Click HERE to read Part 1: A Brief History of Potty Training.
A few days ago, my 16-month-old pooped in her diaper. Normally she poops on the potty. We changed her diaper immediately, but a day later, her bottom was still flaming red. Although some children may have heartier skin, I'm quite convinced that humans were not meant to be in contact with their feces at all, and certainly not to sit in it for an extended length of time. Although sometimes I get tired of taking my toddler regularly to the potty, these accidents are good reminders of why I do it. We didn't begin potty training with my first child until after 2, and he constantly had horrible blistery diaper rashes from being in contact with his poop for even a few minutes.
Recently I picked up Diaper-Free Before 3 at the library. It was an interesting and informative read and reinforced my desire to practice early potty training. The book advocates a positive, early start to toilet training (ideally between 6-12 months), so that your child can be out of diapers and finished with potty training as early as his or her 2nd birthday. Lekovic argues that early potty training is more effective, healthier, cheaper, realistic and a happier process for you and your child.
Lekovic's 8 Benefits of Early Potty Training
- The sooner you begin potty training, the sooner you finish.
- Kids learn their natural signals faster.
- Some children never show an independent interest in training.
- Children gain confidence that enriches other areas of development (child no longer perceives herself as a baby).
- Decreased risk of UTI, voiding disorders, wetting problems, and constipation.
- Decreased risk of infectious diarrhea and Hep A.
- Cheaper (and much more environmentally friendly)! Especially if you use disposable diapers.
- There's no need for bribery, rewards, or cajoling.
In general, the book resonated with my own experiences potty training my first child after 2 and my second child since around 6 months. Lekovic argues that the fact that parents frequently report that their toddler "prefers" to have a BM in her diaper suggests a troublesome alteration in a basic set of instincts. By the age of 2, my first child definitely "preferred" pooping in his diaper, and the amount of cajoling, blowing bubbles, truck stickers and cookies required to convince him otherwise motivated me to put his younger sister on the potty at 6 months of age. In those early days of potty training a baby and a toddler at once, my baby was pooping on the potty more often than he was. So, let me add my own two cents about the benefits of early potty training.
Eco-novice's 2 Greatest Benefits of Early Potty Training
- Babies are not yet set in their ways. By starting before 1, you avoid the major power struggles you may have with a 2-year-old if you wait until 2 to have him use the potty for the first time.
- Fewer diaper rashes and a healthier bum.
So how do you practice early potty training? Stay tuned for my next post to find out! Or read my past potty training posts. Apparently, I have been following Lekovic's phases of early potty training without even knowing it!
For more tips, tricks, and tales from early potty training, visit my Early Potty Training page.
How did you decide when to begin potty training your child?
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