Marshall has been diaper free for 3 weeks, today! He woke up one morning, signed “potty” to me. I helped him onto his little potty that we keep next to our bed during the night and at nap times. He peed then stood up and signed “potty”, again. I told him, “Yes. You used the potty. Thank you for letting me know that you needed to go.” He began to sign more frantically, so I quickly brought him downstairs and sat him on the toilet with his adapter seat on it. He pooped and proudly signed “potty” while beaming his huge smile. It was clear that something was different about this for him.
We have always been very interested in natural infant hygiene. It just makes so much sense! Marsh has only rarely ever used a diaper during the night. He has peed and pooped on the little potty regularly, but not consistently since he was about three months old. So, it was not unusual for him to start out the day using the potty. But, he kept it up throughout our day at home. He would either head to the bathroom, sit on his little potty (that I usually try to keep near), or signed “potty”.
The following day he helped pick out some stickers at the store and we set up a Potty Time chart. Each time he uses the potty, flushes, and washes his hands he picks out a sticker and we place it on his chart. It seems so simple, but he really gets a lot of joy out of picking out the stickers, adding them to the chart, talking about the pictures on the charts and counting them up at the end of the day.
For the first week we brought his adapter seat with us when we went out in a nice little bag that he can carry himself. That way, even if the bathroom and toilet were strange he had something reassuringly familiar to use. But, he is “an old pro” now and seems unfazed by different surroundings when it comes to using the bathroom.
We understand that he may lose interest but if nothing else this has been a fun three week break from diaper washing! I really cannot see him reverting back to diaper wearing, as he seems to derive such satisfaction from his new skill.
I feel fortunate that Marshall is interested in potty learning at such a young age (now 19-months). I try to allow him the freedom to explore it on his own, without pressure. If he misses his body’s signals and doesn’t make it to the potty on time, we reassure him that this has happened to everyone and that he can use the potty next time if he wants to. We clean it up quickly and without a fuss. The most challenging time for this is when we are playing or working outside in the snow. Navigating the many layers required to keep him it tricky! He does not have more than one “miss” a day because he simply prefers to stay clean and dry. He always had. We never had to wonder about whether or not he needed a change. Adam noticed when he was about three days old that when he was wet he would try to squirm away from his diaper.
Every child is different and will be ready use the potty at different times. If you are trying to help your child with their potty learning, please check out Dr. Sears’ tips.