I have a toddler who is a couple of months shy of two-years-old. As such, I’ve started researching potty training methods and advice. Let me tell you, there is no shortage of either out there in the internet ether! While other parts of parenting, like starting solid foods or beginning to teach the alphabet, have excited me, I am dreading potty training.
Did you know that some countries begin potty training their children as babies? And allegedly, by nine months, the babies are generally out of diapers? This is fascinating to me, but it also sounds exhausting. Babies are a lot of work in those early months! Diapers were so tried and true. I could count on diapers more than I could count on a good latch, a solid nap or a happy baby. If a diaper is on, pee and poo will have a home. I liked that reliability in the first weeks and months, and also now.
Diapers Aren’t So Bad, Right?
I do not feel like taking on potty training now. While many people say parenting after the diaper stage is way easier, I just don’t see it. Sure, I change a lot of diapers. We have contributed more trash in the last year and a half than I thought possible (I should probably start to recycle more to offset this; sorry Mother Earth). But, is changing a diaper really so bad? Assuming you don’t get peed on and your baby doesn’t reach down and grab poop, it’s really pretty quick and efficient.
And you know what’s awesome? Not cleaning up pee and poop off the ground, which I’m told happens during potty training. I like the stability of a diaper. I like knowing that if I change the diaper regularly, baby’s tush will stay relatively dry, and I will be relatively sane. I know what to expect when I change a diaper; nothing I find should surprise me. Some potty training methods encourage you to let your child spend the day naked. This is setting you up for a surprise pee on the couch or poop on the rug, right? Not a happy surprise, folks.
When He’s Ready, He Will Let You Know
I read that toddlers will let you know when they are ready to potty train. But, do we really trust toddlers? I, for one, do not. And, how is he supposed to let me know he is ready? He can’t form full sentences at this point. He also changes his opinions about things constantly (except cars and grandpa. He is obsessed with both without fail). If I wait for him to tell me he is ready to be potty trained, I’ll be waiting a while.
The truth is, I can decide when he (and I) am ready to start potty training. And that time is not today. If it ends up being later than some kids, that’s fine, and if he’s right on schedule according to experts, that’s fine, too. Admittedly, I end up stressing about the timing of his developmental milestones more than I should. So, let this rant signify the end of my worrying… at least about when to start potty training.