Team approach to potty training


I started potty training my 34-month old son a week ago. I wish I hadn't been so lax about when to begin but I listened to the speak about readiness signs, a boy taking longer, and not pressuring or rushing.

I wish I had read Toilet Training without Tantrums a long time ago. Not educating myself in this area coupled with relocating to a new city a few months ago, I allowed myself to relax and continue to enjoy the convenience of disposable diapers. I had purchased a floor potty a long time ago simply as an introduction to it (not to apply pressure) and my son initially showed excitement and even used it on occasion, so I knew he understood exactly what it was and that when I began potty training, it would be a different kind of issue I would likely be facing (being in control).

Leading up to the official potty training, I created a little "road to potty city" poster per a friend's idea and explained the concept (little rewards (stickers) along the road and a big reward (toy of his choice) when he reached potty city), and went with him to purchase underwear and said toy. I planned on using this "3-day method" a mom told me about that she used with her daughter in which you use a timer and put the child on the potty every 5 minutes the first day and stretching the window on day 2 and even longer on day 3. Well the first day, I was met with an arched back and refusal to sit on the potty. I was so frustrated by the end of the day that I purchased, downloaded and read your book that night. I wasn't sure how the next day would go but I was at least a little more confident having read your book and knowing I was armed with some good tools that I could try. When I woke up the next morning and had both my son and nearly 16-month old daughter in front of me, I wondered what effect it would have to have my daughter go through the process with my son. To my joy, it actually motivated my son to start trying...but to my absolute surprise, I found that my daughter actually sat on the potty and released (and released some more throughout the day). For my son, I still proceeded to put the hour window and timer in place that day as well as have my daughter participate and sure enough, he started to fall in line. We are on day 5 now and definitely progressing.

Now I'm wondering how best to train my daughter as I honestly just want to move forward with her as well at this point. I remember you saying that training before 18 months is okay; however, to just realize that it will probably take until at least 18 months of age to really understand what is happening. I'm okay with doing that since we already started, but wondering if I just continue with the timer and 60-minute window of putting her on the potty for the time being, providing correction when needed. As I mentioned, she releases when she is on the potty and actually has to go, but I can tell she doesn't have an understanding of what she is doing at this point in time. I also would prefer not to use pull-ups with her, but figure I may have to for the time being when we are out and during the night.

I appreciate your thoughts and help with this.

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