We covered a story this morning that may come as a surprise to a lot of people: that some parents are practicing "diaper-free" toilet training with their newborns and infants. WATCH VIDEO
Here's how proponents say it works. When a child has to go to the bathroom, he or she will give the parent a visual cue that it's time to go. The parent then takes the child into the bathroom, holds them over the toilet, and makes specific noises to encourage the commencement of the process.
Proponents also say that this is not a new trend -- it's apparently practiced in parts of rural Asia and Africa, where people can't afford to buy diapers. And it has huge environmental implications, eliminating tons of disposable diapers from landfills.
Of course, there are plenty of people out there who think this is crazy. Most pediatric experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, agree that children do not have any control for at least their first 12 months.
To many, all this does is force a parent to watch their child 24/7, responding to some vague visual cues by running into the bathroom (or to the nearest tree, sink or open sewer). Sometimes the kid will go, sometimes they won't. And furthermore, there are accidents (or "misses" to use the correct jargon) to clean up after.
Clearly, this raises a lot of questions. Among them: Who is being trained here, babies or parents? Are there additional developmental issues? What happens when your diaper-free child goes on your neighbor's couch? If this is such a great idea, why hasn't it caught on in the developed world? Or have we just been brainwashed by the international diaper lobby?