Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Potty training a 22-month-old

At our house, 2015 rolled in with a big announcement: baby E decided he no longer wanted to act like a baby and he was ready to use the potty!  Instead of celebrating the new year with an epic hangover, my husband and I embraced the fact that we are old and we have kids. Most of Jan 1st was spent camped out in the bathroom with books and stickers while E was propped up on his porcelain perch.  E also developed a new sign language hand signal to indicate when someone should leave the bathroom and return with chocolate for him to consume as a reward.  Although he was pretty excited about his new skill, he obviously will be needing to practice and master the art of using the potty.  However, this didn't stop our family from becoming totally excited about any of E's interest in forgoing diapers.

We raced out to Target and bought the most exciting looking undies we could find.  E returned home and could not wait to try them--within 10 minutes he had peed directly in the middle of my expensive living room rug.  This was fine since my daughter had peed on the other expensive rug in the living room when she was potty training; it was only appropriate that both rugs be equally tortured in the process.  OK, lesson learned AGAIN.  The rugs were rolled up and we had a good afternoon of getting E to try the potty.
The training  pants we are using

The undies were working out, but we did supplement with cloth training pants (aff id) and cloth diapers while E was at home and on outings.  Since he's still young, I don't want to push potty training on him too quickly and, instead, I want to keep it fun and make it seem like it's his idea.  For a while I was setting a timer on our microwave to remind him (and encourage him) to visit the bathroom every 45 minutes.  However, this resulted in him yelling "Pie-ya!!" (Potty) and running to the bathroom every time someone used the microwave and it beeped.  Instead, I started verbally reminding him when we should go "earn a sticker."  I suspected that E needed to visit the potty about every 45 minutes, but we did make it through several longer outings with no accidents!  

I'm incredibly thrilled that E is trying the potty and I'm hoping that gentle encouragement will help him become more independent.  The earlier you start potty training, the longer it can take.  However, starting early also allows your child to  understand that using the potty is normal and that the potty can be trusted... after all, you just need to sit on it  and  maybe someone will show up with chocolate.

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