Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Why I'm Training So Early

I promised a post on why I decided to potty train Pumpkin Pie so early. Get ready for your eye roll: I read a book.

I was perusing the parenting section of the library, looking to see if they had anything by Dr. James Dobson, when a little yellow book caught my eye. It was called Diaper-Free Before 3 by Jill M. Lekovic, M.D. "Hmm," I thought to myself. Pumpkin Pie was 18 months old, and I had always figured I'd start thinking about potty training after her 2nd birthday. I figured it couldn't hurt to start gathering information.

The book had some pretty radical ideas in it. The thing that stuck with me, though, was the fact that before the 1970s and the boom of disposable diapers, the vast majority of kids were completely potty trained by the age of 2. Mostly because they were in cloth diapers and moms were tired of all the laundry. But that doesn't change the fact that they had learned, even at that young age. Also, many other countries have their kids potty trained by the age of 2 as well. All this told me that kids can learn so young. I had never heard that before. All I've ever heard is basically wait until your child asks to use the potty, which can occur between 2 1/2 and 3.

So I decided to give it a whirl. I'm a stay at home mom with plenty of time. The book mentioned that it does take longer to potty train the younger they are, but that only means that it could take several months instead of several weeks, but that the younger you start, the younger they will be when they are reliably dry.

The plan is to take it S L O W. I fully understand that it may be quite some time before she goes potty on her own, without any prompting from me, but that is not the point at this age. The point is to teach her the association between going potty and the potty itself. In a week or two, I'll start putting her in the cloth training pants for a couple of hours a day, just to see if she realizes when she's wet or whatever. If she doesn't notice, we'll still practice sitting on the potty a couple of times a day.

This is my practical plan. I do harbor a crazy dream, though, that in a week or two she'll just get it and ask to go potty, and really go. Then I can tell everyone what a genius she is.


  1. We started potty-training our daughter before she was 16m. She was day-trained by 18m and night trained by 20m. My son we started at 17m and he was finished day training in less than a month, but he is 2.5 and we are still working on nights, *sigh*.

    Good luck potty training early! it is worth it!

    Following from MBC - I'm at

  2. I was at a baby shower today and a mom was sharing that she had her daughter potty trained (with the exception of night time, but that came shortly after) at about 22/23 months. Thought I would pass that along to you as encouragement! :)

  3. Have you looked at Chinese potty training? I don't know much about it, but I think they start out really early. Might be of use. :^)