Monday, March 30, 2009

Potty Learning!

Most of this is a repeat from our family blog, but I wanted to expand a bit here.
The past week has been very full of activity! Outside of work, which has also been busy, we embarked on toilet learning for The Boy. His first day was Saturday (21st), and while the morning was a HUGE success through naptime, the afternoon (post-nap) was a lot of messes. Sunday was the exact opposite. He goes to church childcare for a little over two hours...and had two accidents. He had four accidents each day (TMI, I know), but this was still better than I expected. Plus, I put him in a diaper or pullup each night, but he woke up dry. Making it to the toilet was sometimes a problem though.
I packed him a lot of extra clothes, shoes, etc for school Monday and off he went. Most of his accidents last week were the result of being a boy and not tucking and keeping his legs together. At school he "makes bubbles" by standing up and peeing, but his stool at home is not tall enough for that.
He has overnight accidents on occasion, but they appear to be unrelated to his liquid consumption. On the night I thought for sure we were doomed, I forced a pull-up on him (ok, convinced him to wear that instead) and he stayed dry. He'd had a full sippy cup of water after gymnastics and before bed. He should have wet the bed (ok, pull-up), but he didn't! Of course, the night he had almost nothing to drink, I was changing the sheets at 2am. Figure that out!
To top off the adventure (to date, because I still expect accidents) he went through the entire weekend without an accident-- church, grocery shopping, etc. It has been an amazing reinforcement for my personal opinion on child-led learning.
Truly, even though my son is quite young to learn how to use the potty, people all around were pressuring me to force him to use the toilet. I was so tired of hearing "I was potty trained at 18 months" and similar stories. Most of the time I brushed it off with a "he's not ready" comment and moved on, but under the surface it was becoming a bit stressful for me.
Then this light flipped in my son's head. It was amazing. At the end of February or beginning of March, he started asking to use the toilet. Sometimes he was successful, sometimes not. It did not matter. We were about to go on vacation, and I was NOT going to put him in underwear before all of our travels. He used the toilet in spite of wearing a diaper, but he was not consistent. Milan of all places... he started pooping on the potty. I kid you not. On vacation. In a strange land. Out of his routine. And he is using the toilet. He cried when he had to pee in his diaper on the airplane.
This past week has been a remarkable lesson and reinforcement for me that if I wait until he is ready to learn things, he will learn them quicker and both of us will be happier in the process. Forcing him to do things before he is physically, emotionally, and psychologically ready-- whether it be weaning, toilet learning, sleeping, or any of the "is your child doing XXX" checklist-- is not the way for our family and only serves to add stress to people's lives. He will do it when he's ready, and I am incredibly happy that I have stuck to my guns. He's not fully "there" yet, but the process has been peaceful. And yes, I expect backsliding, accidents, and any number of negatives before he has fully mastered this skill.


jen said...

My sister potty trained herself one day when she was 13 months old. she just hopped on the toilet backwards because she was too small to sit the right way and never looked back. My mom wasn't even considering it. None of us were, SHE decided.

Sparky on the other hand was force trained at 12 months and all freudian kidding aside, I think is worse for it. His mother calls it "Being Clean". Sparky was "Clean" at 12 months. He's one neurotic OCD issue after another.

Again, Maria, you are one of the voices I look to as I embark on this motherhood thing. Thanks.

Trannyhead said...

12 months for potty training?! ?!?!?

My kid is 20 months and I don't think he's anywhere near being ready to start training. And hell, the diapers are just so CONVENIENT, aren't they? Anyway, congrats on taking a step in the right direction!

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