Potty Prodigy Infants Do Away With Diapers


Mary Ann Childers


(CBS) CHICAGO Doing away with diapers. Most people laugh when they even think about babies going diaper-free. But as Medical Editor Mary Ann Childers reports, there's a growing movement of mothers practicing what's being called "elimination communication" -- infant potty training. They're raising potty prodigies.

At four months, Hannah Rothstein is a potty pro. But then, she's been doing this since she was four days old.

"First I ask her if she wanted to pee ... then I went pst pst pst pst. It's something she can associate with going to the bathroom," said Medina Rothstein.

Rothstein is co-founder of a non-profit organization called Diaper-Free Baby. She argues that if infants signal when they're hungry or tired, why should this natural function be any different?

The moms in monthly Diaper-Free Baby support groups say their babies usually achieve good control by 15 months and are completely trained by two years.

But this mother of two is skeptical.

"To expect a child to recognize his or her own cues is just silly," said Dr. Lisa Fiore, a child development expert.

Fiore says infants just aren't there developmentally and fears constant attention might pressure a child.

"I think it's a lot of time and energy that could be spent in other ways," Fiore said.

But Amie Treacy is a believer. Eleven-month-old Amelia hasn't worn a diaper since she was five months old. At first Treacy watched her. She noticed Amelia made different sounds or would squirm when she had to go.

And now, "she's starting to do what I taught her which is -- in American sign language -- is the shaking "t" -- like this. She does her own version of it," Treacy said.

Treacy says infant potty training eliminates diaper rash, is good for the environment and natural.

"The reason you put a diaper on is for the parents, you don't put it on for the baby," Treacy said.

Even supporters say this is not for every family. It's best suited to stay-at-home parents who can devote the time and energy. And remember -- accidents happen.

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