Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

Potty Baby — Almost Trained at 14 Months July 5, 2008

Sixty percent of the time, my baby uses the potty every time.
(–with a nod to Anchorman, The Legend of Ron Burgundy, for all you now questioning my logic.)

Frankly, it’s as true as it can be. Everywhere I go, women smile admirably at me, gasping in wonder at my infant in big-boy undies (He has ones with the Superman “S” emblazoned on his booty), and while Noah does use the potty about 60% of the time, these admiring gaspers already consider him “potty-trained.” Why? He is not entirely out of dipes, but he is able to go out of the house in honest-to-goodness underwear—and that’s a whole lot more than most mothers training 2- and 3-year-old preschoolers can say. Trust me, I’ve been there. Earlier this year, in fact.

We just completed our 2-week bare-bottom adventure. Noah absolutely loves the freedom; putting him in a diaper for bedtime is now met with much protest. (When he is able to stay dry through the night, I will gladly give our diapers away.) Because I must always be on the lookout for Noah’s signals, and women are always approaching me about my baby’s lack of diaper-age, the topic of early training is always on the tip of my tongue. This formerly quiet writer who generally keeps to herself has become quite the passionate advocate: My mommy’s group has asked me to speak on the topic; I was recently toasted for my efforts at a baby shower; and I can’t count how many times in the last 14 days I’ve commented, “it’s a HUNDRED times easier to do it with a baby,” combined with, “do you realize the average baby uses 5000 diapers? Consider the impact on the environment!” (My husband Joseph, burdened with the unpleasant task of changing the diaper pail, would also like me to add how relieved he is.) I’m fanatical, and if you’re a SAHM with little one still in diapers and zero time to chat with adults, early training may be all the conversation-starter you’ll need at the checkout.

The Baby Signs Potty Training kit is only 40 bucks–less than the price of a case of diapers. Actually, I think Amazon has it on sale right now… yes! $26.37! Consider how much you spend on diapers and wipes, then calculate that by 5,000 (that’s if your baby uses 5 diapers a day and is trained by 2.75 years.) Let’s see, Amazon has cases of 140 Pampers Cruisers Size 4 for 39.99. You would spend $1,400.00 by the time your baby was trained. Wouldn’t you rather take 2 weeks and $26.37, and open the lines of communication through sign language with your little cherub, put the extra cash in savings, help the environment, and facilitate your child’s confidence and independence by using the toilet? And I won’t even ask what could be cuter than seeing your own child’s bare butt wriggling about every day for 2 weeks?

Here is our Progress Report: The first few days were not unlike the first 3 months of new motherhood–getting out of the house was a logistical feat involving the potty, multiple outfits, a cover for the car seat, diapers in case I chickened out, wipes, and toys to keep him interested during potty breaks. We soon figured out what we needed and what we didn’t. I got into the practice of putting Noah on the potty in the back of my SUV when we arrived and departed from our destination, and he got the message quickly to wait or do the potty sign on the road.

This is a really important point because, as my husband points out, the “potty-training relationship” we’ve built with our son is not the traditional concept of self-control (at this point) so much as taking turns telling each other when potty time has arrived. For instance, Noah knows he will use his potty when he gets up in the morning and grunts his word for it and does the sign until I place him on it. After breakfast, he will point at it from his highchair, or I will simply place him on it, knowing what will come next. Our day goes along as such, with Noah holding for potty visits he knows are imminent from experience, or with me putting him on and entertaining him until he goes. We are so very pleased with his success, and of course as parents we make note of our son’s uncommonly superior intellect.

This experience has created a bond of trust, love and communication I never thought possible. Teaching only a few sign language words has also opened the door to my son’s vocabulary; he is an enthusiastic repeater of words and phrases, and we are just as enthusiastically encouraging him. Can I draw a connection between my son’s toilet habits and his ability to say letters and make their sounds at 14 months? I am willing to say that when you become as engaged to your child as early training requires, your baby will certainly surprise you.

If you are willing to teach your little one to become diaper-free (and help the environment by decreasing the impact of disposable diapers on landfills!) please purchase your Baby Signs Potty Training Kit through my “Motherhood Must-Haves” Amazon Store. The wee kickback I get pays for the environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies I use for cleaning up Noah’s “accidents” along the way. Thank you!
If you have attempted (or succeeded!) at early potty-training, I would love to hear from you!


6 Responses to “Potty Baby — Almost Trained at 14 Months”

  1. sierramom Says:

    CONGRATULATIONS! You are proud of Noah and I am proud of you (well…Noah too, of course). So rarely do we Mom’s give a high-five to each other for figuring it out, making our way and holding on! Grayson is progressing – we have given out quite a few stickers for his rides on the ‘Potty Train’. And I have used a number of disinfectants around the house. But I still haven’t jumped off our two week cliff yet. I am close. But surely inspired by your success. Way to go to you and the family! I agree – it definitely is a conversation starter.

  2. rjlacko Says:

    Thank you! We’re so happy, and you will be too! I can’t wait to hear how Grayson does when he “goes bare-bottom.”
    I’m finding that the best results come from structure; if Grayson knows when he can expect the potty, I just bet he’ll begin adjusting and anticipating his next visit and begin “holding.”
    If you are really too nervous about going bare-bottom, try a combination of undies and vinyl pants. He’ll feel when he’s gone and it will encourage him to use the potty the next time. Thanks for keeping me updated!

  3. nopinkhere Says:

    Congrats on your progress!
    I potty-trained my son at 25 months after cloth-diapering, and I even get lots of reactions and questions from my mom friends about how we did it as early as we did.
    When/if we have another, I was definitely intending to start earlier (maybe 18 months), but after reading about your journey I think I’d start even earlier than that.
    With K, I read about EC, but wasn’t willing to try it as an infant. But I think you’ve struck a balance agewise with communication between you and training (for both of you).
    Thanks for sharing your roller-coaster ride!

  4. rjlacko Says:

    Thank you, NoPink, and congratulations to you on your own success! Your kind words are appreciated.
    Potty training is a very personal decision and journey, and now that you’re an experienced “trainer”, I think you’ll find it much easier next time around–and your older child can be your helper!

  5. mikeandkatie1 Says:

    Hi Rebecca,

    I’m glad to find your blog. I’ve been EC’ing with my little girl since she was six weeks. It is so great and the old ladies at my church are pleased that we’re not keeping her in diapers until she’s four. They have stories of their own about early potty training. My mom used to say, “Walking, Talking and potty training by one year.”

    We’ve also experienced the occasional off-day. Either I’m more distracted or it’s a developmental hitch. But it’s just wets so they’re no big deal. You can read more of our story on our blog.


  6. rjlacko Says:

    Hello Katie-Mama!
    Congratulations on your adoption! Amanda is precious. What a wonderful and courageous step you’ve taken to train your daughter. Six weeks! I’m jealous, frankly. Good for you: I know the effort you’ve taken certainly must have come from love, patience and plenty of research! Thank you for sharing your story.

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