December 08, 2009

Montessori Moments: toliet training part 2

Now that I've explained the "why" of our toilet training efforts, let's just jump in to the "how" of it all, shall we?   Hmm, that came out wrong.  Most of you reading this should already know how to go to the bathroom.

              Um, yeah, moving on...

I used Jill Lekovic's book "Diaper Free Before Three: the healthier way to toilet train and help your child out of diapers sooner".  It was Montessori recommended and I found it to be a quick easy read.  The information in it was  Earth Shattering, but ya know...
in a good way.

 Bear started his life in cloth diapers (now I could digress here and go on and on about how much I love Fuzi Bunz, but I won't, at least not in this post!).  Just about on his first birthday, I realized I needed to order more diapers in a larger size for the months to come.  It was right around that time that I discovered Dr. Lekovic's book and never placed that order for more diapers! 

Instead, we bought:
a toilet (by Bjorn), some kid underwear and two waterproof covers by Bumkins.  I also pulled out a few potty training storybooks we had and another hand-me-down toilet.

We placed the toilets in the bathrooms and allowed Bear to explore them and practice sitting on them.  We were already doing sign language, so we introduced the "toilet" sign and would sign it any time Champ or I went to the bathroom with Bear watching.  Yes, it was kind of weird having someone watch me pee, but, hey, you get used to it.  Kinda like how now, most days I have a buddy when I shower, too.

We put Bear on his toilet right before his bath at night and occasionally through the day.  In the morning, he preferred to wake up a little bit before being willing to give his toilet a try.  We did this for a month.  Sometimes Bear would actually go on the toilet and he would be thrilled.  Then for the rest of the day, whether he went or not, after attempting he'd always excitedly stand up and peer into his toilet.

We didn't overly entertain Bear while he sat on his toilet.  We'd just be at his side and read an occasional book if he wanted.  No attempt lasted longer than five minutes.

By 14 months, Bear was bare bottomed for most of
the day and with that information, you can suspect we spent a lot of time outside!  This freewheeling nudity, more than anything else, seemed to advance his understanding of toilet training.  We moved all his diapers and diapering supplies into the bathrooms and we upped his amount of toileting attempts clearly stating, "it is time to toliet" each time we sat him on it.

At 15 months, it was time to take the leap.  We began using underwear and covers.  It was touch and go for a while, just as the book had predicted.  We celebrated successes (though mildly) and downplayed when he went in his pants; NEVER calling them accidents and placing him on his toilet directly after a "leak" (ha, couldn't resist) would occur.  We continued to keep him pantless outside and if the weather was a little chilly, I'd cover his legs with "Babylegs".  Check out the purple polka dotted ones in the picture:

Bear's toilets were moved in to the kitchen pantry and a closet in his room.  Ah yes, I told you milestone moments are unpredictable.  After noticing he would run to a closet to go to the bathroom, I figured why not place a toilet there?  

It was MAGICAL and it completely solved our problem.

Bear will be 17 months tomorrow.  He now wears underwear at home except for naps, bedtime and car trips over an hour.  His toilets moved back in to the bathroom without a hitch.  He speaks bathroom lingo and sends himself to the toilet usually in plenty of time. 

We still have some work to do that's for sure but for now, I am joyful about his progress.  I mean, even one less poopy diaper to clean can make a Mama's day.

Can I get an AMEN?

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