Potty Learning 101


I have had a lot of people ask what we do in terms of potty learning with our children.

Miss H and Mr.B  were both fully potty learned before age two. And Sweet M seems to be on the same path.

This may be shocking, but honestly, I don’t feel like we did anything particularly special.

We made sure the party was readily available. Both a toddler potty separate from the big potty, as well as the big potty with an infant ring seat.

Going potty was never taboo. They watched us go so it was a completely normal thing for them. They knew that pee pee went into the party.

We offered lots and lots of naked time. It allowed them to get a true sense of their body, and when their body needed to use the bathroom.

We also cloth diaper. I don’t know if it made a huge difference or not, but they were definitely aware that they were wet anytime they peed in the cloth diaper. When we would travel and use disposable diapers, they were completely oblivious. Miss H was several years old and would still pee in a pull up if we put one on her without thinking twice. Long after she was potty learned. So that alone makes me an avid believer in cloth diapers in their correlation to potty learning. Especially “early” potty learning.

We never used bribes, threats, coercion, or rewards. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sustain giving them an M&M or a marshmallow every time they peed for the rest of their life. So why start now? 

Plus, using the bathroom is a very natural part of life. Much like walking and talking. They will get the hang of it on their own time, no need to rush it, and every kiddo is different. And that’s okay!

Miss H showed an interest in the potty at 12 months. We just went with her flow. Lots of naked time, being excited when she went, and just letting her do it at her own leisure. She was fully in underwear with virtually no accidents by age 16 months.

Of course, when her baby brother was born three weeks later, she regressed for a little over a week. But then she got back on the bandwagon and that was that. No big deal.

Mr. B showed zero interest in the potty until essentially the day he potty learned.

We went and saw the movie Planes in theater when he was 23 months old, and when we came home he announced he wanted airplane chonies (slang Spanish word for underwear). We went to the store and purchased some, came home, he put them on, and that was that. He seriously maybe had three accidents that whole week and never looked back.

It was truly easy as pie. I never expected it, especially since he hadn’t shown any previous interest. I figured he’d be 4 before he ever potty learned. 

And now we have Sweet M. 

He’s 16 months old and has been showing quite an interest in the potty for the past two months. With the big move and all, I haven’t been able to offer him as much naked time or had much time to really encourage potty usage, but we’re finally getting there. 

He consistently was telling us each time he’d potty and bringing us clean diapers, demanding his dirty ones be removed asap (not like I blame him!). 

Now that we are offering him a lot of naked time he is pretty consistently sitting on the potty throughout the day by choice. Sometimes he pees, sometimes he doesn’t. He’s about 50/50 on actually getting to the potty before he starts to pee. There is a lot of him starting to pee on the floor, realizing it, and zooming off to finish in the potty. 

And that’s okay. We just roll with it. It’s called “potty learning” for a reason. As he is learning. 

I can’t begin to guess how long this process will be with Sweet M. We may spend months, dare I say even years, in the learning stages before he’s fully potty learned. Or maybe he’ll be in full-time chonies tomorrow. You never know. 

Maybe he’ll greatly regress when Jelly Bean is born in a few weeks. Maybe he won’t. 

All I do know is the process is only as stressful as I make it. And since I’m super laid back, it will be a calm and gentle experience for Sweet M, just as it was his older brother and sister.

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