Since it is January in Michigan and we really don’t leave the house much I figured now is a good time to be under house arrest.  No, I didn’t commit any crime (at least none that I can think of).  I’ve decided to start toileting my two year old.  I figure a good one week in the house should do it.  She actually has been interested in doing this since she was about 18 months old watching her big sister and since I am never able to use the bathroom in private, I too am an apparent role model.  I figure I should use the lack of privacy to my advantage and teach some useful life skills.  I dream of the day when I can be like their father and actually use the readin’ room without child assistance.  Oh, the dreams I have!!

Anyways back to my plan.  I have strategically placed potty chairs throughout the house.  Since we live on three different levels, I need the potty chairs to be conveniently placed within a few steps of the words, “I have to go potty”!  So, I have one near all three bathrooms of my house.  I keep her mostly naked (just in a pair of panties and perhaps an undershirt) since she prefers to be that way anyways.  Besides, clothing really gets in the way of emergency bathroom breaks.  This also reduces my laundry load.  Wet panties only take up a small amount of space.   Here is a picture of her usual wardrobe.

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Today is day two under house arrest and things are going wonderful.  Yesterday we only had three potty misses.  Today only one, but that was my fault.  I forgot to put the potty seat back down on the floor.  In my experience toilteting success is only worthwhile if the adults help the child focus with lots of assistance, even more adult supervision, and lots and lots and lots and lots of reminders. 

In all actuality this is only one week or two of being stuck in the house.  It does take some planning, but we are finding all kinds of things to do.  We are packing away the holiday decorations, sorting the toys for Goodwill donations or to sell on Ebay, and de-cluttering the house.  I wouldn’t do this if she wasn’t physiologically ready for this step.  She was already displaying the typical signs of being ready to use the toilet: 

  • Can grasp a small object between her thumb and forefinger. This shows she is developing control over various muscles, including bowel and bladder muscles.
  • Uses words for urinating and bowel movements.  Child lets you know they have wet pants or needs to use the potty.
  • Consistently lets you know they have wet or wants their diaper changed.
  • Is aware of a full bladder and the urge to have a bowl movement. They may pace, jump up and down, or pull at his pants or genitals.
  • Can dress and undress herself.  Learning to use the toilet will be easier when they can do these tasks for themself.
  • They are dry for periods of two or more hours at a time. If they are not dry for this length of time, they are not physically ready to use the toilet.

When I was toilet training my oldest, I purchased the Once Upon a Potty set.  It was very helpful and useful.  We are excited for this rite of passage in our household.  Later this week we have our first outing planned as the big sister attends dance class.  I’ll keep you posted.  Wish us luck!

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