It’s that time again. Helping a little human learn how to transfer bodily waste to the toilet. Potty training…or, the new ‘pc’ term (which honestly i do prefer as it helps me be more patient since i’m so responsive to semantics): Potty Learning. After the trauma I experienced training Asher (which included no actual traumatizing stories, it was just HARD & exhausting) when he was just under 18months (& had previously NEVER had interactions with a toilet), I had gotten to the place that I was perfectly ok with the idea of waiting till Grace was nearing 3 to begin the potty process. i’ve heard so many rumors that when you start late it only takes a few days. compared to 6 months of being on ‘high alert’ for potty cues when I was expecting he should be telling ME….3-year-old training sounded nice.
however, the past couple months i’ve been contemplating it & this month in particular I’ve realized that I’m ready. I know that sounds backwards to most books (waiting for the child to show signs of ‘readiness’), but though I do love my cloth diapers, I’m ready to not be washing them every other day.
With Asher I read one book (Potty Training 1-2-3) & then relied heavily on advice from other mom’s who had trained early (most tips in this book don’t really pertain to little guys). In retrospect i’ve realized I had wrong expectations of not only the process but the end result. I thought I would spend a week or two ‘training’ then after that he would always use the toilet, coming up to tell me when he needed to go. We did end there, but it took 6-9 months for him to get to where he ALWAYS told me & another year before he would just go on his own w/o any mention to me. If I had realized this, there would’ve been less frustration in the process (then again, I was 8.5 months pregnant, so maybe not).
This time I decided to re-review the 123 book & read a few others as well. In all areas of parenting I’m realizing looking at lots of different angles helps keep me from trying to pigenhole my kids/family into something that one author says works or is right. So i went to the library & came home with The no-cry potty training solution & Diaper-free Before 3. I was expecting to scoff at the ‘no cry’ book (the title makes me think of parents walking around on egg shells to keep kids from being upset). However, i LOVED it. While there were some practical tips, it was more the overall perspective i found helpful. The idea that (duh) this is a LEARNING PROCESS. Just as you take time and have to have lots of patient repitition for an undetermined amount of time for your kids to learn anything from eating to tying shoes…potty training should be a patient, repetitive process that can’t have a real time-line pushed on it due to varients in children, parents & family lifestyle differences. A few years ago the idea of “gradual training” sounded like “lazy parents” to be honest. But that’s exactly what happened, ‘gradual training’. it’s just that I went the route of me ‘being trained’ to read him until he was ready to take over the process for himself. I’m ok with that. Enter second book.
I enjoyed this book too, but will come away with much less of her actual advice (she came off kind of militaristic & had some rather silly ideas in my opinion: using training underwear & water-proof covers after a year old so they can feel wet…um…ever heard of cloth diapers? MUCH easier than pulling soiled totally non-absorbant underwear off). She basically goes for the long-haul gradual process but starting MUCH earlier, with first introductions to sitting on the potty at 6months. it’s sort of a mix of potty training & elimination communication. With the idea that by the time the kid is 2 they’ll be totally out of diapers.
since Grace was about a month old I’ve been hovering her over the potty for pooping (any poo that gets in the toilet is one less bottom to be wiped & diaper to be washed), but not with any real purposefulness. I’ve considered myself a “lazy EC’er”. I’ve been concerned that this could backfire with potty training that since she’s always had the option of either toilet or diaper, she won’t catch on to no longer having the diaper option. However, according to these books, sounds to me like we’re well on our way to having already started training long ago. now it’s just the last step of moving to underwear & learning to catch more pee (she also pees in the potty a decent amount)…then the gradual process of turning the reigns over to her (though the before 3 book points out that even adults need to be reminded to go potty before long trips ect….so if NEVER having to be reminded is your end goal, don’t hold your breath). I’m ok with this. Deep cleansing breath everybody….”d-day” is monday.
Oh & for any ‘readiness’ fans who i’ve traumatized, she does show many ‘signs’. She even cheers for me when I go potty. She can’t talk very well, but she gets it & if i’m paying attention she usually tells me she needs to poop before she goes, she’s just not very demanding about it & i’m not super concerned, so I often don’t catch on & miss our potty opportunity.
Only stumbling block i’ve got right now is i can’t find our portable little potty. Gonna want that for the car for trips to places with no bathrooms…..arg.