Earlier this month, I talked about how my toddler (now 2!) is potty curious and how potty training terrifies me. The state of having a potty-going toddler is still a terrifying endeavor, but the stress and focus on potty training this kid is just not needed in my life.
Between figuring out my medication for post partum depression, and keeping a small baby alive, stressing about potty training is just not in my books.
I kind of figured I wouldn’t be a potty training kind of mom. We didn’t sleep train (maybe not for the better) and we opted to explore baby-led and toddler paced exploration of food, movement and life. The endeavor into using the potty continues to emphasis my philosophical intrigue and dabbling into RIE and Montessori based parenting.
With that said. I’m giving up on forcing potty training.
I’m giving up on stressing about potty training, and I’m just going to let it be and encourage a potty learning adventure.
Little man is fiercely independent and wants to use the toilet. However, when he doesn’t want to use the toilet, the same stubbornness exists. It reminds me to let him explore this on his own pace and his own time. The toilet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach.
This comes as we struggle with communication skills. While his language skills are continuing to improve, he lacks the words to tell me what he wants. AT home, he shows me what he wants. But when we are out and about, and he doesn’t know where the water is, or where the toilet is, he breaks into a toddler tantrum. This means using the toilet outside the home is currently our biggest roadblock to being fully trained.
Adventures in Potty Learning
Instead, I have redirected my focus on modeling positive toilet behaviors with my toddler and approaching the experience from a potty learning vantage point.
If you have a young child, you have probably realized they pick up on everything very quickly. Sometimes its behaviors you want, and sometimes its behaviors you don’t. But every day the little people in our house are watching us with keen fascination. They want to be just like us, for better or for worse.
Observing and reminding myself of this influenced my decision to give up potty training and focus on potty learning. Why must toddlers go from diapers to toilet overnight?
It was a slow transition onto solid foods. It was a slow transition to his own room. The process of learning and familiarizing with the toilet doesn’t need to happen in 3 days. Honestly, the 3-day potty training method just doesn’t jive for my family and me. And that is okay.
Much to my husband’s dismay, I am encouraging and allowing an audience when it comes to using the toilet in an effort to let him soak in all there is to know about the toilet.
How is Potty Learning going?
It’s not going to happen over night with my toddler, but it is working for us. Potty learning strategy comes because its the only reasonable explanation for why one day late June he decided to start clambering onto the toilet and peeing and pooping.
Just as he’s slowly watching us use the toilet, he is also changing as a little person. He wakes up from nap time dry, and seldom wets the diaper at night. He holds his pee during the day, and shows signs of being ready. However, there are also things preventing us from successfully moving forward. And that’s okay. It’s not all or nothing. Learning a new skill takes time.
In such, he’s started to show interested in wiping his penis and bum after using the toilet (just like mommy). He shows great enthusiasm in flushing the toilet afterwards, and is rather stumped at figuring out the hand washing (sinks are not designed to be accessibility by tiny humans!).
I’m also trying to encourage him to go to the washroom when we leave the house. One reason this is a big roadblock is because many of the places we go don’t have washroom. Another reason is because I rarely, if ever, use the washroom when out and about. Managing a washroom with one child, let alone two, is exhausting. I would much rather hold it and wait till I get home. However, sometimes a toddler needs to go.
Earlier this week, when we went out for lunch, I took him to wash his dirty hands. He must have noticed the toilet because five minutes later he left the table and headed to the washroom. This little toddler was persistent, and had us help him undress, and he used the toilet. Independence for him is proving to be key, and showing him the opportunity is available is making our toilet learning adventure more successful.
Potty Training/Potty Learning Resources
I’m linking up some gentle toddler-led toilet training resources I have found helpful below. I’ll remember to add more as I find them. Feel free to share your favourite in the comments below.
Toilet training doesn’t need to be stressful, and like many of the parenting decisions we make, you need to find a method that works best for you, your little and your family. For me giving up training, and focusing on the learning element of the toilet behavior has been beneficial.
With this child-led focus on potty learning, we’ve been using and embracing cloth trainers. Stay posted for continual reviews on different brands! If you have a brand your curious about, let me know and I’ll try to get a hold of pair. Don’’ worry, we still rock out in cloth diapers when the time allows and this will continue to be your source of cloth diaper reviews!