I had always planned on potty training my son as early as I thought he possibly could get it. So when his second birthday came around and he showed an interest in using the toilet, I was stoked. Thinking I knew all about how to get this done, I promptly bought some little briefs and set aside a few days for some hardcore training.
All of the methods I had studied so hard didn’t click with Micaiah. He eventually began to whine when it came time to sit on the toilet. I decided hating the toilet wasn’t a good direction and threw in the towel for a while before I did some major damage to future potty training efforts.
It’s been over a month and I can’t get over the fact that I still think Micaiah is ready. Last week was fourth of July which meant lots of BBQs and campfires. I ran into two dear friends whose potty training experiences gave me some clues to our own little training plan.
One of my friends mentioned that her son was about three by the time she got him potty trained because he couldn’t tell the difference between underwear and diapers. As obvious as it may seem, he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t be in his undies.
The second gal and I got to experience pregnancy for the first time together. Her son was born just a month after Micaiah. I was surprised to show up at her house and find her son in undies. She said he started telling her that he had to pee after running around naked in the yard this summer. (Please know that we both live out in the boonies!)
This all made me think. In our previous attempt, Micaiah wouldn’t say anything until after he had wet himself, if he said anything at all. I began to wonder if cloth diapers and undies seemed different to him at all.
So yesterday we started afresh.
Here is a detailed outline of my (very flexible) Slow and Steady Toilet Training Plan!
Step 1: Run around naked as much as possible – 3-5 days.
This is to bring an awareness of what it feels like when he has to urinate. He is forced to think about it instead of just letting it happen and the diaper taking care of it. I keep the potty chair out in case he feels it in time to sit down.
Step 2: Once he is aware of what it feels like before he urinates, we introduce the potty chair as the place we try to pee every time. He can wear underwear and/or training pants at times for this stage, but running around pant-less will still be very helpful – 4-7 days.
This is where pee on the floor officially becomes an accident. He has an awareness and should communicate or sit on the potty before he goes.
Step 3: At this stage he can be considered potty trained, but we’ll still reward for going in the toilet to encourage this to stick – about 1 week.
Underwear are a must during the day now! (Unfortunately we can’t run around butt-naked forever!)
Helpful Hints for any Toilet Training Method
- Rewards for good behavior (stickers, treats etc)
- Never scold or punish for accidents – gentle reminders that we go in the toilet are great though!
- Don’t use diapers/disposable training pants if at all possible (cloth feels wet!)
- Make sure you have a comfortable seat/chair. (You wouldn’t want to go if you felt like you were going to fall in either!)
I’ll continue to update you as we take this adventure!