Tuesday, August 2, 2011

False Starts

At her eighteen-month checkup, Willow's doctor, who has traditionally been a little ahead of the curve on these kinds of things, told me that it was time to start potty-training.  I was all, really?  Isn't this a little early?  And I was assured that no, we should just introduce her to the idea, have her sit on the potty often, etc.

I shrugged and ignored the suggestion for a month.  And then I noticed Willow paying a certain amount of attention to her own bodily activities, and when we discussed them she was excited and enthusiastic, so I figured hey, why not?  Willow hates having her diaper changed.  Hates it.  So less of that would be good (though honestly, looking at the potty seat, I think I personally would prefer she stick with diapers for a little while longer.  Cleaning that does not look like fun).

We brought out the potty chair.  Willow thought it was cool.  So did Sock Monkey.  We sat Willow down on the potty chair after Sock Monkey was finished, and she peed.  I was ecstatic.  I hid it well, I think, and gave away only mild congratulations, but dude.  She peed.  This potty-training thing was going to be a snap.

Yeah, right.  For the next week or so, Willow was often naked from the waist down (which, you know, is just about the cutest thing ever, so I'm for it).  And there were many accidents.  Which is to be expected of course, but some of those accidents occurred within feet of the potty, and after that first time, Willow had no interest whatsoever in sitting on the thing.  The potty was good for putting toys in, but nothing else.

And I gave up.  Because while I don't really think this whole process is going to be super easy, I do think it will go better if she is even remotely engaged in the process.  The potty chair is hidden away again, and Sock Monkey can go about his business howsoever he chooses.  I don't know when to start this up again--when it's warmish, presumably--or even really how to go about it.  Everything I've read is very vague, and while I know every child is different, I operate better with a plan.  Anybody got a plan?


Anonymous said...

I used to work in a day care center and it seemed like if we waited till the kid turned 3, potty training happened REALLY quickly and easily (usually). Before that most of them just didn't seem to care. But we had so many kids that we couldn't spend a whole lot of time on potty training until each kid was REALLY ready, so we'd tell parents that if they wanted their kid potty trained before they turned 3, they'd have to do it on their own over a weekend. That did work sometimes, depending on the kid.

Anyway, this probably isn't much help, but as you said, all kids are different. I do think 18 months is really young for potty training!

Vicki Suan said...

I didn't have a plan either (plans stress me out--too much pressure). I have 3 kids (21, 14,10) and it all worked out. I remember constantly asking them if they had to go and we quietly walked to the potty. No stress or pressure on them to perform and it worked out. It's true, kids are different. Take your time. For me, weaning was way harder!

Anonymous said...

I suggest you read "Toilet Training in less than a Day". We tried that! And I was so excited, and I did everything exactly as the author suggested. For the results I experienced, read Dave Barry's esay on the subject. His experience was remarkably similar. I've kept it in your baby book.

Laura said...


Parker started daytime training at 18 months. She LOVED this book and the stickers and was totally in control of #1 and #2 by the time the book was done, but we continued to give her stickers as an incentive for another month or two. A lot of people don't like the reward approach, but I didn't mind it.

Note, she didn't ditch the overnights for a few years, though. She never woke up dry, so she just wasn't ready. The first dry morning we put her in undies and that was that.

I didn't want her potty trained so early because it made roadtrips a lot harder, but oh well.

Auntie Dawn said...

It is so much fun to relive the baby years vicariously through you and Willow! Pooty, I mean potty days..Training works pretty well when there is another little kid about the same age who is already trained. Peer pressure works wonders! (Read cousins Jess and Jere. He trained himself in a weekend never to return to daipers. Of course he was 3ish...)

Anonymous said...

My daughter was about 18 months at Christmas & we had a potty-themed Christmas. Potty monkey, Elmo goes potty, Pull ups, were the gifts that Santa brought. We discussed it quite a bit. Then at her 2 year visit, they needed a urine sample. They had to tape the bag onto her because she couldn't pee in the potty. With the help of the day care who took the kids to the bathroom every hour, she was potty trained a week after that dr visit. I think the pee bag left a big impression on her & she didn't want to do that again. Overnights took longer, maybe 6 months after that? We used the thick cloth training pants at night. We also used the potty seat that clipped onto the toilet (less mess for Mommy to clean up).

regina said...

When Toaster was about 2, we got a potty seat and put in the family room. He walked over to it used it. We thought "wow, he's brilliant!" and made a bit of a fuss. Of course, he wouldn't go near it again for the next few weeks. When he was ready, he just started using it. I found Pull-ups to be helpful, since he called them "big boy underwear," and that seemed to encourage him to get out of diapers (not that we rushed him at all). Once he was ready, it was a breeze. The only down side? Trying to find a bathroom when he realized he needed to go proved to be challenging at times (especially when we were on the highway, on our way somewhere).

kate said...

I vote for the taping on pee bag method!

My doctor's office gives the potty-training hand-out at the two-year appointment. I asked at the 18 month, and she said go for it if you want, but they don't start nudging you that way until 2.

Marian claims we'll just make them anal-retentive anyway by starting them early.

Wearing a shirt without pants is called "porky pigging it" in my house.

Anonymous said...

My sister bought this cool little potty seat that fits on the toilet, it works great, and you don't have to clean out a little potty chair! My niece, Charlotte, potty trained on it really fast, and loved that she was able to sit on the "big potty chair".

Now my sister goes everywhere with that dumb little potty seat tucked under her arm, but at least Charlotte goes on it, even in stores and restaurants, and no clean up needed!