August 11, 2010

Ready or not?

          So, DD has started to bring my husband or me a fresh diaper and the package of wipes when she needs to be changed. She even signs, "Please." It's cute and very convenient. It also makes us wonder if she is ready to start potty training.
          She is only 19 months old. And she does not seem to be aware when she needs to go potty. She also is primarily non verbal, so I don't know how she would tell us if she did need to go. Isn't that a key prerequisite?
          We bought her a talking Elmo potty some time ago. Started putting her on there as her bath was running and dipping her hand in warm water to try to get her to pee. Our goal was to stop her from peeing in the bath, which she almost always did. She loves her Elmo potty, and tries to get on it all the time.
          Kind of makes you think she's ready, right? I'm really in a quandary right now. I think if we start before she is ready, it will be a disaster. But if she is ready and we don't start, we're really missing a golden opportunity (pun sort of intended).
          How do you know? And how do you even go about this whole potty training business? I don't know if I am ready! This is the first time as a mom when I really feel clueless and unprepared. Seriously, I have taken it all in stride so far, but this is kind of freaking me out.
          I didn't expect to be dealing with potty training so soon. Then again, I didn't think we would ever consider putting DD in pre-school this early on, either. And we are not only talking about it, I will be visiting my first school tomorrow. I'll blog about that later on. In the meantime, help me! Or hold me! Or get me a drink of something strong! Seriously moms, I need support!


  1. My oldest did this (about the same age.) It took another four or five months for her to be ready to use the potty. Start making your dd more aware of the idea of toileting. There are some good books for very young about bodily functions.(Everybody Poops and Once Upon a Potty--I know ) The best advice I can give you is don't rush it. If you do, it becomes a nightmare. When they are ready it literally takes only a few days to get them out of diapers and into "big girl" panties.

    It is nice to see the light at the end of the diaper tunnel isn't it?

  2. Go for it! Regardless of the age it'll be a challenge. You cando it!

  3. Potty training is the pits but has to happen, right? So just take it in stride. If u start and it's not going anywhere then stop.

  4. Ah, potty training. The bane of my existence.

    My mother always says to me: "Don't worry. He's not going to go walking down the aisle in an Elmo diaper." Meaning, like all things, it will come.

    What we are doing is simply making him aware. We've had the potty chair in the house for months. We talk about potty like it's the coolest thing EVER. Right now, we put him in big boy training pants (like underwear but just a little thicker) so he understands the difference between wet and dry. We put him on the potty every so often in the attempt to catch him on a full bladder.

    So far, he is resistant, so we don't push. He will hold it long enough to keep his big boy pants dry, but then he totally floods his pullup at nap and bedtime. He doesn't like leaking, so I think that's going to push him over the edge. Also, he is pretty well opposed to pooping in the potty.

    We make a huge deal if he goes in the potty, and no deal at all if he has an accident or leaks.

    Best of luck. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of laundry, but it will happen. Some parents have a lot of luck with leaving their kids bottomless, but Turtle is a prude and freaks out if we try to let him go without pants. Not sure where he got that from, but it's certainly our cross to bear :)

  5. If she's ready do it! Don't look back. Being potty trained is a beautiful thing! Good luck.

  6. This may sound silly, but one idea when she's ready is to bring her portable potty (& toilet paper) with you in the car when you leave the home - I haven't had to use it much but it has made my life so much easier when I'm unable to quickly make it to a restroom when we're on the road!

  7. I would say start if you are willing to put everything into it - regular interruptions, wet floors, soiled clothes...If it's the right time as a family then go for it. The little princess book 'I want my potty' is good fun!

  8. @ Jeannie - Rushing it is what I don't want to do. And I know the Everybody Poops books. LOL I am ready to be done with diapers. That day will come!

    @LCW Thanks for the encouragement!

    @CaneWife - I have heard about the leaving them naked approach. That would so not work in our house. LOL

    @Lisa - The key thing is IF she is ready. I just don't know...

    @ Nikki - That is a great idea!

    @ Claire - I think one of the reasons I am not ready is b/c we have so much going on right now. We're dealing with some issues that are very stressful, and I think that is why I am resistant. This just feels like it would be too much on top of everything else. But, like I said, if she is ready I don't want to miss the window of opportunity...

  9. @ Momalon - Oops! Sorry, I missed you! I think that is very good advice, and probably the way we will go.

  10. It's been a while but I remember my kiddo was not one of those "early" trainers. LOL
    I think I read somewhere the "magic" number was 27 months to start trying. So that's what I did. She was waking up dry in the mornings so I figured I'd give it a go. I remember when we were home she was in big girl panties all the time except nap time and bedtime or if we went out. It was a mess for a few days, but then it kind of clicked.

  11. Every child and every family is different and I wouldn't presume to tell you whether you should or shouldn't start potty training now. I can tell you what has and hasn't worked from my experience, though ...

    For my son, I learned from two friends about "elimination communication" ("EC") and thought it sounded like a terrific idea - i bought a couple of books, joined an online discussion group and was very gung ho about it. My son was about 18 mos and about 75% trained. Then he went on strike. Not just a few day or a few week strike, but a strike that lasted nearly two years. I tried to follow all of the tenets of EC but obviously either I was doing something wrong or it was simply not right for my son. I think it really ruined us and he took a really long time to train him in the end.

    I swore not to make the same mistake with my daughter. I let her go totally at her own pace, never suggested that she use the potty but simply made it available. She had a HUGE advantage being a younger sibling AND being a girl. She saw her brother doing it and wanted to join in. By age 2.5, she was very interested and requesting to go to the potty on her own with more frequency. I decided to go for it so we ditched the diapers, bought a basket full of Dora undies and within about a month she was completely trained - we just finished! :-)

    I agree with the recommendations above for books - even though she is not verbal, she will begin to understand the terms involved.

    Good luck!

  12. Take her in the bathroom with you, let her sit on the potty while you sit on the potty. Do not take her out of diapers until she can tell you she can go and then go straight to panties. Pull-ups are confusing and make the process take longer. She will let you know when she's ready and it's different for every child so it may be soon and it may not be. Just do NOT stress about it, no one walks down the aisle in diapers!

  13. I know several parents w/ kids who seemed ready at that age, then backslid after a month or two. But give it a try!

  14. Oh potty training...I started to early with my eldest and too last with my little one. I think the best approach is to try without expectation. Take your daughter's lead, the answer will reveal itself (I sound like a psychic, lol!). Best of luck to you and DD!

  15. @ Carrie - Yes, I have always thought it was later. And I don't know that she is ready. I'm really torn.

    @ PJ - Thank you for my laugh of the day! Elimination communication! OMG, that's good stuff!

    @ Mike's Crazy Wife - I could not go to the bathroom without DD on my lap if I wanted to. (I do want to, but it's hopeless.) So, since she's there, I've decided to start talking to her about what I'm doing. It feels ridiculous, but I'll say, "Mommy is going pee pee on the potty." I feel silly just typing that! LOL

    @ Carrie - I don't think we are going to go full court press at this point, but we'll let her get on the potty and see what happens. Be encouraging and celebrate when she has success, but not make a big deal out of it. Just see what she thinks/does...

    @ Mommyfriend - That is excellent advice! I believe that children do all things when they are ready. Walking, talking... There are no set times. And if I don't have expectations, I won't be stressed. So she won't be.

  16. My advice is, if she resists, just stop. Wait a couple weeks or a month. Try again. Eventually, she will "get it"!

  17. My second daughter started pulling her diaper off and throwing at us as she ran to the potty.That's how we knew she was ready:) She started training at about 18 months/ But I think it had something to do with having a sister who was 3 and her wanting to be like big sis.They will let you know when they are ready.Good luck!

  18. She knows more about what she is doing than you...let her take the lead and just follow along.

  19. I say it's a step in the right direction but actually ready to potty train, probably not. I like that she wants her diaper changed when she's dirty. That's got to be helpful.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the birthday wishes.


  20. Actually we started what's called "EC" with our oldest at 13 months, and he was potty trained by 20 months. I guess that seems like a long time, but you don't go about it in the same way you would potty training a 3 year old. Since the time he was 14 months, we've changed maybe 5 poopy diapers. That was pretty awesome for all of us! Our youngest is 14 months, and we haven't done a lot with it, but he does love to sit on the potty, even if he doesn't put anything in it. I guess what I'm saying is, I don't think she's too young. I know that a lot of Americans have different ideas on potty training, but it doesn't hurt to let her try. The important thing is for you not to get frustrated. A couple books that really helped us are Early Start Potty Training and Diaper Free Before 3. But whatever you decide, she'll be fine!

  21. @ Faithful Mama - Good advice!

    @ Tammy - She is leading. The train has left the station and we are along for the ride, like it or not! LOL

    @ Michelle - She actually went pee pee in the potty last night and this morning.

    @ Stacey - We are letting her get on the potty when she wants to. If she has success, we celebrate. If not, we don't make a big deal about it and go on w/our day. She's very interested, and is starting to be more aware. So we'll see where it goes...


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