The History of Potty Training in America

If you’ve read my recent post on the history of cloth diapering in America, you know that I spend a lot of time wondering how we as parents are influenced by current history–and what we can learn from the past.  Of course, like the history fanatic that I am, I found the information on potty training in America fascinating.

Early potty training in America was completely parent-centered and sometimes disturbingly so. In the early 1900s children were on strict elimination schedules and parents even used suppositories or enemas to enforce regularity. Toddlers were admonished or  physically punished for accidents.  Potty training usually began at six months of age.

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.

Baby Leg Warmers as a Solution to Cloth Diaper Bulk

Balloon bum: An adorable, bulky-bottomed look caused by diapering baby in cloth.  May lead parents to adore cloth diapers for fashion reasons rather than just their obvious economic and environmental appeal.

Most of us embrace “balloon bum”—but dressing your baby can be challenging when most clothes are designed for disposable clad bottoms.  You can buy bigger pants and roll up the legs or stretch a pair of tights around the whole diaper—but I’ve just found a new solution.

baby_legsThis winter I discovered Baby Legs, baby leg warmers that stretch up to baby’s thighs without needing to cover the diaper.  Here are the reasons I LOVE this product: