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Paperback: 492 pages
Publisher: Colin White & Laurie Boucke; 2 edition (April 2002)
Encouraging, thorough and inspiring, my favourite part is the detailed section on babies' signals and cues to watch for. This book taught me how to read and respond to my baby. She was fractious until we learned how to help her stay dry, and now she is much more content. Plus it's fun doing this with her and she enjoys it. There are lots of helpful testimonials by parents who have used infant potty training with one or more children. The cross-cultural reports by doctors and anthropologists are fascinating too. I also have Laurie Boucke's Potty Whispering DVD and recommend it too.
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Does it work? Yes. Does it work for every family? Probably not, but does any aspect of parenting? This book will give you a good indication of whether it's for you or not. It's my favourite book on the topic. My comments are about the 2008 version with colour photos. There are four parts.
Part 1 has a chapter on how to get started with infants; one on how to get started with older babies; one about baby signals including descriptions, sketches and photos; and a review of medical research. It offers a lot of practical advice for handling challenges that may arise such as a potty pause, and lists of tips for different situations and ages. It discusses the environmental benefits, and dispels myths that many of us encounter.
Parts 2 and 3 contain detailed testimonials by parents from different countries, including one about a family with twins. These are inspirational and supportive.
Part 4 is about cross-cultural studies, with anthropological reports from many different cultures. In my experience, no other book of this genre comes close to the wealth of material in this section.
Throughout, the graphics are most helpful, showing many different positions, types of equipment and potty places to keep children interested. Compared to other books, this one has many more photos plus they are large and clear.
The word Training in the title concerned me before I read the book, but after reading the explanation it no longer bothers me: "The word training is used in the positive sense of a loving exchange between mother and baby and should never be misconstrued in the negative sense of pressure, rigidity and coercion." This spirit of parent-child cooperation is encouraged in different ways including the section about the no-nos (for example, no punishing, no negativity).
In short, it's a classic well worth reading.
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205 of 211 people found the following review helpful
A future without poopy diapers26 April 2004
- Published on Amazon.com
This book is a compendium of materials about natural potty training from infancy. It is an expansion of the author's ideas that were originally presented in a small (self-published?) volume called "Trickle Treat." The book is divided into 4 parts. The first section is entitled "The concept and the method", and it includes detailed descriptions of how to establish communication bonds between infants and parents concerning elimination needs, a history of toilet training methods, a comparison between infant toilet training and toddler toilet training, and myths about infant toilet training. The second section is entitled "Testimonials USA". It contains brief descriptions from mothers across the US telling how they put the concept into practice, the degree of success they met, and how they and their babies related to the method. The third section is called "Testimonials around the World". It is quite similar in content to the second section. The fourth section is called cross-cultural studies, and it provides a survey of toilet training information about cultures spanning the entire globe. The book includes a section of endnotes, 12 pages of references, and an index.
The author stumbled on this method of infant toilet training shortly after giving birth to her third child. Her first two children had been trained conventionally as toddlers. But Boucke was quite fortunate in having a friend from India when she had her third child who told her about how infants and mothers learned how to take care of elimination needs without diapers back in India. Boucke asked her friend for more information about how infant elimination was taken care of in India, and the friend helped her train her baby.
This infant training method involves establishing signals between mother and infant for elimination. At first, the mother simply predicts or observes when the infant is eliminating, and holds the child in a specific position while making a specific sound. Within hours or days even a newborn infant becomes aware of the position and sound and begins to eliminate on cue. Soon it begins to signal to the mother when it is about to eliminate so that she can hold it in position over the pot. As the infant gets old enough to move around on its own, it will crawl to the pot of its own accord when it needs to go, and by the time the child is walking, the child is already trained, without tears, arguments or battles. Of course, this is the ideal case, and no child is ever trained without accidents.
One of the most important predictors of success with the infant training method is the age when the method is begun, the idea being that it's much easier not to teach children to mess in their diapers in the first place than to try to get them to unlearn this habit once it has become ingrained. For best success, Boucke recommends starting from day 1 and certainly before 6 months, although some patient parents have been able to use the method even from 1 year. Boucke also points out that it's not necessary to use the method all day long, so that children can still be in diapers in daycare if necessary, as long as it is used regularly at some point in the day. Many parents have even reported success after taking a long pause in the method because of extenuating circumstances- -as long as they had done some infant elimination training early, they found they could return to the method even after a few months of reverting to diapers.
In the testimonials section, parents report that the habits Boucke teaches are much more than simple toilet training- -the habits build a line of communication between infant and care-givers that is otherwise never experienced. In the end, it's not really the early toilet training successes that lasted in the memory of the parents, but the joy in understanding what their infants were trying to say to them. Parents whose infants are in diapers all the time are deaf on these points, hence their infants soon learn that communicating their elimination needs is futile, since the parents seem to want the child to go in the diaper. Parents using the infant training method also report that their children never experience diaper rash, and never have to sit around in poopy diapers. Indeed, after using the method, they find themselves utterly disgusted at the very thought of letting their infant wallow in a messy diaper. The environmental benefits of the method are obvious- -parents using this method simply take an end-run around the entire cloth versus disposable debate.
The range of information contained in the book is overwhelming, to the point that Boucke could have turned the volume into a graduate thesis. Some of the material in the last section, though interesting, isn't entirely relevant for parents trying to train their infants. This is particularly the case when Boucke discusses cultures where toilet training doesn't begin until late toddlerhood. In general, the book has some rough edges both editorially and with the type-setting, hence my giving it 4 stars instead of 5. However, the quality and importance of the information is so high that it should be read universally by all parents-to-be. (These latter problems have been addressed in the revised 2002 edition.)
98 of 104 people found the following review helpful
This book is priceless.6 Aug 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
This book is wonderful. After diapering three children with disposable diapers until they were 3+ years old I thought it would be time to try something new with my forth baby. I am now using cloth diapers and have been applying the elimination technique described in the book since my baby was about 2 weeks old.
I cannot tell how amazed I am about how successful this method is. Every morning when my baby wakes up I take off her diaper and hold her over a potty. She immediately poos and pees quite a bit. This is great because her diaper stays dry, which means less diaper rash for her and less laundry for me. During the rest of the day I manage to catch about 1/2 of the stuff that otherwise would go into the diaper. I feel especially empowered when I take off her dry diaper, let her pee and then put the same dry diaper back on.
I am by no means forcing my baby to go to the potty. I just try to respond to her cues as well as I can.
My daughter is relaxed about being taken to the potty. Sometimes she gets upset when I think she is done and put her diaper on too early. When I take it off for a second time and give it another try she immediately stops protesting and becomes calm again. I also have the impression that when she has to go, my baby waits until I take her to the potty.
I really enjoy the communication going on between me and my now 2-month-old baby.
It is true that people do not believe it when you tell them about infant potty training. On their visit my parents saw my baby go on the potty and said it was just a coincidence that she used it. They did not even change their minds after watching it for several consecutive days. After two months my mom finally believes me that the method is really working.
By the way: It does not matter whether you are using disposable diapers or cloth diapers. The technique aims on using less (or even no diapers, depending on how brave you are) in a shorter time than with conventional potty training.
Imagine how much money you could save and how much dirty diapers you won't have to handle.
I am convinced that, if I keep on doing what I am doing, over time my baby's diapers will stay dry during most of the day.
I can only recommend this book.
94 of 100 people found the following review helpful
Wow, it really works!15 April 2004
- Published on Amazon.com
I read this book and gave it a try last weekend with my 8 week old son. I was astounded when he not only immediately responded and understood, but seemed thrilled that I finally was paying attention to his cues! It seemed overwhelming before I actually tried it, and I was really unsure, but I am a complete believer now. You can do it as little or as much as you want to, it's not all or nothing. Try pottying your baby when they first wake up, either in the morning or from a nap and see for yourself! Highly recommended. I also love the second section that gives a very informative and fascinating review of how and when potty training is done by other cultures around the world. The majority of them use techniques like this!
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Infant Potty Training : A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted8 Jun 2000
- Published on Amazon.com
Laurie Boucke has uncovered the truth about babies! THEY ARE SMART! Infant Potty Training, has become more of a "how-to" book in our house, it has set a new standard for our parenting. I was longing for a more intimate relationship with my baby. As I gained understanding from Ms. Boucke's research I discovered that babies, even tiny, can and want to communicate. I feel that Laurie Boucke's book is a much needed revelation for our culture which has distanced itself from the children. I have recieved what I call Mother Training by reading the book, plus there is the perk; a baby who is out of diapers by age two or under! This book is a satisfying blend of research and straight talk. The only thing you will regret if you buy this book, is that you didn't have it sooner.
56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Infant Potty Training30 May 2000
Lynn M. Johnson
- Published on Amazon.com
With Infant Potty Training, by Laurie Boucke, new and expecting parents have at their fingertips easy-to-follow, stage-by-stage instructions and training tips. Parents learn how to develop signals and cues that baby quickly associates with elimination, and how to chart baby's elimination patterns. Parents also get tips on choosing comfortable positions and suitable containers that vary adaptively to baby's growing body and capabilities. The author also shares historical writings on early training, dispells myths, and discusses changes in attitudes and child-raising philosophies during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that greatly affected the Western world's move away from this natural method of toilet training. Along with stories of the author's personal experience with infant potty training and an abundance of research references, the book also includes an impressive number of shining testimonials which were gathered from families of different backgrounds, cultures, races, nationalities, lifestyles, and income/education levels. These demonstrate that infant toilet training is not limited to any particular society or group. Undoubtedly, an important concern is how infant potty training can accommodate busy life-styles. Boucke addresses this issue by showing parents how they can use, mold, and adapt this method to contemporary living with part-time potty training. She includes feasible advice for working, traveling, and home schooling parents on time-management, multiple caregivers, siblings, erratic pottying, potty strikes, and unexpected interruptions. While reading the book, it quickly becomes evident that this method logically parallels our current knowledge about brain development and the windows of early learning. What is especially appealing is that this method compliments and strengthens attachment and bonding. Notably, the book is endorsed by Prof. Marten W. deVries, MD. who has personally observed and researched this method, and who is currently Secretary General of the World Federation for Mental Health, and is a Professor of Social Psychiatry. There is also a favorable interview with pediatrician, Dr. Leah Lam, who is the Medical Director of CARES (Child Advocay Resource and Evaluation Team) at St. Lukes' Hospital in Boise, ID. In this day and age of longer training periods, endless diapers, and parental potty training frustrations, Infant Potty Training offers a much needed and refreshing alternative to current toilet training methods. Parents, caregivers, medical professionals, educators and parenting advisors, who strive to be on the cutting edge of child development and parenting information, will do well to explore this inspiring theory.