October 8, 2005

Infant Potty Training: NYT Freaks Out, Brazelton Mellows

The NY Times discovered elimination communication today on the therapy-happy West Side--and promptly freaked out about it:

For many parents in the United States, the idea of potty training before a baby is able to walk, or even before age 2, is not just horrifying but reprehensible - a sure nightmare for parents and baby, not to mention a direct route from the crib to the psychiatrist's couch.
Meanwhile, diaper industry consultant and late toilet training advocate Terry Brazelton sounds positively delightful on the subject, unlike his EC smackdown in the Boston Globe a while back:
"I'm all for it, except I don't think many people can do it," he said of elimination communication. "The thing that bothers me about it is today, probably 80 percent of women don't have that kind of availability."
And who makes a surprise appearance on the pro-EC side? Dads:
Ms. [Laurie] Boucke, the author, noted that many fathers really enjoy infant potty training. "They can't breast-feed, but they can work on the other end," she said. "Some dads get really good results."

She knows it can be challenging, she said. "I tell people, you cannot be a perfectionist with this," Ms. Boucke said. "No one is going to be there all the time. They won't have a life."

Now Babies Too Young to Walk Are Readied for Toilet Training [nyt]
Check out Boucke's book, Infant Potty Training at Amazon [amazon]
Previously: Elimination Communication [Brazelton slam included]


And People magazine has an article this week, too. (Sorry that I can't find the link...I get it at home.)

you know, I wasn't gonna read the article because I thought it would be yet another negative potrayal of EC. But, after reading happy posts on a parenting site I frequent from mothers who practice EC, I checked it out and thought it wasn't bad at all. And Meredith Small followed it up today with a positive Op-Ed piece in the NYT. Even yesterday's segment on the Today show was widely perceived by EC parents as a positive portrayal of EC (Matt Lauer's attitude notwithstanding).

EC is not for everyone, so my only concern with all this media interest is that it'll become a trendy thing to do and people who aren't really committed to (or capable of) having a close, enmeshed relationship with their child will wind up putting too much pressure on themselves and/or their kid and truly cause psychological problems that'll get blamed on EC.

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