We started potty training when our son was 10 months old. No really, you can read about that over here. Since 10 months old, our son has sat on the potty 90% of the time that we change his diaper. We try to follow the Diaper Free Before Three method.
However, we haven’t really gone all in, yet. I recently noticed that he knows when he is going AND can actually make himself go…when he wants to. So, this week, we started half days of potty training.
I know I should have him in underwear all day (or no covering at all), but I don’t want to push things. Also, we live 30 minutes from a grocery store and I honestly am not the best at planning when to shop. So, an impromptu milk run means a hold on potty training.
There are a few things that struck me when we really got started:
First, I had flashbacks to our early days nursing. Our son was due on July 4th, but was born on June 8th. Due to his early arrival, we had trouble breastfeeding. So, we were nursing/pumping/feeding/cleaning bottles, etc on a strict schedule. It was rough, but well worth the effort. He went on to nurse until he was 13 months old. Well, this isn’t much easier. I set a timer on my Fitbit for 15-20 and have our son sit on the Frog Potty as consistently as possible. As soon as he goes, the timer starts over again.
Another thing that surprised me was how much we needed that bonding time. We spend time playing with some of his favorite toys and books. I’ve noticed that he’s been a lot more affectionate this week and I feel like this might be part of the reason. As a full time homemaker, there is always something else to get done and that means I don’t spend as much time directly interacting with my son as I’d like to. Well, while potty training, you get to enjoy that time together and really focus on what matters. The dishes can wait.
I was shocked at how little he cared about having wet pants. I’ve heard of kids who quickly train because they hate that wet feeling. Not our son! I have no idea when he wets himself. Except for that time it leaked down his leg and he had fun sliding his foot back and forth where the hardwood was slippery.
Finally, I was amazed at how many times he actually went in the potty! I thought for sure #2 would be a major struggle, but he has yet to go in his diaper since we started this round of training. We don’t do any rewards, but he finds dumping everything into the toilet quite rewarding.
My advice, based on my limited experience, would be to not give up and to have patience. For me, it’s been a lot of effort, but so worth it. Not just for the goal of getting our son out of diapers, but enjoying the bonding time spent with him.