A new mom will quickly learn when baby is telling her that he is tired or hungry. Baby will also tell you when he is about to soil his diaper – or ‘eliminate’ in the jargon. The signs are usually a grunting and moving into a certain position. My son used to get this far away look on his face and he would be very noisy so that everyone around him knew what was on the way!
Many moms in America are now practicing ‘elimination communication’ whereby they watch baby for signs that he is ready to ‘eliminate’ and then dangle him over the toilet or a potty. The technique does require virtually constant observation of the baby but apparently baby soon learns the procedure and knows that if he grunts hard enough it saves him having to sit around with a diaper full of you-know-what!
The savings achieved through having to buy far fewer diapers are considerable, and of course you would be doing your bit to help the environment.
Potty training at the ‘traditional’ age of around 2-3 can be a real battle and a scary time for a kid. My daughter stubbornly refused to use either a potty or the toilet for weeks and finally succumbed only when we bribed her with the promise of a new dolly! Starting much earlier would spare you both but the technique does require constant attention and, for this reason, some experts ‘pooh-pooh’ the idea (sorry!) of starting potty training so early. Heather Welford of the National Childbirth Trust believes most parents will be too busy to watch baby all day and says ‘I think it will always be something practiced by a minority of parents doing it for ideological reasons such as being closer to the baby or to help save the environment’. Two good reasons I would have thought.