I always balk at the estimates of how much it costs to raise a child from birth to age 18. To someone who saves on everything, the figures just seem ridiculous. Between combining coupons and sales, stocking up on disposables of any size when prices hit rock bottom, and getting cloth diapers free or cheap, I’m pretty sure that we have diapered our three kids for a fraction of what they estimate for diapering one kid.
Another way we keep diaper costs low is that we don’t use diapers after age two.
People are always amazed that my little ones are potty trained so young. Honestly, I don’t think it’s anything especially remarkable about them (or me). I think that any normal child around age two can be potty trained. In the days before disposable diapers, kids were always potty trained young. With the convenience of disposables,we’ve become lazy and spend more and more money on diapers.
When my oldest was about 18 months old, I didn’t even have potty training on my radar. It didn’t dawn on me that she might be ready, until I saw one of her friends who was just a few months older start potty training. I decided I would jump in and give it a try as well. We had success!
What really shocked me was that she was potty trained at night too. We started her out with a diaper at night because that’s what we had seen others do, but having a diaper at night after having freedom during the day was insulting for her. She would take the diaper off at night, but still be dry in the morning. We decided to just let her wear her underwear to bed and she’s been dry ever since. She doesn’t even wake up in the night to go to the bathroom.
We had a boy next. Everyone says that boys are harder to potty train and often do so at a later age than girls, but we had confidence in our little guy and gave it a try. Right around his second birthday, we was potty trained day and night. Unlike our daughter, he would wake up in the night when he needed to go to the bathroom (and still does). Once again I was pleasantly surprised.
Our next boy also potty trained around his second birthday. In order for him to be dry all night, we generally have to take him to the bathroom about two hours after he goes to sleep. He is in somewhat of a zombie state for those nighttime potty trips. Now that he is three, he is starting to wake up on his own to go to the bathroom at night.
Each child was a little different, but each was very capable of potty training at an early age.
I’ve had many friends come to me for potty training advice or suggest that I write a book on potty training. I haven’t taken time to write a book, but Becky Mansfield has a great ebook (there’s also a print edition) on potty training early. She uses the same techniques that worked well for us. Her method is great for potty training at any age, but focuses on potty training early. If you are frustrated with potty training or wondering how you can be done with diapers a year or two earlier than average, I definitely recommend checking our her book, How to Potty Train in a Week.
We checked out several different potty training videos from the library, but were disappointed by all of them. Then, a dear friend gave such an glowing recommendation for Potty Power, that I jumped right on Amazon and bought it immediately. We became believers! We used it with all of our kids and they loved it! We have loaned out our DVD to many friends who had great success with it as well.
Another great potty training investment was the Bemis NextStep Child/Adult Built-in Potty Seat. The kid seat stores magnetically in the lid, so adults don’t even have to notice it, yet kids can conveniently pull it down themselves. After seeing one at a friend’s house, I was fascinated with the idea of not having a potty chair or potty seat sitting around. What’s even better is not having to clean out a potty chair! I love that the kids can use the grown up toilet without feeling like they were going to fall in and grown-ups can use the kid toilet without having to remove or even notice any potty paraphernalia.
How much money will early potty training save?
It’s no secret that potty training saves money. That will be obvious to anyone who has bought diapers. Even cloth diapers, which are much cheaper than disposable diapers, require a couple of loads of laundry each week. The sooner you are done with diapers, the sooner you’ll start saving.
I won’t try to guess how much you will save by potty training early because everyone’s diaper budget is different. The average age to potty train is 3 1/2 years old, so if your child is out of diapers by 2 or 2 1/2, you’re probably saving 12 to 18 months worth of diaper expenses. How much do you spend on diapers each month? Multiply that by 12 or 18. What could you do with the savings from potty training early?
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