So how is our potty learning going? It’s going great actually! I was getting worried at first and lots of people were telling me that he isn’t ready but I felt differently. We went on holidays for a week and I went with a casual approach. We did pull-ups in the car during long trips and camping but training pants at the cottage. He started to catch on at the cottage and went in the toilet a few times and even told me before hand he had to go a couple of times but the cottage is small with the bathroom close by. Now we’re back home again and he’s figured out what to do on the toilet but since our only bathroom is upstairs he’s not really telling me before hand or in enough time. He’s still going in his pants most of the day because he won’t stop playing and refuses to sit on the toilet most of the time but since I’ve realized he will go when he is on the toilet, I’ve resorted to bribing him. Yea, not very Montessori, but it works lol. He gets a jellybean (not very healthy either, it’s what I’ve had on hand) if he’ll sit on the potty. Sometimes as a mother dealing with a screaming tantrum throwing child while another child is demanding something and you have other children you have to watch, you just have to do what works. So with the success of the jellybeans I’ve been pretty excited. If I get him to sit on the toilet regularly he has less wet pants. He’s so proud when he uses the toilet it’s really cute.
I think taking a causal approach to potty learning is the best. No 3 day methods or forcing things. If he really doesn’t want to use the toilet I don’t make him. I don’t want it to be a power struggle and you can’t make a child go if they don’t want to. Keeping calm and not stressing keeps him from getting upset and keeps it enjoyable. To do this you may have to alter you house a bit – roll up rugs or cover them, have a potty nearby, do more laundry, buy training pants and covers. But you want it to be something positive. Also I don’t think there’s really such a thing as “being ready”. If you see it as a process like learning to feed themselves and learning to talk, rather than a goal you achieve, then you can start introducing them even as infants to sitting on the potty. Also giving them the chance to become aware of their body by putting them in training pants really helps things to click even for young toddlers. If I ever am blessed to have another child, I think I’ll start introducing the toilet early. I highly recommend the book “Diaper Free Before Three“.
I also think though, that you have to do what works for your family. If that means jellybeans, so be it. If that means waiting until they’re older, then that’s what you do. The only thing is to not scare or punish or belittle a child over potty learning or to allow it to stress you out or become a power struggle. If you feel this is happening I’d say to take a step back, put them back in diapers and just enjoy their short toddler years.
Pumpkin 2 has really enjoyed these two potty books.