NORMAN — Q: I’ve been using the method described in your toilet-training book with my 18-month-old daughter and she’s been doing great during the day. She rarely has an accident.
However, I’m still using a diaper at naptime and during the night (waiting for some consistency in dryness before taking that away). Is that correct? The only problem is she’s figured out the routine and now only poops in her diaper when I put her down to sleep.
She has not gone poop on the potty during the day for several weeks. Is that cause for concern? Should I take away the diapers totally? I don’t want to create a bad habit. Thanks!
A: You (and your daughter) are doing just fine. In fact, you’re both doing great and are living proof of the incontrovertible fact that pediatricians (not all, but most) have been giving very bad toilet-training advice for the past 45 years.
Specifically, they’ve been promoting the “child-centered” philosophy that has caused toilet training to become such a huge problem during this same time period.
They can be forgiven for believing that the pediatrician responsible for cutting this philosophy out of whole cloth knew what he was talking about, but it’s time for them to begin doing major atonement.
Keep up the good common sense. And don’t become discouraged, much less anxious, if your daughter has a setback now and then. There will be, as you’ve already discovered, some bumps in the road.
In that regard, the fact that she’s waiting until naptime or nighttime to poop is no cause whatsoever for concern. It may take a while — several months, perhaps — but this will eventually resolve itself. In the meantime, celebrate her success and pay little to no attention to her reticence to use the potty for pooping.