To Train…Or Not To Train?

July 31, 2006

From the moment I discovered I was pregnant, I began to read about the baby forming in my belly.

The reading intensified after she was born, as I turned to the experts to tell me how often she should be pooping and how much she should be eating. It was the books that told me her poops were normal, her developmental milestones were on track and her slight fever was nothing to worry about. Most of the time, what I read in the books just reaffirmed my gut instincts, which gave me enormous peace of mind.

Some old-school family members have ribbed me for this inclination, saying they didn’t need books to tell them how to raise their children. Fine for them, but I really did benefit from objective opinions and supplemental information to guide me on my maiden mothering voyage.

So this weekend, when my 18-month-old daughter twice signaled that she needed a diaper change after pooping, I swung into action.

I went online and Googled “potty training readiness,” which brought endless results and even a quiz that I took.

The result: my daughter shows definite signs of potty training readiness. But the caveat was clear: all the “readiness” signs in the world will mean nothing if Maya doesn’t want to be potty trained yet.

So after turning it over and over in my mind… I am at a complete loss. I have no idea whether to start potty training her yet.

Part of me thinks it would be wonderful to train her early. The money we’d save not buying diapers! No more squirmy diaper changes!

Another part of me is so afraid to try…and fail. What if she hates it? What if she has accidents and I lose my patience? My online research also yielded this discouraging little nugget: in general, the earlier you start potty training your child, the longer it takes.

One of the most distressing things about parenthood is there are no clear guidelines. I am lucky because my instinct has served me really well so far. For whatever reason, I always just knew when it was time to introduce a bottle, start sleep training, wean her or start bathing her in the regular tub.

In this case, my instincts are telling me NOTHING.

Which probably means it’s not yet time to potty train…right?

What say you, MTers? When did you know it was time to potty train?