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Book Review

By Amanda Alvine (Mentor, Maryland)

Laurie Boucke, Infant Potty Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living, White-Boucke Publishing, 2000.

Laurie Boucke, Infant Potty Basics: With or Without Diapers, the Natural Way, White-Boucke Publishing, 2003.

When looking for information on Elimination Communication (EC), the internet and DiaperFreeBaby can both offer a lot of information. But books have a unique way of imparting information, and one practical guide and reference on EC is Infant Potty Training, by Laurie Boucke.

After an introduction to the concept of EC and an overview of some philosophical underpinnings, the book launches into the nitty gritty of *how* EC works. With chapters such as "Signal and Cues" and "Part-time Pottying," Infant Potty Training has a lot of well-organized information to offer to both a parent new to the practice of EC and an experienced Mentor looking for help with an unfamiliar situation. A detailed Table of Contents makes it easy to find just the right section. However, the book is so full of interesting and useful information that it can be hard to read only the piece one is actually looking up!

One aspect of the book that I find especially useful is Boucke's liberal use of pictures. In the section on signals and cues, a sequence of photos illustrates how a sibling can sign with a baby while the baby potties. Throughout the rest of the book, photos make Boucke's descriptions very concrete. For instance, a parent unsure of how a fragile newborn can be effectively supported over a potty place can turn to "The In-arms Phase" and see several pictures of newborn positions. And the list of cues is the most exhaustive that I have seen, covering each part of the body in turn and then moving to vocal, intuitive and manual cues. I take Infant Potty Training with me when I am introducing others to elimination communication, with the pictures and cues list tabbed for easy reference.

Infant Potty Training can also be a resource when one comes up against a myth about EC that seems difficult to answer well. Chances are, it has been addressed in the chapter entitled "Dispelling the Myths". The chapter on history gives the reader a more in-depth understanding of why our culture is so against starting potty learning "too early." And much of the rest of the book, especially the last part on cross-cultural comparison, can help modern parents to increase our knowledge of how other parents and cultures deal with elimination. All of this helps to put the way we potty our babies into context.

This well-written and thorough reference book could be useful in any EC'ing parent's library. For a parent new to EC, the thoroughness and length of Infant Potty Training might be a bit daunting, but Boucke has also written a shorter version titled Infant Potty Basics, which covers the same information in a more compact way. Infant Potty Training retails for $19.50 US, and Infant Potty Basics for $13.00 US.


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