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  • By Steve Hodges, M.D.

Don’t Follow Blossom’s Lead: What Mayim Bialik Doesn’t Realize

elimination communication is a bad idea

I’ll admit it: I liked “Blossom.” I liked Six and I liked Joey, especially his “Whoa.” I liked the guest appearances by Mr. T and Alf. But Blossom, or Mayim Bialik, has a new book out called Beyond the Sling, and I have a one problem with it.

I am not against any mother who wants to dote on her child as much as possible and has the resources to do so, but I do have a big problem with the idea of skipping diapers and potty training infants.

For Mayim this has appeared to work out, but — unlike most parents — she monitors her children’s needs virtually every minute of every day, she home schools them, and she feeds them a vegan diet.

What I fear is that others will try to follow her lead — but will also feed their kids the typical Western diet and send them to school, where nobody is intently watching for signs that they need to pee or poop and where, later on, they may be too intimidated or grossed out to use the bathroom and where their bathroom privileges may be restricted.

As we detail in It’s No Accident, that is a recipe for disaster. I see the results every day in my practice.

Children need years of uninhibited voiding to allow for maximum bladder growth, and if they train before age 3, they are more likely than older kids to develop the habit of holding pee, poop or both.

In the book we, we explain the many ways that early toilet training can harm a child’s bladder, but I’ll leave you with just one. Do you know how many urinary tract infections I’ve seen in healthy girls who have not yet been toilet trained?

None. That’s right, not one.

Know how many I’ve seen in girls right who have recently trained? About a million.

Why is that? Because children in diapers are uninhibited. They pee and poop whenever and wherever they want. Kids out of diapers are the opposite: They hold their pee and poop as long as they can.

Chronically holding pee and poop is the single greatest risk factor on urinary tract infection and can lead to a whole other slew of potty problems that I haven’t evened mentioned here.

Unless you have your child on a vegan diet and watch her literally 24/7 for signs she needs to pee or poop, forget about what Mayim Bialik did. Don’t take your baby out of diapers.

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Must-read books for kids by Steve Hodges, M.D.

• Bedwetting and Accidents Aren't Your Fault

• Jane and the Giant Poop