PottyI've been putting my third child on the potty since she was about 5 months old. Now at 15 months, I feel like we are in the home stretch. She goes in the potty many more times per day than she goes in her diaper. In fact, one day recently she exclusively used the potty. She went zero times in her diaper for an entire day! Another day, only one wet diaper. However, then there are the days when she refuses to sit on the potty and then wanders off diaper-free to the living room and pees a huge puddle on the floor. If there is one term I would use to describe this period it is Hit and Miss. It's mostly hit, but the misses tend to be fairly annoying and memorable.
In general, I am noticing that my 15-month-old can hold it for longer and longer periods. I believe this is for two reasons. One: her bladder control and bladder awareness are probably increasing; and two: I am nursing her less often, which means she isn't chalk-full of fluids all the time anymore. I have also noticed that she does better on weekdays or days with lots of outings. When we have to go places, I am putting her on the potty before leaving the house and as soon as we return, and remembering to give her lots of opportunities to use the potty. I've also noticed that she likes to hold it when she is out of the house, even for hours at a time. But on Saturdays, when we are getting odds and ends done around the house and not following any schedule, and my husband and I are both mindlessly assuming/hoping that the other is taking her to the potty regularly, she ends up going more often in her diaper because no one is taking her to the pot.
How I wish she would just tell me when she needs to go! She does often say "pee pee" after having gone in her diaper. One time she yelled "pee pee!" and since she was dry I whisked her off the the potty and she peed. But she also yells "pee pee" for all kinds of random reasons throughout the day, so I don't always pay attention when she says it. She also sometimes gets really fussy and whiny when she needs to go. But of course, she can be very whiny for entirely non-potty reasons as well. She has brought me the potty a couple of times when she needed to go, but in general we are lacking in a consistent form of communication on the potty front. So instead success is really about us taking her at regular and predictable intervals.
Dry nights seem to be a thing of the past. My 15-month-old switched to one nap (most days) and has an earlier bedtime. She still wakes up dry occasionally, but not routinely. For the last couple weeks she has been teething and frequently wakes up screaming in the middle of the night. She has woken up every morning with a soaked diaper. She still always wakes up dry from naps. I can't remember the last time she peed in a diaper after a nap.
My 15 months old frequently pees in the little potty we keep in the van (aka the van pot). This is a very useful skill to have.
Our Biggest ObstacleOur biggest obstacle currently is impatience: hers and mine. Sometimes it's not that convenient to take her to the potty, and when she has been doing really well, I often get complacent and lazy. And sometimes I just don't feel like sitting there long enough for her to poop. And as we all know, pooping requires some patience. My busy, busy 15-month-old often lacks patience as well. She frequently bounces off the potty even when she needs to go. She also often complains when taken to the potty at all. She really hates to miss out on any of the action involving her two older siblings.
The solution for my impatience: motivation and discipline. I usually cycle through being diligent about taking her to the potty regularly and waiting patiently while she does her thing, getting lazier and more distracted, cleaning up many accidents and changing many wet diapers, and then getting motivated to be more diligent again. Once or twice she bounced off the potty after peeing or even pooping, and then walked off diaper-free and pooped somewhere else (we often let her go diaper-free after using the potty for a while because we can usually count on her not to need to go again for an hour or so). Cleaning up poop off the floor is very motivating for me. After that, I instituted my two-book rule. Because it can be hard to tell when a baby is done using the potty, with my last child, I had a three-minute rule. We would not get off the potty unless three minutes had elapsed since the last deposit. With my 15-month-old, I instituted the two-book rule. We sit on the potty for at least two books. Often more. This is some of the only one-on-one time (besides nursing) that I have with my 15-month-old all day. I remind myself of this often when I feel impatient sitting next to her on the potty.
The solution for my 15-month-old's impatience: entertainment. I've started rotating the reading material in the potty fairly regularly. And sometimes I have to be very persistent. But the persistence almost always pays off.
DiaperingWe are washing diapers about one time per week. I can easily assess how we are doing any given week by how quickly the diaper bin is filling up. Many weeks, the diaper bin is only half-full by the end of the week. Other weeks, like this current week, the bin is nearly full only half-way through the week. Lots of misses this week.
We use and run out of the training pants and fitted diapers first. I still most often use an unbleached prefold (in thirds) inside a cover outside the house, but since she rarely pees or poops when away from home, I mostly use the prefolds for clean ups of accidents these days. Also as at 12 months, we are still using our Bumgenius diapers stuffed with prefolds at night.
Previous posts about early potty training my third childPotty Training a 4-month-old Baby
My 5-month-old Baby Uses the Potty
Early Potty Training at 6 Months
The Poop Report: Diapering and Pottying at 7 Months
The Poop Report: Diapering and Pottying at 9 Months
The Poop Report: Diapering and Pottying at One Year
For links to every post I've ever written about early potty training, visit my Early Potty Training page.
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