Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why Potty Train BEFORE age 2

When my oldest daughter was about 18 months old I started asking my friends and family about potty training and when I should start and how do I know if she's ready. I got all sorts of conflicting answers. Some were surprised she was not potty trained yet, while others said wait until she's 3 or 4. So I decided to wait until she was 2 1/2 years old. It was the worst experience ever. There was a lot of mess, a lot of temper tantrums and battles of will, and more. It was not easy. It was difficult. I assumed that potty training was just that way. It can never be any way else: it's just horrible by nature.

Then I had another baby, a boy. When he was about 14 months old or so, I stumbled upon the Baby Signs® program and incidentally, the Baby Signs® Potty Training program. It talked about a revolutionary new way to potty train before age 2. I decided to give it a shot and bought the potty training kit. I started training my son at 17 months old. I figured it wouldn't make potty training any worse, at the very least it might help a bit. But I wasn't sure if he could
really potty train before age 2. I was amazed. Potty training was actually FUN! It was fun for me and my boy. It was so much EASIER with the Baby Signs Potty Training kit. I read the book that came with the kit and learned so many things that I didn't know and didn't understand the first time around with my daughter. The book was written by child development experts Drs. Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn with Ann Supanklang, M.Ed. It gives wonderful advice on the entire potty training process and answers many parents frequently asked questions. I often wish I had had this book and this kit when I was potty training my daughter. Since I can't go back in time, I hope to help others become more informed on the benefits of potty training so they don't repeat my mistakes from my first potty training experience. I also hope to share in the fun and ease I got to enjoy the second time around using the Baby Signs® Potty Training Kit with my son.

Potty Train By 2!

Top reasons to Potty Train Before Age 2:

  • Avoid a battle of wills
  • Avoid an ingrained habit of going potty in a diaper
  • Avoid "crash course" potty training to meet preschool deadlines
  • Avoid health problems such as urinary tract infections and chronic constipation
  • Helps the environment by reducing the amount of diapers going in landfills each year
  • Saves money
Later Training Is Problematic for Parents and Children
Since the 1960s, diaper companies have actively promoted a ‘modern approach’ to potty training in which parents are advised to wait until their child is “ready”—sometime after age 2—to start training. This advice implies that later potty training will be easier, with children practically training themselves. In truth, potty training after 2 is actually more difficult. Why? Because, as the term “the terrible twos” implies, this is an age when children begin to say “No!” to everything. As a result, potty training all too often becomes a battle of wills, especially because eliminating in a diaper has become a well-ingrained habit that’s hard to break and also because parents, frantic over looming preschool deadlines, frequently resort to pressure tactics. There are other consequences of late training as well, according to Dr. Susan Goodwyn. “After age 2, children develop the ability to experience shame and embarrassment about bodily functions which can lead to additional problems, such as low self-esteem and stoolwithholding,
a tendency that can result in chronic constipation.”

Later Training Is Bad for the Environment
Later potty training also results in many more diapers in our landfills—1500-2000 more per child per year, with each diaper estimated to take up to 500 years to decompose. In addition, according to the National Geographic documentary “Human Footprint,” manufacturing a year’s worth of diapers for a single baby requires 759 pints of crude oil, 286 pounds of plastic, and 1.8 large trees. What’s more, laid end to end, the number of diapers used in one year in the United States alone (18 billion) would circle the world 90 times! While some parents believe that changing to cloth diapers alleviates the negative impact on the environment, many experts cite serious concerns about the increased use of energy, water and chemicals required for laundering cloth diapers. Clearly, decreasing a child’s stay in diapers by a single year—from 36 to 24 months—would have asignificant and very positive impact on the environment.

New Approach Aims to Reverse Trend
Concerned about the detrimental effects of later and later potty training, Dr. Goodwyn and Dr. Acredolo developed an innovative new approach—Potty Training Made Easy with the Baby Signs® Program—that makes early training not only possible, but also fun and easy for parents and babies. Based on their 2-year investigation of potty training practices, they concluded that the ideal age to start potty training is around 12 months. “Because this is a time when verbal language is limited,” says Dr. Acredolo, “and because effective communication is important to successful potty training, we saw a natural role for our bestselling Baby Signs® Program. By using a few simple potty-time signs, babies can easily tell their parents they need to go potty even before they can talk.”

Success at Any Age
Potty Training Made Easy with the Baby Signs® Program has been field tested with children from 9 months to 4 years with great success. Jennifer Macris, a mother of five who used the program, says, “I potty trained my four older children before using this program with my youngest son, and I can definitely say that this is the most fun and effective program out there. It works!”

Potty Train by 2 with the Baby Signs Potty Training Kit