View Full Version : A potty at 17 months? Is this a crazy idea?

11-04-2003, 12:06 PM
Colin's been telling me when he's filled his diaper for a few months now. (Filled, not wet.) He makes the sign for "potty." I've been encouraging it, but I wasn't planning to do anything more than that. However, last night, I was talking to one of my mommy-friends who has given me much great advice in the past and she suggested getting Colin a potty. Not to start training, per se, but just to get him used to the idea since he's already sort of interested.

Almost everything I've read says to wait and not start too early, but will simply buying a potty and maybe seeing if he wants to sit on it occassionally be the wrong thing?

Thanks in advance!

11-04-2003, 04:18 PM
We just went to our 18 month well check and our ped said it was a good idea to get DS used to a potty. Not that he would be using it immediately! Instead, our ped recommended just having a seat in the bathroom so that when mom & dad (& sister, too!) are using the potty, he has the opportunity to mimic our actions! And to think...I'm just feeling good about DD's potty training! LOL!

mom 2 Katie (34 months)
& Jack (18 months)

twins r fun
11-04-2003, 09:17 PM
I've been wondering about this, too. Mine just turned two and are really interested in watching themselves (and others pee), but don't have the language or other skills necessary for potty training yet. So I was thinking about getting them a potty to encourage their interest. But then I was thinking what if I use up the excitement and newness of the potty now and then when it's time they won't be interested in it anymore. I looked at a few books at Borders, but couldn't get a straight answer. Does anyone think this is an issue? I haven't bought a potty yet.

11-04-2003, 09:18 PM
When Amy was 18 months she learned how to take off her own diaper. We tried various things but eventually she figured out how to get through all clothing combinations (including 2 backwards onesies) and take it off. The result was some poop-smeared carpet and walls. So we thought this meant that we needed to start potty-training.

So we started potty pre-training. Basically I let her come with me when I used the potty. I showed her that I was making pee and poop and I showed her that I wiped and washed my hands. I let her flush for me. After a little while she wanted to sit on it and it quickly became routine that when I was filling the bathtub before her bath she would sit on it. Occasionally she made a pee.

After a couple of months we started putting her on the potty morning and night and didn't really care if something came out or not.

None of this really trained her, but she got the mechanics down immediately. When she was finally ready to do it it happened virtually overnight. I think a lot of this was because she already knew what to do and was comfortable with it (she had been doing it for more than a year) and only had to worry about WHEN to go.

As far as the diaper thing was concerned, we just had to teach her that it wasn't acceptable to take it off. But it was a trigger for starting the pre-training.

11-04-2003, 11:10 PM

17 months is right about the time we got a potty for Lola. As Helen said, this is potty pre-training. The idea is to get Colin used to the potty being around and familiarize him with the potty-going routine. It's not the wrong thing to do unless you start getting attatched to the idea of him using the potty before he's ready. The potty may end up just sitting in a corner of your bathroom for awhile but at least you'll have it for when Colin is interested in putting it to use.

11-05-2003, 02:03 AM
It sounds like he is ready to me. I personally think that if he is showing all the signs, like telling you that he has poopy pants etc, then why not put him on the potty and start training him? Angela started training at 15 months and would have been totally trained by then if we had custody of her, but we didnt and her bio mom never followed through. By the age of two though she was fully trained and has only had a handful of accidents since then and she is three and a half! I personally dont think that you need to read all the books and stop just because Dr so and so says not to because its to early....listen to Colin, if he seems ready then go for it! Get the potty, show him how to use it, let his dolly use it etc and get rid of the diapers, except for at night and nap time. If it works it works, if not then try again later. I personally wouldnt keep the diapers though because what is the point of the potty then? Get pull ups for nap and bed time, granted its the same thing, but like underwear. Im no expert but we had good luck with training and didnt worry about starting too early....my mom started us at about a year and we were all trained within a few days....We survived and havent had any problems! Take the chance, the worst that can happen is he doesnt want to have anything to do with it,,,or he trains himself! never know unless you try!

11-05-2003, 03:42 AM
I'd buy the potty, put it in the bathroom and maybe get a couple of books. This is the route we're taking and Ds went from no interest, to slight interest so far (23.9 months old). =) He likes to sit on it and read his Once Upon a Potty Book (which I change most of the words to, but the illustrations are good).

11-05-2003, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone! I think I'll be buying a potty in the next couple of weeks. :) It's kind of funny, but I don't think I realized how old Colin actually is! I went and re-read some of my parenting books that I remembered saying "don't start too early" and realized that by "early", they meant younger than 18 mos. So apparently, I'm not that early after all! How did he get to be old enough for a potty?!? We're still going to take it nice and slow though- at his pace. But I have to admit, I can't wait until he's old enough for the target practice with Cheerios in the toilet. :)