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Potty Train Your Newborn?!

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"Blossom" star Mayim Bialik thinks babies are born potty trained, and practiced "elimination communication" with her second son as soon as he was born! No more dirty diapers? So she says ...

baby on toilet

In an interview with People, former child star Mayim Bialik talks about potty training her second son starting at 2 days old using Elimination Communication, or EC. (She started using EC on her first son when he was six months old.) EC is a form of potty training that's practiced out of necessity in many underdeveloped parts of the world. It trains infants not to pee or poo in diapers by the parent picking up on the cues of when a baby eliminates. They then make a vocal sound like "shhh" and rush to the potty, holding the baby over it so they can go -- diaper-free. Mayim says she began training her newborn son at two days old, which to us seems extremely young. We asked our expert, pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson, her opinion.

Though Dr. Cara has taken care of patients whose parents are advocates of EC, she says there are also problems with it. For example, if kids are being pushed to go diaper-free, they may develop issues like constipation or urinary tract infections. She tells us the practice, though it had a rise in popularity several years ago, isn't that common in the U.S. and that it should be reserved for kids who really seem ready: "Most kids are fine and they do fine with it, but make note that some just aren't ready and they can develop issues. Run it by your pediatrician if you're not sure."

Of course, there are some benefits, too: Dr. Cara says that the average baby in the U.S. uses between 5-8,000 diapers until they are potty trained. There is a huge environmental and cost burden on buying diapers. However, newborns can have a bowel movement every two hours, so being able to do EC training is asking a lot of the parents. Dr. Cara says that for working parents, it's even more complicated: "No daycare is going to follow EC practices. Maybe a nanny would do it, but a daycare won't."

The bottom line? Dr. Cara is not against EC, but keep in mind it requires a lot of effort, there's no medical necessity for it, and you want to make sure your child does not develop issues because of it.


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24 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lyndsey June 17, 2009, 3:08 PM

Wow, that was an extremely narrow-minded article about EC…a lot of the comments seem to be on the same page. I hate seeing that people immediately bash whatever they don’t understand…

We EC with our little guy…we started when he was 2 months old, and at 5.5 months, we’re ECing full-time and LOVING IT! We go diaper free quite a lot, and we are able to catch just about all his poops and pees. His little bottom is never wet or poopy. As a matter of fact, we started ECing because he had gotten his first diaper rash and we wanted to give him a lot of bare bottom time to help clear it up. While we were leaving him without a diaper, we would hold him over a sink whenever he cued us that he had to ‘potty’.

I think the critical misunderstanding that everyone seems to have about EC, is that it is the NATURAL way to deal with a baby’s waste. It is NOT NATURAL to put your baby in a diaper and train him that he is to go ‘potty’ in a diaper…and THEN 2 or more years later, TRAIN him to go in a potty. With EC, we treat going ‘potty’ as a part of our normal body functions…there is no training, there is only a very strong communication between baby and family. We respond to HIS needs by offering him a potty time. In return, he is happier, experiences movement milestones at an earlier age (due to the freedom from a bulky diaper), and NEVER sits in his own feces or urine.

I’m not sure what the article meant by ECing causing problems such as constipation and UTIs. If anything, your baby suffers LESS constipation. As for UTI’s; he never sits in poop! He never sits in a wet diaper! Where would you GET a UTI from then?

Sherrie Williams June 19, 2009, 2:16 AM

First of all i want to second Jen that a narrowminded article should expect narrowminded comments. this is crazy, people are so judgmental! EC is not the same as potty training. EC is communciating (its in the name.) my son and i have such a different bond becuase we EC then if i jsut changed his diaper. we started at 3 months with EC our goal was once a day but as we got started i found that i was so insink with my son i could read him better than i gave myself credit and so we would put him on the potty more, he completly understand and will signal to me that he wants his potty and now when he is done or doesn’t have to go (i do missread sometimes) he stands up to signal that he is done. I don’t believe this is pushing my child in anyway this is simply giving him the benefit of the doubt that he is capable of communicating with me, its one more way for he and i to bond together. but then again i’m a breastfeeding babywearing mom who believes in doing everything ondemand so i am sure all of you would say i’m spoiling my child to.

Sherrie Williams June 19, 2009, 2:23 AM

oh and one more thing you don’t have to run your child to a bathroom every minute, they don’t go as often as soon of you described for one and for 2 you can buy cheap potties to have around the house to set them on whenever they need to go. its not as time consuming as some of you described, no more so than breastfeeding or nurturing your child.

xenical dosage  November 21, 2010, 11:09 PM

I do not know how to rest, but I liked it.


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