Amelia Went Potty... Now What?

For the last two months, Amelia has been really interested in the potty. She will occasionally tell us when she's wet by saying "meh-me" (messy) or "bye-per" (diaper) while handing us a clean diaper and laying on the floor. She will also randomly sit on her potty while fully clothed. Lastly, we have started having her sit on the potty in her birthday suit right before bath time.

Tonight she sat on the potty off and on for an hour! She wanted to read books and sit. So that is all we did. She even moved her potty to the kitchen, sat down, and played with her fridge magnets. Then she moved her potty back to the bathroom. At several points I could tell she needed to poop. She would grunt and all that. After she moved her potty back to the bathroom I asked her if she wanted to take a bath. She said, "No no. Book-uh (book)!" and promptly plopped herself on the potty while handing me a book. I started to read and she peed!! She also tooted so I for sure thought it would be the full thing. But she seemed almost startled as she realized she was peeing. So she very quickly stood up and said, "Meh-me! (messy)" over and over again. I assured Amelia it was ok because the "mess" was in her big girl potty. We did this for about ten more minutes before I finally put her in the tub.

I guess I'm wondering what all of this means?! And how we should proceed. Amelia is not even 16 months old yet. So I would think she's too young for potty training. But she clearly has an interest in learning! I've read a few things about "signs of readiness". She definitely shows a lot of the signs. It just seems too soon...

I'm interested in some feedback. What are your experiences with your toddlers and the potty? Another thing: what's the difference between "potty learning" and "potty training"?


  1. We started practicing on the potty when J was 11 months. I had heard about EC (elimination communication) before I was even married, thought it was crazy, but it popped back into my head when he was 5 months. I tried a few times, but got frustrated that he never cued before he peed. I decided at 11 months that I could at least catch poos, so that's what I strived for. I offered potty anytime there was a transistion, a diaper change, a lot! When he would go, I'd make a "psssss" sound for him to associate with going. We also did the ASL sign (which he still uses with his words, like all the other signs he knows) to really get that communication and awareness down. in a few months, he would tell me when he needed to poop and he didn't like to go in his diaper. Pee took longer. He still forgets if he's playing and will start to go in his underwear, but can stop it and tell me so I can help him to the bathroom.

    I HIGHLY recommend looking into EC. It's all about communication and respect, not just potty training your kid. I recently read Diaper Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh and found it fantastic. Basically, babies are born potty trained. They tell you when they have to go or need a clean diaper. In America (and some other Western European countries) we "train" them to eliminate in a diaper, then have to retrain them no to. It was really insightful. She explains how to start at any stage of early childhood, even toddlers and preschoolers. I even picked up a couple tips on working with my mostly potty trained almost 2 year old! I can't wait to start right away with the next baby!

    1. I was actually thinking of you as I wrote this! I remembered that J was doing well with the potty. I'll definitely look into that book. :) Thanks Katie!

  2. I second the Diaper Free Baby approach. My friend Melissa Zollner did a lot of what you're already doing and all three of her girls were potty pros by Amelia's age. She's on my FB friends list if you want to chat her up.

    You could start increasing her "potty-tunity" (opportunity) time to other times in the day when you're able to be aware of her signals. Repeat exacty what you're doing already with the nakey-bum and relaxed approach. Keep a pile of prefolds around for a "miss" and be casual about it. Over the top responses (positive or negative" can cause anxiety about toileting. And if she ever seems resistant, don't push it!

    As you get more comfy with the potty and start looking for transitional options (for clothes and protecting caresses and such) I have some ideas. :-)

    We should have a nakey baby bum date sometime. Emma goes nakeybum a few times a week (nothing consistent yet) and we actuallycaught a poo today.

    1. I will message Melissa for sure! That's amazing that her girls were potty pros by this age. I would love to help Amelia become a potty pro! I feel like she's totally ready. And I would LOVE to have a nakey baby bum date with you. Haha. I have no idea what I'm doing. It's kinda stressing me out. I guess I didn't realize that the little newborn would turn into a toddler...

  3. My friend Rebecca had her boys potty-trained very young. Can't remember the age, but young. She would set them on the potty chair at times when she knew they usually go. She would also go SHHHRRROOO (not sure how to spell it) when they did go. Plus boys tend to pee when the air hits them. She's having a tougher time with her 1 year old girl since that doesn't happen. I say if she is interested encourage it! From my personal experience, Sassy barks and lets me know when she wants to go outside. :)