Wednesday, September 30, 2009


What is IPT?
IPT stands for Infant Potty Training, and it's the process by which parents or caregivers teach their babies to eliminate in a potty, bowl, toilet, sink, or other receptacle, rather than in a diaper.

Are IPT and EC the same thing?
It depends on who you ask, but the short answer is yes, it refers to the same thing. From what I gather, some people don't like the word "training" as it conjures up some sort of coercive process, and they think the phrase "elimination communication" seems more positive. I like both phrases, because infant potty training is very self descriptive, while "elimination communication" focuses more on the signals the baby gives the parent when she needs to go potty. I find I get more positive feedback when I tell someone I practice infant potty training, than if use the term elimination communication (the latter requires more explanation.)

How do I start?
Read this. It will give you a brief overview of IPT and what to do when you're first starting. Then explore the rest of this site, using the table of contents. I've tried to order the table of contents to start at the basics and then go on to more advanced topics towards the end. As this site is on Blogger, that means that they are posted in chronological order, which is not necessarily the best way to learn about IPT, hence the table of contents. After you've fully explored that, then feel free to read my more current posts as a blog. My posts now are more of a real life look at IPT, the ups, the downs, and the tips and tricks.

Doesn't this take up every single second of your free time?
No, IPT is actually a very convenient thing to do with your baby. Once you're experienced, the average potty break will take the same amount of time as a diaper change.

Don't people think you're weird for doing this?
Overall, my husband and I have gotten very positive feedback from the people we tell. Most are incredulous at first of course, until or unless they see proof that it does truly work.

Are you some sort of hippie?
No. In fact, politically speaking, I'm a very conservative American who's totally in love with capitalism.

Can you do this part time, or is it an all or nothing venture?
Plenty of people do this part-time, either on the weekends, or just in the evenings when they're home from work. Do what works for you!

Can I still use diapers?
Absolutely! In fact, I used disposable diapers and trainers with my first child for the entire process, and with my second child, I've used cloth diapers and trainers with great success.

IPT seems like a lot of trouble. Is it worth it?
It's really not a lot of work, in my opinion. It is totally worth it. You'll definitely gain more of a window into your baby's world; IPT really does enhance the communication you have with her. You'll also save a lot of money, and you'll put fewer diapers in the landfill. Your baby will be happier, due to not pooping on herself, (how would you like to poop on yourself every day, multiple times a day?) so it's a win-win-win.

My baby won't go on the potty! What can I do?
First, relax. Babies need to be relaxed in order to go. Be sure to use cues. Know that around the world, this is how pottying is done. Most babies (worldwide) never even use diapers. That should give you a little bit of confidence, knowing that IPT is practiced successfully in other cultures. It's a mystery to me as to why it's not commonplace here. Especially with the whole "green movement."

When will my baby be fully potty trained?
It depends. All babies are different, from when they crawl to how fast they "get" IPT. It also depends on your consistency. My son was basically trained at around a year, meaning that misses were very rare, and he was consistently telling us he needed to go. My daughter is almost 7 months old as of this writing, and she's doing better at this age than my son did.


  1. Hey I just found your blog, this is just what I needed. I started to train my daughter when she was 18 months old, of course people thought I was crazy and that she wasnt ready but I still did it. Now she is almost 20 months and she really is doing well, but still has 2 accidents a day. I had to put her at day care last week and they are putting her on the potty every hour or so but had to put her in disposable pull ups which I think slows down the process as she can't feel she is wet :(.tonight she peed her pants like 3 times in a row I'm a little afraid she is regressing because of day care :( what do you think? I also noticed one of her molars is coming in, is that related?? Please you are a pro at this, any advice would be helpful. Even her pediatrician thinks Im starting too early!!! Thanks!

  2. Hi there Dorota, first of all, I am so sorry that I didn't see your comment until today. Perhaps the issue has worked itself out, but yes, I agree that pull ups tend to slow down progress. I think the best thing you could do would be to only do pull ups at day care, so that at least she's still going to keep getting the message that pee=wet when she's not there. Yes, most definitely teething can cause accidents to happen, and molars can be pretty intense! As far as pediatricians go, it wasn't that long ago that 18 months was standard and 2 was considered a late start. There's a pretty interesting history about the evolution of potty training age recommendations and the disposable diaper industry.