Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Adventures In Potty Training

Allow me to preface this blog post, by stating the (very) obvious... I am by absolutely no means an expert when it comes to potty training or pretty much anything else that comes along with the parenting of toddlers.  This post is merely a sharing of our experiences, what worked best for us, and what didn't, and a glimpse at the products that we used, that in my opinion, contributed to our overall success.

When the thought of potty training Max first crossed my mind (quite some time ago), I literally felt lost, like I had no idea where to start.  Of course I was aware that there are tons of resources out there, that offer up the latest and greatest methods on how to finally get your kid out of diapers, but I honestly wasn't sure which version would work best for us, and what would be most effective.


I purchased our first potty chair, a little before Max turned 2, and I'll be honest, I had high hopes that my child would be a prodigy when it came to toileting, but I was quickly brought back to reality when I realized that he wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.

My thought process went a little something like this:  "I know, I'll purchase Max a potty chair... just to get him interested.  We'll read some books about going on the potty, and get really excited about it, and in turn he'll get really excited about it, and in no time it will be bye bye diapers."

In hindsight, I seriously must have been crazy.  I'd like to blame the fact that I was in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy with Ella, and it was wishful thinking that I would only have to deal with one child in diapers at a time... yeah, we'll just go with that.

When I mentioned to our pediatrician that I was considering giving potty training a whirl, he very quickly talked me down from the ledge and instructed me to wait until after Ella's arrival, to attempt such a thing.  He was concerned that Max was about to have enough change to deal with, and that we should cut the poor kid some slack and give it some time... so that's exactly what I did.

Before long, I had 2 kids under the age of 2, and even the slightest thought about potty training had slipped by the wayside.  Several months passed, before I decided to give it another try, and even then our attempts were halfhearted.

I still didn't feel comfortable forcing the issue, and really just wanted to put the idea out there and ease Max into it.  I wasn't surprised at all when he still had zero interest, as I had been told about a zillion times that boys could be tough to train in the toileting department.

In all honestly the sheer mentioning of the potty sent Max running for the hills, and so after being told on several occasions, that he would go when he was ready, I decided to drop the issue, once again, until he truly showed some interest.

That was until we decided to enroll Max in a preschool program this fall.  The program, though only 2 days a week and a couple hours long, demands that all of the children in the class are 100% potty trained... as in no pull ups, and no "regular" accidents.  This mandatory rule meant it was time to step our game... like now.

So, last Monday I set out to get Max potty trained once and for all. A friend of mine had sent me an extremely detailed email, outlining the "3 day method" (also in book form), which she swore had worked for her, so I decided we would give it our best attempt as well.

First thing that morning, Max helped me collect all of his diapers, and we placed them in a trash bag.  I explained to him that we were done with diapers, that he was a big boy now, and that if he wanted to go to school, he would have to pee and poop in the big boy potty.  Shockingly, he was pretty excited about this pep talk.  I then proceeded to put a pair of real underwear on him, and explained to him that big boys don't pee or poop in their underwear, and that they keep their underwear dry.

It's important to note here, that I had let Max pick out his big boy underwear himself.  I truly believe it helped that he was excited about the designs that he chose, which in turn made him even more thrilled to be wearing them.

The first morning, he had 2 pee accidents, very early on.  I made it a point not to get frustrated or upset about this, and instead focused on telling him that big boys keep their underwear dry, and that having wet underwear feels yucky.  On day 1, I watched him very carefully, and kept the potty chair close... in the living room even (gross, I know).  I probably asked him 1000 times if he was keeping his underwear dry, and would have him sit on the potty every 20 minutes or so to try to pee.

I was in a complete state of disbelief, when by 11:00 that morning, he was independently walking himself to the potty, announcing that he "had to go pee pee", and in fact going 100% by himself.  He was literally so excited about going on the potty, that he was totally disappointed when he would try and nothing would come out.  I did offer him a couple of m&m's every few times that he successfully went on the potty, and that was enough for him, I never had to offer any other form of prize.  I did offer him lots to drink that day, and even allowed him to have a few popsicles to encourage things along, but other than that, it took very little to transform him into a pottying pro.

I'll wrap all of this up with these thoughts... I'm not sure whether our success can be attributed to the 3 day method, the fact that Max was finally ready, or if it was a combination of both.

We spent 3 days at home, literally not leaving the house, and dedicating ourselves to getting him trained... and while it was a tough 3 days, it was totally worth every second we put into it  He is still wearing pull ups at night (which I should note, I always put on him while he is standing, I never lay him down to "change" him anymore), but he's been waking up dry in the mornings more often than not lately, and I finally feel confident about sending him to preschool, even though just a little more than a week ago, the thought of him leaving the house in underwear terrified me.

If you are interested in the 3 day method, you can find a ton of info on it by googling it, or by looking on pinterest, and by all means if you have any questions about it, please feel free to ask.  I'm curious though, what methods did you guys use?  What worked best for you when it comes to potty training, and how did you get your little ones potty trained at night?


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