This week, my mom and I have started potty training PK. I've mentioned before that I really wanted to have PK potty-trained by age one (give or take). I know that there are different schools of thought on potty training. Some people are totally against early potty training, arguing that kids should be potty trained somewhere between ages 2 and 3, when they can understand simple commands pretty well, and have somewhat of a vocabulary. Others are totally for early potty training, saying that you can start as early as before 6 months.
My thought has always been that I think it's pretty weird to have a kid in diapers at three years of age. Also, since both my sis and I were trained at around age one, it's clearly possible. And, my favorite pro-early-potty-training point of all: if you can train a dog to pee, then you can totally train a baby to pee. That being said, parents have to do whatever they are most comfortable with, and everyone lives under different circumstances which may or may not afford them the ability to potty train early, even if they wanted to. I won't judge.
I probably should've started potty-training PK a couple of weeks ago, when I was at home full-time, but I have to admit that I was both lazy and scared. And quite frankly, I had no idea how to go about it and was hoping that my mom would somehow automagically do it for me, seeing as she'd been successful with two kids. How childish of me. I know.
After I got over my initial fears, I settled on starting potty-training this week. That way, both my mom and I could alternate. The next challenge would be HOW to train her. Over the past few weeks, I've gotten out PK's potty and had her play with it (don't worry - it was clean), so that she got used to the sight of it. I wasn't particularly regimental about this. I just pulled it out when I thought of it, which wasn't often. I got PK to sit in it with a diaper, so that she got used to the idea that it was for sitting. I tried her on it without a diaper on as well, but that didn't last very long, since she just wanted to get up right away and start walking about the room.
This week, given that we were going about potty training a little more aggressively than before, we decided to let PK run around diaperless. There are two good rooms for PK to do this, because the floors clean up nicely - the kitchen, and the basement. So the hubby and I bought an extra potty for the basement - a lovely blue Baby Bjorn potty. The first potty we got for PK is in the kitchen. Yesterday was my mom's first day of trying this. While PK did sit in the potty for a bit, she eventually got up, walked over to my pilates ball, and prompty peed there. When my mom told me about this over the phone, I cracked up. How funny is that - preferring to pee standing, beside a gray exercise ball, instead of in the potty?! So much for that attempt. I know that these things to slowly, so we need to be patient.
Today was my off day from work, so I decided to pick up where my mom left off. After breakfast, PK and I headed down to the basement for her to play. I came armed with some formula, so that she could pee (I'd changed a pooey and pee-filled diaper right after breakfast). As soon as we got there, I took off her diaper, and she roamed around the basement. I tried to steer her clear of any toys which contained some sort of cloth or fabric. I also tried to avoid having her sit on her bare bum. My basement is clean enough, but not sit-in-your-bare-bum-on-the-floor clean. Fortunately, PK still enjoys walking over sitting.
At first she wouldn't take her bottle. That would be a bit of a problem, since I didn't know how full her bladder would be after changing her diaper after lunch. Finally, about 10 minutes later, she decided to take a bit of her bottle as she stood near my piano. A minute or so later, she peed. The potty was nowhere near her, and I had pee to clean from the floor and her legs and feet (natually she stepped on the puddle). Seeing as she'd just taken some of her bottle, I figured that I'd have a second chance. So I put her on the potty and made whizzing sounds. She found this amusing. She wanted to get off a few minutes later, so I tried to bribe her by letting her play with some toys and books. That worked for a while, but then she was off again.
I chased her around the room as she walked, trying to look for signs of her wanting to pee. I also kept feeding her her bottle and keeping track of the time elapsed since she first took some formula from her bottle. I plunked her down on the potty every once in a while, continuing to bribe her with books and toys. I read her a couple of stories and that seemed to distract her for a bit. And then she was off again.
A while later, she was once again standing by the exercise ball. I brought the potty over, and plunked her down. I decided to take a breather and sat on the beanbag chair a couple of meters away. She didn't last there very long. She got up from the potty by herself, and walked unaided all the way over to me. We played for a bit, and then I decided to put her back on the potty. And then I saw it - pee in the potty! She'd actually peed in the potty! I let her know what she'd done (I wonder how much of it she actually understood), and praised her for her accomplishments, showing her the pee in the potty.
I know that PK will have more accidents, and I will spend more time chasing her and her bare bum around the room with the potty, having her maybe pee in it every so often. But she'll eventually get it. I am hopeful!
Raising A Screen Smart Kid in The New York Times
5 weeks ago