Infant Potty Training Update

I’m happy to report that our 13 month old is going strong with infant potty training!  To be clear, she still wears cloth diapers and our only focus is getting her to poop on the potty.  She started pooping on the potty at around seven months and her progress is continuing.  It means fewer poopy diapers to wash and strong steps toward actual potty training when she’s ready.  We even toted our little potty seat to Maryland with us on our family vacation and she used it many times while at her grandparents’ house.

During the trip, she started using the sign for “poop” which was even more exciting.  While we were driving home after nearly twelve hours of travel, she did the sign in the back seat along with the sign for help.  We were so exhausted and shocked that she would be able to tell us, that we didn’t stop.  When we did arrive home, she had pooped in her diaper and we felt horrid that we didn’t listen to her.

That’s the down side of this infant potty training business.  Yesterday we were on our way to blueberry picking when she needed to poop so we trooped back home, only to find she wasn’t ready.  She then filled her pants at the blueberry patch.  We have just the one potty seat so I don’t plan on toting it with us everywhere, especially when she isn’t always comfortable pooping in public restrooms.  Still, every chance that we make it to the toilet is one less poopy diaper to deal with!

I only share these stories because even though I used cloth diapers with my first child, it didn’t even occur to me to begin potty training until right around 2 years old.  He was trained by 27 months, but if I would have started sooner, I think it would have gone even faster.  In many other parts of the world, people don’t even use diapers and potty train their children very, very early.  If you have a potty seat and time on your hands, why not give it a try?


  1. I LOL’d at “time on your hands” but other than that, it seems like an interesting idea…

  2. I had never heard of infant potty training until recently, and I’m so glad to hear it’s progressing well for your family! We live in a downtown urban center and don’t drive very often, so being out and about would require using public restrooms while walking around–I wonder how that would work out? Would I be forced to carry the potty seat with me everywhere?

  3. Sarah: I don’t have children yet, but I’ve READ that you can train your baby to potty in any appropriate place – it doesn’t have to be a potty seat. For example, some people hold their baby over their regular toilet at home, or over the sink or bathtub. Look around online for pictures of the proper way to hold your baby while doing this. Then, when you’ve got baby in the right spot, you whisper “psst, psst, psst” into her ear, and this serves as a signal to baby that she can go potty in this new place.

    This video:
    shows the proper holding technique (from what I’ve read). Good luck! I will definitely be trying this when I have kids of my own!

  4. michelle says

    Very interesting. My first 2 children were 3 when they potty trained on their own (although my now 3-year old still bed wets, which the poor child inherited from me). I have a 4 month old now who is the first to be in cloth about 75% of the time. The others were probably only 25% of the time because daycare required disposables and we use disposables overnight. This baby sometimes stays dry in the disposable diaper all night (yes, I know they’re super absorbent but I’m talking literally dry) and then will pee twice an hour once we get up and put the cloth diaper on. I’ve been wondering why/how that happens… by the way… what sign do you use for ‘poop’? We did baby signs with our first 2 children but just had a generic ‘potty’ sign we used for either #1 or #2.

  5. This reminds me that I should post a little update on our potty goings too. The short version: my 3-year-old and 1-year-old poop in the potty about the same percentage (about 80%) of the time. I wish I’d started earlier with my first child for sure, but he was not regular at all. It only occurred to me to try having my 2nd baby poop on the potty because 1) she pooped most days first thing in the morning 2) I read about infant potty training on green baby guide. We’re on vacation — brought a potty chair with us — both the toddler and baby are using it.

    As far as time on my hands. . . it takes just as much effort to watch the baby for signals of pooping as it takes to watch the toddler for signs of pooping. So I figure I might as well do it now. And I love less poopy diapers in the wash. We’ve had such a hard time getting the 3-year-old to poop in the potty, that my husband is totally on board with starting much much earlier with our second.

  6. Could you include some instructions or tips that worked for infant potty training for you all? How did you associate the sign with the action, why aren’t you trying it for #1 as well… etc. Thanks!

  7. Patience is a virtue in potty training. I’ve potty trained 2 and will be starting with my daughter soon. Check out this Potty Training DVD, it worked wonders for my kids. Really got my boys motivated, they even sang the songs which kept them focused on going on the potty.

  8. Erin B.,
    I have to honestly admit that there is a great deal of fabulous information out there about infant potty training that I never used! We started by watching our baby for signs that she was going to poop (getting quiet, straining, etc.) and then made a big deal out of putting her on the potty seat. While there we read books, played, made the sign for “poop”, and encouraged her. When she did it, we made a huge deal out of clapping, looking into the potty, and flushing it down. She doesn’t always want to tell us now because sometimes she’s just too busy to want to head to the potty, but since she too is pretty regular, it isn’t hard to figure out when she’s going to go. She started at seven months and I’d say we’ve cut the poopy diapers down by 50-70% around here. It’s exciting! But really, I assumed that infant potty training meant a fringe group of people who skipped diapers altogether and had their infants perched on pottys at a few months old. As I’ve learned, there’s a huge range and it really is possible to start sooner without giving up diapers altogether. I hope that helps!

  9. I have mixed feelings about potty training this early. We did everything pretty mainstream with our oldest, waiting until he was 2 1/2 to try potty training. It went very badly, so we gave up after a few days. Then, when he was a month shy of his third birthday, we tried again. The pooping took about a month to master, but he figured out number one very quickly. He was getting up on his own to use the potty at night maybe two months after we started.

    The second time around, we cloth diapered. We put our little guy on the potty every so often just for the heck of it, and after a few successes, we decided to make a go of it right as he turned two. The end result has been a much earlier end to diapers, but it’s also been a much longer process. I don’t think I want to start an infant because I can’t imagine it would really speed things up in the long run. Our youngest is doing fantastic, and always, always poops in the potty, but we’ve struggled for months getting him to pee in it consistently. He does very well, then regresses for a week or more, and it’s day after day of six different pairs of underwear and pants.

    So, I guess my question is, do you think this will really result in faster potty training? It will probably result in less diapers and an earlier age, but my own experience tells me the actual time spent training will be much longer. Not to say this is necessarily bad if you have the time, energy, and willingness to stay home at times because the kid has to poop, but I sometimes think it was just easier to run a load of cloth diapers than deal with all these accidents.

  10. I’m interested in the signs used for peeing and pooping.

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