Wednesday, February 22, 2006

EC, IPT, etc by any other name would smell just as sweet?

Thanks to the wonders of playgroups, I was encouraged to start something with Peanut that's been at the back of my mind for some time.

Known most recently as EC - Elimination Communication or IPT - Infant Potty Training, the idea is the same. Getting your baby to use a potty rather than diapers from what conventional wisdom would consider an early, early, early stage.

My first brush with the concept came a few years ago when a friend of mine was holding her little son over a toilet during one visit. Though I don't recall his exact age, he was clearly less than a year old. My friend is from India and matter of factly says that's just the way its done. Diapers are hard to come by and you certainly don't find them in the villages....

Then I'd heard the fuss about EC in the news several months ago. And, now, thanks to one of our playgroup mamas, I've gained a mountain of information and guidance on how to do this myself. A few key web resources:

Infant Potty Training
Late Starters

Though after reading my own baby book and talking to my mom, I think Late Starters may be a misnomer. She had noted in my baby book that I started using the potty at 11 mos and another Finnish friend confirmed her sister's baby had been potty trained at 12 mos. Much literature about EC references the practice in countries like India and China, but overlooks that it seems to have been a commonplace occurance in European countries as well. I wonder how it is nowadays in Finland? or the Netherlands?

It seems a significant shift has occured in the past generations pushing children into diapers for longer periods of time (hmmm, could the diaper industry have anything to do with it??!!) and now a small resurgance is afoot. I sense that potty training takes a large time commitment and the growing number of American stay at home moms (or dads) is making young potty training possible.

As for us, Peanut and I are on week two. We had a slow start just getting to know 'how' we make this work. Then we had four days marked with some successes. Today was a dud. It'll be a journey and I believe that it will be like most things we've tried to teach Peanut; one day she'll just decide that she now knows how to do this and will demonstrate her skill with accuracy :-) (I hope)!

1 comment:

Maiju said...

It's already long time since I had a baby but I think in Finland we potty train babies rather early. Especially if the baby happens to be around a year-old during the summer she/he will probably be out big part of the day without diapers.

I started taking Jonna to bathroom after every meal at the 12 months age. We had a nice moment there singing and playing little games and every time she was able to deliver the backage. :)

Well, it might have been easier for her to learn to potty while she had had the cloth diapers. It's said that if a child feels the moisture in her diapers she will learn quicker why that happens etc. I don't know if it's true. Could be since a friend of mine was able to have her baby without diapers very early (I don't remember the exact age but it impressed me) after using cloth diapers all the time.

Go for it! I enjoyed the potty moments!!