Since this post is about potty training, I am forced to use the words poop and pee to differentiate between the kinds of body waste. So consider yourself warned before you continue reading this post.
My youngest turned two last month. She has been completely diaper free (nights, naps and travel included) for over six months. She was completely potty trained by the time she was a year old. It often surprises people when I say this , or when they watched my one and a half year old drop her pants and run towards the potty when she had to go.
Everyone is curious to learn about how I trained my kids, so here it is my approach to potty training, some simple beliefs, and how I think you can potty train your young child too.
My approach to potty training girls or boysJust like with anything else I do in my life, I set out with a goal and I work towards it. I practice consistency and persistence. I forgive myself when I fail. And I will give up if I think something is taking over my life in ways I never imagined.
That was my approach with potty training both of my children. I started training them between nine and twelve weeks of age. I took breaks several times, but I never gave up because I worked on it in stages. But it worked both my kids went to the potty first thing every morning, and I have rarely changed a poopy diaper beyond 12 to 15 weeks of age.
My beliefs, and some facts to consider
1. If infants can signal hunger, they can understand and signal wanting to go potty.
Kids cry when they are hungry. We watch for the signals of hunger and train them to ask for food as they grow up. I strongly believe it is the same with potty training. When the child is too young to go to the bathroom by himself or herself, we have to watch for the signals and take them to the bathroom. And in this process, patience is an important virtue.
2. Bodies have a rhythm.
We eat at regular intervals and we go to the bathroom at regular intervals. Bodies have and like rhythms. It’s important to watch and maintain these rhythms for little kids as well.
If you help cultivate these rhythms when they are little, they grow up into adults with healthier digestive system and habits.
3. Everything does not work for everybody.
It is important to take baby steps and improvise. As with everything, find what works for you and your family. Raising kids in not an easy job. If you start early, you will succeed, so long as you give yourself time to fail and learn. So start sooner than later and find what works for you.
4. Set the right expectations.
In my case, my kids rarely soiled their diapers beyond four months of age. They were both walking by the time they were ten months old and started to make trips to the bathroom by themselves. By 15 to 18 months, they were both completely potty trained.
But, as in every situation, there were exceptions and accidents. If you want all these things to happen, you should be okay with rushing your child to the potty when you see that little pressure cringe on his or her face, even if you are at a friend’s place. We still take the kids to the bathroom to empty off their bladder at 11 p.m. every night.
If your life or personality does not allow for these things, you have to give yourself more months to potty train your little ones.