To start off with, I’ve used the term Potty Training, since it’s really the most commonly used name. In our home, it’s more often referred to as toilet learning â€“ a personal choice, as I don’t particularly like the visual of potty training. It makes circus music play in my head while animals jump through hoops. This is not what I am trying to teach my fifteen month old daughter.
According to Step One, you need to be sure the baby is ready to learn. Signs of readiness include:
- Imitates your toileting
- Verbally communicates other sensations, such as hunger
- Understands simple requests, such as “go get ball”
- Begins to pull diapers off when wet or soiled, or comes to tell you he’s dirty
- Follows you to the bathroom
- Able to pull clothes off
- Climbs onto the potty-chair or toilet
- Has dry spells: stays dry at least three hours
- Investigates his or her body equipment
So on these, we’re doing really well. Ameli follows me into the bathroom, laughs about my being on the toilet, and tries to get on my lap. She definitely understands simple instructions, is great at helping to dress and undress herself, and will happily sit on the potty â€“ but won’t do anything once she’s there.
So the ‘external’ signs that your baby is getting ready to ‘go’, are:
About to go: retreats to quiet place, stops play quiets, squats.
Going: grabs diaper, grunts, crosses legs.
Gone: peers at diaper bulge, senses different feel, resumes play or verbalizes production. These signs tell you that baby is developmentally mature enough to be aware of what’s going on inside his body.
And this is where we realised that it all falls apart. See, she doesn’t display any of these signs, and our first clue is normally when things get whiffy.
Honestly, I don’t believe that she’s aware that there’s anything there. So, we decided to teach her the word â€œpooâ€ â€“ and by teach, I mean in baby signing. It’s something that we’ve loosely done with a few words, and she’d probably not be able to communicate with anyone else who does it, because we’ve not followed the signs properly. Nonetheless, I taught her to grab her nose and say â€œpooâ€. Within a day she was walking around grabbing her nose and saying â€œpooâ€, but still not really getting what it means.
In fact, as I came up out of the pool one day and cleaned my face, she, standing on the side, grabbed her nose and said â€œpooâ€, which rather made me laugh!
Anyway, I have subsequently been trying to show her what poo is, by signing it while changing her nappy, then pointing it out to her â€“ oh, the glamour of motherhood.
So, so far, we’re not overly successful. Since trying our new method, we’ve had plenty of sitting down on the potty, but not much else. Rather than force it, we’ve shelved the potty for a few weeks, while we try to introduce awareness of it’s purpose.