You might have seen that often, the grandmother picks up a 1-week-old baby, holds him over a pot and makes hissing noises, quite convinced that the baby can be trained to pass urine in the pot rather than wet the napkin.
She is convinced that when she brought up her little babies, she never had wet napkins.
There is no need to hustle these things and one should wait for the right signals from the baby himself.
Most babies will pass urine and stools after a feed, and will pass urine on waking up from sleep.
So if you happen to hold the baby on a pot at that time, he will pass urine or stools in the pot.
There is no harm in it as long as you do not overdo it.
If the baby does not pass urine or stools in a minute or so, he should be put down in his cot.
Gradually, as the stools become more firm and less frequent, there is usually a regularity about the time the stool is passed, say after the morning or afternoon feed.
When this has happened for a few days regularly, then is the time to take advantage of it and put the baby on the pot after the feed. In all these probability, he will oblige. You will gradually learn to recognize the expression of the baby when he wants to pass stools.
He will concentrate, stop playing with his toy, strain a little and go red in the face. When you get such a signal, you can make use of it by putting him on the pot; in other words, you are training yourself to watch the signs rather than training the baby.
By 9 months to 1 year the baby can be trained to pass stools in the pot and not dirty his napkin. The control of urine comes a little later.
As mentioned earlier, babies pass urine very frequently, but the frequency becomes less as the baby grows.
The regularity of passing urine after a feed or after waking up can be utilized, and the baby can be picked up and held over a pot at such times.
After the age of 1 year the baby can be taken to the toilet every 1-2 hours, and he will gradually learn to pass urine there.
He will also indicate his urgency by holding his genitals, or his abdomen, and by jerking up and down, and unless helped immediately, will wet his pants.
The baby is usually dry during the day by 1 years, and may give the mother enough warning so that she can take off his pants and take him to the toilet. Accidents occur, however, if the baby is absorbed in play or he is unhappy over something is unwell or is in a different environment.
The control over passing urine also differs in each child. So if the child is not ready for toilet- training, he should be left alone for another 2-3 months.
You can either use a special toilet seat for the baby on top of the ordinary toilet seat, or have a separate potty for him on which he can sit comfortably.
This should have a guard in front so that there is no danger of the baby falling out. The regular toilet seat is high and some babies are frightened by it.
The sound and sight of the toilet being flushed also frightens some babies. A small potty is more convenient for the first 2 to 3 years. It is low, safe, and the baby’s very own. He can sit on it himself, look at a picture-book or play with a toy and feel independent and the mother does not have to be around.