Back in November I texted a few of my girlfriends with toddler boys. “Any tips with potty training? I know it might seem like a stretch, but we are ready to start potty training Charlie.”
I’ve read the research. I know boys typically take longer to potty train and most are encouraged to start around the age of three for boys or just before three. When I sent this text, Charlie was about 21 months. He was showing signs of understanding- he signed “potty” whenever he had a BM and just seemed interested in the process. So, my husband, Charlie, and I decided we wanted to start training him while we were home together for the two week winter break in December.
Response from friend, “Yea, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. He is way too little.”
Typically, I am fueled by someone else’s doubt. However, this time, I totally understood where she was coming from. Nonetheless, the doubt motivated me a tad. He is little. He is young. However, every child is different. Charlie was communicating with us and was starting to show signs he understood. It may be a longer potty training process, but any step towards “trained” was a step we wanted. What could it hurt? If we started the process and had no success, there’s no harm done in putting a kibosh on the whole thing and trying again later.
On Saturday, December 19th, the (cloth) diaper came off. Okay, probably another reason we were itching to potty train was because we do cloth diapers. Anyways, Little Man was barebutt for
3 days one whole week. I had heard success stories in the three day bare bottom trick. Since Charlie was so young, we figured three days wasn’t going to cut it. We opted in for a whole week. Charlie and I hadn’t really discussed how we thought this whole thing might go. But, the week seemed to be pretty successful! We knew we couldn’t tickle Charlie, make him laugh, or chase him until after he had sat on his potty. Of course Little Man had a few accidents. One of which being because we forgot to have him go potty before we started tickling him. Fortunately, that week all the accidents were only pee.
After a week, Little Man was upgraded to big boy undies! Again, still he had a few accidents, and definitely had a few BMs in his big boy undies over the next few weeks. Oiy! That was a bit of a struggle! Overall, it still felt like major progress to us so we continued on in our quest.
(Picking out his first pair! The winner… bananas! Posing for his new undies.)
After the two week Winter Break, he returned to daycare. Daycare is a team effort and we let our provider decide if we could send him in undies or his diaper. She suggested the diaper due to his age and the possible regression in a new setting- busy playing with all his friends with no interest to stop and take a potty break. And, at the time he still didn’t have BMs on the potty yet. We were 100% on board with her suggestion.
The first week or two at daycare did seem like a regression. At times I was almost bummed by the progress we had made during the previous two weeks. I reminded myself of his age and his distractions. We were proud of him. We didn’t let the training process stress us or Little Man. Within about a month or so, he started coming home from daycare with “dry all day” reports. In time, he started having BMs on the potty too.
Now, we are about three months in. We still send him to daycare in a diaper. We still prompt and remind him to sit on the potty to prevent accidents. Most mornings he requests his undies, but we remind him those are for when he’s at home on the weekends. He’s little and he’s still learning, but I’m glad we decided to try.