A diaper-free 6-month-old. Impossible, right? Not so, say parents who favor "elimination communication," a new potty-training trend. Advocates claim it's just a matter of learning when your baby is about to go -- say, he's grunting, straining, or has just finished eating -- and using voice cues while holding him over a potty or some other receptacle. This way, they say, children can gain bladder and bowel control by 24 months, or even earlier.
Even if that's true, this type of potty training is more about training you to tune in to your baby's needs than about training the baby to do anything. (It's not always clear when an infant is ready to go potty, so imagine yourself running back and forth to the bathroom during meals, on car trips, while nursing...) While it can relieve you of dirty diapers, the process requires a huge time commitment -- one that may not be worth the rewards to a busy mom. There are so many other ways (like just playing!) to bond with your baby.