Grandma on potty training

I've been reading the personal history of Mr. Mordecai's grandma the past week. It's very interesting, and although she wrote it when she was quite old, I have still found plenty that is relevant to me.
"He started to use the toilet when he was three or four months old. He was never in diapers very long. Whenever I could tell that he had to use the toilet I would go put him on. This way the boys never got in the habit of doing it in their pants. . . . I would always know about what time they were going and I would put them over the toilet. I never had any problem potty training them. I did this with all my boys. In fact I have changed more diapers on my grand children than I ever did with my own children. When [M] was 10 months old he would crawl over to the bathroom door and say "batroom batroom." . . . I can't get used to these kids who poop in their pants until they are almost three years old."
I've read about elimination communication before and always thought it sounded silly. But reading about Mr. Mordecai's grandma doing it in 1939 all by herself, without the encouragement of magazine articles or fads, really brought it to life for me. She makes it sound so simple.

Anyway, like I said, I always thought it was silly, but Grandma opened my mind. This morning I noticed that Baby's diaper wasn't very wet when I changed her, so I sat her on Red Chief's little potty. Less than thirty seconds later, we had success.

I'm not giving up diapers, but I do think I'll start holding Baby over the potty occasionally. It's so easy. Maybe if Tiger Lily starts going potty, Red Chief will, too. Sibling rivalry: work with it.


  1. Oh wow! I don't know what I think about this.....LOL
    My biggest trouble is myself. I burn things on the stove because I get so carried away doing too many things at once. I would have never been able to keep track of the baby's potty habits, It felt like I had 27 kids under the age of 8 1/2 instead of just 5 always running around my feet. I could have tried this with my tween when he was little, but at that time i had a house full of teenagers, and was a RS pres. It was a total shocker to my middle aged mind to have a almost 2 yr old come into our lives again! LOL.....

    HOWEVER, I would like to know if it works for you! I think I need to pass this along to my daughters and daughters in law.
    Mr M's grandma must have been an amazing woman!
    Thanks for this "food for thought"!
    Enjoy your day.

  2. My brother-in-law has talked about how his grandma was the same way. Her kids were all potty trained by the time they were one.
    It would be nice.

  3. I've always thought elimination communication was more about training the adult than the child. Although I understand the idea of them not getting used to using a diaper...

    Let me know how the sibling rivalry works for you. We had really hoped Mo would want to be more like his big sister than his baby brothers, but so far we just can't interest him.

  4. Very interesting... you know I have heard that in many parts of the world children are "trained" this way. Personally, I never really minded changing diapers (I know... weird, huh?) so I wasn't hugely driven to train my kids early.

    You know, we so often dismiss the advice of elders as outmoded or out-of-date, but they really have so much wisdom. I'd love to sit down and chat with some of these old gals!