Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Potty Learning

Back in June of last year I started to potty train Wyler.  Even though he was only 20 months old he seemed to be in a sensitive period for it.  I read up on doing the 3 day potty training, asked others for some advice, got rewards bought, and a progress chart all set up.

Initially it was a success.  He loved getting m&m's for going on the toilet.  It was all a fun grand game.  But after a few weeks he decided the game just wasn't that cool.  It turned into a battle of wills between us.  I finally just put the potty chair away.

Fast forward to beginning of this year.  I discovered the Montessori Method, and their way of doing toilet learning.

Toilet learning is a process of slowly introducing your child to the routine of using the toilet in a way and at a pace that allows the toddler to feel in control of their own body.  Traditional toilet/potty training usually involves a time pressure put on the toddler.  It usually has an overall attitude that the toddler has to do it because the parent says it is time.

I got the potty chair out of the closet and set it up again (I didn't say a word to Wyler, I wanted him to discover it on his own and not feel pressured), and moved all the diaper changing supplies into the bathroom, so that all diaper changes would happen there.  This way Wyler and James would associate urinating and bowel movements with the bathroom.

With Wyler I started to do standing diaper changes, which got him more involved in the process.  (However standing poopy diaper changes didn't last long, it was/is too messy.) After each diaper change I would give him an opportunity to sit on the toilet, but never forced him to.

After a couple months Wyler started to ask for his shorties (aka training pants).  He would make it to the toilet every now and then, but not often.  After several weeks of his refusing to sit on the toilet, even though I knew he needed to go, I was bout ready to hide all the training pants so I wouldn't have to deal with the accidents.

A couple days later Wyler started to make it to the toilet 95% of the time when he needed to go potty.

A week later, on Mother's Day, he decided it was time to start pooping in the toilet!

For the most part Wyler will wear shorties while he is awake and at home, and diapers when it is nap-time or we are out of the house.  Soon I am going to do short trips out of the house with out diapers and see how it goes.

I feel like if I had listened to those who said to take it slow and easy, and if I knew of this toilet learning method, we would have had success the first go around.

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