March 29, 2010

Montessori Moments: toilet training Part 4

 So, I checked with Bear and he said it would be OK to continue sharing with you all about our toilet training process.  As long as you promise to now refer to him as

 Your Majesty (Seriously, give a kid a handmade, heirloom toilet and it's like he thinks he owns the world).

I began writing about our toileting journey WAY before I went public with my blog.  So, to save you time searching my older posts, I've listed them below.  Let me just say, that even if you aren't currently toilet training a child, Part 3 is still worth the read, OH BOY.

Part 1-why

Part 2-how

Part 3- vocabulary

Bear will be 21 months on April 8th.  He pretty much has the toilet thing down.  During the day he is in underwear: sometimes I let him wear just that so I can see how gosh darn cute he looks in his little skivvies!  If we are headed to the babysitter's, out to eat, to my work etc. I put a pair of "rubber" pants over his underwear just to be extra careful.  Bear chooses his underwear to be worn.

He wears a diaper when going to bed.  I am not phasing this out just yet because I don't believe his body is physically ready for it.  His diaper is still SOAKED when he wakes up in the morning and cutting back on liquids at night didn't make much of a difference.  Plus, I'm in no rush.  I mean, having only 7 diapers to wash once a week is awesome!  I also put a diaper on him if we are going to be in the car for over 2 hours.

Toilet training run down (aka notes that I'd like to remember about the process)

- after asking around to family and friends, I was informed that the easiest way to transition a child out of diapers during nap time is to pad the mattress.  So I did just that.  I already had waterproof wool mats on the bed, I added a few towels and a few older blankets.  I removed the sheepskin that Bear usually sleeps on and kept my fingers crossed.

I had to replace the bedding regularly during that first week, but by the second, Bear was rarely "leaking" in his sleep anymore.  Currently, Bear knows to toilet before his nap and if he has an urge to go, calls for me (although this rarely happens).  I hardly even find him wet and when I do, he has made it out of bed before "going".

- Whenever Champ or I have to use the bathroom, we take Bear in with us.  It helps him understand we all use the bathroom and cuts out any argument he might put up.

- We use the vocabulary we've introduced and Bear verbally gives us warning of when he has to go as well as physically heading to the bathroom.  Yes, he still says bowel and yes, it's usually shouted.

- Montessori recommends referring to urine/poop in the underwear as something besides "accidents" since it can put a negative spin on the incident.  Around here, we call them "leaks" and never discipline for it.

- I'd say he has about one "leak"/week at this point and it's usually because I forget to have Bear visit the bathroom before a big distraction like Papa coming home, or guests coming for dinner.

That, in a nutshell, is where we are at.  I'm no expert and this method is kind of a hybrid, but it worked beautifully for us.  How about you?  What have your experiences been like?


Colleen said...

Wow, TJ, it sounds like you've got this down to a science. I have to admit that potty training was one of my least favorite things to do. Each time I took this on, I could barely remember how I managed to do it the first, second, or third time. Even so, I seem to have managed to train all four of them, since they're all pretty much on their own in that department. Good thing too, since three of them are teenagers! :)

Aimee said...

With all the kids so far I have just followed their lead in their willingness/readiness to use the toilet. They've all been using the toilet independently by the time they turned 3 -- except for Fiver, but that was due to his motor skill issues and not any readiness issues. Even he was completely toilet taught by 3.5 yrs. Francie and Fiver were dry through the night very shortly after being dry during the day, but Sally (at 3 yo) is still not there yet and we put a diaper on her at night.
Of course, she taught herself to use the toilet at 2.5 yo, so I can't complain! One of the benefits of following your older sister and brother everywhere, I guess :)

We've never really used "rewards" per se because the kids seemed so into the act of using the potty as the reward itself. We've found that if we give the kids opportunity, they take to the whole idea just fine.

We usually have about one weekend where we do a sort of concentrated potty intro once they show us they are interested -- meaning no pants/underwear and keep them on a washable floor ;) They get the idea pretty quickly as soon as the diaper is gone.

Your tips are all very good ones -- if people ask, my advice is always DO NOT stress about the toilet. The kids pick up on that more than anything else because they are so eager to please their parents.

Nap Mom said...

Wow! I have to admit that Bro does use the potty about once every 3 days... at his own leisure. But, we are nowhere near as close to being "trained" as Bear is. I figure that we will tackle that battle after we adjust to the new baby. {{grin}}

Great job Bear!

Cherry said...

Hey TJ! Give Bear my Congratulations! I'm planning on training Blue as soon as school is over and I'm actually home with him to do it. Thanks for posting your method. Blue will use the toilet, but only when it suits him. I think we'll go cold turkey this summer. Hopefully it will only take a week or so!

Mama Zen said...

When I was potty training my daughter, I took her into the bathroom with me all of the time, too. I found that it really helped.

Mrs. Bird said...

Yay for Bear! Brooklyn started off good, and then I don't think I pushed it enough. Now, she could really care less....

Kate said...

You are a motivated and savvy mom! Of my three sprouts, none were near ready to train until about 24 months. My youngest sprout took the longest. No matter how we tried, he was having none of the potty training. When he turned 3 (really!) we told him the ski school would not accept him unless he was potty trained. (We were headed on a ski vacation) The next day....done. Instant training!

Shell said...

Bravo, mom!Potty training was very easy around here, but it's b/c I waited until my older two were each over 3 to do it. But, you've given me hope that I CAN start to potty train my youngest soon(he'll be 2 at the end of May)

blueviolet said...

It was so difficult for me. My son was 3.5 until he finally got it together. I still don't know how we managed to pull it off.

You seem to have it all figured out!

Pam said...

What a big boy! Not a baby any more. Way to go! We are away for a few days to warmer climes ............ no blogging, just relaxing, I hope! Happy Easter Bunny Day!

alita said...

Anthony had no speech when he was 2. It was a long haul (He was 3.5) when he finally got it down. We tried everything. In the end it was ALL him. He had to WANT to do it.

Dominic is opposite. He is getting it super fast. We used all the same techniques that we used with Anthony. He isn't quite there yet, but almost. As in his words "Not yet mama, almost." We hear this ALL the time from him.

CONGRATS to Bear and to you. Potty training is a long and sometimes difficult process.

Darlene said...

You have done a fabulous job with potty training Bear! Very early for a boy and it sounds like he does just fine.

Hope you are having a wonderful week.♥

laney said...

Congratulations!!...I envy you in the fact that you have been able to get Bear potty trained at such a young age. I am going to have to go back and read your past posts regarding this b/c Grant has no interest at all!

Kate@And Then I Was a Mom said...

I am SO impressed. Aura seemed nowhere near ready to train at Bear's age, and it has been a struggle that sometimes continues into current times. Hands' down, the most difficult thing I've experienced as a parent. Plus she's super verbal, so she negotiated rather well throughout all of training. Annoying, to say the least.

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