I’ve written a few posts already about how we started introducing the toilet to Caroline. In month 5, we started placing Caroline on the toilet to poop. We had phases of her not wanting to poop in her diaper, always going in her diaper, and a mixture of the 2. By month 11, we were going strong with always having her poop in the toilet, and had added having her pee on the toilet as well. We put her on the toilet before and after each nap. Sometimes she went, sometimes she didn’t, but she always seemed to try. This was a huge success as I wasn’t sure she’d made the leap to knowing pee goes in the toilet as well. We have not yet taken it as far as asking her to not pee in her diaper.
Then we hit a regression where she refused to be set on the toilet unless pooping. I didn’t want to force it, so we took a break. We are now in month 14, and she is showing signs of being ready to potty train for good! She pulls at her diaper wanting it off, she occasionally goes over to the toilet, and when I place her on, she pees. She is continuing to poop on the toilet, and she tries to tell me when she needs to poop as well. Our only barrier at this point, is communication. And this is the only reason that I haven’t pushed harder to be all out potty training yet. She does not know how to say “yes”… only knows to shake her head “no”. She does tend to get my attention in other ways (I just don’t always realize what she needs until she is already going). She uses location as a way to tell me as well (she walks to the stairs and waits to go up to the bathroom).
I do have a potty training plan, and I intend to begin soon. If communication seems as though it is too much of a barrier, we will simply try again later. I do want to do this before she is 1.5 years old, however. Here are my initial thoughts on our plan.
1. Hunker down for about a week. We plan to stay home, and keep her bottom half naked (or in underwear only).
2. Place on the toilet often. Just as I used to make my puppy go outside about every hour, I plan to put Caroline on the toilet every hour.
3. Respond consistently when I place her on the toilet.
- If she goes, I will praise her.
- If she doesn’t go, I’ll try again soon.
- If she fights it and gets upset, I will take her off and try again soon.
4. Respond consistently when she has an accident.
- I will calmly and quickly tell her “no no, we go potty on the toilet”, or “uh oh, let’s go find the toilet” (something to this effect).
- I will keep my tone neutral (she is learning and should not be in trouble for an accident).
- I will rush her to the toilet to finish going.
- If she has already finished, I will still rush her to the toilet and explain to her that we need to go potty in the toilet.
5. Naps and bedtime she will still have diapers on.
6. Communication. She needs to learn how to communicate to mama or daddy that she needs to go potty. Throughout this process, I will repeat the word “potty” and tell her to say the word “potty” if she has to pee or poop. She also knows what the words potty, toilet, pee and poop mean already, so we will continue to use that language. The challenge is going to be getting her to say “yes” if I ask her if she needs to go, or to come to me and say “potty”. She doesn’t have many words yet, so I will also be teaching her the sign for potty. She did well learning the sign for “all done”, so I am hopeful she will catch on to this as well.
TOILET VS. POTTY SEAT
My thoughts on this lean towards using the toilet for a couple of reasons:
1. I do not want to have to retrain to go from a potty seat to a toilet.
2. I do not want to have to bring a potty seat with me and dump and clean.
3. You don’t always have access to a potty seat and I want my daughter to be able to go wherever we are.
4. The ideal /natural pooping position (even for adults) is to squat or have your knees up. When I hold her on the toilet, her butt drops in and her knees stay up, making it easier for her to go.
Another option is to use a training seat that attaches to the toilet. We used this at first, but I found she felt more secure if I was holding her, and she does find it easier to go in the position that she ends up while just on the a plain toilet seat.
Benefits of the potty seat:
1. It can be moved to any location for convenience.
2. You don’t have to hold your child while they are on it.
See all of our potty training posts here:
Start as you Mean to go on (5 months old)
My Daughter Refused to Poop in her Diaper (7 months old)
Caroline’s First Trip
Potty Training Continued (11 months old)
Potty Training (the plan)
Potty Training Update (17 months old)
Potty Train is Still Going (18 months old)
Potty Training Survival Tips (from a pro)
Potty Training On the Go (my guest post on another blog)
Official Potty Training Day 1
Official Potty Training Day 2
Official Potty Training Day 3
Official Potty Training Day 4, 5, 6 and Beyond
The Best Potty Training Method in 10 Steps