Would you buy a potty for a fifteen month old? I did because I believe encouragement can yield surprising results in children even at a very young age. The other morning Hannah peed in her potty and showed me that she’s been listening and learning. She understands so much of what I say already and she’s getting more deliberate in her speech and actions each day. It was easy for me to assist her because she walked to the bathroom on her own, opened the door, said “bath” and sat down.
I’m not racing to potty train Hannah and I don’t plan to pack up her diapers any time soon, but I do think that this is a good age to bring awareness to the subject. I’ve learned some tactics from researching Montessori* teaching that are working really well with Hannah, and I’m eager to continue helping her become independent.
Her frustration level with diaper changes hit an all time high this summer, to the point that I began changing her standing up. Per a suggestion, I moved these “roaming changes” into the bathroom and began talking to her about her wet and dry diapers. I taught her the words pee and poop and showed her a sign so that she can communicate with me when she wants to go. At first, she showed lots of excitement and curiosity about the bathroom, but she didn’t have the patience to sit still on her potty. The difference between potty training and potty learning is that I won’t force her to stay. She can come or go as she pleases, I simply put her dry diaper on and go through the motions of flushing and washing hands if necessary. Recently, she started staying still for longer so I’ll sing her a song with clapping or read her a book about using the potty. Here’s a silly cover song I made up:
Red sippy cup
I drank you up
Let’s use the potty
Go on the potty! (Like big kids.)
There are lots of reasons that I love using cloth diapers on the girls, but one of the main ones is that Hannah knows when she is wet. It’s helping her to learn to use the potty and even if she goes in her diaper she lets me know so that I can change her. This way she spends most of the day in cozy, dry cotton. Her Gro-via diapers have snaps and stretchy sides, so they’re already designed like trainers. She’s also learning about laundry- but that’s a post for another day after she learns to fold.
We’re having a great experience with potty learning so far because we’re adding simple steps to our regular routine. I do give the bathroom more frequent wipe-downs since Hannah loves to flush, but that fills the time that she likes to “sight-see” in the cabinet. I would encourage any parent to give it a whirl. (Pun intended.)
*Some tips in this post are adapted from Montessori from the Start by Paula Polk Lillard