As a parent there are times when our children get the best of us, and although we shouldn't we sometimes give in. Potty training is not one of those times, but it seems like my baby is winning the battle.
I'm sure you remember when I told you about potty training my youngest child - my fourth! This little angel is the one that makes me think I've never been a mom before. She's stubborn, opinionated, determined as well as smart, funny and sweet... she's a few days shy of 2 and she isn't potty trained.
I originally started potty training her the same way I had trained my second and third children. It's the way that my daycare provider supported me in and between the two of us (well, three of us with their father), we were able to have potty training success. Right now, I am no where near success.
Even with the chance to test out the Baby Signs® Potty Training Complete Starter Kit, I still haven't been doing a good job. The kit comes with A Parent's Guide to Potty Training Made Easy with the Baby Signs® Program, the All Aboard the Potty Train DVD, All Aboard the Potty Train Lift-the-Flap Book, Job Well Done! Stickers and the All Aboard the Potty Train Conductor's Whistle.
Like I did with the other children, I began by keeping track of when Anna was using the bathroom and started putting her on the potty at those times, which is right in line with what it says in Chapter 2 - Laying the Tracks - of the book, "Discover your baby's signals and schedule of elimination." Little Miss Anna in all of her stubbornness and detective-like activities, deliberately changes her potty time and that ultimately results in my inconsistency.
Consistency is key. "...parents do need to be consistent and take the lead in establishing a regular routine that includes potty time - starting around 12 months of age," said Linda Easton who summarized the Baby Signs material for me. Easton is Baby Signs Director of Product Development and explained, "Some people think that if you take the lead like this, you might be pushing a child to do something he or she not ready to do. Dr. Acredolo* makes this analogy to help parents understand how "waiting" to start potty training doesn't make a lot of sense: She points out that because of our concern for our children's health, we start teaching babies at a very early age to wash their hands. Babies are getting a lot of help at first, but eventually, they learn to do more and more of the hand-washing routine independently. We don't wait until children are ready - or more importantly - interested in washing their hands before we start teaching them. We just treat it as a part of everyday life."
*Dr. Linda Acredolo and Dr. Susan Goodwyn are the founders of the Baby Signs® program, which is the leading sign language program for hearing babies. They are developmental psychologists who brought their program to potty training and have discovered that it's possible to start and finish potty training before age 2.
Anna loves everything about the program. She enjoys watching the DVD over and over and asks for it almost everyday, she has fun reading the book again and again (notice how she's intently reading and making the choo choo sound), and the sound of the whistle makes her laugh, clap and jump. She even knows the signs.
And still no luck. Now, I'm not going to give up, but I must admit that I'm waiting for life to slow down a bit so that I can be extra consistent. It could be because Anna isn't home with me during the day and that's causing the delay with the program working for us. It could also be because she's away from me every other weekend. Whatever it is, I need to figure it out soon because not only is buying diapers expensive, but I don't want her to be the only child in kindergarten that's not potty trained.
Okay, it's late and my imagination is running away again. :)
Overall, believe it or not, I am extremely impressed with the Baby Signs® program. Anna is enthralled with it and as long as I can get my act together she should be potty trained any day now. Wish me luck and keep your fingers crossed.
Here are my other potty training posts.