Posted by: Charndra at Tribal Baby | November 14, 2009

Q & A: Early Toilet Training at Ask Moxie.

This is an older article from 2007, I remember it coming up on the EC discussion list and lots of us popped over to add to the thread. It is nicely balanced and open-minded about EC, which is lovely!

Here’s an excerpt:

Q&A: early toilet training

Emily writes:

“I’m pregnant with my first child, and have been reading a bit about the early toilet training/diaperless baby movement. It’s hard to get a read on it because people either think it’s crazy or genius. I don’t think that early toilet training warps a child psychologically, and I think the environmental arguments for it are compelling. Also, I’d rather start early than be frantically trying to toilet train the two months before preschool, like my niece. But I do wonder if it’s doable, or more work than it’s worth. What do you and your readers think? I’d be particularly interested in those who tried it and gave up, or those who combined it with daycare.”


I think when you call it “early toilet training” people do think it’s nuts, because “training” implies control, and babies just can’t control when they poop or pee.

But when you think of it as “elimination communication” or early toilet learning, it makes a ton more sense, because babies can absolutely communicate.

In both directions. If you think about it in terms of the way babies get themselves fed, the process starts to become even more clear: A baby gives little signals–smacking the lips, rooting, eventually escalating to fussing, then crying–to indicate hunger. The adult responds with food, so the next time the baby uses those same signals, and the adult responds and it starts a beautiful cycle that goes on happily until the next thing you know the kid’s saying, “Mo-om, do we have any juice boxes?”

But you can also change the course of that communication to make things more clear if you’d like. From the time my second baby was a few hours old, every time I fed him I’d say “nurse” very clearly just as I put him on. After about 5-6 days, when he’d fuss to eat I’d say “nurse” and he knew I understood and was coming and he’d calm down for the few seconds it took. Some people introduce a hand sign for food when their babies are a few months old, and it has the same effect, and then the child can use the sign to ask for food long before they can use words.

(Sage Advice from Moxie there!)

Visit Ask Moxie to read the rest and also the comments…


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