To potty train or not to potty train (right now), that is the question. When I mention potty training, I am always met with the same response, “Is she ready?? She is only 24 months old.” Let’s put it this way, she comes to me to say, “Mama, I pee pee,” while holding onto herself. She wakes from naps with a dry diaper – not all of the time – but some of the time. She sits on her potty chair whenever ANYONE goes to the bathroom. She is fascinated by “flushing” and “wiping” and knows when she has gone poo poo, “Mama, I go poo poo,” and walks funny to come tell me – she thinks it’s yucky and stinky. She asks to get down from her high chair when she needs to go while she is eating. This girl is ready, from the idea or concept aspect of going potty on the potty, and not in her diaper. She is verbalizing it and it’s becoming a nuisance to her. But is it too soon from a physical and emotional standpoint? My answer: I don’t know for sure.
My mom said I was potty trained somewhere around 18-19 months, right before the arrival of my baby brother. Her mom, my maternal grandma (God rest her soul), potty trained me in a weekend. My mom doesn’t recall any part of it only to know that she potty trained me and it was one less thing they had to do before my brother came into the picture. I find it interesting because I, too, began thinking of potty training Mattelyn around 18 months, before the arrival of the twins. She was showing signs but I read it’s too much to train a baby with a big change about to occur in their life, for example – a new baby or moving to a new home.
So we waited. And I ordered a book on potty training and read a hundred blogs about different experiences. Most of which concur that two years is a pretty good age to begin but three years seems to have a better success rate. I also read that the United States, Great Britain and Russia are the only countries that ritually allow potty training to be child-driven or child-led when the child is ready. Other countries begin at 6 months by holding their child over a latrine and making a hissing sound to encourage a natural flow of pee and are potty trained by one year of age. My initial thinking was at 18 months, there are less chances of an argument (because their communication is limited), their ability to reason rationally and maturity level isn’t developed, and I felt they were just more malleable. I thought at that age the use of candy or stickers wouldn’t really matter much to them and it would be a more similar process to Pavlov’s conditioned response training. But the more people I talked to, the more I began to realize maybe all of my rationale didn’t make as much sense as I thought. I am a new mom and the only thing I know for sure is, the coined phrase “The Terrible Twos” was hitting our little girl quickly and she is a force to be reckoned with.
I have also heard many moms say, “He who coined the phrase ‘the terrible twos’ hadn’t had a three year old yet.” So I am really curious from any of my fellow mommy or daddy followers, what do you think is the perfect age to begin potty training? If you had it to do over again, what age would you start? What are some good pointers or learnings you have to share? My next post discusses my decision to begin and how I went about preparing for it. Geez there’s a lot to think about to prepare her to be successful in this journey – likely one of the first hardest of many we will encounter together.
XO ~ Stephanie