Potty Training: Early Exposure
Some of you may have noticed in some of my pictures here and on Instagram that Henry has been sporting big boy undies instead of regular pants. That's because we've been potty training. And, *knocks on wood* I think I can officially say he is potty trained -- except for when he is sleeping.
Before I explain what I did, I have to say I think we were really lucky. Henry picked up potty training really quickly, and the whole process has actually been pretty easy. I attribute that to a couple of factors. One, Henry was really ready to train and we just followed his lead. Two, early exposure to the potty.
When I shared our Montessori toddler bathroom, you'll notice that we had a potty, undies and a diaper in the bathroom. The potty had been in the bathroom for months before that even -- since he was around 18-months-old. It was important for me so that as soon as he was ready we would know. Plus, this way the potty wasn't just something that showed up that changed his whole routine, it was something that had been here for a long time that was just for him.
When we got the potty, we started by just placing Hen on the potty a couple times a day. We picked times were it was just convenient for us, like before his shower, or nap. There were no expectations or pressure, but there were rewards. One jelly bean for pee, a matchbox car for a poop. And TONS of praise. Happy songs, dancing around, excitement -- every drop of pee was celebrated.
Then, we talked. And talked, and talked about going potty. Every time he peed, or I did. We talked about why. What big-boys do. Everything.
So if you haven't gathered it already, we clearly aren't a "3-days-to-the-most-perfectly-potty-trained-kid-of-awesomeness" family. While we eventually, completely switched over a period of a couple days, I really think the ease of that transition had to do with all the things we had slowly been working on for months.
Are you thinking about potty training? Or have a young toddler? I suggest these tips:
1. Get a potty early and talk about what it's for.
2. Keep it fun. No pressure.
3. Follow the toddler's lead, if he/she is super into it, go with it. And back off when they aren't into it.
4. Talk about it! Talk about undies. Talk about the potty. Talk about diapers.
5. Use rewards early. This doesn't have to be food, but use some sort of reward -- even if its just positive attention. Make the association between "this is a good thing" and the potty.
Next up, I'll explain what happened when we finally ditched the diapers altogether.