Potty training is challenging for a lot of parents. As a result, some moms and dads choose to delay the process.
But, not Kandi Burruss and husband Todd Tucker of the Bravo’s hit series, "Real Housewives of Atlanta." In fact, they moved up the potty-training timeline—not by months, but years. The couple decided to get their 4-month-old son, Ace, to go on the potty.
A baby. On a potty.
Kandi talked about the couple's decision to potty train Ace in the opening scene of Season 9's premiere episode.
“Gonna use the potty?” Tucker asks.
“I know he’s ready,” Kandi responds.
Viewers are caught off-guard when the couple takes baby Ace into the bathroom and sits him on the throne. Let’s face it: we don’t see an infant sitting on the toilet every day.
But for those who are ready to throw shade at them for potty training their 4-month-old baby, Kandi shut all that down.
“I don’t understand why people would have a problem with me teaching my baby something that he’s gonna have to be taught anyway. What is your issue with that?”
The singer/songwriter also said that she potty-trained her teenage daughter, Riley, as a baby, and wants to continue that same tradition with her son. Now, she says, Ace is able to sleep through the night without peeing. Kandi shared a video clip on Instagram of Ace on the toilet.
"As soon as we sit him up there he pees. One time he pooped and peed. It helps to get them used to the concept early. I don't expect him to be fully potty trained early, but it does help. I've done it before so I'm speaking from experience. I'm not saying it will work for anyone else but this works for us.”
But seriously, can an infant really learn to use the potty at an early age or is this the magic of television?
Brandi Brucks, potty training expert and author of Potty Training in 3 Days: of The Step-by-Step Plan for a Clean Break from Dirty Diapers," talked to Mom.me and answered four of the top potty-training questions.
1. Is it ever too early to potty train?
Training your child before the age of 2 is called “elimination communication” or “baby potty training.” This is the way many baby-wearing cultures, such as the Digo tribe in East Africa, potty train their children. Because of this, many argue that you can potty train your child at any age. However, you learn your baby’s body cues, and you hold them on the toilet during the times you know they need to go. But this method isn’t the same as being potty trained.
If your child was born prematurely, has physical or mental challenges, is speech-delayed, or has any other developmental challenges, you may need to potty train them later than 2 and a half, because it is hard to tell if they are also delayed in other areas. The development of a child’s bladder, pelvic floor and bowels are essential for successful potty training.
2. What is the best age to begin potty training?
I have found the best age to potty train is between 2 and a half and 3 years, when a kiddo can follow directions and understand the potty-training process. But really, as soon as a child starts showing signs of readiness, you can potty train them.
Everyone involved in the process should be on the same page.
If you wait until your child is older than 3 and a half, you are going to have some potty-training difficulties, because they will have had more time with diapers. Kids can become emotionally attached to them, causing them to fight you when you try to take them away. Children that potty train at an older age will take a lot longer to feel comfortable going poop on the potty.
3. Is there any truth to the myth that a child will potty train when he/she is ready?
For some children, this is definitely true. There are always a handful of kids that decide they are ready and are the ones to let their parents know that it is time. Sometimes children are giving you clues that they are ready for training—but the parents may not realize it—such as wanting their dirty diapers changed immediately, showing interest in flushing the toilet, and/or watching someone else use the bathroom. On the flip side of the coin, there are a lot of children that need a hard push from their parents. The older the child is, the harder they will be to train. So don't wait until they are much older than 3.
4. What tips would you give parents for a stress-free potty-training experience?
The first advice I give to parents is to come up with your plan and approach before you actually start training. Every adult in your household should be on the same page with your potty-training rules and the vocabulary you choose to use. You should stick with your plan for at least 10 days, as it takes longer than a couple of days to break your child’s habit of peeing in their diaper and learning a whole new set of expectations. If you know your plan ahead of time, you will feel more confident when you start.
According to Brandi’s take on potty training, a 4-month-old sitting and going on the toilet is not potty trained.
Brandi suggests that when it’s time to teach your child to use the bathroom, consistency is key. Everyone involved in the process should be on the same page.
Which is definitely something the Burruss-Tucker household has going for it.