About 9 months ago I wrote "5 Things You Can Do With Your Baby That Will Make Potty Training Later On Easier". The post was mostly about some tips I had been using with my baby as part of a light, alternative form of "elimination communication". The post quickly went viral and has been viewed over 360,000 times, and still continues to go strong with usually about 500-1000 views per day.
I haven't written much more about it since then on the blog. So here is an update of our progress at 22 months old:
Damien at 22 months old, playing on the phone while using the potty
His month of being 22 months old was the strongest yet, and I can say he is almost "officially" potty trained.
After I wrote that original post, Damien was doing wonderfully with our laid-back, casual potty training, and during his months of being 13-14 months old, he even started taking himself to the potty sometimes when he needed to go, and would almost always go when I sat him on the potty. But then we did a ton of traveling during the fall and all the way up until Christmas, and things just sort of fell apart during that time, mostly because I was too distracted.
However, in January (when he was 19 months old), we really started to get back into potty learning again. I kind of went cold turkey and put him in undies for most of the day. I cleaned up a lot of messes for a while, but he caught on eventually, especially when I started using the sling (he did not like peeing on me or himself when he was in a closed in space like that and started telling me when he needed to go).
Damien riding in the sling, a real help in potty training
Not long after turning 22 months old, he started having many days where he would go all day without an accident. Sometimes I would put him on the potty (such as when first waking up, or if I noticed he hadn't gone in a long time) but most of his potty times were self-initiated.
He also started asking to go to the bathroom while out in public. He actually asks to go potty when we are out in public sometimes more than he asks to go at home. I think he has figured out that doing so can get him out of his car seat, high chair, or the shopping cart, hence his asking so much! But nonetheless, he still does go on the public toilets, even if it is only a tiny bit sometimes. We ended up buying the Kalencom Potette 2-in-1 Potty for such times to make public restroom and side of the road stops easier, which I'll write more about their great potty soon!
Where his progress is at 22 months old:
- He wears underwear all day and doesn't have hardly any accidents anymore.
- He still sleeps in a diaper, but often wakes up dry from his nap. He doesn't usually wake up dry in the morning, but his diaper isn't usually "full", either, just a small amount, and he will fill the potty upon waking up.
- I haven't gotten brave enough to take him out in public in underwear yet, but he will often stay dry for the whole outing.
- He is somewhat past the point of getting a treat every time he uses the potty. Occasionally I will remember to give him one, but it is so "common place" now that it isn't a big deal for him to go and we both usually forget.
- He mostly uses the regular toilet (with a Sesame Street seat insert) rather than his little Ikea potty now. The Ikea potty was helpful to have either right next to him or for him to sit on while he played, read books, or watched a show, but now that he tells us pretty much every time, we find it is unneeded, and using the regular potty is easier to clean up after. Still planning on using the little potty when he is playing outside, though.
- He loves his "undies", specifically his Cars undies. I'm not exactly sure if they were any kind of motivation for him, but I'm not going to rule out the possibility. He also really fell in love with his big brother's Thomas the Tank Engine underwear, but they didn't fit, so we are going to get him his own.
- Sometimes if he wakes up in the morning or after nap and we don't take his diaper off right away, he will go in it. I think he gets the idea that diaper on = ok to use, and he is admittedly a little "lazy" when he first wakes. Hopefully that will change soon, but for now we're just working on making sure that as soon as he wakes up the diaper comes off, and he does fine.
- When he is playing outside, for some reason he frequently has accidents even though he does fine inside. I think the problem is he doesn't want to go back inside, afraid that he won't be able to come back out, and even if I bring the potty outside, he doesn't seem to want to stop what he is doing to go. His outside play is very intense! I am hoping he will catch on soon.
- When we are visiting other peoples' houses, he tends to use his diaper. Grocery store, he will tell you, friend's house, he won't. Strange, but I think he just gets too preoccupied with the "new", and I am usually preoccupied too, so it's a recipe for accidents. Perhaps if as soon as we get somewhere I show him where the potty is, give him an opportunity to go, and then take him periodically, he will get the hang of telling me no matter where we are.
Right now I guess you would classify him as "at home, daytime potty trained". And we are working on the "in public, outside potty trained" phase. Once we conquer that, I guess he officially gets the big boy "potty trained" label.
Nighttime potty training, I don't include in the definition of "potty trained", as I know that can come much later for many children, but I am hoping that perhaps sometime soon I will have the courage to stop doing diapers at naps, which seems reasonable since he does wake up dry most of the time.
That is all for now, friends. I do have a lot of things that I "wish I would have done differently", which I will write about another day. I will also write another update post when we reach that much-awaited phase of being fully daytime, everywhere-we-go potty trained!
Damien just turned 23 months old