Am I setting myself up for potty learning disaster? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 07-02-2012, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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My DD is 21 months old and has been cloth diapered since birth.  Now that its warm, she spends much of the day naked and happy as a clam.  For the past couple weeks, we have gotten into the routine of putting her in a diaper every few hours so she can go pee.  Its working well and we haven't had any accidents on the floor for some time.  She will usually go as soon as she's in a diaper.  She doesn't really like the potty that much.  She will sit on it for a second, but hasn't made the connection to actually going potty there.  I'm not sure how ready she is for actual potty learning.  She is dry sometimes after naps and in the morning when she wakes up, but not always, and she can go a few hours without having to pee.  She doesn't tell me she has to go and shows little interest in the actual potty.  Am I making things harder for myself with this routine or could this be part of a natural progression?

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#2 of 4 Old 07-02-2012, 02:13 PM
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There are benefits to letting her go diaper less so her skin can breathe but you're reinforcing her already learned behavior that pee goes in a diaper. Initiating potty trips is the last step of potty learning, not (as many people think) a sign of readiness. I would keep her bottomless but try to wean or cut her off peeing in the diaper for naked time. You can keep her in diapers for part of the day for practical reasons but if you do naked time, that should be the time to use the potty.

Does she see people use the toilet? Many people keep toddlers locked out of the bathroom and then are surprised if it takes the child weeks or months to understand and internalize the process. I always let DD into the bathroom and she often has her best potty success when we go together. Peeing is contagious like yawning at our house lol. If you don't already, give her as many opportunities as possible to see potty in action: mommy, daddy, siblings, cousins, grandma, whoever. This will help make the potty ordinary and not mysterious or even scary.

My other question is, do you have a toilet seat adapter or a potty chair? Many kids like to have their feet firmly planted on the ground, especially for pooping. My DD won't even consider a toilet. She likes her sturdy potty chair where she isn't perched so high off the ground and can relax. On the other hand some kids prefer the toilet. If she isn't crazy about one option, she may love the other.

Getting a toddler to sit on the potty is one thing, getting her to stay long enough to relax and go is another. I have to get down to her level, sing songs, read books, play patty cake, etc. Often she will sit and get right up but if I sit her down again and whip out something to do, she will stay and pee/poop.

The fact that she will hold it and release when appropriate is a sure fire sign that she is ready for the potty if you subscribe to the readiness approach. Now you have to work with her to shift the appropriate place to eliminate from the diaper she has known all her life to the potty she will use from now on.

(for what it's worth, we EC at our house and while we still have lots of misses, 15 month old DD will gladly take any opportunity to keep her bum dry when she can)
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#3 of 4 Old 07-02-2012, 07:38 PM
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I agree with the above. Naked time should be naked time. I would say its better for her at this point to pee on the floor instead of the diaper then as soon as she pees say "Look, You're peeing! We pee in the potty." and take her straight too it. Also take her every time you go and offer it. If you can read a story to her while she's on the potty thats a great way to get her to stay on it a little longer. Make it fun if you can. My DS loves giving a high five after he pees on the potty then he likes saying bye bye pee as we flush it down the toilet. 


Check out diaper free before 3, sounds like you are at a great point to have some diaper free time. You can get a jump start by setting a few days aside to focus on it. My son is 21 months and uses the potty 90% of the time. We are now totally diaper free. :) So she's not too young! 

- Mom to Baby Mark (9/18/10) and 4 wonderful dogs!
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#4 of 4 Old 07-03-2012, 10:25 AM
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Most people who potty learn at this age do a more structured approach which works really well before 2. "Diaper Free Before 3" is a great read. We started with younger DD at 18m and were done by 2. She is almost 3 and hasn't had a nightime accident in over six months. We started slightly later with older DS and were still done by 2.5


This is a GREAT time to potty learn, especially if you use cloth. We like the imse vimse training pants but you can also use a less aborbant core for your cloth diapers if you want misses to be more noticeable.

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