Toilet training from the age of 0
It is generally accepted that a child’s readiness to depart from diapers is manifested in a number of areas. In the physical realm – aspects of the ability to identify physical messages related to needs, gross motor skills and fine motor skills such as the ability to walk to the bathroom, climb the toilet chair, remove and put on clothing, the ability to handle buttons, scotches and so on. In the emotional realm – aspects of the need to part with the diaper, the need to behave like adult relatives, the need for achievement and so on. In the mental field – ability to understand, ability to express, ability to communicate. There is a consensus that most children reach sufficient readiness in the various fields between the ages of one and a half and two and a half years.
At the same time, it turns out that in different countries, ethnic groups and cultures, many children are completely toilet trained an earlier age and even at the age of 9 months (see Russia and Ethiopia). This fact shows that the ability of children to develop cleaning habits and control their needs already exists from the first months of life. In order to cultivate and activate this ability at an early age, appropriate approach and appropriate parental readiness is required. This issue is reflected in other areas of life such as in the area of acquiring the ability to read and write. It is accepted in our culture that children begin to learn to read and write at the age of 5-6. However, it is known that ultra-Orthodox children who master reading and writing from the age of 3. This is of course due to teaching methods that are adapted to children’s basic abilities.
Today there are approaches that implement departure from diapers experiences almost from the moment the child is born. At the basis of these approaches is the understanding that the child should be accustomed to identifying his needs and doing them in places different from the diaper, from the first days of his life. This is to reduce the absolute dependence on the diaper. The application of this approach does not require a complete avoidance of diaper use for all its unpleasant consequences. Diapers can be used as a routine but at the same time give the baby the experience of defecating outside the diaper (in the sink, bath, in nature, etc.) as often as possible. Such frequent experiences will teach the baby at a very early stage to recognize the pressure in the bladder and colon and the need to defecate. He also gets used to defecating and urinating in different places from the diaper and experiences the most effective preparation for the complete parting from the diaper later.