Thursday, June 2, 2011

When is a good time to start potty training?

I am gearing up to start potty training my two-year-old son. I am reading up on all the different methods there are to potty train. Some methods absolutely terrify me while others seem like tidbits of knowledge that should be common sense. All in all I feel overwhelmed and undereducated when it comes to potty training. I am just guessing here, but I think this might be a common theme to be revisited throughout parenthood.

To prepare my son, we have bought a big boy potty and placed it in the main bathroom. Since I have not had privacy in the bathroom since the day my first child was born, I figure he might as well get some exposure to his very own potty as early as possible. Couldn’t hurt, right?

I have borrowed books and DVDs from the local library on using the big boy potty.  We have read the potty books together. We have watched the potty movies together. We have sat on the potty and sung our potty songs. Am I doing this right? Is there a right way to potty train?

There is no poop or pee being deposited into the potty at this time. I ask my son if he needs to go poop or pee, as he is trying to crawl under the table for some privacy to do his business. His reply is “no!” And yet, he continues to crawl under the table and sit for a bit. When he re-emerges he does not smell like roses. In fact, there is a distinct poopy smell wafting off of him. I guess he did have to go poop.

Why did I think this was a good time to start potty training? Oh yeah, William has shown an interest in flushing the toilet and will sit on his big boy potty for short periods of time. He has started to tell me after he goes potty that he is "yucky" or "messy” and he wants to be clean. As far as I can tell, these are all good signs to go ahead with potty training.

Then there are the days that although he wants to be clean, he strongly dislikes getting his diaper changed. When I say strongly dislike I am referring to his kicking, his screaming, and his general angst for all things diaper related. Even the mere mention of diaper changing sends William into the fight or flight response. This makes absolutely no sense to me. He obviously wants to be clean, but cannot stand the process of being cleaned. What is one to do?

We are not at the point yet where he lets me know before he has to go potty. I am thinking that this will come as we progress into potty training. I believe that the only thing to be done is to continue trying to catch him before he goes potty in his diaper, continue reading potty books, continue watching potty movies, continue singing potty songs, respond to potty training efforts with positive reinforcement, and use bribery. At least this is the approach I am taking.

I would love to hear your tips, tricks, and advice on potty training. Please share your experiences; I can use all the help I can get.

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