026 – Potty Training Update after a month – Hey Shayla – Judgement Free Motherhood 😅😭😍
We've done elimination communication with our first since she was four months old. I have a whole blog about that experience here. I also had Andrea Olson who wrote Go Diaper Free on my podcast to talk about a no BS and low stress approach to potty training your infant. When I had her on my podcast, AJ was 21 months and still wearing diapers. Andrea said to take off the diapers and she'll get potty trained. So, we did it! And now, I'm giving a potty training update to share the process and what we've learned along the way.
We took diapers completely off unless we were going to sleep or going out (and sometimes if she went right before we left, we didn't even do that). I basically prepared the house for accidents. I pulled the rug in the living room so it was just wood floors, bought a ton of sanitizing wipes, and found burp rags to use to clean things up (yes, I deep cleaned those after), and we bought undies.
We had been using cloth diapers, sometimes disposable diapers, tiny trainers (which would soak up some of the pee but not all of the pee). Andrea told me that until she gets potty trained and starts wearing underwear, we should switch to either pants with no undies or just totally comando. We chose pants.
Yes, there were lots of accidents. That's just what it is. But, I was always there to clean it up with a burp rag, wipe things down disinfectant, wipe her down with a baby wipe, try to get her to finish on a potty, and keep going.
What I wish I'd known
At first, I was tracking how many misses/accidents and potties on the potty we had. What I should have been doing is track the times she going and if she made it to the potty or not. I had been waiting for the cues and for her to tell me when she had to go (which she wasn't doing and still doesn't) but once I started paying attention to that, it was pretty timely when it happened.
She did SO well during transitions. If we were going to go take a nap or go on a drive, etc. she knew she needed to go and would. It was when we were had home for several hours at a time without a nap or transition time that I was waiting for cues that I wasn't getting. That was when she was having accidents. But, again, when I started tracking the times that she was going and whether it was an accident or not, it helped A TON. She really didn't have accidents after that. She would get on the potty and go. She wouldn't say yes but she wouldn't say no and that's how I knew she had to go. At first, when I asked if she had to go potty and she would say no, I didn't believe her. But those were the times when she really wouldn't go. When she didn't fight me on having her try to go the bathroom I knew she had to go.
So, know I pretty much know when she has to go (right when she wakes up, 2 hours after that, about an hour after that, right before nap time, etc.) and it's working like a freaking charm. We're not having accidents or using diapers anymore.
Before we got this dialed in, I messaged Andrea in a tizzy one day asking why she was still pooping on the floor and learned she has another book for 18+ months which is more of a potty training book than EC. I'm actually kind of glad I did it without the book first this time because it forced me to figure it out but usually, after having kids, I'm someone who will buy a course or book where the information is all in one to save time rather than having to do all the research. But, the book gives you more tools so I'm getting it now and will update on how that goes.
So, overall, the main thing I wish I would have known would be to watch the time and pay attention to her schedule.
I also learned there's an “ideal position” to put them in to help them go when needed. You hold them against your chest, hold their thighs a little bit away from them so it's almost like they're in a squat and any time I've tried it, she's gone. I do this outside if we go on a walk and are about to get in the car, I'll open the driver and back door to give some privacy and will squat her down in this hold and she'll usually pee. Or, sometimes in public, like when we go to the zoo or something, they have the toilet seats that are not a full circle and have a small gap between the two sides which are fine for adults but not ideal for a toddler. And it works for that too.
It honestly still kind of shocks me how well this has worked.
This has honestly taken a lot longer than I expected. I still do most of the leading and asking if she wants to go, but we've made a lot of progress.
I basically just have a certain laundry bin for all the potty training things (the pee rags, pee pants, pee blankets or whatever gets pee on it until I wash them).
We have two potties. One is from Andrea and what we use most of the time. Its transportable which is great and I actually would keep it in our bedroom at night in case she had to go because sometimes she really would just yell “pee” in the middle of the night if she had to go. Or, I can have it in the living room and have her go there which is nice.
I'm really glad we had both. It's nice to have the flexibility with the portable potty, but when she has to poop…you better believe I'm trying to get her on the regular toilet in time.
We plan to do cloth diapering (from the get go this time) and elimination communication again with our second. Plus, disposables at night and when we are traveling. But, I got advice from Andrea that between 12 and 18 months is the best time to try and potty train them (and that's what montessori says). So, that's what we will do this time and we'll see if that changes anything.
So, I'm just here to share our process and what has worked and hasn't. Hopefully this has been helpful for your potty training journey so you can learn from our mistakes and successes. But of course, every child is different. Keep going! You got this, ma!