I wrote a bit about this on my baby blog but never here. I first heard of Infant Potty Training or Elimination Communication (EC) when my daughter was born. However I read this book from the library that made it sound really complicated and gave up, oh, in about an HOUR! LOL
Well, when K was born I did a little more research and found this great site DiaperFreeBaby.org. It explained it in much simpler terms and was very encouraging. They recommend starting no later than 4 mos...well K was 4 mos old by that time but I jumped right in. I had low expectations, as they recommended I wanted it to be as stress free as possible and if we saved a few diapers--bonus!!
The way to start is unbelievably simple. Every body has to *go* when they first wake up, right? It's no different with babies. When K awoke I immediately held him over the bathroom sink or a little potty we had for him...if it was over the sink, we made funny faces in the mirror and he just loved that. When he actually *went* I made an ssssss sound. I made that sound each and every time.
I was so surprised how easy and stress free it was. No pressure, just responding to what baby was doing naturally and we were saving a a few diaper changes. When we were out of the house--it was even easier. I was less distracted with home life and we could go a full day using the same clean & dry cloth diaper. Amazing.
If he was fussy, first thing I did was take him to the restroom--I'd say about %90 of the time, that was the reason. He was relieved and I had a happy baby. It was way too simple not to tell others about it.
The basic guidelines are simple:
EC upon waking (in the morning or after a nap)
EC before you leave anywhere.
EC upon arrival anywhere.
EC any other time you think about it.
K is almost 20 months old and I take him to the restroom while we are at home whenever anyone else is going. Also after any diaper change and also right before bed time. He will usually respond. It's just like regular potty training at this point: take him to the potty often and whenever I think about it in addition to the simple guidelines above. There is no performance pressure. He recognizes and can tell me when he needs to go, if I am paying attention. Naturally, sometimes he'd rather PLAY. ;-)
I know his cues and body language, just like I know when he is tired or hungry. He isn't really running around "diaper free", we use cloth diapers. Even when we went on our road trip and used disposables, we still EC on the road...it made for a pretty happy and comfortable baby.
I knew this was an eco-friendly diapering alternative because it saves diapers plus babies usually potty train at an earlier age etc. The big surprise and bonus was how much more bonded we would become and how much more self confident I would feel in my parenting skills. Being able to recognize your baby's needs and respond accordingly, having fun along the way, is awesome!!!