I am a mom in the fourth degree. And that means I go through all or almost all processes in my children’s lives for the fourth time. Between the oldest and youngest pairs, a decade has passed, and even more. Approaches, interpretations, meanings have changed. But some needs remain unchanged.

The “potty story”, namely the transition from the “diaper” stage to the “potty” stage, has not lost its relevance. I’m not an extreme mom. Stages of eco-friendly reusable diapers, putting a kid onto the pot at 6 months or even earlier, I skipped for myself. As well as stages of colic treatment with dill water, espumisan, and so on. Although, some “secrets” of “potty” were still there for us, in a way that was comfortable for me and the next little one.

Guided only by the principles of logics and a little anatomy, I tried to provide the babies with physiologically correct postures for “going to the WC” from infancy, and this largely made life easier for myself. Plus, I’ve had plenty of pleasant moments interacting with the little ones. For example, from the first days, I laid the children on my bent knees (while I semi-sit, leaning back on a pillow). Firstly, the child sees mommy’s face better, and this is an object for study from the first minutes and for a long time. Secondly, we’re in dialogue, one can name body parts, say something nice, teach rhymes, and so on. And thirdly, if you lay the child like this after feeding, additionally bending his knees, then there is a great chance to combine the pleasant with the useful, that is, to provide a comfortable “trip to the toilet”, or in this case, to the diaper for the baby, taking into account the correct position of the sphincter and the laws of gravity.

With Leo (my third son) after a 10-year break, I subscribed to channels of new fashionable sleep coaches, this topic has greatly advanced since my second parenting experience. I even bought a “potty training course” from one such “coach”, mainly to understand that nothing has changed here – once, and buying such courses is a waste of money – two.

And just now we completed all the processes of transitioning to the potty with my daughter, Lilu. We even got rid of the excess diapers in one fell swoop. Fresh from the experience, I can share insights and conclusions in the fourth degree.

The main question – when? My answer – when both the mother and the child are ready. The average age for the “beginning” of the transition is 1.5 years. From this moment, the child is capable of realizing that they want to use the toilet. For us, this sweet age coincided with the onset of colder weather. And since the transition from diapers to the potty is not linear and is inevitably associated with setbacks, I spared myself and postponed it. If you live in a warm apartment, your child doesn’t run around the house in a coat and hat (unlike us), and you want to eliminate the “diapers” item from the family budget as quickly as possible, and it seems to you that at 1.5 years your little one is already very aware – go for it!

We revisited the question at 1.11. Someone will say it’s late, but my daughter and I are doing well. She already speaks actively, and it’s easier to communicate with her, plus she can share her emotions with a wider range and variety, guide me, set the pace.

The second question – the important elements of the transition. Or simply, what is needed? A child – at least 1 piece :), a potty – always at hand (you can have several), a stack of pants. Specifically pants, or at worst tights, preferably everywhere with narrow-leg trousers, just so that nothing falls out from there. And, of course, mom (or a reliable person familiar to the child, it can be dad, a nanny, or an older brother), the main thing – readiness for this person to respond to the child’s instant need. By the way, the child’s ability to “endure” will manifest quite quickly, so the speed of reaction is important especially at the initial stage.


The third question – what are the readiness markers? In other words, what should you pay attention to? In our case, the mother’s readiness came when my daughter started to inform me, while in a diaper, that she had just peed or pooped. It even sounded like “I’m peeing.” And then, despite the fact that the cold weather hadn’t ended, I had to reluctantly dive into the transition story))). If the child doesn’t speak, they may fidget with the diaper, show discomfort with gestures or sounds. Or you can just “try”, based on the child’s appropriate age.

There are other readiness markers as well, for example, if the child’s diaper remains dry after a nap – you’re incredibly lucky, you can start by taking off the diaper at night or during daytime naps. Although, if you didn’t start with this, don’t worry, a dry sleep is normal and will also come around.

So, the final question is – what to do? Work according to the algorithm: clarify with the child what a potty is and why it is needed. Take off the diaper, put the child on the potty, if it worked – praise (for understanding). If it didn’t work – okay, try again in some time. Put pants on the child instead of a diaper. My princess and I went for the more complicated option, immediately panties + pants on top. Why pants? So that the physical sensation of failure was tangible. And the unwillingness to repeat such failure was formed. Lilu was really upset the first time she wet her pants. I comforted her, explained that it happens, it’s life. Fixation of personal experience is always best for development. In the future – let the child “go swimming freely” and periodically ask – do you want to pee? If the child doesn’t mind, try again. If the kid is against it – leave the child alone but remind periodically. Playing with the potty is not allowed. Dolls don’t go in our potty, only the baby. And this is his or her own thing. It’s important that he or she is almost like mom and dad, just a little smaller.

Next, remove the pomposity from the toilet moments. It’s not worth praising every time for what’s done, nor scolding for failure. It’s important in the process that the child doesn’t consider their failure a tragedy, but simply as a step that can be corrected. Oops, accidentally got wet. Peed in the pants. It happens, but you know where you need to pee? In the potty) Next time you’ll definitely remember. And the baby will rejoice in their successes themselves because they succeeded! Not because they were praised.

Prepare yourself that everything will not go smoothly in one day. There will be regressions. Forgot, forgot many times), wet the bed during sleep. Sometimes intentionally went and peed in the corner because of wandering, didn’t eat on time, or just had a bad mood. It’s important to remember in any regression, who is the child, and who is the adult, and to treat failures as evenly as successes. Okay, it happens, but next time it’ll definitely work out.

Give yourself a week. Approximately during this period, you can completely switch the child to life without diapers. And without major regressions. And if not? Maybe your time hasn’t come yet. Hide the potty, postpone it, come back to it later.

So, in short, that’s it. Next, as usual, a Q&A session), ready to go through someone’s cases.