Monday, March 19, 2012

Lazy Toilet Training

If you don't want to read about specifics of toileting, just stop here.

Last week, I alluded to Peter's progress on toilet training. We are making slow progress because, well, I'm lazy. Currently, he uses the toilet once or twice a day and understands that he is supposed to urinate (although he is convinced it is water). Today he also pooped, but seemed more confused than anything else.

A few months ago, we got a toilet seat from our neighbors. I tried to get Peter excited about it, but he was just scared to sit with his feet dangling, so we put it away.

Earlier this month, I tried again. First he sat a few times fully clothed, then without pants, and finally I got him on just after waking -- success! He was happy that I was excited, then thrilled when he was able to flush the toilet. He has a fascination with flushing toilets. This is great because it's a good reward that doesn't involve stickers or Skittles or something.

Which is good, because this boy doesn't need more sugar.

Now we have a loose routine. If he consents to sit on the toilet, I take off his diaper and let him sit while we read a story. If he actually uses the toilet, there is much excitement and the coveted flush. That's pretty much it.

I never make him sit. I ask each time he wakes up, since that's when we're most likely to have success. Often he says yes and signs bathroom, but sometimes he says no. I try asking during the day, too, but he almost never wants to go then. Hence only going once or twice a day.

I must admit, I'm not really in a hurry to get him out of diapers. Yes, it would be nice not to have diaper laundry. I'll be happy to know he's not at risk for more diaper rash. Changing diapers is annoying and kind of gross. But I like to leave the house. When we travel, I like being able to drive for 3-4 hours without stopping. I like not scoping out the restrooms every time we enter a store.

So, maybe next month we'll be up to 3 or 4 times daily. Maybe not.


  1. some boys will potty train early, but the average boy is 2 1/2 - 3 before they are ready to really fully focus on potty training (girls are usually ready a little sooner). i think what you are doing is great. you are getting him used to sitting on the toilet (and very smart to start him on the regular potty instead of a little one - less work for you!) and then there will come a time when he's more interested in using the potty and learning to let you know when he needs to go. we thought about starting this with david, but right now, to me at least, diapers are even easier than occasionally going on the toilet - i'm too exhausted to add in something new! maybe come fall when we've learned about life with two children and things settle down we will try the toilet. at least we use cloth, so while i don't LOVE diaper laundry, it's still nicer than throwing money away on disposables.

    1. That's interesting; I wonder what accounts for the usual gender difference. I vaguely remember pregnancy exhaustion (I try to block it out), so I can definitely understand not undertaking a new project right now!

    2. I think that, in general, there are some developmental differences between boys and girls. Physically (crawling, walking, etc.) boys tend to develop more quickly, but verbally girls tend to develop more quickly. David has a TON of words now, but his talking didn't really take off until after he had mastered walking - like the brain can only handle one major thing at a time. I'm not sure exactly how potty training falls into all of that, but from what I've heard from talking to friends and reading about it online, girls are typically ready to potty train earlier than boys. Obviously, that is a generalization. One of my friends trained her first son at 17 months and with in a week he was trained (including nights!) and her second son was a little older and took a little longer (they were also going through the stresses of moving and whatnot, which can lead to regression, anyway). But most of the little boys that I know were closer to 3 when they were finally diaper-free, but some of them (even at 5 or 6) still use trainers at night, just in case.

    3. Thanks for the information and the links you posted on my wall!