Toilet Learning is going slowly at our house.
I follow some of the Montessori principles for Infant and toddler education and the sensitive period for toilet learning is 15-18 months so I wanted to introduce the potty at that time. I wanted to casually introduce the potty so that OG could start to get an understanding of what a potty is for, how to use it and maybe even get excited about it. We received a potty for OG’s first birthday and had it hanging around for OG to explore when she wanted. We talked about how it was a special OG sized potty for her to pee and poop in when she was ready.
OG was showing signs of readiness at around 16 months:
- Being aware of the need to go or having just wet her diaper (tugging on diaper, taking diaper off, coming to me and crying when she’s pooped)
- Dry diaper for long period so f time/waking up dry.
- No poops at night.
- Poops are somewhat predictable.
- Able to undress herself.
- Able to and desires to imitate adults.
- Able to follow directions (sit on the potty, take wet pants off, etc).
I started by putting her on the potty first thing in the morning or after a nap and was pretty successful at catching some pee (and a poop once too!). She was very proud of herself.
We let OG go without any diaper or pants while we were home to encourage her to use the potty instead of her diaper.
She would hold her pee for really long periods of time and cry at me when she needed to go but then wouldn’t go on the potty. Instead she would end up having an accident on the floor.
I thought that her having accidents meant that I needed to be more aggressive with getting her to sit on the potty when she needed to go and making her stay there long enough to use it (by distracting with books etc).
What ended up happening was she became more and more frustrated with the potty and wouldn’t even sit on it anymore. I was feeling really defeated.
Then I realized I was probably pushing too hard and needed to start listening to OG’s needs and desire in the potty learning journey.
I realized that getting her to or making her do anything was not part of my parenting style (a style that is heavily influenced by Magda Gerber’s RIE principles, which I was introduced to by a dear friend- Hi Kasia!).
So I decided to take a new approach.
I totally backed off.
The potty is available for OG to use whenever she chooses.
When OG is diaper-less in the house and it is clear she needs to pee, instead of “I can see that you need to pee. You have to sit on the potty,” I say “I can see that you need to pee. You can either sit on the potty or I can put a diaper on you,” If she refuses both I remind her “you can either use the potty or a diaper. It is not okay to pee on the floor.”
Lately she has been choosing a diaper and that’s okay! I am confident that when she is ready she will use the potty. In fact she has already been starting to show interest in the potty again.
How is your child’s toilet learning journey going (or how did it go)?