Myth 1: Babies cannot control their elimination until around X months (usually said to be around 18-24 months)
Unfortunately this is a very common myth, in most potty training books you will see this and many health professionals including doctors, are told this in their training. These ages do have meaning however. When children are conventionally potty trained, which involves conscious effort from the child to eliminate in a potty/toilet, rather than a nappy which they have become accustomed to, it would be difficult to before this age for them to control their elimination, as it takes understanding and for them to be able to comply when you ask them if they need to go, and understanding and remembering instructions. Bearing in mind they are actually un-learning how to use a nappy. I am not a child development expert, nor have I been able to find any information on the physiology of baby’s sphincter control, but you only have to try EC for a very short time to learn for a fact that this is utter nonsense.
Myth 2: Practicing EC could be psychologically harmful to the baby as he/she is not ready for ‘potty training’.
Again same as above. Coercing a baby to use the potty would be very counter productive (if it worked at all, think ‘here you go baby have your sticker’). Learning your baby’s signs and taking them to the toilet/potty (note: not telling them to use a potty) and allowing them to eliminate away from their skin, without having to wipe it off then when it’s been smothered on their skin for a while is far from physiologically damaging. It is respecting their needs.
Myth 3: It is too much hard work/ Harder than just using nappies.
It’s not harder. There is nothing harder about holding your baby over a potty/bowl/toilet than changing a nappy. In fact when you put it that way it’s actually easier. It may take a little ‘extra time’ when you first begin, by spending time observing you baby and learning their pattern. The difference is when they need to go you need to do it ‘NOW’. You do get notice, they don’t go the second they signal, isn’t that similar to when you assist a toddler before they are able to independently use the toilet by themselves?
Myth 4: You can’t use nappies when you do EC.
You can use nappies as much as little as you like. You can do one ‘catch’ a day, or use one nappy day. You can decide one day that you’re not up for it a use nappies all day, then go back to EC the next day, or the day after, or whatever you want. The point is it’s flexible. As time goes on your baby may take an obvious preference to ECing, but by doing so he/she will be making it a lot easier for you as you won’t have to be watching for the signs so attentively, as he/she will clearly let you know.
Myth 5: Using the potty for a baby is making them grow up too fast – Let them be babies.
This is because you associate a baby with wearing a nappy. A good comparison for ECing is breastfeeding on demand. Imagine, (in the future sometime if you like) a system is created, that automatically feeds your baby when they are about to start crying in hunger, but after they had cued for a feed. Wouldn’t they eventually stop cueing, knowing that they are going to get fed when they get to a certain point? Imagine that’s how all babies were fed. What would you think of someone who told you they didn’t need that system, and could know when they’re baby needed feeding? You probably would never have realised that your baby shows cues for hunger, they probably would have stopped by now. Would the fact that the baby tells the mother they want feeding, and have to *shock horror* suckle for themselves be pushing them to grow up too fast/not be babies? To be blunt, pooing yourself is not a right of passage for babyhood.
What other myths have you heard?