A proud mum has shared her potty-training hack after her son now stays completely dry during the day – at just 21 months old.
Zarah, 31, and husband James Nolland, 30, have revealed how allowing their first-born son, Lorenzo, to use the potty just one month after he was born has saved the family thousands on disposable nappies.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Zarah explains how she potty trained her son at just one month old.
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The couple, from Queensland, has also saved almost $2,500 thanks to a unique potty-training hack.
The method, called elimination communication, is an ancient technique.
It teaches the child how to use a potty from an extremely early age, with parents watching out for signals that their child needs to go, and offering them the chance to use the potty then or at specific timed intervals.
“I did a lot of research into elimination communication while I was still pregnant,” said Zarah, who describes herself as an online health coach.
“It’s an incredible way to give your child independence and train them to use the toilet rather than having to sit in their own mess.
“I started using the technique on Lorenzo when he turned one month, as well as using modern cloth nappies which we have loved and found really easy to use, along with saving us a lot of money.”
Zarah explained she would pay attention to her baby’s face and gestures to figure out if he needed to go for a wee or a poo.
“We did a lot of nappy-free time which was also helpful for me to understand his cues,” she said.
To teach Lorenzo how to use the potty, Zarah would take him to the bathroom and sit him opposite the mirror.
This way, she could hold him safely while communicating with him.
“The first time I put him in front of the mirror, he actually pooped with 10 seconds,” she said.
“I could easily communicate with him and show hand signals for either pee or poop.
“For pee, I would wiggle my finger and make a ‘pss’ noise, and for poop I would ball up my fist, shake and say ‘poo poo’.
“He picked up on the signals pretty fast and then started to use them himself during the day when he needed to go.”
Acting on signals
Zarah says Lorenzo “still had a few accidents here and there” when she didn’t trust her instincts that he needed to use the toilet.
But she continued her method of taking her baby to the toilet every time she signaled, while also using cloth nappies throughout the day.
At 12 months, Lorenzo stopped wearing nappies throughout the day and changed to underwear.
“He can go to the toilet completely by himself now, as he uses a little step to get up to the seat,” Zarah said.
“He’s still wearing a cloth nappy at night time and on long car rides, but we’ve made some incredible progress.”
The family has saved money and also helped the environment, the mum said.
“The cloth nappies come to around $30 each, but we’ve never had to throw any away,” she said.
Zarah says she doesn’t need to buy baby wipes, instead using a bidet to clean Lorenzo and cotton cloths to dry him.
“This has been amazing for preventing nappy rash or skin irritation, which has also eliminated our need to use nappy cream,” she said.
sharing the journey
The mum has shared her journey on social media, receiving reactions such as, “Don’t have a baby if you don’t want to change nappies”.
“But there are also open-minded, supportive comments,” she said.
“My response is that no human or animal for that matter actually enjoys the feeling of sitting in their own faeces and urine.”
She claims that once infants get used to soiling themselves, the “habit” has to be unlearned through potty training, something many parents struggle with.
Zarah, who has donated a mini YouTube series on her journey with Lorenzo, says friends have been super supportive.
“A lot of friends have mentioned that they might try the same with their next children, along with many friends who decided to try the method out on their young children with great success,” she said.