The last two weeks I have been sick. During the second day of my illness, Thumper started making use of the potty all by herself without any suggestion from me at all. I was feverish and trying to keep an eye on her. She felt free to do as she wanted, more or less. When she passed five times on the potty that day, I lost count.
I was cautiously optimistic that we had entered a new phase. I am so pleased that, now over a week later, it seems that we have. When we are home these days, she uses the potty 80-90 percent of the time. It helps that she tends to strip while we are at home (Sometimes you have to curse that Montessori kids can be perhaps a little too independent.) I tend to be cautious about getting too excited about things like this because one never knows how things will develop. I don't want to jinx her progress, and I don't want to become too proud. I have been hopeful that we would come to a point like this and have been planning since she was born.for her to move towards "toilet independence" as Montessorians like to refer to potty training at an earlier age.
We started her out in cloth diapers and never left her in wet diapers as some parents will do with disposable diapers. She came to instantly indicate that she wanted a clean diaper. (I don't think that is essential that babies start out in cloth diapers, but it is essential that babies never get used to being wet. It's important to preserve the idea that being wet equals being uncomfortable.)
When Thumper was around one, she started to get very fidgety while putting on the two-part cloth diapers that we had bought for her. It became a real hassle to put them on her. At that time, I bought her some training underwear which we used at home and disposable diapers which we use when we are out and about.
Montessorians say that children have a sensitive period to learning about potty issues between 12 to 18 months. I wanted to make the most of this so I would show her how I used the toilet and so would her older sister. We brought out Booster's old potty and started to let Thumper sit on it. Sometimes she liked to sit on the potty, and I would hope that just by chance she would pee in it. Sometimes she didn't want to sit in the potty, and I never, ever forced the issue. This, I think, is a key part in her starting to happily use the potty at home at 23 months.
Now we just have to tackle public toilets. . .