Audrey’s half birthday was on Monday, which (according to my sources) means it’s officially time to begin the potty journey. The mere thought of this chasm of the unknown is enough to make me wish I had learned about infant potty training well before Audrey was 18 months old! Yes, you read right INFANT potty training.

As I tend to do with many of the big parenting issues, I was asking around to see how other moms began potty training their kids. I’ve learned this is one of the most effective ways to find out generally what really works and what doesn’t. Each kid is different, but at least it’s first hand information and not from someone trying to sell you something. Anyway, on Tuesday I was chatting with a church mom who has a daughter turning 2 next week. I asked her how she had approached the whole potty situation. She proceeded to tell me, a little sheepishly, that they didn’t really have to potty train because their daughter had been using the toilet since she was 8 months old! I think my mouth almost hit the floor. Apparently, she has a friend who is Chinese and she shared the Chinese method of infant potty training (also known as elimination communication), which often begins before the child is 6 months old. In China, and in fact many other countries including Italy, it’s rare to find a 12 month old baby who is still in diapers.

Being the research obsessed person that I am (I could spend 24 hours on the web doing nothing but researching various topics), I immediately checked into whether this IPT thing could possibly be true. It is! Unbelievable. Just google Infant Potty Training and you’ll get over 2 million hits. And to think of all the money I’ve been wasting on diapers! It may sound rather corny when you first hear about it, but I’m definitely giving it a shot with #2. It can’t hurt to try!

IPT aside, Audrey is 18 months old and here we are trying to introduce this whole potty concept. I’m hoping that what they say about girls catching on faster than boys holds true. Audrey definitely understands the concept of a toilet, but unfortunately it’s a negative connotation as evidenced by her saying “eww” each time she tries to open the lid! From what I’ve learned from other moms, the best approach seems to be to get a little potty chair and just make it a fun place to sit at first. The theory being that if they are comfortable sitting on it and don’t feel any pressure that the rest will come more naturally.

So, tonight I went out and bought the official first potty seat! Again, after much research and reading of product ratings and comments (long live BabiesRUs.com), we bought the Baby Bjorn potty chair . I brought it in and made a big deal about giving it to Audrey. I wish I had it on video – she gingerly squatted down to sit on it, pulled some toilet paper off the roll and reached back pretending to wipe her little behind! At least we know she’s been paying attention!

I think the potty is a hit…each time she walked by the bathroom tonight, she made a pit stop just to sit on her throne! I’m a little nervous, though, about what her reaction will be the first time she actually does something in her potty. This is the girl who was traumatized for days the first time she saw her poop (granted it was an unexpected bath experience). We’ve got the books, we’ve got the potty, and we’ll keep you posted!