Posted by: Lisa | January 28, 2011

Potty Procrastinator

I have a friend who uses EC (elimination communication) with her baby & it seems to have worked for them.  To be honest, I think the idea of trying to potty train your infant (and train yourself, I suppose!) is a bit much for most new parents to handle, but whatever works for them, right?  I prefer to wait for the children to show signs of readiness & interest, which for me includes verbal communication.  I’ve never had any intention of pushing the potty-training thing before Jacob was at least 2 or 2-1/2 years old, with full knowledge that many children – particularly boys – aren’t there until well past their 3rd birthdays.

My plan was to wait until just after Jacob’s 2nd birthday.  I want to move to 100% cloth diapers when we begin this process (as opposed to the 30% or so that I do now) because I know it’s easier for kids to feel the wetness in those.  It’ll be warm weather by his birthday, so I figured I’d stay home for a full week or two & just let him run around in a cloth diaper while I obsessively ask him if he needs to go pee-pee.

Two problems arose with my plan:
#1. We’ll be making an 8 hour car trip in July.  Stopping every 15 minutes & unbuckling a toddler from his carseat each time doesn’t sound like a pleasant trip, so I decided I’d wait until after that trip – for my own convenience, of course!
#2. Jacob is outgrowing all of his cloth pocket diapers.  I guess we’ll just be going with regular underwear/training pants, with maybe an extra liner inside.  I am completely against Pull-Ups.

But now I’m wondering if Jacob has a different plan altogether.  He’s fascinated when I use the toilet.  He’s been saying bye-bye to my pee-pee for months & he loves to help flush the toilet.  Last week he totally surprised me when he began saying “pee-pee” while pointing to the toilet & also to the front of his diaper.  Hmmm, I thought, it seems that he’s made the connection! Jacob also HATES to have his diaper changed.  He hates lying flat on his back.  He fights me & we usually both end up with poop on our hands, feet, the floor, etc.  It’s exhausting.

I’ve spent the past few days trying to decide if I’m absolutely insane for even considering trying a little more formal potty training with him.  I just want to see how he reacts & what happens.  I certainly don’t have any expectations, but I know he might surprise me.  And I feel a little sense of guilt at the thought of just ignoring his signs just to keep things simpler for me…but that sense is pretty small.  😉  I mean, only a bad mother would put it off for her own benefit, right?  I just REALLY don’t look forward to this process.  It sounds like a huge pain in the butt (get it?  butt?  toilet?  Ok, sorry), but I know my child’s future school & probably even the Department of Social Services won’t accept my laziness excuse when he’s still wearing diapers in the 4th grade.

So am I just full of poo or should I give this a try?  What were your experiences with knowing when to start?



  1. My goal was to get Chase out of diapers before his sister was born. Since he was 20 months when we started it did involve me being trained more so than him and I really did not like the process at all!!! Eventually he began to protest the timing and when I would let him try to tell me we had accident after accident and I was very pregnant and tired of fighting. We decided to put him back in diapers after 3 1/2 months of fighting through it. THEN a couple months after Leah was born he decided he wanted to wear underwear and he has been doing great with the potty. He is now 29 months. So the moral of my story is I don’t know if the early training helped at all or if it was just that he was ready when the time came. I do think that starting by taking him on a schedule helped train his bladder (I noticed over time that he was learning how to old his pee). Anyway… however you decide to do it, GOOD LUCK! It has not been one of my highlights of parenting :).

  2. Lisa, I totally agree!! The idea of formal potty training wears me slap out. Jack was at the same stage where he’d talk about potty-ing and I felt like we needed to try it. And we did. And we failed. He was way too busy to stop to potty. He does go often at school, but peer pressure is working in our favor there. We do use pull-ups, but mostly because at school and consequently at home, he’s supposed to do the whole pull-pants-down-go-potty-pull-pants-up bit all by himself. They are hard-core at school. They’ve even had the kids at the sink washing their hands all alone since about 16 months. So, we do give in to the pull ups for school.

    I just know that he’ll get it. Sometime. Even though right now I ask if he needs to go potty and he says “Nope, I already went.” And points to his diaper/pull-up. TOTALLY EXHAUSTING! 🙂

  3. Thanks, Beth! Right now I’m feeling good about just taking it niiiiiice & slow. I guess I’ll feel differently once he’s 3+ years old. I’m actually most worried now about Jacob outgrowing diapers before he’s old enough to be potty trained, ha ha! He’s moving to size 5 now. Isn’t 6 as big as they come???

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