Could you make a post a bit in detail about early potty training?

I sure can! And here it is.

The first thing we did was purchase a book called “Diaper Free Before Three”. This is not strictly necessary, but it was helpful to read about the history of potty training (oh parenting, how you have changed me and my reading habits, too!) and also to be able to spout off fun facts to people who called us crazy for trying to potty train a six month old.

What sort of facts, you ask? Facts like, the average age of a child being completely potty trained used to be 18 months (meaning that some were later, but some were also potty trained earlier.) and that what we think of as “early” potty training actually used to be the norm, so much so that the 1946 Dr Sears parenting book was recommending delaying potty training until 6 months, meaning of course that many parents were beginning even earlier.

Then, we purchased a potty. I suppose this isn’t strictly necessary either, as I have heard of people just sitting their child on a regular toilet. I, however, had a deep, unrelenting fear that I would drop Olive into said toilet and I just couldn’t get the image of her trying to claw her way out of the toilet bowl from my mind, so we went shopping.

I have a deep loathing for all things plastic, so I settled on the Beco potty, which is made from 100% biodegradeable materials. When we are done using it (for all eighteen of our children), we simply plant it somewhere and it returns to the earth. (That is the sound of a hippie smiling.)

The Beco potty is somewhat unusual looking, and I wasn’t sure how it would work out, especially with a baby instead of a toddler, but it works perfectly and seems really comfortable for Olive.

NOW. The procedure. We started when she was 6 months old. In the beginning we would make the sign for “Potty”, then sit her on it for a few minutes between changes, or before bathtime, and hang out until either something happened, or got fussy – whichever came first. We didn’t want to force anything so if she seemed unhappy or uncomfortable we moved on.

Then around 7 months, when she was more used to it we started doing a bit in more of a routine way. She sits on her potty every morning, and usually before and after naps, too. We have seen a huge change in that she sort of seems to get it now, and usually goes within the first minute. There have also been a few times when she has woken up from her nap dry, which is very cool.

I think the next step will be for her to start signing “Potty” at us when she needs to go. The book recommends putting her in real underwear at one…which….yikes. I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes!

So, I mean, it’s unusual, but not totally crazy, right?

Hope I answered your question!

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