Special Pre-2 Milestones

Children looking at birthday cakeOur toddler will be turning 2 in about a week. While that is exciting in itself (more so for us the parents so we can celebrate the survival of another year of parenting!), two things happened this week that I consider to be the true “icing on the cake”. The first was somewhat expected, but the other truly threw my husband and I!

The 1st – we have nearly come to the end of potty training! For some, potty training is a mere 3 day process and carried out when the toddler is much older. But for us, we began this process much earlier at about 9 months of age because of the many benefits of early potty training (see post on Starting Potty Training at 9 Months…Yes You Can!). It has been a good process overall but a long one. We began with working on “number 2’s” and then starting at 20 months of age more intentionally working on “number 1’s”. In these last two weeks, she seemed to be finally getting the concept of telling us when she needs to go and holding it in time to get to the potty seat, but there were still a few accidents. For a while I would get excited that it would be an “accident-free day” but then the accident on the floor would happen, sometimes right in front of my eyes. Eventually I stopped expecting and looking for that perfect success day, and pretty much forgot about it. Then two days ago, I suddenly realized at my toddler’s bedtime that there had been no accidents and no wet diapers to change that day! And yesterday was the same! Our toddler is finally almost potty trained! (Of course, she still wears a diaper at night sleeping, and who knows when or how she will transition out of that…)

The 2nd – this came totally unexpected. That same “accident free” day, we were putting our toddler down for the routine afternoon nap. Usually one of us would stay by her side until she fell asleep or in rare cases if she didn’t obey and at least lie down on the bed, we would leave the room and let her “cry it out” for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. However, that day she refused to lie down, and when my husband told her that he was leaving the room, instead of putting up a fuss, she just simply said,”Okay.” So then my husband left the room and closed the door. And there was no fuss, no screaming or crying! She just put herself to sleep and slept until we woke her up!

The same thing happened that night. Again I would put her down at bedtime and usually stay by her side until she was asleep or close to being asleep before I slipped out the door. However, she again refused to lie down and just sat in the crib. When I said I was going to leave the room, she simply remained calm and nodded. I then said, “Good night.” And she said, “Good night” back to me. So I kissed her head, then left the room and closed the door. And she just went ahead and put herself to sleep that night. No fuss, no crying, no whining. My husband and I both couldn’t believe it. We wanted to run out and pop champagne that instant! Now, let’s just hope these  two new habits will continue…

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