Whistling to a baby can communicate with the infant from the time of birth on, especially when signaling it's time to attend to nature's callings such as potty training. Western babies are potty trained later these days and need diapers until an average of three years of age. But even infants can be potty trained, notes new research.
A study by researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Pediatric Urology, followed 47 infants and their mothers in Vietnam – where potty training starts at birth and the need for diapers is usually eliminated by nine months of age.
Western babies are potty trained later these days and need diapers until an average of three years of age. But even infants can be potty trained. A study by researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, followed 47 infants and their mothers in Vietnam – where potty training starts at birth and the need for diapers is usually eliminated by nine months of age. Check out the original study or its abstract, "Vietnamese Mothers´ Experiences with Potty Training Procedure for Children from Birth to 2 Years of Age,"published in Journal of Pediatric Urology.
Eliminating the need for diapers potty trains many babies by the age of 9 months, says the study as it focused in Vietnamese mothers
Not only does eliminating the need for diapers save money and remove one practical chore for parents, but the baby's ability to control its bladder improves efficiency and reduces the risk of urinary tract infection. International research shows that Western babies are being potty trained later these days and average 3-4 years of age before they can take care of their own toileting needs. The situation in Vietnam is just the opposite.
Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, followed 47 Vietnamese mothers for two years to study their potty training procedure, which begins at birth and generally eliminates the need for diapers by nine months of age. The technique is based on learning to be sensitive to when the baby needs to urinate.
Mothers whistle in a certain way to remind babies to use the potty: Babies recognize and respond to the sound as early as the age of three months
"The woman then makes a special whistling sound to remind her baby," Anna-Lena Hellström explains in the January 30, 2013 news release, Research study: Whistle away the need for diapers. "The whistling method starts at birth and serves as an increasingly powerful means of communication as time goes on."
According to the study, women notice signs of progress by time their babies are three months old. Most babies can use the potty on their own by nine months of age if they are reminded, and they can generally take care of all their toileting needs by the age of two.
Most babies trained to respond to the same, familiar whistle sound can use the potty on their own by the time they're only nine months old
"Our studies also found that Vietnamese babies empty their bladders more effectively," Professor Hellström says in the news release. "Thus, the evidence is that potty training in itself and not age is the factor that causes bladder control to develop."
Swedes have grown accustomed to the idea that babies cannot be potty trained, but that parents need to wait until they are mature, usually when they decide that they no longer want diapers. The evidence from Vietnam demonstrates that more sophisticated communication between parents and their babies would permit potty training to start and be completed much earlier.
Diapers are used rarely by Vietnamese mothers in the study
The new study addresses mothers' experiences with potty training in a Vietnamese population as 47 mothers were interviewed and followed from the time that their children were newborns until they were 24-months old. The interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
According to tradition, diapers were used only rarely. The mothers used a whistling sound at certain times to remind their children to eliminate and frequently checked for signs of need. With this process, all children used the potty by the age of 9 months. At the age of 24 months the potty training was completed, and most of the children managed the whole process independent of help.
This study shows that it is possible to start potty training with good outcomes very early in life. The process described can be achieved through an ongoing communication between parent and child.
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