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February 6, 2011 / MrsH

Potty Learning in our Toddler

Buddy started using the potty last September when we implemented the most amazingly complex reward system I’d never imagined using with a child.  During that time, Sweetpea was very interested in the whole process.  She began doing a little dance for him every time he successfully went.  It wasn’t long before she, too, wanted to try sitting on the potty.   Sometimes she chose the little one we had, but often she wanted to be just like her big brother.  We put the ring down on the big potty and lifted her up.  She quickly got the concept and started peeing in there whenever we put her on.  Diapers were still wet, but she really loved peeing in that potty.  She was 16 months.

Within a month she was starting to occasionally ask to go potty.  We’d get her situated for dinner, for example, when she’d suddenly get an anxious look on her face and start wiggling.  It took us a few tries before we realized she wanted to go potty!  No part of me was ready for this, but while purchasing underwear for Missie one day I couldn’t resist the size 2T underwear and got some for Sweetpea.  They went in her drawer next to her cloth diapers and one day she asked what it was.  I explained that when she gets bigger she’ll wear underwear just like Missie, just like mommy, etc.  She was lukewarm to that idea and stuck it back in the drawer.  The underwear went untouched for months as Sweetpea began asking to go more regularly and more diapers were staying dry.  We had some naked times, we got another potty for the living room.  We all did the potty dance regularly.

About a month ago I pulled out a diaper for Sweetpea, which she promptly grabbed from my hand and with an emphatic “NO!” stuck it back in the drawer.  After a tiny bit of digging, she found the underwear.  “This!”  I wasn’t ready.  I didn’t want to be cleaning up pee all day long.  Nor did I want to do the extra laundry.  But I had to swallow that all up because she was telling me, in no uncertain terms, that she was ready.  And this was about her.

Which brings me to today, and our 21 month old toddler who wears underwear all day long.  Our little baby girl who has even taken naps without a diaper.  She goes on errands with me, diaper free.  She refuses to sit unless she knows there’s a pee coming.  Oh and did I mention she does number 2 as well?  As long as she stays close to me so I can watch her and regularly ask, she does great.  She rarely goes when I ask her, but will then 2 minutes later tell me she needs to go.

Throughout this process I’ve had to really follow her lead.  We did not set out to potty train our child at 21 months.  She learned all by herself through imitating her brother and progressively getting closer.  All we did was to stand by her, support her, and trust her to know what was going on with herself.  And I’m loving the fact that she can wear regular pants now, and they’re even a bit large in the bum (all you cloth diapering mamas know what I’m talking about!).


One Comment

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  1. Kateisfun / Feb 7 2011 7:50 pm

    That is so awesome, Mrs.H!! Congratulations to all of you! I have thought so many times about wanting to try some elimination communication with Elijah, but it seems daunting. I know this isn’t that, but I love how you say that as long as you stay close to each other and watch her she does really well. Such a great example of how much kids can tell us if we are willing to “listen”.

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