When we shared the story of a mom who started potty training her baby early, like barely over a month after she was born, many protested it’s way too soon. But it's a practice that works for some parents and their children. Moms who swear by natural parenting, such as celebrity mom Jennica Garcia Uytingco, has been doing practicing it. She has been training her daughter Mori, and the now 1-year-old little girl already sits on the toilet whenever she needs to do her business.
Early potty training often involves the practice of "elimination communication" (EC). It involves observing and being sensitive to your baby’s cues on when they need to pee or poo, and they sit them on a “potty” so the can do it sans diapers. (Read more on how it's done here.)
The EC practice is not new. Early potty training has been around long before the invention of diapers. Jennica refers to EC as Natural Infant Hygiene (NIH). “I think what most people in today’s generation does not know is how Natural Infant Hygiene (NIH) is gentle. And that having a potty trained child is simply the inevitable outcome of giving opportunities for the child to use the potty instead of allowing them to use a diaper as their walking toilet from birth,” Jennica, who is a certified NIH consultant, wrote on her blog.
Improved connection and communication with your baby. According to Andrea Olson of Go Diaper Free, “parents say they feel closer to their children and “improved two-way communication” with their little ones.
It's a gentler route to potty training. “There is absolutely no force required in the process of natural infant hygiene,” Jennica wrote. She credits NIH for her daughter Mori’s calm and happy disposition.
“I was able to get the full trust of my newborn infant. I can tell from her eyes that she is confident that Nanay (Mommy) knows when I am hungry, Nanay knows when I am sleepy, I have a kabag (air in the stomach), I am not feeling well and not just that! My Nanay (Mommy) also knows when I have to use the potty,” she added.
Of course, there’s always trade-offs. While it's perfectly fine to start EC even when you're baby can already sit or more, it might be harder when they've gotten used to diapers. Toddlers would often rather not go potty when all they want is play. Here are some challenges for moms who choose to potty train early: It takes time and a lot of patience. Potty training a baby or a toddler can be equally tedious. You have to focus so you can catch your child before he pees or poos because if you miss that window, you’re going to need to do a lot of cleaning.
Note that you shouldn’t blame your baby for accidents. EC is not about imposing on your child when to relieve himself but taking cues from him.
Travel and sleep time and can be challenging. If you notice your baby’s pee or poop signals, it's difficult to know if you can take a pit stop or of there would be an accessible toilet. Also, expect middle-of-the-night nature calls.
The good news? You can always try using diapers while traveling. But remember to offer the potty if you can, when you notice your baby’s signals.
What do you think of early potty training? Let us know in the comments or send us a message on Facebook!