Friday, January 15, 2010

Great Expectations

Infant potty training might seem far out or bizarre to some people (despite the fact that worldwide, it's actually more common than waiting until 2 years or older to potty train). Because it's so uncommon here in America, many of us who delve into IPT have low expectations. After all, there are very few books on the subject, and how can we really know something like this really works when we've never seen it done with our own eyes? However, having low expectations can lead to less than favorable results. I remember reading about a study done one time where teachers who were told that their students were gifted; it turned out that the students excelled. Teachers were then told that the incoming students were average; it turned out that the students only did average. Both groups of students were actually the same, intellectually speaking, and so the only difference was in the teachers' expectations.

So, what does this tell us about IPT? If you go into IPT with low expectations and self-doubt, you might not end up doing that well with infant potty training. If you go into it with high expectations and confidence, you'll do great. Many people I know insisted that it was only because my firstborn was so smart that I had any success with IPT, that most babies "couldn't" do it. However, after doing all the research and seeing that my second baby is doing even better, I know that it has so much more to do with expectation.

Do you still have your doubts? Think about this: IPT at one point was the only way. Then came the belief that babies shouldn't start toilet training until 6 months. Then came the belief that it was best to wait to potty train at a year. When I was a baby (in the 80s) my mom was told to have me out of diapers by 2 years. Nowadays it's common to hear not to potty train your baby until 3 years old or even older (when they show signs of "readiness"). If you go into IPT having the expectation that babies really can't potty train until they're 3, you probably won't have IPT success.

On the other hand, if you have the expectation that your baby is born potty trained, and she is able to communicate with you when she needs to go, you'll find IPT to be quite easy. This is not to say that you won't have misses, because you will! Overall though, you will find that your baby is able to use the potty, instead of her diaper for her elimination needs.

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