I know it’s a lonely road and already I’ve faced a lot of negative attitudes from people, to the point that I don’t even tell people that I plan to potty train Basia at an early age. In most countries, children are potty trained before the age of two, in fact usually closer to the age of one. . In North America because we rely on these magically high absorbency diapers children reach the ages of sometimes 5 years before they are toilet trained.
When I lived in Vancouver 13 years ago I met this amazing couple (both university professors) and with my very own eyes I witnessed their 3month old baby urinate on cue over a little port a potty. I was sold. From that day on I could not imagine any other way!
How To Start
This is a learning experience for me as well but it seems pretty intuitive to me. For those that understand the principles of Pavlov’s Dog then really this should be pretty straight forward!
Essentially what I’m doing is applying the same ideas of simple behavioral conditioning. I mean how many of us have experienced the increased urge to pee even just thinking of a toilet or seeing a toilet when our bladders are full? Even myself, after holding my bladder for hours sometimes, only to pee myself just as I see the toilet, it’s because my brain has been conditioned to associate peeing with the visual cue of the toilet.
With Basia, I’ve started to take her to the bathroom before I change her diaper, sometimes after breastfeeding and sometimes when I have to go myself. In the beginning it’s difficult to do this every time but I just do my best and provide her with as many “potty opportunities,” as I can. Encouraging my spouse Adam to do the same. We usually try for 2-3 minutes and if nothing comes out then we package her back up and try again later! However more often than not Basia will make go pee/poo.
Listen and Watch
Another thing is to spend some time watching your little one. It won’t take long when you’ll be able to tell when they need to go pee/poo. Maybe it’s a face they make or how they wiggle. When you start to notice these physical cues start taking them to the toilet and giving them a minute or two to try and go.
I spoke of visual cues when dealing with behavioral conditioning, but since Basia is just a two week old infant, her visual range hasn’t quite developed yet so I rely on developing her auditory cues.
Whenever we go to the bathroom I start by making “hmmm” sounds for pooping and “pshshshsh” for peeing and I insert a little “go pee/poo,” intermittently. (That’s the sound cue we use to toilet train our cat, Dragon) Follow @HowToTrainMyDragon on instagram to see my cat use the potty!
When Basia starts to go pee I emphasize the “pshshshsh” louder and more clearly and commend her with a “good girl!” And the same with if she poops but with “hmmmm.
How To Hold Them
I’ve tried various ways of supporting Basia while she potty’s and since she’s still really little and needs head support I make sure her head is leaned against my chest and she’s slightly tilted back. I find encircling my fingers around her thighs and using my plans and thumbs to support her back work the best.
Depending on what I’m doing I’ll either squat on the bathroom floor, sit on the toilet with her between my legs facing the back or sometimes facing the front. I find sitting on the toilet with her is the easiest and best ergonomically.
When To Start?
Honestly whenever you feel you’re ready to commit to trying. Some people start at 1year some at birth. Go at your own pace but be consistent. If you only want to do it once a day then make sure you did it once a day. If you want to take your little one to the toilet between every feeding, diaper change and fart then make sure you don’t skip a whole bunch of days and go hard at it again. I make it a goal to take her 3x a day and I find that’s reasonable for us.
Whatever you decide, it starts with taking that first step and just trying… let me know how it goes! And follow us on Instagram @Melba_seto for current updates and Facebook http://www.MelbasToast.com!
Imagine the possibilities of being diaper free?! And being able to communicate and read your child. Being able to be sensitive enough to your child’s needs in something as basic as peeing and pooping… leads to being able to better read them when they are sad, happy, angry, and frustrated and thus being better equipped to address their emotions. I mean if I can toilet train a cat then I’m sure I can toilet train a baby or at least give it a good go.