Thursday, February 21, 2013

toilet learning . . . a process

It started with the toilet.  Once she learned how to flush, and what the toilet paper was for, she was obsessed.  Then it became telling me when she had urinated or eliminated.  With pretty fair accuracy, improving all the time.  Then it became going to the toilet, wanting to take off her pants and diaper, sit on the toilet, wipe, flush, and wash her hands - but skipping the vital step of actually depositing something in the toilet!  Washing her hands became a whole separate obsession. 

Is someone dropping some hints, or what!?

I'm feeling a bit like lazy mama over here, knowing that she is exhibiting pretty much every sign of readiness for toilet learning, and yet I don't have a plan together for how to deal with it.  Thus, the text conversation I had with my sister a few months ago:

Me:  "So um how do I do potty training?"
Me:  "Vicki keeps wanting to sit on the potty, flush, wash her hands, and tells me when has peed or pooped (most of the time she is accurate).  I just don't know how to connect all the dots."
Nelle:  "If you dare, let her run around naked and see if she'll tell you.  Also use cotton training pants."

There was more, but the jist was:  you just have to dive in. 

I have had some Gerber cotton training pants for several months.  When I know we will be home for several hours, I put those on Vicki instead of a diaper.  So far, she doesn't really seem to care when she wets them or makes a puddle on the floor.  We just cheerfully clean it up together (she loves wiping things with rags - thanks practical life!). 

Styling her underpants for us.
I know people have many differing opinions on this, and I'm certainly not trying to force anything.  Our previous childcare provider told me that she had the best success in waiting until her daughters were three or four, and they basically just said they were done with diapers and started using the toilet - there was no "training."  That sounds fine, but . . . using diapers until she's four!?  No thanks.  Plus we want to send her the Montessori school up the street this fall, which requires daytime dryness to attend.  Additionally, I'd love to have her out of her one-size pocket diapers in time for baby brother to use them in a year or so.  (I'm buying some separate newborn fitteds and covers for him to start.)  I'm not expecting perfection, by any means, but it feels like I'm behind the ball in getting started on this learning experience.

So . . . I'm thinking that once we turn the corner into spring, we're just going to go for it:  naked.  No pants or underwear, and just take her to the toilet every thirty minutes.  She will pick it up fast, I have no doubt.  We just need to stay at home and be consistent.  We have all hardwood and tile, so cleanup won't be as big of a problem as with carpet.  Really, this will rest on Jeff, as he's the one at home now.  Advice is welcome!

1 comment:

Sandy said...

I know I don't have a child so my experience is rather limited, but I did do a lot of potty training with the little boy I nanny for (although he was 3 when potty training started happening consistently.) He had pull-ups, but didn't care if he wet them. It wasn't until he was in "big boy underwear" that it seemed to click. He had a "potty watch" that would play a little tune every 30-45 minutes when it was time to go potty and he liked that. Maybe let her help set a timer so she has some ownership of that, and just sit there for a while. Even if she just "drips" a little bit, lots of praise helps too.