Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An Epic New Journey

If you'd asked me a week ago, "potty training" was akin to a dirty word around here.  I didn't want to hear it or think about it.  It terrifies me.  When I hear that phrase I have visions of poopsplosions and pee on everything, constant laundry, living my life in the bathroom, and daily bedding changes.  Needless to say, I was putting off starting such an endeavor until absolutely necessary.

Eli and Jude have been showing signs of "readiness" according to the American Academy of Pediatrics' standards for a couple of months now.  I kept telling myself that they were not ready and that they can't communicate enough to tell me that they need to go.  I would come up with excuse after excuse but after the recent nudist episodes I have had to confront the issue head-on.  I bought a book called Diaper Free Before 3 which has helped me change my mind and shatter all preconceived notions about potty training.  She does not agree with the AAP about "readiness" and recommends starting as early as 6 months old.  I'll probably write a detailed review of the book once I've really started to engage in her method but for now I'll just say that I am ready to commit to doing this messy, inconvenient, but necessary task.

She recommends to start by continuing to wear diapers (except for those older than 2) but place your child on the potty at scheduled times throughout the day - upon waking, before or after meals and naps, before bed - and also if you notice him or her performing potty cues to help introduce them to the concept of the potty.  Any kind of action during this time is good, but not necessarily expected.  Since we are older than the recommended start age, this phase should move quickly then we'll spend most of our time in underwear or training pants.  The final phase is about developing good potty habits for life.

I missed the boat this morning because I didn't wake up right when the boys did so our first potty trip was before nap time.  I am happy to report that it was a pretty successful trip!  Jude started making his "I'm pooping" face so I took him to the bathroom and plopped him on the potty.  He was not very pleased with this change in his "routine" but did poop successfully in the potty!  He was pretty mad though that I took his diaper off... we'll see how that goes for the next couple of days.  Eli though watched the whole thing and patiently waited his turn (at the moment, we only have one potty) and when I sat him down, he smiled at me and peed!  No drama, just did his business.  He didn't end up emptying his bladder completely though since he stood up and then peed on the floor, but it was a good start.

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