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potty training your 'bunch': part 3

Posted Oct 23 2008 5:36am

How to know if someone in your bunch is ready? My kids have gone through many 'windows' of being ready, and I think you have to take one of those and go with it. My kids never showed the typical signs like being dry all night long. But there was a point when they were dry for long periods of time. But generally I knew they were ready when they started talking about it more and more.

Child #1

Alex showed his first interest in the potty when I was 3 weeks from my due date with Anna. He was 15 months old. My mother assured me he could be trained. I think my response was a very serious eyeroll. First of all, I was about to have a new baby, and we were about 8 weeks away from an international move. So I opted to let this window of opportunity pass us by. It was a smart decision in the end, I'm sure.

His next window hit when he was about 18 months. After just moving to Sweden with my 2-month-old baby, my visiting father-in-law assured me he could be trained. I went out bought my trusty Baby Bjorn potty and commenced with the process. I failed miserably when I realized Alex didn't care if he was standing in pee or not. So I packed up the potty.

The next window didn't come until he was a little over two. We were visiting with my parents after just returning from Sweden. (Yes, another international move.) I again went out to buy another potty--the shittiest one around--to try the process yet again. Realizing this wasn't going to work on my mom's newly laid floors/carpet, we packed up the potty.

But I did seize the moment about a month later. We had just moved into our house and my son was befriending the neighors kid when he very proudly told the little three-year old, "I just poo pooed in my pants." I whisked his stinky bottom inside and decided that was it. A week later it was done.

Child #2

We learn when we got through this parenting game that every child is different. Anna immediately showed interest in the potty when I trained Alex. She was about 15 months. I thought training her would be a cinch. Not exactly. Anna was fascinated by the potty because Alex was using it. One might think this means she'd want to play our game. Yet again, not exactly.

She loved to talk about potty and pretend, but if you asked her to do it. She would scream. She would protest. She would become the anti-potty monster. She did this for almost a year. Though I never tried to push it with her like I did him. She was too dramatic about the whole thing.

Until one afternoon I found her changing...yes changing....her own diaper. Took it off. Got another. Open the tabs and put it on herself. The next day we started and within a week we were done. It was brutal and worse than Alex, but it was done. The good news with training #2: Sometimes your older child will actually help you out!

How did you know your child was ready? Or better yet, when did you know you were ready?    

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