Oh those dreaded words: “Potty Training”. When do you start? How do you do it? It’s all so confusing and overwhelming. And our motivation for doing it did not stem from our son showing an overwhelming number of “readiness signs”. On the contrary, we just wanted to be a one child diaper-changing household by the time our daughter would be born, in March. That, and we had ordered a living room rug that was on backorder until mid-December, so we figured if’ he’s going to be running around sans diaper for several weeks, let’s do it now before we have a brand new rug on the floor. But I have to say that after nearly a month of potty training my almost 2 year old son, it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.
I will admit, the first 5 days SUCKED beyond belief. We chose to train him using the diaper-less, pants-less method – meaning they wear only a shirt and socks in the house for the first several weeks. My husband and I decided that we would start on a Friday, since that was going to maximize the time we could train him before his next daycare day. But I do not recommend starting on a weekday, unless your partner can take the day off to be home with you, because literally all eyes need to be on your child those first few days. I made the mistake of committing to doing Day 1 without my husband, and I really wish I hadn’t. The first day alone, my son peed 40+ times – and every time it was all over the floor, which made for lots of clean-up fun for a 6 month pregnant mama, a.k.a., me. By the end of the first day, I realized I had done nothing but stare at my son’s penis all day. Yes, out of context that sounds weird and creepy, but the reality is that you have to be on them like white on rice, or you will never get them to the potty in time. After 12+ hours with zero successes, I thought for sure that my son was not ready. Who pees 40 times in one day, for God’s sake?? But in retrospect I realize that he probably just had first day jitters, and didn’t know what to do without his diaper safety net there to catch his fall.
By Saturday mid day, my husband and I couldn’t take it anymore. We decided he wasn’t ready (and quite frankly, we weren’t ready for this kind of commitment), and therefore decided to revert back to diapers before we had done too much to confuse him. But then he woke up from his nap that afternoon, now in his diaper, asking to use the potty. He actually wanted to use it, so we thought “Well, there’s no turning back now, so let’s just give it a few more days, and see where this goes”. Every day he got better and better, and although we had to physically bring him to the potty mid-stream for most of his initial successes, within a week or two he was telling us when he had to go. And now in the last two weeks, he has had only two accidents! We are still working on getting him to go to the potty at daycare – he only goes to daycare two days a week, so doesn’t have the same comfort level there as he does at home. But I am confident that he will eventually get it. He is already going on the “big potty”, and I think within the next week or two he will be ready for underpants. He still wears a diaper at naptime and bedtime, and I suspect that will persist for quite a while, but I am so psyched that he is actually potty trained! At least 90% potty trained.
He will be two next week, and I genuinely wasn’t sure if he was ready at first, but from what I understand most children possess the skills and maturity to potty train as early as 18 months. And supposedly it is best to train them before 28 months, when they get more set in their diaper-wearing ways. This early potty training method is not for everyone, and certainly not for every child, but it worked for ours, and I hope I can give some inspiration to parents who are thinking of doing it early. May the force be with you, and don’t give up!!