Free range potty training

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Development/Milestones: Babies

When I discovered I was pregnant with my third child I was more than a bit flummoxed. I realized that I would have to go through all those early childhood milestones again. The teething, crawling, sleepless nights, I thought I was all done. More frighteningly I couldn't even remember how I got through them all in the first place.

We have weathered many of the baby milestones in the last 31 months, including some extra health scares for good measure, with few injuries to body or soul. The one biggie that looms right now is potty training. I haven't much memory of how or when I potty trained the older two of my kids, just that it went fairly smooth and with little trauma. However, my third child, Devon, is a much more obstinate creature than my other two. He is the sort who removes his clothing in the crib and tosses his diaper across the room just to see how far it will fly. With this image in mind, I have put off most potty training encouragements from my end. My thoughts have run along the lines of when he is ready he will tell me in one way or another. And tell me he has. Most days Devon vocally refuses to don a diaper. Some days he will wear cloth trainer pants, but more often than not he prefers the breeze whisking between his chubby legs as he lumbers about. His preferred locale for potty relief is not his cute potty chair or the big boy toilet, but rather the edge of the backyard deck. The first thing Devon does in the morning is run for the back door, same with the last thing at night. This is great when we are at home, but at weekend soccer games or in the park Devon simply drops his drawers and lets loose. Good thing he is cute and small, most people find this act endearing.

I am beyond the point where I plan to research this issue by ordering various books about how and where to pee. Right now it is warm outside and by relieving himself outdoors, Devon is conserving water and not creating more landfill problems with diaper use. So far we have avoided any unsightly bowel movement accidents in public, those have been at home or I have been able to predict them and convince Devon to wear a diaper for a short time. If he still has this pattern when the leaves turn and the snow flies, I might consider reading a book on the subject but until then my son is a free ranger.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.