If You Believe You Can Potty Train A Newborn I Have A Bridge To Sell You

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 

Australian mother Ulla Krause has been potty training her child since he was three weeks old. He’s almost one now, and is communicating his bathroom needs to his mother through sounds, she claims. “An ‘aahh’ means a bowel movement is on the way and at night ‘eh eh’ means he needs to go.” Oh, really? “HAHAHAHA” means “potty training a three-week-old is an exercise in futility.”

From the Daily Telegraph:

… she admitted the hardest months were between two and four because the practice had became a project – “I was so keen to catch every wee and poop” – she said Lucas adapted to using an EcoBabyloo (which retails for about $100), although her husband is busy with work so he decided not to help with his wife’s training method.

If you are the one doing the timing, looking for cues, and holding your child over the potty so he can go — you’re not potty training your child. You’re proving you’ve trained yourself to watch for cues and react.

Krause says, “I learned to watch for his signs after a breastfeed because there was a lot going in, so something had to come out, and he’s also very regular in the morning and after a nap. Babies basically follow an adult’s rhythm but on a speedier scale – it’s more my accident if he wees in the nappy.”

If you want to spend the entire day staring at your infant so you can claim he’s potty trained — so be it. But staring at your child all day and periodically holding him over a potty for months on end is not potty training — it’s a mother-effing waste of time. Think of all the books you could have read. Or the sweaters you could have knit. Or the foreign languages you could have mastered. Or the episodes of Orange Is The New Black you could have watched.

Potty training children in infancy is not a new concept — Elimination Communication speaks to the idea that kids are born potty trained, and we basically train them to become used to sitting in soiled diapers. I guess that’s one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is that cloth and disposable diapers allow parents the freedom of not staring at their kids all day, hoping to catch them in time to get them to a toilet before they pee all over the carpet.

If you potty train a child before they can get themselves to a toilet — they’re not really potty trained. They’re being sped to a toilet by an attentive parent. If I look at my child, think she needs to pee, and rush her to the bathroom for months on end — she’s not trained. No judgment on parents who have the time and inclination to do this, but calling it “potty training” is a stretch. A big one.

Related post: 10 Reasons To Delay Potty Training

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