Learning the Gentle Art of Infant Toilet Training
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Learning the Gentle Art of Infant Toilet Training

Diaper Free Babies

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Guest Post by Louisa

I toilet-trained my first child when she was four-months-old. I thought I would start this guest post with a statement that knocks most people’s socks off when they hear it. “Four months old, you are kidding, aren’t you?” No, I kid you not.

I had worked extensively in China and seen what mothers did there; always aware of their children’s needs, able to listen to the signs that told them when their child wanted to pee and available to help them achieve their own personal hygiene at a very early age, many from birth. In our age of disassociation from our babies, when we wrap them up, place them in prams and car seats and leave then in front of TVs for hours, it seems impossible to be in such harmony with our little ones, but it is absolutely possible and many, many, many people have done it before now.

After reading Jean Liedloff’s Continuum Concept before giving birth and then the book Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygieneby Ingrid Bauer, I knew that I wanted to train my baby too, it just seemed the natural thing to do. So this is what I did and you can too, if that is what you decide.

I believe that diaper-free babies are eco-friendly, aware of their bodies at a young age, sociable and under no pressure to perform in any way. They must be ‘responded to’ from a very early age however, before the feeling of peeing in a diaper gets too natural for them. It all takes time, patience and devotion, something that has to be thought about very carefully indeed before embarking upon as you have to be 100% available. This doesn’t mean sitting and watching your baby’s every move, it means being there for her when she needs to tell you she wants to pee/poo.

It is very well worth it for the sake of the planet alone, but also for the deep and long-lasting connection you will be forging with your child.

Starting off simply is a good plan. Use one less diaper at night by leaving your baby free from the waist down after her bath in the evening and getting her to sleep on a thick towel. Babies will very rarely wet themselves whilst asleep and will benefit from air circulation around the parts that have been enclosed and wet all day. This I did with my baby and never had an accident in bed, nor diaper rash. It helps if you co-sleep with your baby, (but I figure if you have thought of infant training, then you have probably thought of co-sleeping too) so when she fidgets in her sleep, you can get her up and let her pee into her potty. Making quiet hissing sounds will encourage her to relieve herself straight away, then you may settle her down again.

This routine I was doing pretty soon after birth with my baby, I then graduated onto awareness of her needs during the day. Making the hissing sound whilst holding her in a comfortable position over her potty I found to be a key factor to my success – staying tuned to her cues also was crucial; a young baby will cry to be helped to pee/poo before she gives up and does it in her diaper. Be gentle, understanding and don’t get stressed, if you miss it this time, you may very well get it next time, no problem! Having your baby wear diapers during the day is up to you, having the potty in view as the child learns to walk is also up to you. As a rule of thumb, your young baby will pee 20 minutes after drinking fluids, then approximately every half-hour thereafter and once or twice during the night.

This is the start of diaper-free babyhood and it happens like this all over the world. That is why Chinese children have splits in their pants with their bottoms showing and use the gutters regularly, I kid you not.

My first born was a happy, capable and contented baby, we taught her to make a sign for ‘pee’ long before she could talk and she seemed very capable at managing her own ‘toilet matters’ as she grew.

She laughs now at seven-years-old when I tell her what she could do at four months old and she thinks it is the most natural thing in the world too.

What do you think… is this an idea that appeals to you? I’d love to hear who else (this is Stephanie speaking now) is intrigued by this idea, and especially if anyone else has tried it!

lulu bitingLouisa has brought her children (7 and 4) up in a natural way, she lives in the mountains of France, home schools and follows the principles of Weston A.Price and Rudolph Steiner. Her first child was potty trained at four months old, both her girls co-slept with her and her husband and were carried until the age of one. She lives in a TV-free house. She believes that when a woman takes on the role of nourisher, (both physically and emotionally) she becomes both hearth and heart of her family. Read her slow-living blog at: constantstateofflux.com or find her on Twitter as @lululovesmilk.

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  1. WOW! I used cloth diapers when NO ONE else was using them (before all the cute BumGenius style diapers became so popular) but this, well THIS is something to consider!

    I’m going to show my 14 yo dd this post. She’s reading Nourishing Traditions right now for “health” in our homeschool. (She likes it so much, she bought her own copy w/ her own money!) She’s very interested in topics that will help her be a good mother.

    Thanks for sharing this, Stephanie! And merci, Louisa!

  2. I have heard and read about this a lot, but…it still doesn’t appeal to me. I have two children very close together, and I simply can’t imagine doing that- we’d never leave* the bathroom! I am potty training my first (now 2 1/2) and will probably start my second (a girl) much earlier, since she will see her brother doing it.
    I also don’t practice many of the attachment parent ideologies, so although my children slept a few weeks(hardly a drop in the bucket with my co-sleeper friends!) next to me in our room at night, never in the bed, as well.
    Thanks for your post–knowledge is good. :0)
    Sarah M
    .-= Sarah M´s last blog ..Virtual Book Club: The Outside World by Tova Mirvis =-.

  3. We’ve done infant potty training with both of our children, now ages 2 1/2 and 16 months. It was much easier with our first because I had more time to focus on her needs throughout the day. She went on the potty or in a special potty bowl regularly by 6 months and was out of cloth diapers at home by 10 months. At around 13 months we started leaving the house with only cloth training pants on her. Our son has been a little more difficult and we still have many wet diapers throughout the day, but very few misses with pooing, which I think is definitely worth the effort, especially when cloth diapering.

    We have found that early potty training causes our children to have slightly erratic sleep patterns. It seems to be a trade off between potty training and sleeping through the night. Because our children are not used to pottying on themselves they do not simply wake up, potty in their diaper and fall back to sleep. Our daughter still wakes up at least once a night to use the potty which is fine with us. Our son however sometimes fights using the potty at night and therefore wakes up multiple times until we can finally get him to potty and then put him back in his bed.

    Infant potty training is definitely something that requires a lot of time on the part of the parents. You are equaly training yourself long with the baby, but if you have time it is definitely a wonderful bonding experience between a parent and baby.

    To find more information you can also search for “elimination communication”.
    .-= Allyson´s last blog ..Wonderful Children’s Book Giveaway =-.

  4. the idea is intriguing, and i do know a mom whose baby hasn’t soiled his diaper since around 6 months.

    but it’s not for everyone…and that doesn’t mean the rest of us are “disassociated” from our babies or sitting them in front of the tv for hours!
    .-= suzannah @ so much shouting/laughter´s last blog ..love and war and a giveaway =-.

  5. I am 2 months along, and purchased a book on EC a few months ago… I love it! We’re definitely going to try it. People think I’m crazy, but I figure that it can’t hurt to try… if it doesn’t work, we’ll be diaper changing with the rest of the culture, but if it works (and I think it will!), it will be amazing!

  6. I’m very interested… due in August with our third. I don’t know if it will fit our family or if my husband will be on board, but I’d like to do some more reading on it.


  7. I started training my oldest daughter around 2 months with wet diapers still being a part of everyday life. She was completely out of diapers sans accidents and overnight wets by 12 months. It was bliss.

    I have not been as successful with my other 3 children, but as I consider training my youngest son, this post reminds me of how much easier life was and how much less laundry there was. Thank you for pushing my hand to start now rather than waiting.
    .-= Shaina´s last blog ..The Monday Menu: Monday 8, 2010 =-.

  8. We started when our daughter was 4 months old. We rarely changed a poopy diaper after we started because she really prefers to go on the potty. She is 15 months old now and goes on the potty several times a day. She still wears diapers other times though just in case. She has had occasional potty pauses where she wasn’t as interested in going on the potty. But for the most part she really does think that going on the potty is normal. She isn’t afraid of it and prefers going there to in her diaper. It is just a matter of coordinating everything and sometimes we both get too busy to notice until it’s too late. But still I am def. doing this with all future children. I think it is in the long and short term the easier way. As a huge benefit my child doesn’t have to sit in her poop. I think that is a respectful thing to do for your child. I don’t think it should become a burden though. There will be days when diapers are used more than other days. But we’ve found it such a positive experience. Oh and a lot less dirty diapers to wash!
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Miss Polka Dot =-.

    1. @1ofeach, Very interesting article, thanks for posting the link. It is a sorry state of affairs indeed and can you imagine what the waste will be like when every Chinese baby wears disposables? But of course, we have no right to stop them or even condemn them for wanting to be more ‘civilised’ not considering 99.9% of Western babies wear disposables already.

      Louisa x
      .-= Louisa´s last blog ..The sacredness of woman’s work =-.

  9. This seems really interesting to me. After struggling for over a year to potty train my 3 1/2 year old son, starting in infanthood (before they get used to diapers) sounds fabulous. When my next baby comes in a couple of months I’m going to try this out.
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Menu Plan, month of February 2010 =-.

  10. I tried with my second child and with my third. I stopped with my second quite quickly but perseviered with my third and used half cloth diapers and EC the rest of the time. She was completly trained by 18 months and had a sign for toilet before she could talk. Unfortunatly she got an infection at 2 that revealed a benign kidney problem that causes her to pee constantly when ill and not be able to control it. That was 3 years ago and she is only now beginning to be able to control it when ill. So we still have diapers at our house. :o(

  11. I’ve heard of this before in many different places, in fact, my own mom told me about it and asked if I wanted to try it! LOL

    I am all for cosleeping, babywearing, being in tune with the baby, etc. (we do all that) but as for the early training, I thought about it and thought and realized my heart wasn’t in it. I think its something you’d have to be totally committed to. I think its great, and I might try it in the future with other kids, but at this point I wouldn’t want to do it. I think it would be too stressful for me personally at this point. Dealing with breastfeeding issues, postpartum depression etc with both my kids so far has turned me off from trying something else new out at that point of my life. But if it works for the family, then it sounds great!!! How wonderful. I do think its kind of funny how our culture trains the baby to go in a diaper, and then later we have to train them not to. I did enjoy the stress-free time of having my oldest train, she just decided one day after talking about it a lot in natural ways, she just told me she wanted underwear and that was basically that.

    1. @Nola, Yes, you are3 correct, it can be very very stressful at times to do this, especially if there are already many things going on in your life and the child will pick up on your stress if you let it get to you.

      A wonderful thing to do in the summer is let your baby go diaper-free on grass and let her feel some freedom that way – no need to worry about accidents and that way she can actually see (and feel) when she pees and this is a great way for you both to acknowledge her bodily functions, it does not need to be any more than acknowledgment for the connection to be made.

      Nice, easy, relaxed, that’s it!

      Louisa x
      .-= Louisa´s last blog ..The sacredness of woman’s work =-.

  12. I have 6 kiddos: 4 boys age 15-7yrs and 2 girls ages 4 and 2 yr.
    I used mostly cloth diapers over the years and learned about ECing (infant potty training) when I had my first girl. We practiced it but were not hardcore about it.
    I tough them sign language and my girls learned at a early are that their body had a potty function. (Disposable diaper will mask this abitlity.) I was not brave enough to go diaper free at night.
    The important thing to remember is to be respectful of your baby.
    With just using cloth diapers you will need to change your baby more often and hopefuly catching them doing so you can get them to the pot……With disposable diapers your chlid usualy won’t even know they have gone and will sit one the wet,chemical ladden diaper for hours sometimes…..not good.
    What would you want for your baby?

    Also ECing or even the use of cloth diapers is not a club…..its just one of many ways as a mother, to show respect to your baby.

    My youngest daughter is now in underpants full time and she just turned 2yrs old in October. She hardly ever has a accident.

    Warm Blessings,

  13. I’ve done it! I loved it! But I stopped when it got cold/we moved/was pregnant all right around the same time. I love the gentleness of it, and working with the child’s intuition. I think that with my 2nd and future babies I’ll try to work with the principals and potty train my new walkers. Going to give it a go with my young toddler this summer when it’s warmer.

    I thought it was the coolest thing when I realized my first baby (like 3 months old) wouldn’t pee when she was held, and then I could hold her out over the potty and she’d go. She’d squirm when in the ergo on my back, or in the sling, or just while up on my hip if she needed to potty. It was the coolest thing!

    My son, on the other hand, didn’t care about peeing while being held (lol). I tried a little with him, but not very diligently. Now at 14 months he seems much more aware of his functions, so it’ll be interesting to see if he’ll potty train this summer with gentle EC-like encouragement.
    .-= Cara @ Health Home and Happiness´s last blog ..Holistic Dentistry: Root Canals, Oral Allergy Syndrome, and Tooth Soap =-.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing that post Stephanie. I had never heard of that before, now I am going to read more about it. I was already on board with attachment parenting and co-sleeping but had not heard of diaper-free. This information was great!

  15. I have done this with two boys, one almost 5 years old and one 6 weeks old. I have the book Diaper Free and I highly recommend it. I have found this to be a great thing to do with babies. The main downside for me is finding regular shirts for babies. I find onesies get in the way too much for holding them to pee. My mom likes to sew, so she cut off the bottoms of onesies and hemmed them as shirts for me.
    The 5 year old we started at 2 months. He would pee every 10-15 minutes until he was maybe a year old, which I later found can be related to food issues. We used diapers for backup and switched to training pants at 18 months when he learned to walk and his diapers kept falling off.
    The 6 week old started at birth. Most of his poops are in the potty, and maybe half the pees. I also am making a habit of changing him very often so he doesn’t get used to feeling wet (we use cloth diapers). My goal right now is more to keep him dry than to catch all the pees. We usually have one time a day where he lays on a diaper instead of wearing one for a while. He has a funny little cry he makes when he has to pee with his diaper off. He doesn’t do that with a diaper on, although he does get very squirmy and sometimes fussy.

  16. Thanks for this post! I have been interested in learning about potty training infants ever since I read To Train up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl!

    I have one question though that I have not been able to get answered… When I told my mom that I wanted to do this with our children she told me that children who were potty trained too early had bladders that never fully developed and would have to go pee ALL the time. When I was 18 I had a 2 year old in my SS class that had potty trained herself as soon as she was walking, but she had to pee literally every 15 minutes. I haven’t seen her in years so I don’t know if she is still this way, but I knew her until just before she was four and at nearly four she was going every half hour to 45 minutes.

    I really want to do this with my children but am concerned about their constantly having to go pee if this is the case.
    .-= Laura @ Rejoicing Evermore´s last blog ..Am I a Crown to My Husband? =-.

    1. @Laura @ Rejoicing Evermore,


      I first heard about this from the same book! 🙂

      I expect that what your mom heard is a myth. Entire cultures have done EC as their primary form of infant hygiene, and I’d be very surprised if all the adults in China or India, for example, really have hyperactive bladders. Also, as an EC mom, it doesn’t make sense to me experientially. My baby doesn’t go any more or less frequently because I take her to the bathroom. I’m just letting her go in the sink or potty instead of in her diaper. If I didn’t take her, she would still go. (I know this because of the “misses.”)

      If you give it a try, I wish you wonderful success. I’m doing it with my fourth and I LOVE it!

      If you’re interested, I’ve blogged about my family’s experiences with EC. You can read the posts here.

    2. Obviously this reply is way late and you’ll probably never see this but I just found this post.

      Regardless, I would just like to say that I’m Chinese…moved to US when I was 3 but I definitely did not use diapers as a kid.

      I am now an adult and I can say I have no problems holding my bladder. 🙂 In fact, my fiance (who was born and raised here and in diapers) is the one who is always having to go to the bathroom!

      And think about it…most countries around the world don’t use diapers. If early potty training resulted in overactive bladders how would anyone get anything done? 🙂

  17. I heard about something like this once a long time ago and never could find any more information on it! Apparently women in India do a similar thing, whispering in their baby’s ear that sound that helps them tinkle.

    With no kids yet I can’t say I’ve tried it, but I do find it intriguing! Glad to know other people have heard of this too!

  18. This was a very good article. I think, if I had read this when my oldest children (now in their 20’s) were babies, I would have tried it. I heard about it when pregnant with my fourth child because a new friend had done this with her 5 girls. She didn’t explain it very well, though, and all the literature I came across seemed to make fun of the idea, so I didn’t try it. When pregnant with my sixth (and last) child (now 13yrs.), I finally came across info that made it sound possible and desirable. I considered it, but I think I just lacked confidence to do things differently than I always had.
    What powerful things advertising and government endorsement are! They are changing the entire culture of China. The idea of being in tune with your baby and getting him to the potty is great, but something neither of the articles pointed out was that Chinese babies do the “squat and pee or poo” no matter where they are – park, sidewalk, living room, or kitchen. That really is very unhygienic, more so in the house, but also outside. I just wish they had solved the problem a different way than disposables!

  19. I’m with Nora on how I feel about this for MY family. I love all things natural but all things natural do NOT come naturally to me – lol! MY mom did not train me to be a mother and I have found that it is taking me quite some time to get used to balancing it all (I have 4 kids and am only now learning how truly nourish them). With each child I learn some new way to raise them more naturally and healthily, which is good.

    But when I tried to early potty train my 3rd, I just felt like I couldn’t make the kind of connection I needed to make to make it happen. For example, he slept next to our bed but not in it, he was huge for his age and my back could never handle slings or holding him all day (which I longed to do), and then there was the fact that I was starting to homeschool the older two. I found myself so very frustrated and decided that I’d have to just be satisfied with learning to use clothe daipers (to which my mom ALSO laughed at me….sigh)

    I truly wish that I could multitask in this way because I would LOVE to use this method on any future babies. Thanks for the info – it is wonderful to know that there are others out there who are as ‘crazy’ (my mom’s term – lol) as I!! I plan to continue looking into this…..
    .-= mom24´s last blog ..A Reflection of My Brain These Days =-.

  20. My oldest daughter (mostly cloth diapered) didn’t learn the potty until she was close to three.

    My second daughter (again, mostly cloth diapered) learned the potty before she was two. (Twenty-one months or so)

    Having had that *little* taste of how wonderful it is to be out of diapers so early, I have to say I would be TOTALLY on board with trying this if the Lord sends along another baby to us. It really does make sense, doesn’t it? I love your gentle approach. You make it sound very workable and very approachable. I’m tucking this away in the back of my mind for future reference.

    Thanks so much for sharing!
    .-= Megan@SortaCrunchy´s last blog ..On feeling called to public schools =-.

  21. We (I) did this with my first child (now almost 6 years old). It worked, though was time-consuming, until he was almost a year old. He then stopped “cooperating” (not sure why, since there weren’t any real changes in our family/environment that I know of!) and after almost a month of trying to get him to go on the potty with very very few successes, I just used cloth diapers full time. Oh, well! 🙂 He was potty trained (with a lot of effort on my part) at 29 months of age.

    My next child, also a boy, was just in regular old cloth diapers full time until he was 24 months old. He decided he was a big boy and potty trained himself in 7 days’ time. I loved that!! 🙂

    My third child, a girl, has been in cloth diapers and at 24 months of age (currently) she’s starting to tell us when she needs to go potty. So maybe she’ll be easier to train, too! I hope! 🙂

    Personally, as our family grows and my attention is needed in a variety of directions all day long, I don’t think EC is the perfect option for me. 🙂 I know some moms make it look really easy (like Shalom [Pearl] Brand!) but it must depend somewhat on the child… 🙂

  22. Okay, I’ve been following this blog for a long time and really enjoy all the ideas, but this one knocks me down. I read books and studied on how to have a diaper free baby and was completely overwhelmed by all the work involved, especially once the baby arrived. Seriously, I want to know how does the mom ever sleep or get anything else done?

    I have also lived in the Third World where the children didn’t have diapers and my parents raised me in Botswana without the use of diapers, but in both cases the life style was a lot slower and the climate was very warm. Not to forget mothers generally have an enormous support group of other women to help them raise their children. Unlike in the States, where moms are generally raising their children alone and in a fast past world.

    1. @Revel, I think you are absolutely right about the lack of support here in the states. And when we do get “support,” it is often in the form of unsolicited advice which is all over the map. There is not a culturally uniform way that we bring up kids here. This is something I really like about the internet – one can find others who want to bring up their children in similar ways. Maybe a group of you can support each other in learning to do this.
      About the nighttime, though, I have to admit that if I were still having babies and were to use EC, I would still use cloth diapers at night. I just don’t see the advantage to getting up two more times each night in addition to feedings, sickness, and teething not to mention other children’s needs!

    2. @Revel, It is about living at a slower pace – it is more of a mindset than anything else……much, more difficult with the second child. There need be goals, i.e. my daughter must be potty trained at x months old, no, it is just about a kind of awareness of your child’s needs and sowing the seeds for a communication between you and her……..

      The Western world is raised ‘fast’ but you can slow it down a little and that’s what we are talking about here.

      Louisa x
      .-= Louisa´s last blog ..The sacredness of woman’s work =-.

    3. I don’t know if it requires that much more time/work or if it simply requires a different use of time and a different kind of work.

      For example…if you start EC from the time the kid is a newborn, by the time the kid is around 6 months old they’ll most likely be capable of wearing regular underwear. They’ll still have accidents but the majority of poop and pee will be in the toilet. By the time they’re 1, accidents will be rare and they’ll probably only need help with wiping. By the time they’re around 2, they should be able to do the whole thing by themselves.

      Considering the fact that babies are supposed to have their diapers changed pretty quickly after they go, you’re only replacing diaper time with potty time. Of course, you’ll most likely be taking them to the potty more often than you’ll be changing their diaper…but it’s not like you’re only changing a diaper once or twice a day. It’s a lot of diaper changes every day and a lot of money as well.

      Not only that but diaper changes tend to be messier than going on a potty. You won’t have those disgustingly poopy diapers and past the age of 5 months you may never have to use a baby wipe again considering at that age poopy accidents are pretty rare.

      Also…remember, by the time your kid is 1 (depending on development it may be a little earlier or later), if you give your kid access to their own potty, they should be able to make it there themselves. At that age, most parents are still changing diapers! Think about how much more time and work is involved in changing the diaper of a 1 year old compared to going in to wipe your kid’s bottom?

      Lastly, remember that you bypass the potty training stage completely. That’s typically a pretty stressful time in both a child’s life and a parent’s life. A toddler’s mess in their pants is a lot more of a pain to take care of than an infants. Also, in addition to teaching them to use a toilet, you now have to untrain them of the habit of going in their pants. Potty training definitely takes time and work on the part of the parent.

      So yes, in the very beginning (first 6 months or so), it may seem like more time and work and perhaps it is a little more time/work…but the efforts pay off FAST. You save yourself a lot of time and work later on by putting in the time earlier.

      So considering you pretty much bypass 2-3 years of diapering and you completely skip over potty training…I don’t think EC is that much of a drain on time. This is of course assuming you start when the child is a newborn…I don’t know much about starting later in life.

      Oh…and an added bonus is the bond you build with your child and the extra time you spend with them during potty time.

  23. My youngest son is 2 and we are trying to potty train now. I heard of this just recently, too late to try, but I wish I would have. It sounds like a good idea.

  24. We used infant potty training with our third and enjoyed it very much, were delighted to start and finish sooner than we had with traditional delayed toilet learning. That was 30 years ago and now our grandchild is using it too :-))

    What an adorable photo with this blog, and an excellent article.

    Here are a few links for anyone wanting to read up on the practice:

    “Infant Potty Training” book and “Potty Whispering” DVD


    For those who think ec/ipt might be overwhelming, always remember that you can do it part time . . . “as part time as you need” . . . it’s essential to be relaxed.

  25. I just discovered your blog yesterday and found it interesting (perhaps a sign?) that one of the first posts I see is about EC. I am currently expecting #3 after a 6 year “break”. I am a big believer in co-sleeping and a child-led lifestyle. Lately I have become interested in learning more about EC but I will admit, the thought of the time commitment scares me. I wonder, can I handle it? I do like that it can be done part time, which makes it feel less daunting. Thank you for the insightful post. I look forward to following your blog (I’ve already signed up for the RSS feed!).


  26. I’ve done it with my current baby since she was four days old, and I LOVE IT! I keep her in cloth diapers just in case, and I *try* not to worry too much when I fail to read her cues. She’s nine months old now, and clearly prefers going in the bathroom than in her diaper. I think on average I’m catching a little better than half of her potties, which means that I’m cutting my diaper laundry in half.

    I’ve blogged about my experiences with EC occasionally. My posts on the subject can be found here.

  27. I first heard about EC when my first daughter was about 6 months old. I was turned off at first, but then really loved the idea. We started PT at 11 months old and have had pretty good success, especially with BMs (that was the first one she picked up on and HATED going in her cloth and always asked for the potty). But, with my second daughter (8 months old) I didn’t consider EC, b/c I was far too tired and worn out (my kids are 18 months apart and my oldest STILL wakes up through out the night!).

    So my question – what do you recommend when the children are so close in age? It seems a daunting task to EC with two.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Food for my Northern friends =-.

  28. This sounded like the craziest thing to me before I had a child – I remember reading a NYtimes article thinking, “what are these people doing to their children?”

    Then, when I had my son, I was using cloth diapers, and met some women who did EC, then started reading a book, and it just made SO MUCH SENSE! Whenever I opened my sons diapers we’d play and coo and he’d pee again, and I always thought it was great because it saved me a diaper change. As I read further into the book, I realized what we were doing was essentially EC, only with diapers…

    I read The Diaper Free Baby by (i think?) Christine Loh. It was really flexible and forgving – you don’t have to make a huge commitment. We used a potty at 6 months (once my son could sit up) and he took to it immediately – peed right away and pooped the next day, and we never looked back. We still did diapers at night and when we went out, bringing him to the potty only if we felt like it, but not worrying that it would unlearn anything we were doing. It didn’t, and it worked for us. The best part was not poopy toddler diapers, he only pooped in his diapers maybe another dozen times after 6 months (which really proved to me that babies don’t want to poop in there diapers, but we teach them to….).

    My son is now 2.5. We never potty-trained him, only gave him the same “potty-tunities” that we had all along, offered underwear, talked about the toilet, etc. and continued diapers at night and out up until he was done with them a few weeks ago. He just stopped peeing in them and askign to go on the potty, when he was ready himself, and physically able to hold his pee. It was all child-led, when he was ready, and it was a BREEZE. I feel like we really have the EC to thank for that. It’s not potty-training, but COMMUNICATION between you both.

    LOVE. IT.

  29. Just wondering if anyone has ever tried this with older special needs children. I have an almost 9 yr old with autism (severe) and he is still in diapers, although he will go pee if I bring him to the potty which we do every hour and a half or so. He just cannot figure out that “that feeling” means “run to the potty”.

  30. I LOVE your ideas! I am only fourteen, but I have a baby brother who is 17months now and I think he is perfectly smart enough to be potty-trained. And I think he could have been started long ago. Your adventures have inspired me for what I am going to do with my kids when I have kids. I think that our world has separated us from our babies and I think it is wrong that we don’t have time for them and simply drop them off at day-care or ignore their needs. Doesn’t anybody wonder how the pioneers did it??? Its so good to be around your children all the time.
    And I also think that cloth-diapering/no diapers is so much more healthy. Though the idea of sleeping beside your baby without a diaper on does seem kinda scary, but then it’s not such a big deal either. And nothing is impossible.

    1. You remind me a great deal of myself at fourteen! Good for you for researching topics (such as parenting in general) that are off the beaten track. I’m sure you will be an excellent, sensitive, and loving mother some day. 🙂

  31. I discovered this when my daughter was 3 mos old. We switched to cloth diapers (which I love!) and within a month (I know for sure because I wrote everything down-HA!), she only had wet diapers, all other “business” was done in the potty! Very exciting for a new mama!!! She is now 24 mos old and has been in regular underpants full-time (except at night) since 16.5 mos. We had a transitional time using training pants for a few months but we probably could have made the leap to regular underpants sooner if I had been braver. 🙂

    We still struggle with nighttime though. I never did EC at night because I love sleep! Any tips for nighttime EC/potty training would be appreciated. We’ve tried taking her potty when we go to bed (after she’s been asleep a couple hours) but I just hate disturbing her at that point and it hasn’t made a difference in her being wet or not the next morning anyway. Also try to limit fluid intake in the evening to a point. She’s not a big soaker anymore though, so I think I’m just going to give it time and not try to push it.

    Baby #2 is due the end of August and it’s a boy this time, so it will be interesting for me to start from newborn, on a boy, with another child already. Sounds challenging…wouldn’t do it any other way!

  32. HI i came across this page and i was wonderingif i was wih my daughter at the park or somwere and she needed to go were should i take her and how should i hold her and i dont want her on the floor doing it.Thanks jess annis.

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