Alicia Silverstone‘s parenting guide The Kind Mama came out last week and is giving us endless eyeroll fodder. She joins the likes of Gisele in attesting she was able to potty train her son Bear Blu by the time he was six months old. I hate to break it to you, but holding your infant over a toilet instead of letting him pee in a diaper isn’t potty training. It’s a mother f-ing waste of time.
This method of potty training is not new. It’s called “elimination communication.” The idea is that your child was born ready to potty train and it’s your lazy Western reliance on environment-destroying disposable diapers that is getting in the way of your six-month-old’s natural inclination to use the actual toilet. In a nutshell.
Basically, a parent or caregiver looks for an infant’s “cues” that they are ready to eliminate something and rushes to hold them over a toilet. Okay. Why do I get the feeling that the only reason parents do this is so they can brag that their six-month-old can pee on a toilet? To each her own and all, but I’m not spending half the day holding my infant over a toilet, just so I can claim that he used the toilet before he could walk. Also, some people have been known to take this a little too far and hold their infants over public trashcans and between parked cars.
When Bear was an infant, Alicia tweeted, “saturday bear blu (5 mos old) went poo and pee on toilet 4x throughout the day…we were so proud! Check out book Diaper Free..soo fun!” Yay for Bear, but why would she be “proud” that he shit over a toilet instead of into a diaper? There is literally no difference to a five-month-old. She told People:
“They give you cues, but we’re ignoring those cues. If you pay attention, they actually have a pause button and will give you enough time to get to a place that makes it comfortable for them to go. It’s amazing.”
People are free to toilet train their kids however they see fit. If you want to believe that your infant is “potty-trained” so be it – but I’d like to just point out that holding an infant over a toilet is a very loose definition of potty-trained.
(photo: Getty Images)