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Potty Training and What I’m Expecting

Parenting, Potty Training, Reading

Written by Stuart

April 22, 2020

We started potty training today. I had stumbled upon a book written by potty-training expert Jamie Glowacki called Oh Crap! Potty Training Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right. The book takes you through her six-step plan to get your toddler off diapers and using the toilet. My first thought was Milo is two and a half; we’re already stuck inside because of Coronavirus and self-distancing, so now is a perfect time. My second thought was I got no clue how this is going to go. 

We’ve had a small IKEA potty sitting in the living room for a few months now. Sometimes Milo would take a seat on it; other times, it housed a few trucks and a collection of Duplos. This small potty was addressed immediately in Oh Crap! and was doing the opposite of what I had hoped. Instead of the IKEA toilet hanging out and Milo growing interested in it, it became a dust collector, and there was minimal interest in peeing or pooping into it. So we put the tiny potty away along with the diaper stash, and he’s been roaming the house commando.

Oh Crap! has some great suggestions when it came to talking about going pee and poop in the toilet. Glowacki suggests reframing how you talk about going to the bathroom by giving directions rather than offering options. Rather than asking Milo if he wanted to go to the bathroom, I’ve been looking at my watch and saying, “Look! It’s time to go pee”. This directive has been super productive so far (granted it’s only been one day). There has been no floor pee, and he’s responded well.

Glowacki also made a strong point in the book that the first few commando days are going to require full parent attention. That means no passive participation (ie, reading a book, checking Instagram, reading the newspaper) because you should be paying attention to your child’s body queues. Are they doing the pee-pee dance? Did they wander to the corner to have some privacy? These are little insights that let you know when it’s time to book it to the bathroom.

So far, the process has been pretty successful. We’ve been hanging in Milo’s room, working with Legos, and generally just hanging out. I’ve been trying my best to get a sense of his timing, and his potty queues are. I’ve noticed that when he needs to go, there is a decent amount of penis holding and fiddling, but no verbal acknowledgment yet. If I see this going on, I give him the “Look! It’s time to go pee” directive, and it’s off to the bathroom. There is usually a Lego helicopter or car that makes its way with us, but the trips have been pretty productive.

My wife and I decided that naptime and bedtime get a diaper, but other than that, diapers are gone. The silver lining to Coronavirus is that we’re in the comfort of our own home for an extended period of time to start training. There isn’t the stress of peeing or pooping while in transit to the supermarket or at the mall. Hanging at home means, I get to spend the time focusing on making this as successful of a process as possible. Being able to remove as much bathroom friction and stress as possible is a big deal.

While we’re still early in the process, I’m feeling optimistic to how things are going at the moment, and I appreciate how Oh Crap! Potty Training helped pull off the bandaid and get this process rolling.

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