A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living
by Laurie Bouke
This was not the first book I read on the subject of infant potty training (also called elimination communication) but it is certainly the most in-depth resource I found. The idea is that instead of using diapers, you can learn what signals your baby gives when they need to eliminate, teach them a cue, and have them go in the toilet or a small pot. Infant Potty Training contains detailed explanations of the method, compares it with the more conventional toilet training (at toddler age), examines misconceptions about infant potty training, relates stories and testimonials from parents in the US and other countries who used this method, and includes a survey of toilet training methods (and attitudes) in different cultures, as well as an extensive reference guide for further information. By far the most useful part to me was the first section, which not only explains how to learn mutual communication with your infant about elimination needs, but also outlines how to teach an older infant, how to use the method in combination with diapers, how to involve other caregivers and handling the inevitable accidents and setbacks.
This method is certainly not for everyone. If you're uncomfortable with bodily functions, the myriad of photos illustrating infants urinating or defecating can be very unpleasant, and the idea of things like baby peeing in a sink or having repeated accidents on the floor seems downright unsanitary. We tried this method but began rather late; I switched my daughter to cloth diapers at eight months and began introducing the potty at nine months. The ideal age to begin using EC seems to be newborn to three months. I combined some conventional methods with the ones outlined in this book, since she was older. She ended up being pretty reliable about using the potty at just over a year. My husband pointed out several times that we might as well have just done conventional toilet training; she was "completely potty trained" about the same time as other kids who never used EC. Still, I feel that I had some success and who can tell if she would have easily gone through potty training at two or three years old? If I have another child, I would try this method from day one.
Rating: 4/5 ........ 492 pages, 2002