Potty Training Theories through the Ages
"How may a child be trained to be regular in the actions of its bowels? By endeavoring to have them move at exactly the same time every day. At what age may an infant be trained? Usually by the second month. What is the best method? A small chamber, about the size of a pint bowl, is placed between the nurse's knees, and upon this the infant is held. This should be done twice a day, after the morning and afternoon feedings.... After a few weeks the bowels will move as soon as the infant is placed on the chamber."
- from The Care and Feeding of Children by L. Emmett Holt, M.D.
"I think that the best method of all is to leave bowel training almost entirely up to your baby. Somewhere in the latter half of the second year, he will be aware that the movement is coming and be able to control it. He will probably make some sound of readiness, and you can then lead him to the proper place. If he doesn't signal, he will probably take himself to the toilet before he is 2, just because he gets the idea from watching others in the household."
- from The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Benjamin Spock, M.D.
"Toilet training is a partnership....You can lead a baby to the bathroom, but you can't make him go....The [main thing] is helping your baby achieve a healthy toileting attitude. To approach toilet training as an exciting interaction rather than a dreaded task, consider this event an initiation into your role as instructor. From baby's viewpoint, toileting is his initiation into 'bigness' — a rite of passage from toddlerhood to preschoolerhood."
-from The Baby Book by William Sears, M.D., and Martha Sears, R.N., co-authors of 8 children and more than 30 parenting books