Adventures in Potty Learning: Update #1

I read a book once…the diaper free baby…I was intrigued and immediately went out and bought a potty.  My goal was (and still is) to help Isaac become aware of his body.

My philosophy/approach is this:

  • allow I naked/undie time…the more they better.
  • do not yell or punish or get upset about “accidents.”
  • watch and be aware to help him learn.
  • praise, praise, praise when the potty is used.
  • if an accident happens, address it.
  • do not force, if Isaac wants a diaper he gets a diaper, if I’m not in the mood to handle any of the above, Isaac gets a diaper.  It must be positive for us both.

I call this learning and not training, because I’m not forcing it,  I do not have a time frame, but mainly it’s my mind set, maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I’m not training him like I would train a dog, I’m helping him learn to listen to his body and how to respond to it.

Now, that we know my thoughts on this, lets go back to a year ago.  That is when I read the book and that is when I bought a potty and we’ve been putting Isaac on the potty ever since.  Most people would probably say “You are crazy!  A year of potty training!?!  He wasn’t ready.”  But here’s the deal…we’ve been using the potty, but not all the time.  I put him on it in the morning, or when I need to go to the bathroom.  It was something to occupy him and help him get used to.  We (I) would talk about it.  It became a part of life with him.  We’ve gone through stages where we used it more than at other times.   We’ve had a screaming kid in a restaurant at 11 months because he didn’t want to poop in his diaper.

This summer, I’ve tried to give Isaac more diaper-free time.  I know his poop schedule, so once he had his morning poop, I’d let him run free until after nap, this would give him a few hours.  We even got a new, bigger potty and a potty seat for our toilet and invested in a few undies for him to wear.

If I pay attention well to Isaac, we wouldn’t have accidents, but the fact is, most of the time I’m working during that time and my attention isn’t 100% on Isaac, so I would miss the subtle cues he gives…like coming up and tugging on my arm or resting his head on me.

Fast forward to the Sand Dunes just a few weeks ago…something happened to my 19-month-old on that trip.  He grew and learned so much.  We came home and he has been a talking machine.  Add to the fact that we are now learning signs and he can communicate so much.  This week, he has learned to say and sign “potty.”  It’s a good thing he has the sign too, because his word for “potty” sounds a lot like “bye.” 🙂

Things that make me smile this week in potty learning:

  1. Isaac yelling “potty!” and signing “potty,” seriously, so cute!  Even in public.
  2. Isaac backing up to the potty and missing several times.
  3. Isaac peeing and yelling “YAY!” and clapping and picking up his seat and bringing it to me.
  4. Isaac pooping on the potty without my knowledge and running across it sitting there an hour later and remembering running into the room I was in screaming “YAY” and clapping.  Guess that is what it was for.
  5. Isaac saying “Uh Oh” any time he pees or poops anywhere besides a potty (ie his diaper, the floor, his undies).

I never knew teaching a child how to know when and how to use the potty could be so fun and rewarding.  I think it is just as good for Isaac.  I know a lot of people struggle with the whole potty teaching stuff, but I think in the end it comes down to mindset.  On days when I can’t make it positive for whatever reason, I have to just put Isaac in a diaper, it makes life better for us both – even if he insists on taking the diaper off.

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2 thoughts on “Adventures in Potty Learning: Update #1

  1. We had our first fully successful poop in the potty today. L was so proud of himself and so happy to get all kinds of rewards. Wonder if it’ll keep up… I wouldn’t mind not having to clean poo out of any more undies. 🙂
    Good for you and Isaac!

  2. Haha!! I absolutely love # 3 and #5 wish I could be there to see that. Funny guy. And congrats on potty teaching him so young. I really admire how you have approached the potting “training” from the beginning and I like that you call it potty teaching too. 🙂

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