Good Times on the Potty

...7.1.11...day 17...

In our society its a bit unusual (though not unheard of) to see a 16 month old using the potty, so today's daily picture requires a bit of explanation which follows for those that want to read it.  If you are grossed out or bored by the topic of toddler poop and pee, please stop reading now!  

...Okay then... you can't say I didn't warn you...

It all started when Luke was 4.5 months old.  One day while playing quietly, he started to make his frowny grunt face which we have aptly named the "poop face".  Suddenly, like a light bulb in my head, it occurred to me that, if I held him over the toilet right now, I wouldn't have to clean poop off of a dirty cloth diaper !!! With that glorious incentive in mind, I began putting Luke on the potty whenever the poop face appeared, and after 2-3 more times, it worked!  He even began trying to push whenever we held him over the toilet, whether he had to go or not.  We starting making bathroom visits a regular part of our day. This lasted about 4 or 5 months, thanks to our fabulous sitter, Sarah, who graciously followed our bizarre requests and sat in the bathroom holding baby Luke over the potty once a day.  

Slowing over time, though, Luke was going less and less frequently on the toilet and more and  more frequently in his diaper.  He started crying when placed on the toilet seat, and wouldn't go even if he had to. So at about 9 months of age, we decided to stop bothering with it. 

A few months later, we started up again, with a distinct change: a potty chair instead of a toilet seat cover.  Luke began peeing in the potty occasionally when he was put on it. Following common practice, I made a "ssss" noise when he went, and I signaled the sign for "toilet" with my hand. By 14 months, he was being put on the potty 2x a day, (upon first waking in the morning, and about first waking after nap), and peeing about 75% of the time.  I was thrilled to be able to go through less diapers this way!

About 2 weeks ago, we introduced a third potty time: right before bed. This week, I've introduced a fourth: right after lunch. So far, he's peed every time we've put him on the potty. I am so thrilled that he's getting it, and we are having lots of fun. I know it seems strange to think of going to the bathroom as "fun", but to a 1-year-old, learning any new skill can be a total blast:

The funny thing about Luke is, he only goes if I'm not in the room with him. Apparently my little social bug needs privacy before he can relax and do his business :)  Thus why this picture was taken from behind the door.

So where to next? I had no idea what kind of expectations I could have for a kid Luke's age, so I stopped by the library for a few books on the subject. Despite serious mockery from family members, I have spent this vacation reading Early-Start Potty Training by Linda Sonna, which is thankfully not very hippyish like many of the other books.  I was pleased to find the following statistic: before disposable diapers were invented in the 60's, a whopping 83% of US children were potty-trained before turning 2! (that study conducted in 1957)  This leads me to believe that for Luke, early potty-training is possible, and early mastery is even likely.

It is a bit scary to blog about something before you've done it, because it can kind of put the pressure on, and I do not want to pressure Luke or myself into this. In a few weeks when our vacationing is over, I think we'll begin to give potty training a try. You may call me crazy, but the thought of no more dirty diapers, diaper laundry, or diaper rash makes me want to do a jig.  I expect it will take many months, but hey, we are already started on the process.  And who knows - Luke might teach us a thing or two along the way. :)

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