Kate: the first year: Elimination/potty training

Kate is 4 years old now, I’m ready to finally share with the world about how Angie and I decided to raise her.  Our choices and methods are extreme and it caused us a lot of isolation with other parents, but it was all worth it.

When Kate was 3 month old, Angie and I felt that something was not right about keeping a baby in diapers where she sits in pee and poo even for just a few minutes.  Maybe it’s because we were Chinese or maybe it’s because we like to question the accepted norm in this society.

So, Angie did what she did best, she researched and found this book called Infrant Potty Training by Laurie Boucke Angie also found a large online community of non-asian mothers who were doing the same thing.

For an overview: http://www.timl.com/ipt/
“Babies are smarter than we think! The big mistake that people make is to presume that a newborn baby is unaware of going to the toilet. We assume an infant is incapable of toilet learning since infants are small and uncoordinated and also because they cannot walk or talk. An infant is helpless in so many ways that it is hard for Westerners to imagine such a tiny being could be aware of peeing and pooping. It is even harder for us to believe that an infant has some control over elimination. With these preconceived and narrow views, we encourage and teach our babies to be unconcerned about wetting and soiling diapers. In short, we teach our infants to use diapers as a toilet.”

First steps: Angie put Kate without diapers on top of a large waterproof sheet and observed Kate’s peeing cycles and noticed Kate’s signals right before she went to pee.  Kate would do little grunts for pee, a little bit longer grunt for poo.  The first signs of communication!

Then the hard work began, every time Kate grunted, we would hold her over a sink or toilet and whistle and wait for the pee / poo to come.  There were a lot of misses but also a lot of successes.  It was very very difficult especially when we were outside driving, restaurants, I would have to leave or get off to hold her over a little potable toilet or just a bag with newspapers and whistle and pee her.

The payoff: at 6 months, Kate was completely off diapers and she hasn’t had a soiled diaper and she looks so cute in her Poquito Pants

Cute Poquito Pants

She was essentially potty trained.  Her communication with us is also very heightened  both in the elimination part as well as  all other aspects such as eating, comfort.

This may seem very extreme to most people but think about this:  We expect dogs and cats to be potty trained very early.  Most Asian countries have babies potty trained when they are 1 years old because they can’t afford diapers.  Also why leave a baby sitting in their own pee and poo?  Why try to potty train your child at 2 or 3 years old when it’s going to be so much harder and there are so much more issues to deal with?  The work needs to be done, it’s your choice whether you want to do it early on or later.

Next blog: “Kate: the first year: night time potty training”

 

Tony Tam

Senior Principal Architect @ Splunk Founder of ImpactfulEngineer.org & SFBadminton.org