Gentle Potty Learning Tips

January 14th, 2011 by Dionna | 44 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Gentle Discipline Ideas, Successes, and Suggestions, Gentle/Positive Discipline, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family, natural parenting, Respond with Sensitivity

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Here is Kieran hanging out on the potty chair at 14 months.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile – Kieran started to transition out of diapers in April 2010 (he was about 30 months old when I washed my very last diaper), but I think it’s taken this long to really sink in that our child is really, truly done with diapers.

Kieran started showing interest in going on the potty chair shortly after he turned a year old.1 By the time he was 14 months old, he was regularly going on the potty chair at certain times of the day (every morning when we woke up, every afternoon after nap, etc.). But we never took it that next step by putting him in undies at that window of opportunity, mainly because he rarely told us when he needed to go, but also because I was simply uneducated about infant potty learning.

Potty learning was . . . interesting. And easier than I thought it would be. Admittedly, I still had some less-than-great parenting moments during potty learning. Now that I’m on the other side, I wanted to share a few gentle parenting tips that really helped us (and that I wish I would have used more often).

  1. Watch for Windows of Learning, But Do Not Pressure: Advocates of elimination communication talk about “windows of learning,” or periods of time that infants/toddlers are particularly aware of their elimination functions. If you didn’t do EC, you can still watch your child for signs of a window: Is she interested in what is in her dirty diaper? Is she showing signs of discomfort with a wet/dirty diaper? Does she want to watch you use the toilet? Does she ever express interest in sitting on the toilet herself? Has she discovered where potty/poo come from?
    Use these bits of awareness and interest to your advantage: give her opportunities to sit on the potty chair, but do not turn it into a power struggle.
  2. Notice When Diapers Are Wet/Dirty: Become aware of when you are changing diapers. Does he usually potty right after waking? After a meal? Does he poo at a similar time every day? You probably know this already (especially if your little one is in cloth and you are changing him after each elimination), you just need to become conscious of it. Once you are, plan ahead – put him on the potty chair (or toilet ring) a few minutes before he would have gone in his diaper.
    We first started Kieran on the potty chair because we knew he always went pretty quickly after he woke up. Once he saw how fun it was to go in the potty chair, he was very willing to sit on it regularly.
  3. Make Her Comfortable: Find a potty chair and/or toilet ring that is comfortable for your little one. For our son, we were really impressed by the design and the price of the Baby Bjorn potty chair and toilet ring. They were comfortable for his little tush, easy to clean, simple, and they survived many a toddler toss on the hard bathroom floor.
  4. Release Control: Make an effort to shift your thinking that this is about “training” your child. You can’t make your little one pee or poop.2 You can help him become aware of his own bodily functions gently and respectfully.
  5. Have Fun: Instead of sighing like a pariah every time you have to change a pair of wet undies, instead of turning potty time into a battle of wills, make potty learning fun.
    When Kieran is reluctant to go potty, sometimes we’ll turn it into a game: “I’m going to count to ten, let’s see what number you potty at. I think you’ll potty at three.” Kieran will insist that he’s going to potty at four. The argument about whether or not to potty at all is forgotten.
    Back when Kieran was first learning to recognize his body’s cues, he went potty in some interesting places. Once when he and Tom were outside, Kieran told Tom he needed to go to the bathroom, and so Tom said “ok, let’s go.” Tom turned to get something, and when he turned back around, Kieran was squatting near the driveway. Tom went with it, and when he brought Kieran in for a wipe, we all three sat and giggled excitedly and high fived since it was one of the first times Kieran had given us advance notice of a poo.
  6. Get Creative: Related to the “have fun” tip, don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to potty learning. If your little one needs inspiration, motivation, or simply help making the connection between her elimination functions and the toilet, try one of these ideas:
    *If your child has a friend who has learned how to use the potty, let your child watch her. (Assuming, of course, the friend and the friend’s parent are ok with it.
    *Have your child role play with a doll or stuffed animal.
    *Read books about going potty. We read Everyone Poops for about a week right before Kieran started pooping in the potty.
    *Put the potty chair anywhere, especially when your little one is having naked time. If you are in the playroom, bring the potty in. If you are watching a video, bring the potty in. Make it accessible and normal.
  7. Provide Plenty of Leeway: There are going to be a lot of accidents in the future of a parent with a potty learning little. The sooner you sit back and relax, the better your child’s potty learning journey will be.
    Kieran learned how to use the potty after he had about a month or two of naked time. Naked time is great for potty learning kids, because they can actually see when they are eliminating – it helps drive the point home for our very visual, concrete thinking toddlers.
    Before he was fully in control of his bowels, we had several instances where Kieran pooped in places other than the toilet or his diaper. There was the driveway incident mentioned above. Shortly after that, he pooped on a porch step. A week or so later, he pooped on a shelf in the living room. On each occasion, I very calmly said something to the effect of, “wow, you pooped! Let’s clean this up – poop goes in the potty.” I had no desire whatsoever to shame him – each time he was so pleased, almost proud of himself, for pooping. He had made the connection between the physical feeling when he needed to go and the muscle coordination to control eliminating. It was a success and a step in the right direction- even if we needed to move it a few more steps over to the bathroom.
  8. If You Mess Up, Apologize and Reassure: I will admit that some of my least gentle parenting moments during potty learning involved my exasperation with Kieran when he would refuse to sit on the potty chair (games or no games), and then he would have an accident within five minutes of refusing. By this time he was in undies, so accidents meant I was scrubbing carpet. Scrubbing carpet just does not invoke the most playful, gentle parent in me. Several days in a row we had the same scenario: Kieran would wake up, refuse to potty in the potty chair; Kieran would get dressed, come into the kitchen, and potty on his chair or on the floor (because he couldn’t make it to the toilet, not because he was purposefully peeing on the chair or floor). On the third or fourth day in a row of refusal + quick accident, Kieran was in fresh clothes after an accident. Ten minutes later, he pottied on the kitchen floor. I was so exasperated. And Kieran? Kieran was crushed. He started crying and saying “I’m so sorry mama! I’m so sorry I had an accident!”
    Oh mamas. Hearing those words coming out of Kieran’s mouth because of a potty accident devastated me. I gathered him in my arms and apologized for being short with him. I apologized for being impatient. And I admitted that I have times where I can’t get to the bathroom in time either.3 Every time after that when Kieran didn’t make it to the bathroom in time, I made every effort to smile and shrug. “It happens!,” became my new mantra. And Kieran would often look to me for reassurance and ask, “even you have accidents mama?” Even me.

What are your tips for gentle potty learning?

  1. Of course now I wish we’d done elimination communication. I’m learning more about it in case we have another one though! Be sure to check out yesterday’s guest post on EC called Learning to Communicate.
  2. Thanks to Amy of Innate Wholeness for pointing that out!
  3. No, really. I have an incredibly small bladder. I wet the bed for.ev.er when I was a child – I actually had a procedure done to stretch my bladder when I was a kid, it didn’t do much to help. I am notorious for peeing all the time. Usually I make it to the bathroom.

44 Responses to:
"Gentle Potty Learning Tips"

  1. Rachael   RachaelNevins

    Thank you for this post, Dionna! It’s definitely time, but we haven’t done much, because we’re … scared.

    I would love to hear suggestions of more books to read with the Critter. And (off topic) I must mention another book by Everyone Poops author Taro Gomi, which is Spring Is Here. It’s so beautiful and one of my top five (top three? Can’t pick a favorite, though …) children’s books.

    • Rachael   RachaelNevins

      Oh, and I should have been more clear, sorry. I’m looking for suggestions of books about using the potty to read with the Critter. Not books in general.

      • When my older daughter was learning, she would show interest so we I would buy some new video or book and we’d read / watch it a lot and try. Then she would lose interest so we would stop trying. A month or so later, the cycle would continue.

        We’re doing part time EC this time around, but one of the books we loved for Tyler was Once Upon a Potty by Alona Frankel. There is a boy version and a girl version.

        I’d suggest searching your local library for any potty training books directed at kids. Look for characters your child loves, they have pretty much ALL done potty books. We love Everyone Poops, too!

      • Rachael   RachaelNevins

        Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll sift through whatever books our local branch has — according to the online catalogue, there’s quite a variety. Alas, though, the ever-idiosyncratic Brooklyn Public Library system has copies of Once Upon a Potty only in Spanish and Polish.

  2. Olivia

    I’ve been thinking my 21 month old has been ready to learn for months because she loves to watch us, and pretends to wipe with tp, etc. She is also very aware of when she has soiled a diaper and tells us so. But she rarely will sit on her potty, and even less frequently is willing to sit on it with a bare bottom. I’m hoping when warmer weather comes and we can leave her without pants on her interest and ability will pick up. These are great tips and I’ll keep them in mind when the time comes.

  3. Sara   FamilyOrganic

    This is perfect timing for us! My twins (17 months) are showing lots of interest in the potty. I’ve purchased some cloth trainers and some baby pottys, so I think we are going to start giving opportunities to potty at several points during the day (ie when we get up, before meals, before/after naps, etc). Thanks for sharing some wonderful tips! For others who may be potty learning twins, I found this blog post from another twin mama to be very helpful: http://www.twinparenthood.com/2009/06/23/toilet-training-twins-triplets/

  4. Dani

    My dd has always come to the bathroom with me so she watched alot. She loved being sat on toilet in front of me. So by 10 mnths when she started walking we got a potty seat and started using it same time each day. She is 18mnths now and most days only pees pullup 2-3 times. When it’s wet she takes it off immediately bc she doesn’t like being wet. Our struggle is bathroom is on 2nd floor n she has been refusing to go on potty chair on 1st floor but wants to be on actual toliet. But since she isn’t talking other that a few words she can’t tell us when she has to go. So instead I have to watch extra careful for her signs. I want to switch to training panties to encourage going in potty or even more naked times but since she can’t tell me we end up cleaning carpet alot so I just resort to pullup n she knows she can pee in them. Oh and she loves when she goes on potty n gets very excited so I know I’m not pushing her, she claps and wipe and flushes the toliet… Are we still too early? Should I just stick with pullups and schd visits around her usual go times? Or are there any tips for younger kids that aren’t communicating very well yet that anyone would like to share?

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Dani – I’m posting your question on my Facebook page – hopefully we’ll get some help for you.
      I wonder if potty learning with a pre-verbal toddler is almost more like EC; perhaps you might get some good ideas from this article: http://www.white-boucke.com/reviews/latestarters.html or http://www.pottywhisperer.com/index.html

      I don’t think you’re too early. If your LO is having fun going potty, keep at it! What about investing in a few cloth diapers that are kind of like pull-ups?

      • Our toddler is now 20 months old and has been working on pottying. So cute, her little bare bum sitting on there, I love it! She uses the sign for “toilet” and before that she would just walk over to it and point. Would your child be able to do something like that? Or if you start bringing a specific item upstairs every time you took her to go to the potty (maybe some wipes, or a special little toy that you keep downstairs), she could go and get that item and that could be the sign that she needs to go. Good luck!

    • Dani

      So we tried the idea of a special toy only each trip up she wanted to take a different item so it didnt exactly work. I did decide to just let her run around the house bottomless and to my amazement it has been 3days now of doing this and no accidents. Even more amazing without bottoms on she decided on her own on Sat that she would use the potty chair in the kitchen. And it has continued this way ever since, lol. Even better we have had 3 trips out of the house in undies and came home dry, took off the bottoms and immediately used the potty chair :D

  5. Dani

    Dionna- we got some training panties but they are so lightly padded that when we have accidents it’s the same amount of mess as being naked. We used to use bummis with prefolds as liner but if we put her in diaper she knows she can go and then we will change her. Any suggestion on a pullup type trainer that has a decent absorbance so when accidents do happen it’s not such a huge mess?

    Thanks for posting the question for me and thanks for the links too :)

  6. Meredith   becomingmamas

    Perfect timing as we are beginning to try potty learning with our 2 year old! He’s very interested in the potty, so I’m hoping will have success taking advantage of his natural interest and curiosity. Looking forward to reading everyone’s tips!

  7. Casey   CBerbs

    Thanks for the great post! My second is using the potty for the first time this week! :-) It was his decision and his timing, and it has gone wonderfully.

    I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts about underwear vs. diaper at night? He never wakes up dry in the morning, but he really, *REALLY* wants to wear his underwear at night. Thoughts?

    • giggly   giggly_kerri

      I have no advice on this, but am in the same boat with my son. He has been out of diapers while awake since late May/early June, but he has never woken up from a nights sleep dry. I forgot to put a diaper on once, and he slept through the whole night; woke up soaked. He wants to wear underwear all the time, but we don’t have time in the morning to deal with a wet bed. Right now we are working on dry naps and trying those without a diaper. When he asks to wear underwear at night, we remind him that he wakes up wet. We explain it gently and tell him that it’s ok, that he won’t wear diapers forever.

      • Jennifer

        You could do the multi-layered bed approach, where you layer a rubber pad over the mattress, then sheets over that, then another rubber pad and sheets over that, so that if he does wet the bed, you can just peel off a layer and deal with it later…

    • Acrophile

      I told my LO that her body wasn’t quite ready to be dry all night, and that she should be patient with it. When her body was ready, she would wake up dry, and that when that happened all the time, then she’d be ready to wear panties to bed.

  8. I just blogged about toddler potty regression that we were having. I found a gentle (and fun)way to address it.

    After having twins vaginally I too have the occasional accident. If I have a full bladder and sneeze…I have to change. :)

  9. kim

    We were starting to have power struggles over peeing before bed so first we completely backed off. Then we set an alarm at which time mom, dad, and the dogs have their ‘nighttime potty’. Usually dd decides on her own that she wants to join in. For travelling,we take her potty. It fits on the back seat fairly well. Or she can sit on my lap on a big potty. Her choice.

  10. great post and suggestions – as always!
    the potty is definitely something i’m thinking about a lot these days…

    d’s 18 months old and shows some interest in the potty – he likes to watch us go and he’s interested in the potty itself… he wants to lift the seat, flush it etc. but he really doesn’t show any signs of discomfort or even acknowledgement from a wet or dirty diaper.

    we talk about the potty and what it means to use it and i know he needs to explore and learn about it but i also don’t want his hands all over the toilet… i mean, it’s our toilet at home – it’s clean but it’s still a toilet.

    i’m worried to send the wrong message about the potty… i don’t want him to think it’s off limits but i also don’t want him thinking that it’s cool to play with any ol’ potty.

    should i just let him freely explore it and just be extra vigilant with clorox wipes and relax about the ick?

    i need to get him his own potty – i’m late on that, i know – and maybe that can be the potty he can freely touch and explore?

    i would love to hear how others have handled this!

    xo sara

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Sara – I asked on FB! My personal feeling is that toilets are not for playing with. That being said, Kieran did pick up his Baby Bjorn potty, carry it around, throw it, etc. – so I guess I’m not as icked out by that one. But I definitely never encouraged it ;)

    • Laura

      Sara, I always explained that potties are for going pee and poo in, not to play in. Show him what he CAN do. He CAN flush. Flushing was sooo cool to my first son! Mine would flush for me, lol. If the lid was up, he could put it down. (I joked that this was for the future, so my future DIL would thank me! ;P) He can put a little TP in. Etc. Washing hands was also fun. Seriously, washing his hands and flushing the potty were “rewards” for using the potty! We never did toys or anything… it was always a big clap and cheer and flushing.
      Another thing to think about is safty. Children have gotten hurt playing in toliets. It would be okay (and still gentle) to make the bathroom off limits unless he has a parent with him. You may see him ask to go in and you can say, “Oh, you want to go use the bathroom? Okay!” and go with him. I would shut the door and put a baby lock on the handle so he couldn’t go int here without me. (I had a new baby when he was not much older than your son, so I didn’t want him wandering into certain part of the house alone.) I think it was about a year or so before he could use the toleit (pants down, on potty, flush, wipe, pull up, wash hands) without some help.
      Good luck! My oldest was much like your son and fully learned and trained by 27 months. It might have been sooner had we not had a new baby in there. It was an easy and fairly painless process.
      Laura

  11. Very timely for me as well! I have been thinking about this for months and even started around 15 months with Once Upon a Potty and my daughter was loving it (reading the book and sitting on the Bjorn ring on the toilet) and kept even saying potty (although I didn’t pick it up at first because it sounded like she was saying “daddy”, ha!).BUT she never actually went to the bathroom.

    I’m also totally kicking myself because we started a relaxed form of EC around 6 months and we had a 95% success rate when we put her on the toilet. Then I got lazy (we were in the middle of a move and I didn’t feel like dealing with it right then) and I quit for a couple months thinking I could go right back to it but that was definitely not the case!

    I’m thinking of starting with a lot of naked time but just cringe about cleaning up all the messes. I have mostly carpet in my house. Any tips for clean up??

  12. thanks, mamas!
    @dionna – thank you for posting on fb! lots of great responses and totally solidified what i was feeling: no touchin’ the potty!

    @laura – thanks you, too!
    we have a childproof handle on one bathroom and a sliding pocket door that my guy can’t open on the other and i agree with you totally – he’s never ever in the bathroom unattended.

    i was just starting to wonder if i was going to make him have some sort of block towards the potty! but, i just couldn’t green light that kind of exploration – ewwww!

  13. Olivia   OliviaStreaterL

    Does anyone have any thoughts on “early” versus “late” potty “training” (don’t like that word!)?

    I went on a course (v gentle parenting focused) in which we were encouraged not to rush it and to let the child take the lead and particularly not to try and force it for the sake of getting into a particular daycare.

    Not rushing made sense to me. My son is 29 months. He sits on the potty and tells me when he has done a poo but I am just not sure whether to go all out and push it, push him into wearing pants etc, or whether that is, well, pushy. It seems to be going very slowly our end – just getting interested in books about the potty etc. I kind of like the idea of waiting until he is nearer to 3 and it apparently happening quicker then. I also waited because I recently had a second child and read that it was not a good idea to start potty training too close to the birth of a sibling.

    I can’t say I am exactly crazy on having a 4 or 5 year old that is not nappy-free…. it is about how to get the balance for me, that is, in letting him take the lead and not pushing it on him, versus encouraging him gently.

    There are some books that recommend just doing it all in one go…. ie getting rid of the nappies entirely in one go…. that seems a bit harsh – but is it confusing to NOT do that for the child (ie have nappies sometimes)? Any thoughts?! Much appreciated!

    • The whole potty training thing was one of those things I was not too keen on, and figured that eventually Amelia would want to use the potty. It just so happened, that she was about 50% there, when we moved to Topeka and she needed to go to a new school. The school we really liked, offered her a choice, she could go up a class but she had to wear panties all the time or she could go down a class and she could continue to wear diapers. We talked about the fun stuff she could learn and do in the new class, and she decided she wanted to do that class, and would wear her panties all the time. The school was willing to put up with a few accidents, and was worried about her regressing if she went with the smaller kids. She had very few accidents at school, and then one evening told me she didn’t want pull ups for bed time any more. We have had maybe 3 accidents since then. She had just turned three when we moved…so all things considered, I guess she was a late learner. But it was also mostly painless. She decided that was what she was gonna do, and she did it. (though, my dad says that runs in the family, that one day I decided I was going to use the potty and then never had another accident…I think he is forgetful, because that hardly seems plausible).

    • Acrophile

      My LO was *very* motivated by the promise that when she could poop and pee in the potty all the time, and wear diapers *only* at night, then she could go to school (preschool). That motivated her, because her friends were fully independent, and in preschool. She was fully independent (even at night!) last spring (at 3-1/2). We had only very rare accidents. Fortunately we found a good preschool that had room for late enrollees! She loves preschool (now she’s 4-1/2) and is so proud of herself!

  14. Tat

    So true. It is so important not to put pressure on your toddler. The more you get attached to the result, the more your child will resist the potty.

  15. Maybe some of you can help me!
    Our 3 year old was doing quite well with potty learning. He was going when asked, for a wee wee but never sat on the toilet for a poo. But he was at least going!!
    We traveled to Europe for the holidays and stayed 3 weeks. The entire visit he refused to use the toilet or potty saying he was too little or just simply that he couldn’t.
    Now we’re home and this regression is continuing. I had hoped that in the New Year we would be able to focus on the poo-ing in the toilet, since we had wee wees down pat but now I’m finding that we have to start all over and I’ve no idea how to deal with the whole ‘I can’t’ and ‘I’m too little’!!
    Any ideas???

    • Acrophile

      We had to start all over, too. Our LO was in Naked Time, doing really well, and then she made a puddle on the linoleum floor and *slipped* in it, and fell. This traumatized her and she wanted her diapers back. Since we were still in the process, we had them, so I gave her the diapers back. We just started all over, sitting on the potty fully clothed, then eventually in just a diaper, and then pullups (so she could do it herself). She did great after that. It took a long gradual process, just like the first time. But we skipped Naked Time the second go-round! She did really well with the pullups. But she had some friends who were all in panties, and she wanted to be like them, so that motivated her some, too.

    • Acrophile

      I forgot: definitely acknowledge the feelings of being too little. “It’s OK, if you feel too little, then we’ll start over like we did when you were a baby. We’ll sit on the potty with all your clothes on. OK? Can Bunny sit on the potty with you? Wow! Bunny likes the potty, doesn’t he? See, you’re *just* big enough to do that! Yaaay!” and then as the weeks go by, change up. “You’re a little bit bigger now, we can try sitting on the potty in just a diaper! Good job! You did it!” etc. Just be patient with the restart. Don’t worry about moving forward from where you are, just start over and be happy with progress as it happens. No fun for Mom, but it’s really not the end of the world, as it may seem. This too shall pass.

  16. Jennifer

    Great post, and I love reading all the different perspectives!
    My 2.5 y.o. son has gone through a few “waves” of potty learning curiosity. One of which was around 18 months, and I kick myself now for not being a little more proactive because we might have been potty-learned before the “twos” showed up. :)
    He has always come into the bathroom with us, and we talk a lot about where the poo goes when we flush. He’s very interested in looking in his diaper after I take it off him.
    For a long time (after he started walking at 10 months) we had a little potty in each bathroom (the BabyBjorn one – which is great!), and he would go maybe once a day, and then right before his bath at night. He’s only pooped in it once, and he was both excited and scared by it. Then about a month ago, the nighttime potty became a stalling tactic so he could extend the bedtime rituals. Before, he would sit, and if there was something to come out, it would come right out, then he would jump up, bring it over to the big pot, dump it, we would high five, and he would beam with proudness, and get in the tub. Now, as of a month ago, he just sits and sits. After about 5 minutes, we would say, “Great job trying, that’s the important thing. Now it’s time for your bath.” At which point he would insist that he was going to pee and poop, he just “needed to be patient”. (Which is something that we’ve told him, and some of the books talk about.) This got to be a longer and longer period of time (I’m willing to wait for a few minutes, but I know he doesn’t have a night poo anymore, and I don’t think he needs to wait that long for pee…), and I knew that it was clearly a time-sucker, and it was causing power struggles with us. I finally hid the upstairs potty. He didn’t ask for a week, but tonight after he was undressed for his bath, he ran to the bathroom and said he was going to go potty, but of course the potty wasn’t there. He was easily distracted into the tub, but I feel bad. I want it to be there, but I don’t want it to be a struggle every night.
    The parallel issue is that almost every diaper change is a struggle now. He is in cloth diapers, so I have to change him every few hours (he’d happily sit in a soiled diaper all day if I let him…). But he suddenly HATES getting changed. (I think it’s the combination of not wanting to be laying down, and he doesn’t want to stop his play.) I tell him every time there is a struggle that if he doesn’t want diapers and diaper changes that he needs to pee and poo in the potty. Not in a shaming way, just matter-of-factly. He completely understands, but I think he just doesn’t remember when in the moment of playing. We now have a cool step-stool potty that he can use downstairs, but he isn’t really showing much interest (other than wanting to take it to another room to climb up onto other things).
    I’m thinking about just tabling the whole issue until it’s warm out and we can do the naked potty training, but that will be when he’s very close to 3. I personally don’t think that there is a “right” time to learn, but I just hate the struggles!

  17. My daughter started showing signs that she was ready to start potty learning just a month or so ago at about 19 months. She was doing great: signing potty, being willing to sit there, peeing in the potty. But then she pooped in the potty and was terrified! She started crying and wanted a hug. We clapped and told her how great it was, but she didn’t care. Now she completely refuses to use the potty at all! Any thoughts of how I can get things back on course?
    And I’d love to try naked time, but it’s just too cold right now.

    • Amy

      I would talk to her more about the potty and try to specifically hone in on why the poop was scary. She probably hasn’t dealt with her emotions from that experience because you guys reacted happily (in an attempt to encourage her, I know) instead of addressing her feelings.

      As for bare bum time, I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where it gets pretty darn cold. I keep our house at 69 F, 20 C and our almost nine month old son is always bare bummed. He doesn’t mind at all. In fact, he often complains when I try to put pants on him, though he’ll wear baby legs (legwarmers) without incident. She’s old enough that she can tell you if she’s cold, anyway. I’d go for it with naked time.

      • Dionna   CodeNameMama

        I agree w/Amy on nakie time – my son wears SO little clothing (by choice) when I want to pile on the layers. It’s got to be something about their little bodies and the way they are constantly on the move – I bet they get much warmer than we do!

      • Heather   xakana

        I also agree about naked time, only our house isn’t even that warm and my kids WANT to be naked all the time. Baby legs are a good option for potty learners on colder days, too.

    • May sound crazy, but… maybe let her see your poop after you’ve gone? Just a shot in the dark here, I don’t have experience with that particular issue.

      • I actually tried that! She wasn’t interested. haha.

        This morning I put her on the potty after a little protest and just had her sit there for a bit while we looked at books. She sat quite a long time, didn’t go, but didn’t fight it either. She seemed to really love the book time (which we did before too, but maybe she just forgot that part with the scary poop experience). I’m going to try a couple more times throughout the day and see if that helps her get more comfortable again.

        I may have to try naked time like you guys suggest. She absolutely loves being naked, but it just feels so frigid in our house. The thermostat says 69, but with so little insulation in the most of the walls, I know it’s not that warm. I just feel so bad when her legs get so darn cold! She runs around enough though, that we should be able to manage.

        Thanks for all the advice everyone! It’s been a huge help and encouragement!

      • Dionna   CodeNameMama

        If it makes you feel any better, our house is 64 or 66 most days in the winter, and Kieran STILL runs around in a t-shirt. Brrr!

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