I know there are tons of ways to go about potty training. I remember a NY Times article about potty training: starting at 6 months, parents would hold the babies over the toilets and make a “shhhhhhhh”ing sound to associate potty and bodily function. But 6 months? Oh boy. I couldn’t imagine starting it then. I was more worried about eating, crawling, sleeping (hers and mine!). Going to the potty? I wasn’t ready then.
Our version of potty training: She comes into the bathroom with us. Teaching by example. We are going with the thought that when she is ready, it will happen, no more diapers. We started by getting a potty from a friend and put it in the bathroom. It was just there and she could explore and play with it. And she did. For a long time it held snacks (eewwww gross, but true), then it held toys, then crumpled up (but not used) toilet paper. Then she started sitting on it (oh boy! another step closer!). The whole time, we would talk about potty time and when do you know to go potty? Then one day while prancing naked in the bathroom, she went to the potty (just not in the potty). She didn’t notice. I pointed it out to her, and she was, I think, shocked, and not quite sure what it was and what had just happened. I explained that it was ok, no big deal, but that is something that should happen on the potty. If it doesn’t always happen, it’s ok, but next time try to use the potty when you feel like you have to go.
For the whole next week, anytime she would fill her diaper, she would look behind her and walk in circles trying to see what had just happened, and want her diaper changed immediately (no fun in the middle of Trader Joe’s), and everything would be dropped and we’d change her diaper. She started shortly after, to tell us that she had to go to the potty and would sit and sometimes there would be something to see in the potty and other times not.
Then we took a trip, and I thought well, this will change everything – and it did! We stayed with a family that has a child who is 18 months older than ours and she could sit on the big potty and use it! Izzy was amazed and in awe. They had a seat that fit onto the toilet, and Izzy was able to sit there too! While she was wearing diapers the whole visit, she didn’t use them and sat on the potty every time she needed to use it. WOOOHOOOO! Were we there, was she ready, is this it? She’s almost 2 and while I was excited, I thought we still might have a long road ahead.
Well, the plane landed and we were back to only using diapers. That’s ok. For us, it’s really about what she is comfortable with. It’s a month later, and she is just starting to sit on her potty again and occasionally wants to sit on the big potty. Sometimes she tells us she wants to use the potty, other times she asks for a diaper change. We did acquire a toilet seat adapter so she has the option of her little potty or the big potty.
The only thing I struggle with now is, what to do at night. Many nights she wakes and says she needs to use the potty and we go downstairs and most times it’s an excuse to get out of bed and play. What to do?
Here are a bunch of online resources/articles I’ve found while researching the life around the potty:
AskDrSears.com – I frequent this one when researching – has a broad range of topics and I have enjoyed their books
A list from Amazon.com – favorite potty training books for kids.
Google Search for Potty Training – There is so much information out there.
*Tip – Not everything works for everybody. What works for us, might not work for you. There are different schools of thought on every subject. Research what seems like the right direction for you. Learn about different experiences and see what would be a good fit for you and your family. Then give it a try.
Have a potty experience, advice or question? post it here.