A grassroots 'natural potty learning' movement is starting in Christchurch, New Zealand


Sonia Barrish of 'Back to the Wild Natural Skincare' did things a little differently to most when it came to potty training. Her daughter Bethany was out of nappies by only 7 months and fully independent by 17 months. No need for nappies for this youngster as Mum and Dad did 'elimination communication' or 'infant potty learning' with her from just 5 months.

Sonia said it did not feel right to leave Bethany in her nappies for so long, and she noticed in her family album she herself was sitting on a potty at a young age. Once she started, she found that her daughter came to toilet independence much sooner than she expected.

Sonia is not alone in her approach, and a grassroots movement is getting started to help other parents learn how this approach can benefit their baby and family. Sonia has connected with Rebecca Larsen, picture book author of 'Row, row, row your waka' and other well-loved stories.


Rebecca also practised this approach with her son's and felt the method has so many positive benefits she wrote a step-by-step book called 'Potty Plan'. Alongside a handful of other mums, they are starting small cloth nappy and infant potty training seminars with Sonia being the first in the group to kick it off in Kaiapoi near Christchurch.

“There are so many benefits in learning this approach,” says Rebecca “I feel people are ready to hear about this approach now, as we are becoming more sustainable in our choices. I found a nappy at my local beach in Papamoa which had been washed up after a storm. It was completely growing seaweed and fully intact despite being in the ocean so long. I knew I had to share this, and so I have started to find like-minded mums to work with. Most disposable nappies are plastic-based and are not a good option for baby or landfill. We want to share how easy and fun infant potty learning is and that babies can easily start toilet practice from birth or in the first year as many people don't know this is even possible.”

Sonia is also offering help and support with cloth nappies. Parents will learn first hand how to keep the poo out of the cloth-making washing up so much easier. This seminar is a first of it's kind in New Zealand and we hope it will catch on – really making our babies 'clean' and 'green' when it comes to how we nappy and toilet them.

Sonia is opening her doors to 6 parents at her first Potty Pod – Cloth nappy and infant potty learning seminar. The seminar is running in Kaiapoi on 20 November and will include a copy of the Potty Plan book and supper. To book, please visit https://www.backtothewild.co.nz/shop/seminars

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