Six and a Half weeks old Although I sub-consciously began the first time I changed our new Baby Girl’s nappy and she instinctively did a wee (right on queue), the 31 May was when I made the conscious decision to start this toilet training business.
My sister invited me to a Toilet Training Party at a friend’s place. The facilitator was Tracy and through PottyTraining.com.au and various markets around Brisbane, she is dedicated to helping families toilet train their children quickly and efficiently – she is just brilliant! I had previously met Tracy when we started training our Little Man and her tips and equipment made the process as straight forward as it can be with a toddler. It is with no hesitation I recommend Tracy to anyone who is struggling either to start or to move to the next stage of the process. During this information morning Tracy encouraged me to start training my Baby Girl and told me all about how she has successfully trained not only her own babies, but has been the support team for many families as they move through this important development stage.
Tracy confirmed what I had read in the Potty Training Book – babies are born with a reflex to poo/wee when their nappy is taken off. We ignore or are ignorant of the signs babies use, so they give up and wet in the nappy. So ‘yes’ it is possible to potty train a baby; in fact this was standard practice for Mothers in the 1950’s.
This gave me loads to think about so I contacted my Great Auntie Barbara, who had her babies in that era. You can read the story about her life as a mother with four children (under five) who were dry by 14 months here. It’s all well and good to read about these facts in books but chatting with a close family member was, for me, the final green light I needed to give it a go.
I am led to understand the correct terminology for this process is called ‘Infant Toilet/Potty Training’ or ‘Elimination Communication’.
Toilet training babies was brought to my attention when we started with our Little Man. He was 20 months old when this became the hot topic in our household. Things are going to be approached differently this time round with baby number two. I am curious and ready to see if, in fact, I can establish a routine with our Baby Girl right from day one by smiling and congratulating her. Our Baby Girl naturally responds when her nappy is removed, so we will continue to encourage her and keep this reflex active. This makes so much sense to maintain an action which happens naturally, rather than squash it, only then to retrain at a later stage.
As well as the daily nappy changes, I am beginning this experiment by taking our Baby Girl’s nappy off around 10 minutes after she had been fed – for her this seems to be about the correct time frame to wee.
I’m so curious to see for myself if communicating with a baby, at this level, is at all possible?
We have three designated places where we practice our ‘communication ritual’ at home:
Before her bath is the one guaranteed time of the day she does a wee on queue.
So when it’s wee/poo time I lay her on an open nappy, which sets the scene and establishes a familiar routine. We usually have success at this time and as a bonus, I get to enjoy sharing lots of eye contact and smiling – so cute. I am happy and more than amazed with our success so far and I am comfortable with this relaxed approach.