Sunday, December 18, 2011

Early potty training

While I always saw the benefits of potty training early, somehow it didn't seem to me I'd ever be able to do it, but with Tehilla, the opportunity kind of presented itself a couple of months ago. Close to one year old, it was obvious that she simply hates going in the diaper. She would grunt, go red in the face, and cross her little legs in a gesture that said very plainly, "I don't want to do this!"

So, more to oblige her than anything else, I began to catch her whenever she was straining not to go, and sat her on the potty. Pretty soon she caught on, and when she received heaps of praise for successful action, she became wonderfully cooperative. I think seeing her sister go potty was great in the way of teaching, too.

Now, at 15 months, she actually progressed to letting me know she needs to go, and she goes potty many times a day, usually successfully. Sure, there are plenty of misses, and sometimes "false alarms", and I don't know how soon she will actually be out of diapers, but often she'll wear the same diaper throughout the day and it stays dry. This means we are saving money on diapers, which is something I'm thoroughly excited about, since we are using disposables (I've heard many good things about cloth nappies and really wanted to use them, but right now, when the rubber hits the road, I cannot willingly bring myself to do more laundry/cleanup than I'm already doing).

One thing I do have to say, is that she goes potty often. As in every hour or so, while Shira (our older girl) needs to go only several times a day. Since I'm home with my children, I'm able to attend cues/verbal signs and take my baby to potty, but otherwise, of course we wouldn't be able to do this - no caregiver could be expected to commit to hourly undressing and pottying a wriggly baby.

Another thing to mention, she is really very, very cooperative. I know I cannot make a rule out of this, since I only have two children to compare, but I've heard many times that 2 years is a wilful age, and so potty training might turn into a real battle of wills (we already had a taste of this).

Now, I can't actually know, right now, whether Tehilla will be out of diapers sooner than a child who begins at 2. But as I said, we are most certainly saving money on diapers already (not to mention reducing the amount of daily waste we produce), without any pressure towards our child. I think the effort is really worthwhile.


Lady Anne said...

My girls were all trained by 18 months. I used cloth diapers, which are cold and uncomfortable on the child, so they are much more willing to use the potty than youngsters who are in disposable diapers. Toddlers are always following you around anyway, so I put the potty chair in the bathroom and whenever I went, they at least sat down, and got the hang of it pretty quickly.

Another advantage to having daughters is that I could put them in dresses without diapers or panties, and I had a second chair in the kitchen, so they could go RIGHT NOW! So often, they don't feel the urge until it is too late. I have no idea what I'd have done with a little boy, though!

Kate said...

That's awesome!!! I can't believe she is 15 months old already, wow! Seems like you just had her! But then I can't really say that, mine is just a few months older than yours at 18 months. We haven't really started much with him yet other than putting him on his potty a few times when he grunts a lot.

Leah Brand-Burks said...

That's great. My younger son has been getting a kick out of watching his big brother go, and has let me know he wants to get on the potty too. I let him, and he makes pretend 'potty sounds' and thinks it's all really fun. Hopefully that's setting a good impression with him!

mommalovingjesus said...

That is wonderful that she is so ready (and you observant enough to notice) to use the potty! Believe it or not, I started with this last baby of mine at 2 weeks old as even at that age they will give you cues by squirming and crying to let you know they need to go! I too love the amount of laundry I am saving not having to change her all day. Went from washing dipes every other day to once a week. (she is 6 months old now). Keep up the great work!
(I recently wrote a post about this on my blog with pics of my sweet Pearl, feel free to drop by!