- These are not my notes; this is a collection of information from a local class. I am putting them here because they are very informative and helpful, especially if you have an older child (i.e. "late start EC").
- How to Start (Late start EC/ Early Potty Training):
- Start with a three day weekend and a sense of humor, lots of potties, a potty for your car, plenty of hydrating drinks and snacks, another adult to help you through the process, the ability to be consistent, loose pants for leaving the house, a “sheepie” in the car seat for traveling.
- 1. NO UNDERWEAR!! To get to underwear, here is what to do. When you and your parenting partner happen to notice that your child has been successfully independent with the potty for 2-3 weeks, make an “X” on your calendar on that date. Then count forward 3 full calendar months (for instance, if you put an “X” on August 10, count ahead to November 10) and put a “U” on that date. That is the first day you can try putting your child in underwear. Remember! Underwear feels like a diaper to your child. Fully 35% of the calls I take for coaching are from parents whose child is not being reliably dry because of wearing underwear too soon.
- 2. DO NOT ASK your child if she has to go potty. The answer from small children under 5 is “No!” This isn’t because they don’t have to go. This is their way of establishing their independence from you. Their using the potty does not need to be any of your business once they initiate using it on their own reliably. This happens within 3-10 days of the potty training weekend.
- 3. When to TELL your child to go potty: before nap, before bedtime and before leaving the house. How you do it: Say “It’s potty time!” and go into the bathroom with him. YOU have to pee in the potty and wash hands. Young children learn through imitation. It is a very long time (maybe even a year or more) before your child will be able to be told to go potty and not need your support and company to accomplish this task on command.
- 4. Save night time training for closer to age 3 OR when your child insists that he will not wear a diaper to bed.
- 5. Get the coaching you need to make this work. In the past, one of the reasons parents were able to accomplish potty training sooner is that they had a wide network of support and lots of people to talk to about the process when it was not going so well.
- 6. Refrain from using any but the five words “Pee/poop goes in the potty!” DON'T say “It’s Ok. You’ll do it next time.” Or “Tell mommy when you have to go” or “Remember to go potty!” Little ones are young. They need LESS words and more action to make this work.
- 7. Around the time you get ten “hits” in the potty, your child will begin to initiate using the potty independently. She will still need your close attention and loving support for a few days to a week in order to have the skill fully in place.
- 8. Have fun! A sense of humor is a prerequisite for making this work.
- 9. If your child is one of the 5-15% that can’t get it when you do the weekend, give it a full ten days. If it still doesn’t work in that time frame, go back to using diapers and try again in 6-8 weeks. It always goes easier the second time around.
- 10. The amount of PRE potty training you do in advance will directly relate to the ease with which your child assimilates this new skill. The younger the child, the more time he will need in the pre potty training stage. Here is what to do for pre potty training: * Notice your own body when you pee and poop. What does it feel like? What is pushing out and what is holding in? * Encourage “Potty positive talk” in your home. Become fluent in talking about bodily processes. * Articulate your process in the bathroom in your toddler’s presence. * Dads, sit down to pee in the presence of your toddlers. Show boys how to point the penis down. Even girls will try to pee standing up. * Develop the Potty Dance in your family. * Go potty and wash hands EVERY time before YOU leave the house. * Get excited when your spouse or friends use the potty at your house successfully.
Why Do it NOW?
- In 2 years of wearing disposable diapers, one child will produce nearly 2 tons of solid waste in the landfill. If a child wears disposables from age 2-3, he will produce an additional half ton of solid waste. It takes approximately 23-26 years for a disposable diaper to biodegrade in the landfill.
- 85% of all 23 month olds in the United States were out of diapers in 1957 and 1971. Today the average U.S. age of getting out of diapers is 39 months.
- Children who are given the information they need to complete their potty learning process before they are 27 months old have less day time accidents and less bed wetting than those children who begin the process at age 3.
- Children who learn to use the potty instead of diapers have reduced incidence of diaper rash and irritation. Children show signs of readiness between 15-27 months of age. Not responding to their signs of readiness weakens the parent-child bond and frustrates the child.