Sunday, September 12, 2010

adventures in (early) potty training!

I have never been so proud of Ruby as I was tonight. She and I were lying on the floor on a futon mattress (that's a whole other issue--trying to "wean" her of sleeping in our bed--that I haven't had the energy to tackle via blog yet) and she was nursing to sleep. She was almost there, eyes closing for a few seconds at a time, and then she suddenly she became alert again and pulled back. She looked at me with wide eyes and said: "Poppy!" My immediate thought was that she meant my husband, so I said: "No, honey, daddy's at work," and tried to comfort here into sleepy-mode again. But she was insistent: "Poppy! Poppy!" Finally, she pushed herself up to standing and just marched out of the room, with me trailing behind. She stopped at the bathroom and pointed to the potty: "Poppy!" So, I quickly unsnapped her onesie and pulled the sides off of her gDiaper and she plopped herself down and--sure enough--proceeded to do her business (no. 2). Amazing!

So, Ruby has actually been using her potty for about three months now, but what made this special tonight was that she actually called it by name (or a version of it) and went directly to the potty on her own. It was a proud moment for both of us!

Now, yes, Ruby is only 14 months old. I actually never would have even thought to put her on a potty (much less buy a potty) as early as I did (she didn't even walk until she was 13 months, but she was using a potty at 11 months!), but it actually all happened pretty organically. Here's the scoop on our adventures in early potty usage:
  1. We live in a small apartment. When Ruby started going through the phase of needing to be with us 24/7 (at around 8 months), we started keeping Ruby's Bumbo chair on our bathroom floor so that we had somewhere to put her if either of us was home alone with her and needed to go potty ourselves. She would sit happily in her Bumbo in our tiny bathroom and wait until we were done and picked her up again.

  2. After a few weeks, we began to notice that Ruby got into the habit of peeing and/or pooping in her diaper in her Bumbo chair while in the bathroom with one of us! At first we just thought it was funny and laughed about it, but then I told my mom about it and she said: "Duh! Obviously she gets the concept of a toilet. Why on earth are you putting her on a chair in her diaper when you know she's going to go to the bathroom? Get a potty!"
  3. I ordered the Bjorn Smart Potty (the key here was something small--again, we have a tiny bathroom in our little apartment!). It came in the mail when Ruby was 11 months old.
  4. We switched out the Bumbo for the Smart Potty. The very first time she sat on it she peed! We cheered. She was proud.

  5. From that moment on, we have put Ruby on the potty every single morning when she wakes up. And every single morning she waits until she is situated on the potty before she pees. She has actually never not peed in her potty in the morning since she started; she understood the morning potty ritual from the get-go!
  6. Now, for the rest of the day: we haven't pushed the potty at all. For the first month or so, she was probably using the potty for only about 20 percent of her elimination besides the early morning pee. But gradually, it's become more like 50/50. Ruby has developed a sign (a hilarious sign, btw--she balls up her fists and shakes them while making a noise like she is straining...haha!) to tell us when she needs to go no. 2. It's not a perfect system, but by this week I'd say she was getting about 75 percent of them in the potty. We even travel with the potty (the Smart Potty is small and light, so I put it in a plastic bag and packed it straight into our little carry-on suitcase! This pictures is in our hotel room at the Jersey Shore a few weeks ago!

  7. Then, tonight! I cannot believe she had a word for it (she has about 10-15 meaningful "words" right now)! And walked herself there so nonchalantly! She is WELL on her way to being potty-trained. So exciting!