One of my good friends had a daughter a few weeks after we had Emma. We've been comparing their developmental milestones ever since. Emma sat first, M spoke first (I'm pretty sure M spoke in full sentences before Emma said 2 words, Emma walked first, M recognized colors and letters (seriously, this girl is smart). Well, my girlfriend decided that when M was 18 months old, she was ready to potty train. She bought pull-ups and got some books and videos and was determined to have her potty trained. She told me stories of friends who potty trained their kids that early and she was determined. I was skeptical, but she was a first time mom and, well, you know how they can be (wink).
So as the days-and then weeks-went on, L shared her frustration with the whole process. She was upset that the daycare provider was not working with her, she was upset that her daughter didn't seem to be making progress, even though she would use the potty at home a few times a day. I tried to tell her that it was probably too soon. I also shared with her my suggestions on potty training, but she brushed them off. I don't know what it is about this process that makes mothers so defensive. Friends have come to me with numerous parenting questions from breastfeeding advice to what first foods should they try. However, when it comes to potty training, everyone thinks they have the best solution. I certainly don't profess to be an expert, but I am on my third child and I've learned a few things along the way. But, whatever, you keep trying your method and let me know how that works.
I am a firm believer in naked potty training. Pull-ups are only used for outings, naps & bedtimes. The way I see it, if you teach them to pee in a pull up, it is no different than peeing in a diaper. We go naked in the house, wear pull-ups only when necessary and once it seems like the child has figured out when they have to go, we try training panties (those thick multi-ply cotton ones that Gerber makes). It is often two steps forward, one step back (or even one step forward, two steps back). Usually the first few times in panties, end up in accidents. all three of my girls could go accident free for weeks when naked, but then as soon as a cotton pantie went on, they would pee. It must be something about just feeling something on their bottom.
About 8 months or so, we brought our potty out of storage and let Emma get used to seeing it. She took to it pretty quickly. We spent a lot of time naked, a.lot.of.time. Then Summer hit. It is hard to do naked potty training when your are outside all the time playing with the neighbor kids. So, I didn't push the issue. We were still naked most of the time in the house, but I wasn't pressed to get it done right then.
Then one evening, Emma decided to go poop in the big potty. We were amazed and excited! She was so proud of herself for pooping in the potty like a big girl. It seemed she turned a corner on her own. Then came Elly. Elly was the new girl at daycare who is a bit older than Emma and was already close to being potty trained. That was all it took. Lina, the daycare provider started taking Emma to the potty along with Elly, and the next thing I knew, Emma was coming home in the same diaper she left home with. Last week, Lina handed me a huge bag of diapers and said she didn't need them anymore. Instead, I sent in a few pull-ups and panties and a change of clothes. She's been wearing panties ever since!
My baby is potty trained!! My baby is potty trained. I'm not so sure this milestone is a bittersweet as some of the others.
Oh, and my friend's baby M, she's still walking around wearing pull-ups as diapers. And, she finally asked me to tell her what to do.