We pretty much follow the kids’ leads with stuff. Potty training included.
note: I hate calling it potty training. We aren’t training our kids. They are just learning and growing. Just like any new skill. We don’t call it multiplication training… Do we? Anyway… I digress.
We bought this potty for G when she was 13 months and kept it around and visible. If we went potty, we tried to take her with us at least a few times a day. She peed sometimes and sometimes she didn’t. We are currently doing the same with M although… Second child syndrome so I don’t think we aren’t as consistent about it. He’s just 13 months so I am not worried.
When G for a little older (at least 2) we would ask her to go try more and more. Especially as she seemed to be getting and understanding. We are no where near this point with M. That’s ok. All in time.
We kept the potty visible. Even putting it in the den so she wouldn’t miss out on anything. There were no bribes, no rewards, no shaming. Just an attitude of it’s there if you need it. She did not like a timer. But if we asked her frequently, we could get her to say yes.
We did no diaper time at home some too. Thank goodness we had replaced the carpet with hard floors already. She peed and pooped a few times. No problem. She was still young and figuring it out.
Our goal was to never make her feel bad when she had an accident. That wouldn’t help her learn. It would only shame her. And hey, accidents happen. Not always potty related but we all do things we don’t mean to from time to time.
She was so close to getting it when I had the “brilliant” idea of switching from cloth diapers to pull-ups. I wanted her to be able to pull her diaper up and down on her own. Especially at the gym since they weren’t a true daycare. They couldn’t really help her in the potty. I was sure we would buy one box and then be done. Ha. No.
She actually regressed. I think it’s because she didn’t feel wet.
This was all before she was 3 so I was not worried at all. More annoyed that I may have been the reason she had a “set back”. Even though a few steps forward and then some back is totally normal.
Then we decided to have another baby. I found I was pregnant a few months before she was 3. I knew kids often regress and have more accidents when there are big changes like moving or a new baby. I didn’t want that for her (or us to be 100% honest).
So we pushed a little. She was 98.6% there already. I decided no more pull ups. And guess what? She did it. She had almost zero accidents from then on.
All that “work” to help her probably got her on the potty a little bit earlier but I don’t think it made much difference. She was going to do it when she was ready. And she totally did. She even night trained herself. I think that happened before she was day trained.
When it was time to move from the little potty to the big potty, we let her pick out her own potty seat like this one. She was very excited about it. It helped ease her off the little potty and onto the big one.
We plan to follow M’s lead as well. We do it this way for many reasons…
It’s exhausting to me to set reminders, clean up pee/poop, and all that.
A little kid will learn a new skill when they are good and ready. You can’t make them do it any faster. Just like crawling and walking. You might be able to help them a little but in the grand scheme of things, they learned it a few days earlier.
I don’t want anything we do to traumatize my kids. So if they are fighting back, upset, not getting it, getting frustrated (this goes for me too). We aren’t going to continue with it.
They will get it when the time is right. And if I was truly concerned, there are professionals that can tell me if there’s a real problem.