I bought Owen’s potty when he was 6 months old. I think Cole thought I was a little crazy, and maybe I was. Owen’s tiny booty was too small for it and he’d sink in if you didn’t hold him up. He wasn’t much interested in it at 6 months, and we definitely weren’t going to push it. But I’m still glad I got it when I did.
Around this time I read Diaper Free Before 3, and it seemed like a bridge between hardcore EC and conventional potty training. I felt comfortable with the methods suggested and I learned a lot. I would highly recommend this book.
Three months later, we noticed that Owen’s diaper would be dry whenever he woke up if we caught it quick enough. Sometimes it was way worth it to stay in bed and snuggle longer, but some days we were ready to get up. Anytime we pulled a dry diaper off him in the morning, we’d plop him on the potty and he would promptly pee without hardly noticing.
So we kept it up. We’d sit him on the potty in the mornings and when he woke up from his nap. Sometimes he was into it:
and sometimes he wasn’t. The times when he didn’t want to sit, we didn’t force him. He was so little; there were no stakes.
Slowly, we started putting him on the potty more often. We started sticking him on there when he woke up whether he was dry or not, for the sake of consistency. And some of those times he’d surprise us by peeing anyway. And if he had to poop, he pooped. Just like that. Then we added potty time before or after a meal, since we had noticed that he often went while eating (a lot of kids do), before going out, before bath time, etc, and any time that it seemed likely that something might happen.
Right around his first birthday, we bough Owen his first training underpants. It was a little tricky to track down unders that would fit so small a guy, but the internet can be a wonderful place and we succeeded. We bought a couple of packs from hanna andersson, and this one pair from Mumtaz Soakers that Owen and I were both excited about:
I also knitted him some (okay, just the one) soaker to wear over his underpants to help contain leaks and to keep him warm even if he was wet.
Once we got back from our Christmas trip home, I started regularly putting Owen in a pair of unders in the morning, to see how long he could wear a pair without wetting them. It wasn’t very long at first, and I relaxed my schedule.
But now, we do underpants pretty much anytime we’re home. Owen’s doing a really good job of pointing to his pants when he needs to go pee (though most of the time still, a point means “I’m peeing” and not “I need to go”), and he’s very obvious when he needs to poop. Apart from one recent accident (which followed a binge on cherry tomatoes), he has done all his pooping on the potty for about a month now. Woo!
Owen doesn’t pull his own pants down yet when he needs to go; most of the time, the best we get is a point, though he does occasionally wander into the bathroom when it’s time. But for me, the main draw of underpants is that a.) they encourage me to put him on the potty more often, since they hold less, and b.) they can go in the drier, unlike our diapers! I gotta tell ya, after washing laundry 4 times a week, now in a separate, public facility, for over a year, I’m getting pretty tired of laundry.
So that’s where we’re at right now, and I feel confident that it won’t be too long before Owen’s totally potty trained. We’ve just gotta take it one step at a time.