Everything Eco-novice Knows About Early Potty Training

{This page is continually updated.}

Early potty training isn't about never putting a diaper on your newborn. It isn't about getting your 9-month-old to pee every single time in a potty. It's about sometimes giving your baby an opportunity to do her business somewhere besides her diaper. Early potty training is as simple as taking off your baby's diaper and plopping her on the potty.

I first delved into early potty training (a.k.a. elimination communication) when attempting to potty train my first child around the age of 2 1/2. I found it maddening that he would sit for 30 minutes on the potty, put his underpants back on and immediately poop in them. How could that be normal? Out of frustration, and just for the heck of it, I decided to put my second child (then 8 months old) on the toilet and see what happened. She pooped, and I was hooked.

This page includes every post I have written about early potty training, including:

So if you are interested in learning more about early potty training, read on!

Early Potty Training 101

A Brief History of Potty Training
In addition to outlining a brief (and enlightening) history of potty training, this post discusses why you should ignore the AAP guidelines for potty readiness, which are based upon myths and theories that have been proven false in published medical studies.

10 Benefits of Early Potty Training
This post describes various medical benefits for early potty training, as well as Eco-novice's own view on the greatest benefits of early potty training.

How to Potty Train a Baby
This post introduces three basic stages of early potty training.

The AAP guidelines for potty readiness (e.g., child can put on/ take off clothes) are based on outdated and debunked theories about potty training. So I decided to create my own list of signs or indications that now is a great time to start putting your child on the potty. See if any of Eco-novice's "signs of potty readiness" describe your child!

Tips and Tricks for Successful Early Potty Training

Top Ten Tricks for Early Potty Training Success
Just want a quick summary of my best tips and tricks for early potty training success? Start with this recent post. It includes links to more in depth information for most of the suggestions.

The Best Potties for Early Potty Training
Most potties are designed for toddlers. This post describes our favorite potties for potty training those less than one-year-old and up.

Favorite Potty Training Stuff
An earlier post that also includes our least favorite potties as well as training pantsbooks and DVDs about potty training and prizes.

I Love Board Books of Baby Faces
Entertainment is an important part of success with early potty training. These board books have served me well during potty training.

Comparing Brands of Reusable Training Pants
A comparison of four different brands of cloth training pants test driven extensively on kids from 9 months to 3 years. I discuss materials, absorption, how waterproof they are, ease of pulling up and down, fit, bulk, comfort, when we prefer each variety, and price.

Absorbent Yet Trim: Hanna Andersson Training Unders
Our new favorite! Hanna Andersson's Training Unders are an absorbent training pant that fits and feels like underwear and is made of 100% organic cotton.
These are times during the day when it is either especially easy to put your baby on the potty or when he is especially likely to use the potty, or both!

Top Methods of Entertaining a Child on the Potty
How to get your child to sit on the potty and stay on the potty long enough to relax and do her business: this is one of the central dilemmas of potty training. Whatever age your child may be, here are some ideas for getting them to take a seat and make a deposit.

What clothing you put on your baby influences how often you are willing to plop her on the pot!

How to Clean the Potty
Cleaning pasty poop off the potty is a lot more fun than cleaning it off your child's bottom.

Early Potty Training My Third Child

My latest adventure in early potty training.  If you'd like to read an overview that shows the process from beginning to end, this post provides a summary of my experience potty training my third child from 4 months to 2 years. The links below provide the gory details for each stage of the process as I lived it.

Early Potty Training My Second Child

My first adventure in early potty training. Read a tale of early potty training from start to finish!

Potty Training My First Child When He Was a Preschooler 

This experience provided the motivation for trying early potty training with my second child.

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  1. This is so helpful. I've read some about EC, but haven't taken the plunge yet. Seeing it all broken down makes it seem more manageable. I'm going to read Diaper Free Before 3 based on your recommendation. Thanks.

  2. I am so inspired after reading all the posts you linked to on this page! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and advice!

    I am about to start my third child, with a similar approach, but she is now 17 months old. I so wish that I had started earlier! Especially since she has sensitive skin and we battle diaper rashes, which I never experienced with my other two.

    My middle child I started (with the same approach you use for early training) at 18 months, and only because she badly wanted to. I forced myself to follow her lead, and by the time I put her in underwear at two years old, she was just about fully potty trained.

    My first... I started him somewhat "early" also, at 21 months, and never felt like we were making much headway until he was 3.5 years old, and suddenly stopped having accidents one day.

    Because of the trial I was still in the throes of experiencing with him, I VERY reluctantly followed the lead of my 18 month old daughter, and gave her the chance to prove herself. I was so inspired by her success, that I resolved to do the same thing with my second daughter, starting at 18 months. Since that is coming right up, and since my SIL who used the same "early potty-training" methods you described, starting at 4 months, tells me that her daughter's potty training period is almost over, I thought I would "jumpstart" my child, and start now instead of in a month. I found this webpage, read all the posts you linked to, and regret enormously that I didn't begin very early with any of my three. If we have any more children, I am DEFINITELY going to use this approach!

    Once again, thanks many times over for sharing!

    1. Thank you for the kind words! I am so pleased to hear that this information has been helpful to you. Best of luck!


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