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Natural Potty Training

Doing What Comes Naturally

How did they do it?

Have you also wondered how women over the centuries dealt with training their infants to manage bodily functions without the aid of disposable diapers and potty chairs?  How did they do it? It seems it was just one of those things that was learned and passed on.  No books were written about it and it is just now making its way to the western world.

Today there is a growing movement (pardon the pun) of mothers who are learning and using methods of handling the elimination issues of their offspring in a manner similar to the way mothers of old handled them.  There are a number of names attached to this method of toilet training, including infant potty training, elimination communication, trickle treat, potty whispering  (you've got to like that one), mother training, potty untraining and natural infant hygiene. 

With this method it is possible to work with infants from birth until they're fully trained - which can be at 15 months.  Older babies can be trained using this method, even if they've been in diapers - it just requires some adjustment.

Natural infant hygiene

Natural infant hygiene seems a better name for this type of training since an infant can't sit on a "potty" and the method is more about communication and being in a connected bond together than about actually training the baby.  It's about learning the baby's rhythms and being able to communicate effectively together - listening, observing and responding.  And, it turns out that babies are really a lot more with it than we think. 

In our western world, we've accepted the theory that newborns, because of their apparent helplessness, are unable to control their urges.  We teach them to use diapers rather than helping them avoid having those nasty wet pieces of cloth or paper attached to their bodies.  With the natural potty training method, when mom thinks it's time to go, she gently and securely holds baby over the preferred toilet place and makes an audible sound which the baby will soon associate with elimination.  The "toilet" can be the bathroom sink, a bowl, basin, tub or the great outdoors.  When the baby is older, he can sit between mother's legs on the toilet.

Baby can do it-can you?

Most babies from birth don't like to be in a wet diaper.  We know that because when they wet or defecate in their diapers they cry.  You'd think we would figure something out here, but we've been so programmed to diapering a baby, that we train the baby to sit in a wet diaper and then work like crazy to change the habit when they get a little older. 

It appears a normal, healthy infant is not only in touch with his bodily functions, he is communicating them constantly. If those signals are not being heard, then he will stop communicating and become conditioned to his current status.  Then he becomes traumatized when the rules change and we try to get him to do what was natural for him from the beginning.

Just as the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, so the concept goes that it takes the family to help the baby learn natural hygiene.  It's natural, it's possible and while it takes time, diligence and patience, just think of how great the reward is for both baby and mom.  Who wouldn't love to skip the two years or more of dirty diapers?

 

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