I grew up in a family where we didn’t say “pee” and we didn’t say “butt” because those are crass. We called “it” podee. When it came time to teach Elaine about using the toilet, all of a sudden I realized that my terminology was confusing to her. How do you tell a two-year-old to go podee in the potty?
One of the best tips I read in one of those many potty training books was to establish the terminology and then be consistent. Be sure your spouse is on board and using the same words as you are so that your kiddo is not confused.
I tried. I really did try. I even “stooped” to calling it pee-pee. But somewhere along the lines, Elaine got mixed up. It’s kind of humorous now. It happened like this…
One time when Elaine was trying to pee in the potty she actually passed gas. She laughed about it, so I played along and asked, “Did you just toot?” in a sing-song voice. Ever since then, Elaine has called #1 a toot. Yes, folks, she gets very excited and tells everyone, “I toot! I toot!”
So much for not confusing the terminology. But since she was being consistent in called it by one name, we joined in with her. The question in our house is not “Elaine, do you need to go potty?” Rather we ask, “Elaine, do you need to toot?” You can imagine that we get many strange looks in public.
Switch to Prefolds
Another tip I gathered came from another potty-training mom. She switched her daughter to all prefolds with no stay-dry liner prior to the commencement of potty training. This allowed her daughter to feel wetness. It also made it easier for her tot to recognize the cause and effect of “going” and then feeling wet.
The beauty of the modern pocket diaper is that the stay dry lining wicks moisture away and keeps your baby dry and happy. This also aids in preventing diaper rash. But when it is time to potty train, feeling and recognizing wetness is key. Maybe you should consider putting those wonderful pockets away for a little while and use only prefolds and covers.
I never got to do this step, though I had intended to. Elaine decided to be ready before I could switch her to prefolds. She did have quite a few accidents at the beginning, when she was learning to tell us before she went. She would pee in her trainers (which absorb a little, but not much), and then come crying to us, “I wet. I wet.” Feeling wetness is important!