Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Potty Training 101: Get Set!

{This is part 3 in a series.  Part 1 :: Part 2 :: Part 4}

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?

Consistent Terminology
Potty trainingOne 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 PrefoldsElaine 10 months in prefold diaper coverless
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!


caedmen said...

You can also keep using your pockets and just put a cloth wipe or something like that on top of the fleece so they feel wet, if you don't have prefolds.

Andrea Hamilton said...

That's a great idea! I have prefolds for my "backup" diapers, but if I didn't I probably wouldn't want to spend money on them just for potty training!

Anonymous said...

My favorite trainers were actually ones I bought on Etsy that were made of prefolds. You can even have your old prefolds refashioned into trainers by some Etsy vendors. They held enough to prevent puddles on the floor but not so much that she would use them like a diaper. Now I use them for going out of the house, in case she has an accident and we can't get to the potty in time and for naps since she is approaching naptime dryness.

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