The immediate reaction from most Western onlookers is a combination of eye-widening shock, slight embarrassment, intrigue and laughter followed by a curious need for a sensible explanation. The traditional Chinese style of toilet training is generally and easily dismissed by Western visitors as a little strange – maybe funny – sometimes a bit disgusting (especially when you step in it) and to a select few… horrifying.
Encourages intimacy between a mother and child;
Improves early childhood communication skills;
Reduces health risks;
Children are trained earlier;
Better for the environment
Ironically, diapers are starting to trend in some parts of China.
Elimination Communication (EC) is not really potty training. It is a gentle, natural, non-coercive process by which a baby, preferably beginning in early infancy, learns with the loving assistance of parents and caregivers to communicate about and address his/ her elimination needs. This practice makes conventional potty training unnecessary.
How does it work?
When you notice your child eliminating while you’re observing, you start to introduce a certain cue sound. The sound could be a watery sound like “psss”, and it is then repeated whenever you see/ hear your baby eliminating. The aim is that your baby makes a mental connection between letting go and the sound. This way he will almost automatically let go once he hears the sound. It would be wise to choose a fairly rare sound thought, otherwise one might end up with “cued” wet pants at times when you really don’t need them. Cueing can become a really powerful tool, however it is not indispensable in order to do Elimination Communication. Instead a cue could be the position of sitting on, or being held over, the toilet/ potty.
I’m not condoning letting your baby pee wherever they like, but I do think that trying out this process in the privacy of your own home may not be too bad of an idea. It’s worth a shot! The way I see it, many families have begun to experience first-hand what families in traditional cultures around the world have known for many centuries; that by the age at which Western parents are told to watch for supposed signs of “readiness” for toilet-learning, their children have already achieved toilet independence.