I get a new PURSE! Not a diaper bag, not a purse that is big enough for diapers and wipes, but an actual purse and I don't have to think about all the crap I will have to carry. Well let's face it as a mom there is a certain amount of crap you seem to always get stuck carrying, but my littlest one is officially potty trained! Whew! Potty training has been my least favorite thing about being a parent and I've been fortunate that both my kids have potty trained young and fairly easily, but I never have to do it again! That's not to say we don't have accidents occasionally, but they are few and far enough between that I am officially declaring the Westerman house a diaper free zone (well at least during the day time, night time is 50/50).
I've gotten a few side eyes and questions potty training before 2, especially since my kids are late talkers and verbal communication is limited, but I firmly believe that before 2 or shortly thereafter is the window of opportunity. The longer you wait the more resistance I think you get since they really start digging their heels in on everything and the word "no" becomes their favorite. I highly highly recommend reading " Oh Crap Potty Training" prior to starting. I didn't read anything when potty training Claire and just winged it. Claire potty trained at 15/16 months and was relatively easy, but I was a stressed out mess. Partially because it was my first and partially because I thought even one accident meant she wasn't really trained. I stressed is both out worrying all the time. Like even the first 3 days my goal was all hits and no misses. Very unrealistic. Oh Crap Potty Training made me realize to embrace accidents (at least in the beginning) that they are learning tools! It also helped me realize wearing a diaper is the single most consistent thing they have known since birth. Suddenly changing that is a complete shock to them. Also expecting them to one day wake up and decide they will use the potty will never happen. Using the potty is a social skill that we have to teach them. The author firmly believes the window of opportunity is 20-30 months and that you can't scar them for life by forcing them to use the potty (something. I've always thought sounded silly). She does explain where that notion came from however. Potty training is the one big area we as parents don't "want to force them" and make sure they are "ready". What other area in parenting do we dance around an issue. We don't wait until they are "ready" to wear shoes. You want to go outside you out on shoes. Simple as that. Same with potty training. The author does explain there are certain cues your child gives that let you know they are at the stage where potty training comes easiest though. Not every sign of "readiness" has to be met, but you know your child best. Again, I haven't read much in the way if parenting over the past 4 years, but this has been probably the most useful thing I have read. It's an ebook and you get access to the reader Facebook page which let's you participate in discussion with other moms. If you are interested here is the link (I don't get anything for recommending it I just recommend it that much). http://www.jamieglowacki.com
Let me just say potty training a boy has been a very different experience. I have never laughed so much in my life. They are very proud of all the being a boy entails. He recently learned to pee standing up and it's now the coolest thing to him. You just have to watch out because his aim sucks and he likes to strip in public places. Last week he mooned Claire's entire tumbling class and then mooned half of Marshall's. I cannot keep clothes on the kid now. Our first few days potty training were naked boy days and he has embraced the nudist lifestyle wholeheartedly. Poop training was interesting too. He actually caught in fairly quickly, but his execution stunk for a while. He actually self initiated poop before pee and tried to take himself. Let's just say he wasn't very good at getting his clothes off in time yet and getting the poop in the potty. He knew where it was supposed to go, but couldn't quite get it in. I found him trying to clean his mess one day
Little boy undies are so stinkin cute though! We started going naked, then commando and then in training underwear and finally to the cutest boxer briefs I have ever seen!
Now of course all he pants fall off with no diaper to hold them up, but at least we are getting additional use out of them.
Potty training has also put a major kink in his sleeping though. He is waking up screaming 2 hours earlier than normal (half the time is diaper is dry and several nights he has woken me up at 3:00 am to go potty) I am happy and all about that, but man I miss my sleep. His naps have gone to crap too and a 2-3 hour nap is 45min to an hour now. About the 5 week mark he is finally settling back down a little and sleeping better, but it still isn't what it was. Potty training is a huge mental leap for them I've come to learn and apparently sleep disruptions are normal.