After I had that negative experience at a friend's house with early start potty training, I have decided that I would make people more aware of toilet training early. So I openly tell people that I am potty training my child despite the fact he is only 6 months old.
I liken it to toilet training a puppy. Because if you can teach a dog surely you can teach a baby! Babies are smart little things, they like routines and they recognise familiar objects. If the baby can recognise a milk bottle means food time, a car seat means car ride time, or seeing a bath and knowing it's bath time then surely they can recognise that a potty/toilet means poopoo weewee time!
And it seems like extra work when you have to break the habit of the child who is used to pooing and weeing in their nappy. And if you try to introduce them to the potty at that terrible two age when they are busy asserting themselves and everything is "no" then it just seems like a daunting task. I think I did the right thing by introducing him to the potty at the early stage so he's not afraid of it and even enjoys it because it means mummy is going to play with him!
I've read that the best time to introduce it is betweeen 4-6 months of age. And that there is a window of opportunity before they start refusing to try new things. And there used to be people saying that there is psychological trauma from trying to potty train too early so that's why you have to wait till they're ready... but I don't like that approach. If we waited for our kids to be ready to eat their vegetables, go to bed early, learn manners then we'd end up with children with no boundaries and a bit wild! Hence we teach them to like eating vegies early, we train them to go to bed early... I wonder why the resistance to potty training?
And that crazy thing you read in books about how kids have no bladder and bowel control before they're 2? I think that's crazy too! Julian clearly shows some slight control, he does try and hold his poops until we get to the toilet because as soon as we get there it goes BLRRP! And he can hold his wees until he wakes up after a nap sometimes too. I truly believe that we can teach them to hold their waste if you start early.
I guess though that it's easier to just let them poop in their nappies, and I don't blame people with their busy lives now that they don't have time to do toilet training. It really is time consuming! But I look at my friends now who have children who won't poo on the toilet and only poo in their nappies and think of all the stress they're having and am glad that I have one child who doesn't have that problem, and hopefully a second who won't have the problem either. But if I can do it, and I am a mother of 2, and I work 4 days a week doing 10 hour days, then most people can too. But you have to admit I have a pretty schedule driven life, and I don't go out much (but I never did before I had kids anyway).
I think I might make a new post on that subject!