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Can a child under 1 year be potty trained?

Can a child under 1 year learn how to use a potty?
Submitted by Parents.com Team

Amazingly, a baby in the first year of life can learn to use the potty regularly, and many children elsewhere, including parts of Africa and China, first use the toilet at about 12 months. Now a growing number of parents here are showing an interest in training infants using a method called "elimination communication." They say it's cleaner and less costly than diapers and fosters a closer bond with the baby. And, yes, it's possible. To potty train an infant, you must constantly watch for tiny signs that the baby is about to go, like turning red in the face. Then you make a signal (like a “psssss” noise) to help reinforce the connection. This requires an availability that many parents would like to have but don't. For parents with the wherewithal, the close attention is sure to give them a better knowledge of their child, but in all honestly it's probably a rather rare soul who has the time and desire to attend to a baby in this way.

Updated 2009. Originally published in Child magazine, April 2007.

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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I had my 7th child in February and never tried this before. I found the perfect potty seat and started my daughter at 10 weeks. She is now 7 months and is doing great. There are nights that she is dry and we have our potty party as soon as we get up. There are times that she wakes up in the middle of the night and we will potty. I am actually enjoying teaching her to potty. So glad that I tried this. I have saved a ton on diapers that I would have otherwise used.
Submitted by mccld71661