Our journey into toilet learning (2) – from 18 months until 25 months.

Hello everybody,

This is a follow up article on toilet awareness that I would now call toilet learning. You might notice we don’t use the expression toilet training – which makes me think of a bootcamp of some kind or a dog class. This is not what we do here honestly. We take each child as they are and take the time with them, during their sensitive period to address the toilet, the underwear, the pee and poop that goes now in the toilet/potty instead of the diaper.

I had talked about the first phase so I will dive into the 2nd phase, the one everybody wants to know or stress about. We, personally, don’t stress about it because there is nothing to stress about unless you have some major anxiety around excrement. It might not be the most fun part of your child growing up but honestly, it’s as bad as we let it be and how we react to it. It’s a major milestone but not a big deal. No reward or punishment necessary.

Around 18 months, as our daughter had been in cloth diaper since birth and she knew how to tell us about being wet, we started talking about how we would (in a near future) not have diapers and would wear underwear like adults do.

We made sure to offer the potty/toilet on a more regular basis before she would ask so the pee would more often go in the potty than in the diaper. Then, over the Easter break, when she was 20 months, we just put all the diapers away and brought in the brand new underwear. In our case they are organic cotton training pants that are slightly thicker in the middle part so some of the pee is caught in it. It does help the child feeling the wetness and sometimes they can stop and make it to the toilet to finish, if not, the pee will be partly caught making the mess a little less big to clean up. They are also easy to put on and off for your toddler to be independent going to the toilet.

We did set a timer every 45 mins for the first week or so and then would wait 1 hour to let her hold it longer or for her to feel it and let us know she needed to go. Honestly, it has been going great. We do have accidents at times (when she is tired, or the schedule is out of the routine) and it took an extra 2 months for her to feel like poo could also go in the potty and not in the underwear. No worries, this is pretty normal to tackle pee before poop.

Since about 22-23 months, she is able to say it or go by herself. At 25 months, all poo are in the potty or toilet and pee as well (except for bad days).

 

 

We basically explained (and read a book about it) and switched from diapers to underwear. We use pull ups for nap and bedtime so she is independent putting it on and off. The difference to her was not that big because she had been preparing for this for a long time. We keep about 7 pairs of cotton underwear in the basket. At the end of day or when an accident happen, she takes off her underwear by herself and puts it in a pail we have in the bathroom. Then, she takes another one or take a pull up to go to bed.

toilet seat and stool

She also have the choice to use the toilet instead of potty and we respect her choice. Eventually, the potty will phase out and she will go only on the toilet, like our students do.

 

 

Children can use the adapter when going onto the big toilet.

 

Children are also asked to wash their hands every time they use the bathroom. It makes for a more hygienic way of life. We ask this from girls and boys.

handwashing station bath
Hand washing is easy with a step stool and a goat milk bar soap.

I hope your journey into toilet learning is stressless and can be appreciated like the milestone it is.

Tell us about your journey !! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. 

 

Language with young toddler: the Montessori 2-period lesson

You might have heard about the 3-period lesson used in Language lessons in Montessori classroom for age 3-6 years old. This is how we present and enrich vocabulary in Casa level classroom.

With young toddlers who are not verbal yet or not fully verbal, Montessori toddler teachers in Nido use the 2-period lesson. This way we can present the vocabulary and also verify their comprehension and knowledge.

Period 1: We present the objects (for young toddlers) or picture cards (for older toddlers) by naming what it is as we show them the object or card: “This is a …” and do so for about 3 objects or cards at a time (never more than that or it would be too much for the child at once).

Period 2: Now the child is active. you will ask him to ‘perform’ actions towards the objects or cards. “Point to …, show me …, give me …, place … next to …”. Some use the ‘I spy’ game for period 2 “I spy with my little eye a …” and the child point at it or give it to you etc This phase needs to be a little longer if the child seems up for it. Move the objects or cards around for adding challenge and making sure the child is not remembering names of the objects based on their position on the table.

FOR NON VERBAL TODDLERS the lesson stops there. If there a big success with the 2 first objects and she recognizes them all and seems into it, please continue with 3 more. If not, encourage the child to put the objects back to the shelf and move on. You can always go back to it at another time another day. This is not a quiz, just a way tot each your child some vocabulary.

2 period lesson
Our daughter at 17 months learning about arctic animals (a polar bear, a emperor penguin and a seal). We used objects first and then she found the cards in the basket to match objects and cards. FUN!!

Period 3: Now is the time for a verbal child to name the objects/objects on cards. You place the objects/cards back in their original order and ask: “What’s this?” If she can name it in order, you can always do it again with the objects in a different position.

 

This is used in all Montessori classrooms I have observed or worked at, it is a lesson taught to Montessori teachers in the Language area and this part is easily applicable at home with your child.

Remember, you are doing it to bring vocabulary in a structured but interesting manner, this is not to drill the child. If the child is not interested and seems tired, put the cards back on the shelf and move on to something else. Keep it casual for more interest from your little one.

Aside of a formal lesson like this, we also have image books that our daughter loves to look at and loves that we just name each object on each page. At first, she just looked and is now repeating a lot of these words. We keep it casual and follow her lead. It is naturally bringing a lot of vocabulary as well.

What do you do to bring in more vocabulary to your child at home? 

If you have any question, feel free to contact me.