Potty Training?

We really didn’t mean to start potty training Matthew . . . and I’m still not sure I would call it that . . . but the fact is, I haven’t changed a poopy diaper all week.

Several weeks ago, the boys were in the bath together and Matthew got “that look.”  Fearing the worst, I immediately scooped him up and put him on the potty, since I had no other option at that point.  He was a little shocked to be scooped up so quickly, but then proceeded to grunt and make a considerable deposit into the toilet.  Since that is the appropriate place for such a thing, we clapped and cheered for him.  He looked like he had no idea what he had just done, but was happy to clap for himself anyway.

A few days later, I noticed that he had really fallen into a pattern.  Almost like clockwork, I would be changing a diaper 30-45 minutes after breakfast.  One day, I was sure I smelled my signal, but as I removed the offending diaper, it turned out to be just gas.  Suspecting there was more on the way, I one again plopped my little Matthew on to the toilet, where he proceeded, again, to make my job much easier by doing his business into the potty instead of his diaper.  The next day, at the first sign of a grunt, he was plopped onto the potty.

Matthew is so receptive to positive reinforcement – he will go through all of his “tricks” to win positive reinforcement and applause – that it did not take long at all for him to learn what earned him applause while on the potty.  Now, I take him to the potty about 45 minutes after breakfast, or other times during the day if he looks or smells like he needs it.  It has been working wonderfully, and I am extremely happy to have changed only wet diapers this week!

I don’t know if I dare to hope that we can keep this up . . . but it’s sure not bad for 17 months!


Is he too young?  Maybe . . . but my dear sister-in-law, mother of five, once told me, “If they are old enough to sit, they are old enough to sit on the potty!”


13 thoughts on “Potty Training?

  1. That is the cutest photo EVER!! 🙂 Seriously. Good luck with your efforts (I think you’re the only person I’ve ever heard of who tried “potty training” a kid before he was even totally walking! Good work!). 🙂

    Great to catch up for a bit tonight!

  2. Way to go Matthew (and Mommy)! That picure is priceless. Of course, one day he’s going to say, “Mom…why in the world did you put that picture on the internet!” LOL 🙂

    BTW…he’s SERIOUSLY adorable!!!

  3. I hope it works for you! Both my (potty-trained) kids have done that for a month or so around that age and then lost interest and refused to go on the toilet for at least another year after that. 🙂 He is so adorable!

  4. That photo is too cute!!! There’s a thing called natural hygiene that one of my friends practices with her kids and it actually entails “potty training” kids straight from birth. Mom just has to learn the signals her kids gives her when it’s time to go and set them on the potty. Kids understand more than we realize! She started with her newborn who at 3 wk old starting holding it when she needed to poop until she was on a potty! So if you continue on this way, Matthew will probably follow. Good luck!!!

  5. Hi! I just found your blog. My 23 mo old dd has DS. I think its great that you are following his cues! Have you heard of elimination communication? We’ve done this since dd was 4 months and it has been wonderful. No more poopy diapers and about 50/50 with the wet ones. Is it ok if I add your blog to my roll?

    BTW, Matthew is adorable 🙂

  6. I remember Micah doing this at the same age, now little brother’s following in his footsteps! I hope he (and you) are able to keep up the good work, but if nothing else it sure makes for cute pictures!

  7. What!!!!! How amazing!!!!! I am so jealous. It may take a while for him to take himself to the bathroom, but it will be so much easier because he is learning the habit so young! It is nice that he works like clockwork, that helps so much. My older two did their business at all different times of the day, so it was really hard to potty train them. Lillian is doing a bit better if I pay attention. I hate watching anyone go to the bathroom, so potty training is always a challenge for me! Things are on hold with Lillian until I am feeling better!

  8. Hey, I’d say go with it!! Sounds good to me!

    In fact, I just started the PTing stuff with my 2.5 year old this morning and we haven’t made nearly the progress that Matthew has!!! : )

  9. Ohhhhh my goodness, I have not even read your post yet I just saw the picture of him on the potty when i popped on your blog and cracked up…what a cute picture. I love his expression! Okay, so now I am going to go read the post! 🙂

  10. Oh, that picture is too cute!

    We’re “accidentally” potty training too!

    I’m dying to know how you teach your little guy to sign. We’ve run into problems because our little Baby X won’t cross the midline, and obviously finger spelling is out for the little ones!

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