When are you going to potty train. Is she potty trained yet? She’s two…How did potty training go?
Hmmm, let’s see. We are not potty training and we do not plan to ever. I do not want to be trained to know when she might need to pee. I don’t want to watch for her cues. Honestly, I don’t want to steam clean a million and one little accidents they, by the way, would be zero her fault. Furthermore I never for a moment want to make her feel like she can’t do something that she has no control over.
So She Is Going To Be In Diapers Forever?
Now I never said that she would not learn to use the toilet. She has been learning since she could walk. She comes in the bathroom with me. We talk about how someday when she is bigger and ready she will also be using the big toilet. We discuss how much toilet paper is ok to use. We learn to wash our hands and dry them. What we don’t do is choose a day and say ok we are potty training.
Why? Because her body and mind need to be ready.
I know, I know after all these diaper changes YOU are ready. We all are. Children learn to potty at all different ages some things need to happen before they can use the potty. Before you can say yes, they are out of diapers. Please, don’t worry they won’t be going to high school with a pack of diapers.
Signs of Readiness
Telling you they have just peed. (Good)
Telling you they need to pee. (Even better)
Going longer periods with a dry diaper. (Good)
Waking up dry more often. (Better)
Wanting a wet or soiled diaper off right away.
Can walk, sit, and stand with no help.
Can follow simple instructions.
Can pull pants up and down.
Can communicate needs and wants.
Has a desire to use the potty like others.
Knows about body functions and has words for them such as poop and pee.
How We Potty Learn
When they hit most readiness milestones you move from just modeling to talking about how they will someday use the big potty like you.
You can talk about handwashing, bottom wiping, and being clean and dry.
Definitely, show how proud you are for small things such as toilet flushing or sitting on the potty even if nothing happens.
Celebrate each small success until it becomes routine then we tone it down and wait for them to take the next step. Such as from just sitting on the potty to peeing, to pooping and to not wanting diapers)
Celebrating for us is high fives, hugs, and exclamations of “Oh wow you are so good at this!”
We do not take diapers away. We comment about how we wear underwear and how good it feels not need a diaper. When they don’t want them we stop offering and if they want them that’s ok too. Moving to pull ups at this in between stage is not a horrible idea. Diapers made these days also refasten well.
Accidents can and do happen. We clean it up with a smile and say oh well next time you will make it. Please do not yell and scream.
Please do not yell, scream, hound or nag. This is about giving skills and encouraging.
We talk about when there are no more accidents we will get big girl or boy undies.
The end result will be a child who is in charge of using the potty on their own.
**While we start modeling at a young age it is not until the signs of readiness start to appear that we expect any success. When it has happened for us it seems like it happened in a matter of days. Modeling is simply to accustom a very young toddler to what others around them are doing. Children soak up knowledge and want to please the adults in their life. If it is not a power struggle it never will be.
I have done this with my last four children and it worked like a charm. We don’t bribe, yell, hit, demand. This is no different than learning to eat, walk or speak. It is a milestone that their body needs to be ready for. Many children do not even develop the muscle control needed until they reach about 18 – 30 months to use the bathroom under their own control. So you would in fact simply be training yourself to watch for cues and make a mad dash with a toddler who might make it, might not or really just won’t go. My method is about readiness, giving them a skill set and encouragement. Will you give it a go?
Updated to include:
I have to apologize because I realized after someone commented that I had, in fact, looked something up last night and I forgot to cite where I found that information.
—> “Many children do not even develop the muscle control needed until they reach about 18 – 30 months to use the bathroom under their own control.”
The ages of a child holding their bladder I did have to look up and they were found at www.mom.me
Under the article “At What Age Do Kids Gain Control of Their Bladder?”