Potty Training Diaries – Day 1-ish

So we started official potty training yesterday. Matty Jay just turned 21 months, and we have been chomping at the bit to get this underway.

We had originally set D-Day (Diaper Free Day) for the first week in September, but we ended up moving unexpectedly, and it takes a good month to settle into a new house — not ideal for potty training, don’t you agree?. Then we had our first parenting conference, and we knew that we had to wait until that was over.

Which has brought us to Thursday of this week (yesterday)! We’d been talking about it with Matty for weeks, and the day finally came.

In the morning, two of our kids had an American History class and our older daughter was interviewed on a local radio show to promote the opera that she’s performing in next weekend. When we all got home at about 1:00pm D-Day began.

For those of you who are familiar with us, you know that the potty has been a part of Matty’s life since birth. But for us, it wasn’t about raising a diaper free infant. It was about communication and being able to meet another one of our baby’s needs — similar to feeding, dressing, and helping him sleep.

This time, we’re all in. No more diapers! We’re in it to win it.

To gear up for the big day, I read the the BEST potty training book I’ve ever laid eyes on. After training five kids, this is clearly not my first rodeo; I know a good method when I see it, and this one is the best. If you can get past the author’s propensity for four-letter words, it’s a quick read, and it’s chock full of superb potty training tips.

So Day 1 was the naked day. From 1pm until bedtime, Matty Jay was stark raving nude, which helped us quickly discover his cue. Right before he peed, he would stop and stare at the floor right where he was about let it loose.

potty chair

Our big fight on the first day was getting him to use the little potty chair (one we haven’t totally won yet). Since he was about a year old, he’s used this potty seat on the regular toilet. Apparently, he’s developed some kind of prejudice again a little potty chair, but one of our main goals in this whole potty training gig is to give him some level of independence. He’s too little to climb on the big toilet by himself, which means we’d have to put him on every time he has to go. A little potty chair would give him the independence we’re looking for, so helping him make friends with the cute little frog potty is one of our initial goals in this thing.

By the end of the day we had one big success. He asked to use the potty, fully emptied his bladder, reveled in our lavish praises, and enjoyed the rewards of being able to wash his hands in the bathroom sink (a favorite Matty pasttime).

Bedtime added a whole new level of intensity to this process. We made a little floor bed out of blankets beside our bed so I could keep an eye on him throughout the night. He didn’t nurse before bed because I didn’t want to fill his bladder, but it made him sad. He woke up repeatedly through the night, and we took him to the potty, but not much happened. Early in the morning, he wet a small spot on the blankets and finished on the potty.

All in all a difficult but successful first today. More tomorrow about the trials of Day 2.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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