My daughter is now facing the next step in my grandson’s development – baby potty training! My grandson is nineteen months old, so I think he is a bit young to grasp the concept. Some baby potty training advice websites and blogs give a general age span to begin, which is between 18-36 months. She gotten him to lie fairly still when she changes his diaper – only in the past couple of months, but still has to distract him with his favorite toy, while she does the dirty work. So in his case, I really don’t think he is quite ready to switch from diapers to potties.
Thinking back, I don’t think I even attempted to try to potty train my daughter until she was about two, and only did so due to pressure from my own mom. I remember her recalling stories on how easy it was for her to potty train me, which made me feel rather inadequate as a mother. I also resented that she was somehow displeased with her own granddaughter – as if she didn’t measure up to me. Psychologically, having my mother interfere with my parenting, especially with something as delicate as baby potty training caused me a lot of stress.
I remember sharing my feelings of doubt with my husband, who thank goodness, helped me put the whole situation into perspective. His advice was to thank my mother for her advice and assure her that our pediatrician was very pleased with our daughter’s development. He emphasized that whenever I talk about the baby with my mother that I use the word, we rather than, I. Using we invokes a unity between husband and wife, which creates a sense of strength and security. For me, it worked wonders. Next time my mother brought up the topic of baby potty training, I told her that my husband and I were looking into what is best for our baby, and that she needn’t worry. She smiled and changed the subject!
In the position of grandma, as well as an enlightened and progressive one, i.e. I will not be like my mother – I have done my best not to meddle in my daughter’s parenting. I have offered her suggestions through stories of my own experiences with her as a baby, but only when I felt it was really necessary for my grandson’s well being. This is the best I can do to keep things light and not have her necessarily feel that I am interfering of disapproving of her or her husband’s methods of child rearing.
The subject of baby potting training has only been briefly touched upon when we were strolling down the baby potty isle of a local children’s store. We had a laugh looking at some of the cute designs, such as the Fisher-Price Precious Planet Froggy Friend Potty, which has a face of a smiling frog, and Kolcraft’s Sesame Street 1-2-3 Learn with Me Potty Chair that is capable of speaking 10 phrases each in English, Spanish, and French, activated by High Five Elmo’s Hand. It also comes with a Fun Sticker Book and twenty Reward Stickers. “Wow!” we said exclaimed in unison, almost relieved that baby potty training was still sometime away.
“Baby Potty Training” written by Brenne Meirowitz.