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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Friday, June 22, 2012

On potty training: a post for people interested in this sort of thing

Roscoe showed interest in potty training around 18 months, but I was working 4 days a week then and our nanny at the time didn't seem particularly interested in facilitating his transition out of diapers, which really was fine because he seemed so young and we had a new baby due in a few months and it felt like a bad time to push a big developmental milestone. So I said, "oh, after the baby is a few months old, then we can try." At that time, I thought that Merritt's birth would bring the end of my work, so it seemed that I would have more time to devote to potty training "once work ended." Well, we all know how that story went.

I've put off potty training (or potty "learning" as some like to call it) at least three separate times since then: once when the postpartum period and life with two under two was a lot tougher than I thought it would be; then, when work's end was on the horizon (yet again, but not really though); and finally when we decided we were moving to Richmond.

In May, Roscoe turned three, the average age of potty training. While we don't call it potty learning around here, I do believe that child readiness is the single most important factor to success, and Roscoe has made a few big leaps in progress over the last month or so.

His journey has looked something like this:
  • 18 months - 24 months: We bought a potty chair and a stool so he could reach the sink. He was interested to sit on his little potty with all of his clothes on, and even went through a phase where he would ask to sit on it a few times a day. He liked to hang out in the bathroom while we used the toilet. He enjoyed helping with and learning about the process: handed us toilet paper, flushed the toilet, or washed his hands when we did. He would take his diaper off without warning, loved to be without it. At this age he was not bothered a bit to sit in a dirty diaper, he had more interesting things to do like play.
  • 24 months - 33 months: Basically the same as 18-24 months except he had zero interest in sitting on his little potty. We bought a potty seat. Diaper changing also became a serious battle. Momma and Poppa grew tired of grown up poops in a two year old's diaper. Roscoe loathed having to take time away from life to get a clean diaper.
  • 34 months: I asked him why he didn't like to sit on the potty. Roscoe said he was "scared he would fall in", which really surprised me because we've never talked about anything like that with him before, I thought those kinds of fears didn't really exist without some suggestion. We relocated the stool from the sink to the regular toilet, and relocated the potty seat from the bathroom closet to the regular toilet. He liked the new arrangement and would sit on it when he felt like it. We would ask Roscoe if he needed to go potty, he would reply no, then 15 minutes later we'd realize that he needed a diaper change.
  • 35 months: One day in the backyard Roscoe proudly demonstrated that he could pull his pants up and down. He would poop or pee in his diaper then find us to tell us, "I peed..." or "I pooped...change me." He asked to sit on the potty to pee before bath and was successful. 
  • 36 months: He would wake up mostly dry in the morning, and sometimes dry after nap. He continued to demand diaper changes after peeing or pooping.  He would get really upset if he peed, even a little bit, in his diaper before bed and would demand a change. He declared that he needed to pee on the potty, but decided he was done less than 30 seconds later so I offered a cupcake as a reward for peeing now or later, or whenever. He sat with determination and 4 or 5  minutes later we heard shrieks of "I did it!" 
  • 37 months: Same as last month, but now he says things like, "I'm peeing in my diaper." (present tense!) And we'll say, "Do you want to go in the potty?" And he'll reply, "No, I'd rather just go in my diaper."
See!? Progress!!

Every kid has their own journey out of diapers, and I'm excited for all of us that this Summer may mark the end of Roscoe's.

When did your kiddo make the big transition?  Any tips?


    1. Sounds like he's well on his way! I have no tips as Allie basically trained herself. We were SO lucky! I am fearful of how potty training will go with Jake since he's a boy and also since I feel like I wasn't able to "learn" how to potty train my first kid!

    2. Definite progress! Have you tried putting him in underwear yet?
      As I explained on my blog, Lilah has been peepee trained since she was 26 months or so, but the poopoo was a whole different story! But she has been doing really great these last few weeks! Maybe it was just coincidence, but she started using the potty 100% of the time once I put her in underwear through the night too. She wasn't waking up dry from nap or bedtime yet, so it seemed kind of counter-intuitive but once she was sleeping in underwear she only had one accident in her bed and has woken up dry ever since AND started using the potty for #2 every time too. I think that maybe the back and forth between underwear and diapers for nap/bedtime gave her a false sense of security to poo in her underwear too.
      I heard that the "ideal age" for most kids to potty train is 2.8. And, despite all of L's early signs of readiness, she became fully potty trained (day and night) at 2.8.
      Honestly though, I would have preferred that she be one of those kids that shows NO SIGNS of interest until 3 and then they just manage to train in like 3 days, rather than the lengthy process we went through.
      Good luck! It sounds like he is soooo ready!

    3. I agree with the underwear and no diapers usage if you are comfortable. Of course, Lillian was much more amiable and younger but we had a conversation along the lines of mommies not buying diapers anymore. 100% underwear all the time, nap and night too. Love the waterproof matress liners. Of course we have a rare occassional accident but Lillian completely understands that because she has underwear on if she pees in the bed it will get wet...we've never been dramatic about it though if she has an accident clean up and move on. A boy I know rather wear shorts only and no underwear and he seems to be potty training quite if he doesn't like the feel of underwear now...skip them! Just put him in shorts or swimshorts...or let him go naked around the house if that works. Something that worked quite well with lillian was to have a sort of activity basket (books/handheld games) where she goes potty. She still asks for a book to read while she poops...I may have conditioned her for a lifelong habbit.;-) Lastly, Lillian now only uses a big potty with an insert but a few months ago I still had her potties out in the rooms we were frequently in NOT just the bathroom. That way upon her urges she would go sit at the potty without disruptng her activities too much. This was especially useful at the beginning when I told her no more diapers. Plus if you do the I'm not going to buy you more diapers thing...the travel potty was awesome because I use to just set it up for her without her asking and have her try before we went shopping or out in the park, etc....Potty independence I feel takes a while...Lillian still asks me to go with her, carry her, place her, wipe her etc. Now, that is my next milestone before she starts of luck, Roscoe is ready when you are!

    4. Heidi: Ugh, the "ready when I am" part is the biggie. :) We haven't put much effort into it, and it's been interesting to see his natural progression. I am ready to be done, just not quite ready to put in the extra effort to make it happen... You are all right though, he is ready. Maybe he'll be motivated by his cousins when we're at the beach in two weeks.


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