At the time of writing this Penelope is 16 months but she was actually 14 months when we introduced her to potty training. The first time she said she had to go “Potty” and let us know that she had to go “poop-poo” was at 15 months.
I never felt any pressure to potty train Penelope early, but being the curious and independent child she is it was no surprise she was showing interest at 14 months. If Penelope would have been completely repulsed by sitting on the toilet or made a fuss, I wouldn’t have continued trying. There were times when she just didn’t want to and I never forced her to. Maybe that’s why it’s taken us longer than a few days or weeks like other’s, but I would rather have her enjoy the process rather than dealing with a miserable baby every time.
I would say Penelope started showing interest in the potty quite early. She would always follow me into the bathroom or bang on the door until I opened it, so I finally just started talking to her about what you do in the bathroom. From there I would start putting her on the toilet just before a bath because more than likely the sound of the water will make them go pee. I would reward her with a toy she wanted, stickers or even just positive reinforcement like clapping and cheering her on.
Even thou mothers all around the world are feeling the stress of potty training and there is no right or wrong way of doing it. Even thou we aren’t 100% potty trained yet because night time still means a few accidents and night diapers, but I’m not pulling my hair out! and I feel okay with her taking her time.
My tips to encourage your 15 month old to use the potty is:
Wait until your child is READY!
When they start showing interest (like Penelope saying “Potty” and she would want to sit on the toilet) also wait until he or she is straining, pushing or pulling on their diaper because that’s usually a sign they need to GO!
Demonstrate how its done
Take them in to the bathroom with you and talk about the “potty” as much as you can, whenever you can. I like having books that introduce them to the potty like this, and potty songs like this.
Encourage them to do things themselves
Children at this age are beginning to show independence and do things themselves like putting on their own pants or choosing which pull ups to put on. Encourage them to show you how they use the potty, or use a baby doll like we did to demonstrate how babies go on the toilet.
Use their own potty
Of course this one is optional because you don’t need to buy a potty unless you want too, I was potty trained on a normal toilet. But there are positives to both, like the potty you can bring everywhere (I’ve herd stories of bringing them in the car) and then there are seats that sit in the toilet which is less cleaning for you.
Use a reward system,
I like the ideas of using stickers, or even books but nothing too expensive. I used the iPad to distract her until she went, but sometimes the distraction worked too good and she couldn’t go. The potty song comes in great at this point and so does running water!
Use a chart to keep track
Even if your child is still too small to understand the chart, its a fun way to get them used to putting a sticker on the board every time they go. I promise they will quickly learn in order to get a sticker they have to go on the toilet!
I cant stress this enough, be consistent and stick to a routine.
I read a meme that said something about potty training requires a lot of wine. As anything in toddlerhood this is true and my advice is to just keep your wine bottles stocked until they are maybe 5 or 18.