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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who Says This Can't Be Done?

This is a picture of my 10-month-old and her potty.  As of last month, we decided to start practicing early potty training with Addie.  So far, I must say I am enjoying it.  It is a lot of work, but just knowing we are working towards something is just so fulfilling.  It really makes me feel like I have a grasp on this whole parenting thing. 

Finally! Something within my control!

So, I guess you are wondering how you are supposed to train a 10-month-old to use a potty?  That's why I am here, writing this blog.  I thought I would shed some light on the subject of early potty training.

First, I would like to point out the difference between what I am doing, and something called elimination communication.  They are not the same thing.  Addie is still in diapers 100% of the time, and I fully expect her to be until after her first birthday.  After that, we have yet to set a goal, although I plan to have her blowing out two candles in big-girl panties.

Potty training a child this young takes patience.  Quite a bit of patience. Following this plan (outlined in the book Diaper-Free Before 3 by Jill M. Lekovic, M.D.) we learned that it is best to start sitting Addie on the potty as early as 6 months of age.  Seeing as how I had never considered the idea of potty training at 6 months old, I did not stumble across this method until closer to 9 months. 

We started very irregularly, only just this past week becoming very regular with this method.  Every morning, when Addie wakes up, we sit on the potty.  We do this before a bottle, before breakfast, and before getting dressed.  After all, what is the first thing you do after a full night's sleep (assuming you are not like me & use your child as an alarm clock, ahem)?  We sit for about 5 minutes-or until she "tells" me she is done by either standing up or using the potty-and we read books or play with bath toys (which I hope explains the appearance of a certain rubber duckie in the above picture).  Once our potty time is up, we get diapered and dressed in the bathroom, then continue about our day.  We follow this same routine after every wake up throughout the day. 

At this age, according to Dr. Lekovic, the point is not that Addie does her business in the potty, but that she is familiar with the potty, and it is part of their every-day routine.  We will gradually increase the frequency of these potty breaks until we are bringing her in there every 2-3 hours and any time she asks to go.  We do not pressure her to use the potty, or try and make her sit there until she does.  We are not disappointed when she has a dirty diaper.  We do not say "she had an accident."  In fact, we do not even mention it.  In my personal opinion, it is a bit early to expect anything more.

Our future plans for this method involve diaper-free times beginning at about 12 months.  I think the majority of parents that have potty trained any child-even a three year old-will agree that children learn about their bodily functions faster when it is running down their leg.  Excuse the graphic-ness of that last statement!

This process will, obviously, take longer than if I were to wait until Addie was 3 years old.  I expect more accidents than a parent of a 3 year old.  I also expect fewer diapers.  It is a sacrifice I am willing to make to have a diaper-free, independent toddler.  With any luck, we will actually manage to follow through with this method, and have our daughter out of diapers and into panties full-time before her second birthday.


1 comment:

  1. Wow, way to go! I keep telling chris how I really want a potty for jayden and he thinks jayden is too young. I plan to get him one at xmas. He's already a year and half so I think he is more than ready to be introduced. I don't expect much but can't hurt to start trying. I just thought its oool that your doing this so young! Can't wait to see a post when she actually starts using it!!!

    -Danielle Stuve