“Wait until your child is showing signs of readiness,” they say.
Meh. Whatever. I’m a hardheaded person with a theory on potty training, and I want to try it my way. My son is 20 months old and hasn’t shown “the signs” yet, but I’d love to have him out of diapers by the time his baby brother arrives in February.
You are welcome to laugh at me if my great potty training experiment turns out to be a colossal failure, but bear with me while I explain my reasoning.
To me, it just seems illogical to keep my child exclusively in diapers for two or three years but expect him to have a magical transformation wherein he suddenly has an innate desire to use the potty. I feel like I could help speed this process along by starting him using the potty early, talking about it, using baby sign language, and making it an overall positive experience.
My current strategy is to:
- Make a routine of it – We have potty opportunities when he wakes up, before nap time, after nap time, and before bath time in the evening. At any other time, if I notice that it looks like he is going, we try to make it to the potty in time.
- Learn the body language – I try to pay attention to my son’s body positioning and movement to distinguish when he has to go. Lately I’ve been better at being able to catch him right before he goes so that I can whisk him off to the potty in time.
- Teach words and signs – We talk about the potty frequently using both words and baby signs. I’m hoping that this will equip him to start telling me before he needs to go potty.
- Make it fun – A stack of favorite books sits next to the potty so that he has something fun to do during the attempts. When he has a successful attempt, we clap and celebrate.
- Use a little bribery – I let him have a chocolate chip for every successful potty catch. This has been a big hit!
I’m happy with the routine we’ve established in this pre-potty training period. I hope that this will pave the way for a smooth transition to real potty training when he’s ready. It’s a good feeling on those days when he has three or four successes – and it definitely cuts down on the cloth diaper laundry loads, which I love!
We have tried a few different potty chairs, and my favorite is definitely the BabyBjörn. I wanted one without any frills: no cartoon characters, no music, no iPad charging station, no glitter bombs or laser shows when contact is made with the bottom of the basin. Just give me a nice, basic potty with a splash guard high enough to catch most spills. Actually, it’s what I’m planning to give YOU!
Use the entry form below to win a BabyBjörn potty of your own! This is a self-sponsored giveaway, meaning I’m paying for it myself to thank you for being a Diaper Wrecker reader.