In April the little man went for his 18 month check up, which was all fine and good until the pediatrician chose to alter the course of life (okay a bit dramatic I know)! The conversation went something like this...
Pedi: "He is a very bright little boy"
Me: "Thank you"
Pedi: "I am really shocked, he talks more than most of my girl patients. With an extensive vocabulary it is a good indication you are probably ready to start potty training."
HOLD THE PHONE....POTTY TRAINING...AT 18 MONTHS!!!
Let's just say shock doesn't begin to explain my expression, at one point in time I think I actually grabbed the table for stability. PT had not even begun to cross our minds and starting at the age of 18 months...does this seem abnormal to anyone else??? I agree he is a smart little boy, but potty training? The handsome hubby and I talked it over and decided with a busy summer ahead we would wait until after vacation, thus buying me the time I needed to prepare myself. That may seem a selfish statement, but all the parental advice I had received from family and friends was that we needed to be all in if we were going to do this. And while I do believe at 18 months he was interested, I don't believe he was quite ready, I know now that there is a world of difference between the two.
So we purchased a potty seat and just let the little man play and explore it. I spent time reading every possible piece of material I could find on potty training a boy, I talked to moms of boys, read little man every storybook I could find on using the potty, watched potty videos and attended a few potty training classes with him at the local library.
Fast forward to last week. We decided right after vacation we would do it, begin potty training! As soon as we arrived home I spent the weekend preparing for the big day. We talked about it with our little man and pumped it up. By Sunday morning I felt like a broken record. As we were getting ready for church I was about to give the little man a bath. Daddy stripped him down and he ran in the bathroom. The little man looked me square in the eyes and said "pee pee", you can guess what followed. I quickly picked him up and put him on the potty. He finished peeing and was SO proud, that's when we knew it was definitely time. After church we took him to the store to pick out his big boy underpants...I have to say that's when the reality hit me and the disbelief that we were doing this at 22 months!
We woke up Monday and began the potty process I found in a great blog post by a fellow pastors wife. You can find it here. We chose not to use Pull-Ups at all but rather just start training in big boys underpants. For nap time and bed time we started by using the Bum Genius cloth diapers I had purchased and never used. We called them night time pants to keep from calling them diapers. If you would like all the little details let me know, but I will spare those who don't have little ones with my potty process.
I wish I could say it was an easy day and he picked it up right away, but let's just say the equation looked more like this...
Strong willed child + even stronger willed mommy (x) potty training = a barrel of monkeys!
It was an exhausting and frustrating experience for both of us. By Monday night dinnertime we hadn't had a single success. I told daddy perhaps we weren't ready and we talked about holding off a few more months. Feeling completely defeated I took the little man up for a bath and bed time. Out of no where he looked me in the eyes and said "Mommy, go pee pee potty". So on the little potty he went and suddenly he did it...he began to pee!!!!! I jumped up and called out to daddy "He went potty!!!" and we began cheering. All the stress from the day was washed away when his precious little face lit up with a huge smile of accomplishment. We laughed and cheered. But that wasn't it, after bath time he asked to potty and once again he went and he hasn't stopped using the potty since. The next two days were a little rough, but by Thursday he had it down pat, telling me every time he had to use the potty. Thanks to daddy he actually began to use the big potty on Friday and now prefer's it to the little potty.
Potty training has definitely left me feeling like an unaccomplished individual as funny as that sounds. Teaching another human being how to do something, that you yourself have no recollection of learning you just do it, is an extremely daunting task. But it is SO worth it. Sure not having to purchase diapers is a blessing, but seeing his face light up each and every time he uses the potty on his own is the greatest accomplishment to me. I am not always going to be the one who helps him learn how to do big things, but boy am I one proud momma to have had the chance to do this along side him.
For more details on how we did it, shoot me a comment below.