friend of mine recently told me that in India the children are potty trained by 1-year-old because they are trained to use the potty instead of their diapers.

The two most important elements to getting children potty trained early are:

  1. they need to know or be able to feel when they are wet
  2. they need to start potty training early( as soon as they can sit up independently- some moms choose to start even earlier.)

Disposable diaper  keep babies dry even when the diapers are soaked and many cloth diapering moms say they prefer  stay dry cloth diapers because they keep the baby dry.  However, when a child can feel that he/she is wet or dry, that is a major step towards potty training.

What You can Do To Help

  •  Observe your child to see when he or she needs to go.  Just the same way your child signals to you when he or she is hungry, sleepy or just wants to  be held, the child also signals when he or she needs to use the potty. Babies will give signals such as suddenly being quiet and concentrating  when peeing, grunting, pushing and facial grimace when pooping.  Babies  also have a sleeping and eating schedule and the same goes for potty time too. My daughter will eat every 3 1/2 hours, takes 2 naps, one 4o minute and one 2 hours, and potty about every 2 hours.

pooping facial expression

  • Teach your child how to sign potty. You can start teaching the potty sign as early as you want but 6 months is about the time most babies seem to internalize signing. Sign potty before you put the child on the potty, while the child is using the potty and make peeing and pooping sounds to help the child associate the sign and sounds with using the potty.

  • Allow your child to wear a prefold diaper or even a water proof training pants so both you and the child will know when he or she has eliminated. This is good in the beginning when you are both learning.  When the child gets older, you can let the child go diaper free.
baby in prefold diaper
baby in prefold diaper
  • Most of all, take it easy and slowly. When starting out, spend time just observing your child. Try potty training for one day and see how it works and then go from there. I stopped after the first 3 days and just observed instead because I didn’t feel  that I knew what I was looking for. After watching her for about a week we started again and the pottying experience has gone much smoother. She uses the potty everyday.

Some parents might feel that it is too time consuming but as with anything, you fall into a pattern. We noticed that early potty training creates a greater bond because you inherently spend more time with the child as you observe her. I am a cloth diapering mom  and I noticed that I use less diapers so I save on water and decrease how often I do laundry.  I moved from washing  every 2 days to every 3 to 4 days.  If you are a full-time working parenting, try doing potty training on the weekends and then as your child gets better, during the evening or when you are home.


4 Responses to “How to “Potty Train” Your Child Early With Elimination Communication Method”

  1. Jillian July 27, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    I recently read the book Diaper Free by Ingrid Bauer, and it is all about Elimination Communication. One of her biggest things is that it is NOT potty training, but being more in tune to your baby’s cues as to when they need to eliminate, just like they give you cues when hungry, tired, etc. So it isn’t really training them to go potty, but training yourself to pick up on those cues! My 5 month old son and I have been practicing this for a couple of weeks now and its going great!

    • naturalpureessentials August 3, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

      Yes Jillian, You are right. You have to cue into the eliminating behavior. We also teach our kids to sign so they can let us know when they need to potty

  2. Jaimie K May 26, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    But how do you catch them before they go? I never can tell until it is too late, they are already going in the diaper. ?? This topic interests me.

    • naturalpureessentials May 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

      What I did was to spend about 3 days watching her so I got the signs down well especially for peeing. Once I did that, I put a few potties around the house especially in places where we spend alot of time…in the living room so that way when she showed signs of needing to go, the potty was nearby nearby. Also it is ok if the baby go in the diaper, just be sure to still put the baby on the potty so she/he can associate potty with poop and pee. After a while you will notice the baby will start to wait until he/she make it to the potty. It is amazing how once you and the baby get the hang of it how well it works.

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