Adventures In Potty Learning

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It finally happened. At nearly four years old, Roozle is out of daytime diapers. While she has been peeing in the potty since last summer, poop has been an issue. And by an issue, I mean, we had a total of two potty poops until last week. We tried not to push the issue, as pooping can be a problem for many little ones.

Focus on the Child, Not the Age
Every child is different. Roozle was ready for pee learning at just over age three and ready for poop learning just last week. It was really hard for us as parents to follow her lead and not focus on her age. For some reason it seem that age 2 is the time I expected Roozle to start potty learning, but she definitely wasn’t ready for a long time. If we had pushed her almost two years ago, it would’ve been much harder for all of us.

Rewards Work, When the Time is Right
We are big fans of incentive, when the time is right. Offering a kid who isn’t ready to poop on the potty a lollipop for each poop generally won’t work. It definitely didn’t work for Roozle. She wasn’t interested. But once she was ready, incentive was huge. For pee, new underwear was enough of the incentive. For poops, she gets 5 minutes of iPad time.

To Limit Accidents, Just Wait
When Roozle was little, our friends gave us one tiny bit of advice that we held on to. They told us that children who potty learn too early tend to have more accidents, and children who wait until they are ready, tend not to. Since we’re not big fans of laundry as it is, we decided to hold onto this advice carefully and just wait. So we did. They were right.

In the end, Roozle was ready and needed a little encouragement from us. The trick for us was knowing when to back off the encouragement if she gave any signs of not being ready. This week, I pushed the potty pooping issue knowing that she was ready, but was just nervous. I offered lots of support and extra incentive and it worked. Other than overnights, we are diaper free and it rules. It took a lot longer than we expected, but in the end, it worked out just fine. Because she was ready.

Author: Casey

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