Potty Learning Without A Plan


Sixtine is 21 months. In the morning, little miss tornado gets up naked and points at her diaper saying either “dirty” or “caca” which means poop in French. She can’t stand a dirty diaper, and says “caca’ pretty much every time she goes. I think it is safe to say she is starting to be aware of her body functions. In an ideal world, she would just ask for big girl underwear and go to the bathroom on her own, when she needs it, right away but don’t we say that slow and steady wins the race?

I bought a few training pants for her (as shown on picture) thinking it would make her feel special. And she likes them a lot. But she’d rather go naked or go home. So she takes them off too. My girl loves to be naked and free. And that is a sweet, innocent, and beautiful thing. We started Monday (she went to daycare on Tuesday so she only went diaper-free for a couple hours in the evening before bed time) and so far two mishaps – a small one and a big one. The problem is: she doesn’t use the potty, and she doesn’t use the toilets either.

So my question is: when does my child pee or poop? I think she is like her Mama. I was always very private going to the bathroom and even to this day, if someone is wandering around the bathroom door, I can’t go. TMI. Anyways. I think Sixtine waits for her next diaper (nap time or bed time.) She used to poop twice a day and since we have started the whole toilet challenge, she has been going only once a day.

Also: I don’t have a plan. I am following her lead so I am unsure what to do to help her the best way possible to figure out how her body works – but really does she need me? I know now from observation that she knows the sign of wanting to poop but I am not sure about pee. I don’t want to keep asking her and ruin everything (I think making a big fuss about going on the potty will make things difficult) as I have noticed that she won’t go when I suggest it but as soon as I live the room, she does sit on the potty (or actually go to the bathroom) without prompt.

So I guess my no-plan potty learning challenge is turning into a: let her plan herself. The couch, and chairs are covered with towels. She knows where the potty is and she is very welcome to use it.

Would love to know if someone had a similar experience (no plan/ toilet learning) and how it went for you!


  1. My thoughts would be that it is incredibly important for children to see adults modelling the desired behaviour. So whether cleaning up or toileting, a child needs to see that Mom and Dad do this and this is how they do it. You have read our story. We have always given Quentin the choice of going, however if he has an accident, he is also responsibleb for helping to clean up, and we remind him where to go by saying “we pee in the toilet, not on the -blank- in a very calm but clear tone.

    Above all else, try to remember that every child is in one of the most significant challenges they will face. They are mastering control over their own body. This is not an easy or quick task.

    • Hi Beth, thank you for commenting this post. Sixtine has been sharing the bathroom with me and knows the process of going to the bathroom from watching Mama and Daddy: pants and underwear down, sit, use the bathroom, wipe and flush and wash your hands routine. She likes to hand out toilet paper too when I need it as well. For both accidents, Sixtine was a great little helper.

      You are right about mastering control over their own body – it is not an easy task and I will let her take the time she needs. Thank you!

  2. I agree with Beth.
    I have read that the best way to encourage your child to go on the toilet or the potty is to see their parents going too. So try and show Sissi that you go and seat on the toilet when you need to have a “pipi” or a “caca”. If she never sees you going on the toilet, she wont understand that she has to go. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. She grew up so much!

  4. Samuel is 23 months and is talking a lot about what he’s done in his diaper too lately. I haven’t taken the leap and removed his diaper, but HE has!! ๐Ÿ™„ It’s his new favorite thing to remove his pants and usually his diaper too, but I have to put the diaper back on because he is HAPPY to pee wherever. haha No advice, really, but I am staying laid back about the whole thing (for now). ๐Ÿ˜‰

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