I missed Anneliese’s 18 month post. Then I was going to write it late, but kept being late with the late post, until it was really TOO late…too close to 19. So I waited. But now I’m a day late with this one too. Oh well.

Toward the middle and end of January, Anneliese started doing things like this…


…trying to assemble her own diapers for me, taking off her diaper when she woke up from a nap or sleep and it was wet, carrying potties around and trying to sit on them independently more, bringing me a wipe if she had just gone to the bathroom (either in a potty or her diaper), or asking for a new diaper… which led me to think it was time for this:


Well, yes, naked breakfast. But also phasing out the diapers all together. Canines had finally finished cutting, so we had a teething break that should last a while (second molars are the last ones for a few more years, and those should start around age 2 I think). Anneliese seemed ready to take on more responsibility for her pottying, and I was ready to devote the attention (it takes a lot) to helping her use the potty 100% (other than sleep).


So we’ve done a LOT of this… car potty = fantastic, by the way. I know people will ask, so:

Her potties – from IKEA, $5 each. We have 3 in the house (1 in each bathroom, and 1 that “follows” us to the living room, sometimes the dining room, wherever we are hanging out) and one in the car. There’s no way I would want to buy 4 potties from Target at $20 each… $20 total for huge amounts of flexibility and convenience? I can do that.

Her training pants – i Play cloth training pants from diapers.com …relatively inexpensive, and they have a waterproof layer so accidents don’t leak everywhere immediately. They only cost a little bit more than Gerber, which I don’t want to buy (read why to avoid Gerber/Nestle – and a list of brands to avoid).

To protect her car seat – Carters Lap Pads. I got 2 packages of these, which is PLENTY. 1 probably would’ve been fine. They’re just the right size to protect her car seat in case of an accident, and work very well.

We’re using the training pants when out and about for errands and such, but at home she is bare-bottomed, to make it easier for her to self-potty.


Sometimes she sits on the potty just because she wants to read stories, or watch “dada books” (the videos of my husband reading books to her before he left for his deployment). That’s fine with me! Potty sitting time is GOOD. Books are GREAT. So who am I to argue?


And when we go out, I offer the potty when we arrive at our destination, in between each errand (if multiple errands in the same shopping center, we visit the car in between to see if she has to go), and before we head home.


The first several days, we stayed home…didn’t go anywhere. For two reasons – potty “training” (um, she knows what the potty is for already, and I’m not training her like an animal… but you know, that’s what people call it) – and also because she had a cold (her first ever) and felt pretty miserable.

The first 2 days, we also played a lot in the kitchen and dining room – the only areas in the house besides bathrooms with linoleum floors. There were several accidents, but fewer than I expected. And after about a week and a half, almost none.


Now accidents are extremely rare, and usually happen when Anneliese doesn’t have the ability to get to a potty… like when I was test-driving the van. I offered the potty before we left, and she didn’t go. But part way through the test drive, she was asking to go, and I couldn’t really get her to one… so she had no choice but to wet herself. It was sad. I felt bad for her. I apologized to her, and also told her that’s why I was trying to encourage her to use her potty before… and we moved on.

She also had some accidents when my doula was visiting, and when her daddy came home from his deployment (yes! he’s home!). Changes in routine are hard, and “new people” (or people who haven’t been present for this stage, anyway) don’t recognize her “potty signals” the same way I do (yet), so that’s pretty expected.

Most days are zero-accident though. She wears a diaper for her nap, and a diaper for bedtime, but that’s all the diapers we’re doing now.


Above, she was a little miffed that after ALL THAT WORK to get on her potty, she was sitting on it backwards. Oops! She hopped up to try again.

And just so it’s not a 100% potty post…

Anneliese is also doing some CUTE stuff with her baby doll lately… helping it with socks and shoes, giving it water, pointing out its body parts…


…helping it potty, putting it in the high chair… she also asks me to nurse her baby, and sometimes she nurses it.


I had this other baby doll out for a little while too (it’s VERY heavy though) and she had a lot of interest in it. She wanted to see its belly, and took its hat off and put it back on several times. She’s very into babies. I think this bodes well.


Anneliese is also becoming quite a little imitator. I was putting this toy together with a screw driver, and when I finished, Anneliese took the screw driver from me and carefully lined it up with each of the screws, “working” on the toy for a long time.


“See, Mama? I can use tools too!”


Today I was rocking/bouncing/sitting on my yoga ball, and Anneliese joined in, on her little playground ball. SO precious. Girl’s gonna have some crazy core strength.



She has a little red calculator she pretends is a phone, and has started saying “hello?” when she puts it up to her face.


And here, she is helping my doula, Coleen, take notes with a pen.


My little baby is a full-fledged toddler, and I love every bit of it.

Linda Sand (24 comments)

I tried not to post this because of fearing to sound critical but I decided it might help. You have been teaching Anneliese that there will always be a potty there when she needs one. No wonder she felt no need to go before the test drive. When our daughter was Anneliese’s age and showed signs of readiness, I put her on the potty as soon as she woke and after every meal. She quickly adapted to that pattern and stayed dry in between. She also learned to go when put on the potty. So, when preparing to leave the house I would put her on the potty first and she would go. I hope you hear this message with the love that was sent with it. You and your daughter are adorable.

Love all of this – Makes me want to take more photos and post more about Sebastian’s stages.

Sebastian is the opposite with his pottying. He almost always wakes up dry and asks for the potty the most often when we’re in bed (usually waking me up to go first thing). During the day I honestly can’t tell when he needs to pee, only when he has started peeing. And he is prone to sitting on the potty for 10 minutes and then peeing on the floor within 2 minutes of standing up… I probably just need to devote myself more. It is really a fulltime job to just look for potty signs and I’m so impressed that you made it work. We just introduced a potty seat on the big toilet, which is SO SO SO AMAZING for poops, OMG, but he is more about putting the seat on and flushing than actually sitting and peeing. :/ Our place is mostly carpeted, at least the rooms we hang out in, but maybe I’ll have to try diaper free time and really focus on it. Might be a good thing to put effort into now while we’re cooped up inside.
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MomEinstein (14 comments)

I love your method of potty “training”. My daughter is 17 months and starting to show *very* early signs of readiness (telling me when she has to go or needs a diaper) and everyone is asking me when we’re PTing. I don’t plan to start until she’s really ready. Seeing your example of it taking a week and a half just solidifies my plan, so thanks!!
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Barbara Alexander (9 comments)

I am so glad your husband is home!! I hope you will post soon how father and daughter are reacting to each other.

Jessica (1 comments)

She is such a sweet heart. I love following your wonderful family. Hope you are having a great day!

I LOVE this post. My son his having a MAJOR EC pause right now that has begun to last months. I’m trying to stay cool but changing poopy diapers is NOT cool. When he was an infant til about 11mo I rarely, if ever had to change a poopy diaper and most pees were caught too. But now when he gives the signal and I put him on the toilet he throws a fit (either big toilet OR his potty) and won’t go even if he’s on there for like twenty minutes and when I take him down he’ll poop immediately in his diaper. So frustrating.

Hoping he’ll come around soon. He’s not yet 1 1/2 so I’m think around then I’m going to try more communication techniques with him.
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