Gotta Go

potty training girl

How do you know when your child is ready to go? “Go where?,” you ask. You know, “GO.” As in, go to the bathroom. Specifically, go IN the toilet.

I've been starting to pack. Yes, it's ALMOST time. Time for the annual family adventure known as VACATION. It takes me weeks to get ready. I like to make piles. I like to sort my piles. I like to check and recheck my piles.

One thing I am NOT piling on this time around is diapers (hurray!). We just said good-bye to diapers, yes, even the nighttime ones (although I AM packing the waterproof mattress pad).

All this has made me think about the potty training adventure. Are you ready? Getting ready? There? Here's some great tips: www.everydayfamily.com/toddler/development/potty-training-tips/.

For us, it all started when my kiddo was 15 months old. Some thought I was crazy. Okay, MOST thought I was crazy.

It all started the day when she brought me the diaper. Yes, diapers are “wonderful” toys. Not in this case. I somehow figured out (call it mama's intuition) that her current diaper was wet and she wanted changed. My light bulb went on, and I started watching behaviors. I noticed she was interested in the toilet. I went and got a potty seat of her own. She liked it.

One day, when she was about 17 months old, we decided to give it a try. I took off her diaper and…and…and… (isn't the anticipation wonderful?)…SHE WENT! My hubby and I cheered like we had won the big game. She did it all. We were so proud we called Grandma to share the news.

It wasn't all so easy, but she took to this new skill pretty quickly. Saying good-bye to the diapers at night took a bit longer.

Comparing notes with my buddies, it's been a different process for each of our kiddos. One family had a potty party weekend and said good-bye to diapers (both during the day AND at night) within two days. One family is still working on toileting success and finds it especially challenging for their child to have success in public restrooms. Some families are still waiting for their child to give them some cues that they are ready.

Tasks like toileting seem so simple, so easy, but can be anything but. It's big, it's huge, and it's an important milestone in your kiddo's growth and development. Like everything else, remember to take them where they are, help them move forward (at whatever pace works for them and your family), and keep it in perspective. When you gotta go, you gotta go, but it seems nature calls to each of our little ones differently.

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Gotta Go

Jeannie Fleming-Gifford is a mama to one little lady, freelance writer, and the director of education for a non-profit community school of the arts. Graduating with a B.A. in Music and a M.A. in Child Development, Jeannie began her career in quality child development programs as a teacher, then moved into creative administrative roles with science centers, symphony orchestras and arts programs. Owner of 170+ year old house, Jeannie loves living in small town America where walks to the park and ... More

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