While early potty training is popular in countries such as Africa, it has not been embraced in the United States. In fact in some countries, such as India, babies often go bare bottom from birth and parents practice infant potty training from the time their baby is just weeks old. Most U.S. children begin potty training between the ages of 2 and 3.
Elimination communication is an early potty training method that involves learning an infant’s elimination pattern, communication and body language. Many parents start practicing elimination communication from their child’s birth. Constantly watch your child and monitor him for signs that he needs to urinate or have a bowel movement. These signs may include grunting and grimaces. When you think your baby has the urge to go, place him on the potty and make a “sssss” sound to teach him to associate the sound with elimination.
Pre-Potty Training Skills
While age is one factor when determining potty training readiness, to be successfully potty trained a child must have mastered some specific skills. Pre-potty training skills include being able to dress and undress herself from the waist down, understanding and verbally communicating what pee and poop are, and being comfortable sitting on the potty while dressed.
Insisting that he sit on the potty at consistent times throughout the day is one way to support successful toileting habits. Sitting your child on the potty upon waking, before sleeping and before and after eating can help establish a consistent toileting routine. Children who are introduced to a consistent potty training routine early are less likely to resist potty training.
Having your child watch you use the toilet is a powerful tool for teaching her to use the potty successfully. Each time you go to the bathroom, take your child with you and explain what you are doing. After you use the toilet, sit your child on the potty and encourage her to repeat your actions.
Allowing your child to be naked from the waist down can help facilitate successful potty training. When a young child is naked and pees, there is no mistake that something big just happened. Since there is nothing to catch the urine, their legs get wet and there’s a puddle on the floor. When this happens, parents are able to quickly explain to the child that she urinated and promptly direct her to sit on the potty. After two or three times of urinating this way, most children make the connection and head to the potty when they feel the need to urinate.