When Miss A was about 3 months old, we started noticing that we could hear the bubbly rumble of her pooping in her nappy. So we started saying the word "poo" and doing the baby sign for it every time we heard her go (some choose to make a sound instead of a word- you can do what you like). The idea was that she'll start associating pooping with the word/sign/sound and will eventually be able to go on cue.
At about 4-5 months, she started getting predictable- usually going first thing in the morning (along with a giant pee thanks to the night feedings which have picked up again), and if she did go again later in the day, it was often after a feed. This was also around the time we started using cloth nappies…but that was not the deciding factor to start potty training, it was the fact that she was starting to go mid-nappy-change in the mornings. Cleaning up a huge watery mess of pee and poop off baby and change table is not something you want to do first thing in the morning, believe me.
So it was that I declared it was time to start putting Miss A on a potty and we headed straight down to Ikea to get one. This one is only $10 and is a great design:
The green inner bit lifts out and has a little spouty end so you can tip everything into the toilet. It's also small enough to fit under the bathroom tap so you can fill it with a bit of water to swirl around and tip out to clean. No need for those water squirters that attach to the toilet.
After we got the potty, I put her on it for fun before her bath and she instantly peed without me prompting her too. I was so unprepared that I didn't sit her on properly and some pee squirted out on me (even with girls you have to lean them a bit forward). It was so natural- I think it's the siting position that does it.
The next morning when she woke up, I put her on and she successfully did her morning poop and pee in the potty instead of the change table! I was thrilled as I didn't expect her to take to it so fast at all. V and I were so impressed and heaped on the praise. Since then, I've put her on after every feed and poopy nappies have been a thing of the past. Obviously she still pees in her nappy though even though she also pees in the potty…she has too much pee to be holding it long!
Everytime we put her on the potty, we say "poo" and "wee wee" and you can tell that she does make an effort to poop as since introducing the potty after feeds, she no longer poops randomly in-between feeds. The only danger about starting as an infant is they can't tell you when they're done (or not done yet). Sometimes she takes a while to poop after peeing and as I'm about to take her off thinking maybe all she had to do was a pee, she starts pooping! You really just have to be very in-tune with your baby and trust your maternal instincts. I always ask her "are you finished?" and tell her when I'm going to take her off. Sometimes I even give her a countdown.
The hope with starting this young is that they get used to going in the potty (at an age where there is no pressure!) and will be toilet trained by the time they can sign or talk and tell you they need to go. You also get to enjoy stain-free cloth nappies, easier bums to clean, and can kiss nappy rash goodbye.
I guess you'll need to stay tuned to find out how transitioning to the toilet will go in the future. Hopefully all will be smooth sailing for us! 🙂