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August 07, 2013

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. 

potty training, early potty training, undies, big boy

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. 

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Heather said…
Way to go Henry! I love their little bums in undies! It's so nice when you get to be diaper free!
Lindsay said…
Awesome, Henry!!!! It must be a relief to have him out of diapers! I'm eagerly awaiting our turn. Ethan is 25 months old and we had a potty in his bathroom since probably around 16-18 months old, too. He knows it's a potty, and he knows what we do in the potty, and when I go potty he sits on his potty next to me...but he never does anything in his potty or tells me when his diaper is dirty. Until yesterday when he said "mommy, Ethan need clean diaper." *cue angels singing* I was beginning to think he would never show an interest. It seems most of his friends have already gone pee on the potty quite a few times and are interested in at least trying. Boo!
Anonymous said…
Lucy (16 months) has just started in the past few days to show an interest in the potty. Now I've been putting her on there whenever I go to the toilet and she is there and before baths. Almost every time she does a wee. She knows what wee is too and will look down to watch it, which is a positive sign of readiness. We are doing similar to what you said with introducing it :)
kjw said…
Great job! We have been attempting potty training for quite some time and are getting nowhere. The potty has been in the bathroom since he was probably 20 months old (he's 28 months now), he'll sit on it, he comes running in when I go to the bathroom and yells "mommy pee!", he knows what it's all about, but he refuses to do anything. He'll sit on the potty and play for 5 or 10 minutes doing nothing and then pee the instant I put him in the tub. I'm trying so hard not to pressure him, but I feel like he'll never make any progress.
Kirstylee said…
I loved this post. My toddler is definitely showing readiness signs, but I am waiting until we move in a few weeks to finally take the plunge. Hopefully it goes well. :)