The next question you would ask me is, "HOW?" Well, I almost feel like potty training has gotten out of control. Everyone is afraid to "push" their child, causing them to rebel. But possibly, introducing your child earlier is a good thing? (Introducing - not pushing - there is a difference). Otherwise you end up with a child who is so used to their diapers, they don't want to contemplate using the potty.
So here is how I potty trained 2 boys before they were 20 months, and what you can expect.
ONE: Look for signs of readiness.
We are not looking for your child to have EVERY sign of readiness. We want them to have ONE sign of readiness. Here is what I kept an eye open for:
1. Using Potty Words: Peepee, Poopoo, Caca, Weewee, WooWoo, Urinate, #1, #2 - whatever words you use ... are they saying them? With my first son, every time he had caca in his diaper - I told him. And whenever I saw him pee in the bathtub, I said, "Oh - you're going peepee!" And I said it nicely, not mad. I didn't want him to associate body movements with negativity. And I wanted him to understand what was going on.
With my second son, it was easier. First, he had a model in his older brother. If the older one was going peepee or caca, I told the little one. Plus, he had me and his dad as models too. Most moms know there is no such thing as a closed bathroom door when you have toddlers. Finally, I did the same that I did with his brother, telling him when he was peeing or pooping.
2. Holding in pee for long periods of time: Do you notice that their diaper is dry .... and then it is overstuffed with wetness within minutes? Or are they waking up from naps dry. Are they peeing just a little at a time or a lot? If they are saving up their pee to do all at once ... that's a great sign!
3. They tell you they are wet or dirty.Verbally or nonverbally.
4. They show an interest in the potty.
1. Do NOT buy a potty that has a cushioned seat. The cushion looks comfortable, but it will absorb waste and become a breeding ground for germs.
2. Do consider the height of the potty. Your child has to sit on it comfortably. Tall children will appreciate a taller potty. Short or younger children need something more suitable to their size. For my oldest, a shorty, the Boon Potty Bench was only 6.5 inches high and was perfect for him. When my youngest started potty training, I liked the shape and size of the Bjorn Travel Potty. Since I had two children to watch at that time, it was easier for me to have a little potty in the living room and the Boon in the bathroom. Plus, the shape of the Bjorn let's him sit from either the front or the back. And he also has an easy time peeing in it standing up due to the large hole.
Okay - so now you know my thoughts on knowing when your child is ready and what tools you need. Next we start my How-To's of Potty Training! (Come back around noon!)