Jeffrey Bender, MD, a pediatric infectious-disease specialist at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, and Rosemary She, MD, a pathologist/microbiologist at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, teamed up together to potty train their third child just days after delivery. Their method? Using a process called "elimination communication."
While this diaper alternative isn't exactly new, it certainly is fascinating. Elimination communication involves observing your infant’s natural timing, body language, and cues to figure out when they need to go. Then, you're supposed to hold the baby over a toilet, sink, or mini toilet while making noises like "shhh" to simulate running water.
It's worth acknowledging that some medical experts doubt whether babies can truly achieve full bladder control until they are at least 18 months old. But Bender and She gave very different thoughts after their successful experience with their newborn.
"Contrary to the notion that infants relieve themselves randomly and constantly throughout the day, infants naturally eliminate at predictable times, such as on waking or after feeding," wrote the parents in the editorial.
Certainly, the idea that you can potty train a baby is not realistic for every parent, especially taking into consideration the wide variety of personal and professional schedules out there. Furthermore, it's an extremely personal decision for every parent when and how to potty train their child.
But for parents interested in reducing waste and the amount of diaper changing they have to do, this just might be an option.