I wrote the following post a few months back but decided I would pull it out of the archives because it has some helpful information regarding potty train ing.
At the time that I wrote the original post, I was potty training my 14 month old. I know this might seem young by some people's standards, but actually, I'm later than other moms!
Later this week I'm going to have a mom share her story about EC (Elimination Communication). She started when her daughter was only a few days old!
For today though, here's my story about potty training our three children:
My 1st son was about 2 1/2 years old before I started potty training him (even though my mom had encouraged me to start before that. Shoulda listened.) :) But, I waited and didn't really know the best way to go about it. Then, I picked up a book from the library called Diaper Free Before Three and I found it to be very helpful and practical.
The gist of the book is to make going to the potty a part of your child's schedule. I started implementing some of the author's tips (who happens to be a doctor and a mom) and my son was potty-trained shortly thereafter. When my 2nd child came along I decided I would start potty training her earlier than I did my son.
She was 14 months old when I started putting her on the potty. I put her on when she woke up, before nap, after lunch and before bed. She was going #2 almost completely on the potty so I rarely had to change a dirty diaper!
Once she was doing well going at those intervals, I gradually increased it to every few hours. When she was staying dry between potty trips I decided she was ready to stop wearing diapers during the day. It took about two weeks as I recall of wearing underwear and having accidents, but she was completely potty trained by 20 months (day time only).
When our 3rd child came along I decided to start even earlier with him. I first tried when he was 10 months, but it was more work than I wanted to deal with since he couldn't sit up very well on the potty seat by himself and I didn't want to sit there forever and hold him. (unfortunately at the time I had a different style potty seat. If I'd had the Baby Bjorn Potty Seat like I do now, this wouldn't have been an issue.)
At 12 months he was able to sit on the potty seat I used to have BUT with him being so little still, it didn't have a good splash guard. Then we got the Baby Bjorn Potty Seat! I love everything about it and it is a great improvement over the one I used to have. I got mine on amazon and it was $15 shipped! Totally worth it so I didn't have to clean up a bunch of "puddles" every day! I would definitely recommend this potty seat! (Thank you if you decide to purchase yours from my link. It helps our family!!)
To keep things as simple as possible, I generally have my (now 20 month old) sit on the potty while I'm getting ready for the day. I keep some toys and books or a puzzle there to entertain him while he's sitting. Sometimes he likes to exert his will and not want to sit down, but I just tell him he needs to sit down and go potty. Usually it's not a problem if I sit down with him and talk to him, read a book, or do a puzzle with him. (It also happens to be great one on one time with him!). At other times he really does not want to sit on the potty and is crying (this is usually after a nap). I don't make a big deal about it. We just try again later.
It's SO cute to see him clap and dance after he's gone. He's pretty proud of himself as well. :) As I was writing this post he was going potty so I snapped some pictures. It was so cute because when he was done, he was getting just a little bit of toilet paper all by himself. :) I'm really in love with this kid!
When my current potty trainer was about 17 months old I finally realized that the diagnosed "yeast infection" he had been struggling with was actually a rash from disposable diapers. At that point we stepped up the potty training a bit. It was then that he started wearing his Envibum (giveaway coming later this week!!) diaper as much as possible and I put underwear on him or the plastic pants when he was around the house. Now we pair the underwear with his leg warmers from BabyLegs. (BabyLegs giveaway coming soon!!!)
Currently I take him to the potty during the times I would have normally changed his diaper, after a meal and after he wets himself (so he can begin associating wetting with going on the actual potty). If he does wet himself, I never scold him. I just say in a nice voice something like "uh-oh, you're wet. Let's go to the potty." During nap and bedtime I still put a diaper on him.
Once we're past the frequent daytime wetting in the underwear I commit to going exclusively to underwear during the daytime. I do not switch back and forth between diapers because I think this is confusing to the child and will prolong the training. I also prefer not to have my child wear pull-ups during the day because otherwise I won't know when he has wet himself. It's important to take them to the potty if they do wet. However, I don't want to make my life a living nightmare so when we are in the beginning stage of underwear I do have my kids wear a pull-up out in public OR the envibum Mom4Mom cover (more about that later). Personally, I don't think it's going to hurt the process to do this and it will keep me from losing my mind so I do. Routinely, I have my potty trainer go potty when we get home.
Why did I start potty training my last two children earlier? I'd say, "Why not? They can learn at a young age so why wouldn't we do it? =). It also saves money on diapers or washing your cloth diapers since they are potty trained at an earlier age. It saves me from having to change dirty diapers (he usually goes #2 on the potty so generally I only have to change wet diapers.) When you potty train earlier, a child (generally!!) doesn't have the stronger will of a 2 1/2- 3 year old. This eliminates the temptation to bribe and cuts down on battles. Finally, they love that I am with them and quickly realize, "Hey, this is a part of my routine now. No big deal." :)
The important thing is to not make it stressful for your child. I know it can add a little stress to Momma's life because you will inevitably have more messes and more dirty laundry to take care of, but it won't last forever!
Thanks for reading. I hope this post was helpful! Do you have any potty training tips you'd like to share?
Be sure to check back tomorrow for my BabyLegs Review and Giveaway!