Good Afternoon, folks.
As a courtesy, your trip today will include LOTS of drinks & snacks
& plenty of reading material to help pass the time.
Please remember to keep your hands & feet outside the potty at all times.
The weather forecast shows some rough spots ahead, so buckle up...there is bound to be a little turbulence along the way~
'J' has been diaper-free for one full week now! There are very few accidents at this point, & they are only happening now when he needs to go but we can't get to one quick enough or he needs to go & I am not around to help. And in those instances he either has the accident in route to the bathroom or IN the bathroom. He is staying dry throughout naps & overnights. We are free to go on outings & run errands, we just take him to the store bathroom. He has even stayed overnight at his Grandparents!
When researching some tips/advice/routes to take before embarking on this journey, I stumbled upon THIS blogpost. By the time I finished I knew we would be using this method. It touched on a lot of points I already agreed with, it just painted a full picture of how to go about it.
Here are the basics of what we did/are doing. These are purely our own thoughts & views. Everyone is entitled to choose what they feel works best for their child/family/household. This is the path we felt was the best fit for us.
- The most important thing for us is NO diapers & NO pull-ups once we start. I always felt that the back & forth sent mixed messages to a toddler. How can you say "oh no! no pee-pee in your undies! You have to go on the potty like a big boy/girl" one minute, then put them back in a diaper or pull-up because it is more convenient at the time & they can go freely in their diaper when ever, where ever? *We do use the Gerber Training Pants during most naps/night time, but those are just thicker underwear. We did get a 2-pk of the rubber pants to help with sleep times, but only used them on the first 2 days. They just made him really sweaty.
- The only solid "sign" we looked for was that he was staying dry after sleeping. That was the only one that we felt was a true sign & most important. He can talk now, but we never anticipated he would walk up to us one day & tell us he wanted to use the potty or anything else some books/articles/websites say to look for. At this stage they have been conditioned since birth (unless you practice Elimination Communication) that they can just go in their diaper whenever the urge strikes. They also know that we (as adults) don't do that. But that doesn't mean anything to them unless we teach them that they, too, can use a toilet. Teach them that they can also learn self control & to recognize what that "urge" feels like. *This is also why I do not call it Potty TRAINING, but Potty LEARNING. My child is not a dog. I'm not training him to be House Broken. He is a small human, learning to use a Toilet.
- We did the bulk of Potty Learning in one LONG day. We chose Labor Day because the Husband would be home to help with the baby. Looking back it was not the best week to choose, but too late now. There were a lot of other commitments the first week that made it more stressful on me, but at the same time it's rare that we ever have a FULL day with both of us home & no family event on the calendar so we had to jump on the opportunity. Next time I will clear a full week, because it has taken a full week to get to a really solid place with it.
- Although we did use a reward system, we used more than one type of ''reward" & slowly weaned off of them. We are at the point now that we no longer offer it, but if he asks then we give one. The first day he got one small "potty treat" (swedish fish, gummi bear, sour ball or candy blox) &/or a sticker. He also was able to call & talk to someone on the phone to tell them he went on the potty. About 97% of the time he asked to call my parents (Mimi & PopPop) & use FaceTime. (When you FaceTime another iPhone user it uses the camera so you can see each other). I displayed our Potty Treats in mason jars on my craft desk so they were always in view. Kind of like a reminder. There were times he would ask for one, & I gently reminded him they were for going pee or poop on the potty. Then I would ask, "Did you go Pee or Poop on the Potty" "No" "Then we can't get a treat. Would you like to try to go pee or poop on the potty?" "Potty!" <runs to bathroom> And I'll be damned if that kid wouldn't push out some pee to get a treat. lol. But hey, the more times he actually goes on the toilet, the better.
- The first day we used an anatomically correct doll that pees to demonstrate what we were going to be doing. We also had the doll pee on the floor to show that we don't want to go on the floor, we want to put our pee/poop in the potty. We were given the doll as a gift from my mum before 'A' was born so that 'J' could practice being a Big Brother. It was perfect for this life lesson too!
- Pooping has been a bit of an issue because he doesn't go as regularly as most kids. He also likes to be alone. I managed to see the signs & catch him in time to finish in the toilet the 1st & 2nd day, The hubs was not as lucky when he was solo the 2nd day. lol. By midweek he was yelling "POTTY!" when he felt the urge, 90% of the time the urge was just gas..haha! Still proud that he knows what to do/where to go :)
-when we woke up I took off his diaper & told him we weren't going to be wearing them anymore. Then I showed him his undies & we put those on.
-I took the babydoll & we gave him a water bottle. I then asked the baby if he needed to go pee-pee. I put him on the toddler seat we got for 'J' & we watched him pee. We got really excited for him.
-Then 'J' tried but didn't go.
-Had the baby have an accident on the floor & told the baby "No pee pee on the floor. We pee pee on the potty" I said this several times.
-I then gave him special snacks we got (corn chips, pretzels, animal crackers) so that he would get very thirsty & want to drink more.
-I offered milk, water or juice constantly. When we hit a wall & he wasn't drinking anything the Hubs went & got him a Slupree. We knew it was ONLY one day & no real 'damage' would be done. We needed him to drink so that he would pee. Bottom Line.
-No tv or movies, they are a distraction. Just one on one time, playing, reading, coloring. Anything that you can get up & leave without issue. We followed this strictly Day one, then got more lax the following days as he got better. Now the only issue has been the baby. When I am nursing or trying to get him down for a nap I am not able to help, therefore accidents will happen. Day One the Hubs took care of 'A' while I worked with 'J', when I needed to nurse we switched. This ensured that there was always one of us with him, watching, waiting to help.
-Each time he went I would set a timer for 15 mins. When it went off we headed to the bathroom. Sometimes it took up to 45 before he would go. Sometimes it was as soon as 10.
-When we did have a success we would get really excited & high-five. Then he got to choose a potty treat & pick whom to call to share our good news. I set the timer for 15 mins & we would play until it went off again. But I would watch him like a hawk & any sign that he needed to go I would ask him.
-When we had an accident we wouldn't get mad or punish him (we want this to be a POSITIVE learning experience), we simply reminded him that we don't pee-pee on the floor (or in our undies), we pee-pee on the potty. And to "Tell Mumma (Dada) when you need to go potty & I'll help you". Then we would give him a rag to help us clean it up.
-I constantly reminded him to tell us when he needed to pee or poop. I would ask "What do we say when we need to pee-pee?" & he would reply, "Pee-pee, potty!!".
-The bulk of our accidents happened within minutes of him peeing on the potty! We realized he wasn't emptying his bladder fully each time & learned to tell him to push the pee pee out into the potty. By the 2nd day this was no longer an issue.
-We also learned not to have him on the toilet longer than 5 mins at a time. There were times the 1st day he sat there for almost an hour! We would reach a point that we just knew he would go as soon as we got off so sat longer. And longer. The 2nd day once we reached 5 mins we got off, set the potty timer for 5 mins & would try again when it went off.
-If he said "No Potty", then no potty. No forcing him. The 1st day there were times he said no, & we tried anyway. Then we were both stressed out.
-He needs to stop drinking 2 hours before bed, & go to the bathroom right after he wakes up. If he really wants a drink, he can have a sip of our water, but no cup of his own.
There you have it. We aren't 100% yet...but we are getting there. At this point he tells us when he needs to go & when he doesn't. Accidents are VERY rare. He is able to hold it 98% of the time when we are rushing to a bathroom. We still have to work with him on going by himself though. We are a little behind on getting a better set up for him to do this. At this moment we have a small stool & toddler seat on the potty downstairs, but no stool or seat upstairs (which means RUNNING downstairs to catch it in time). We also need to work on peeing standing up & pulling down/up his undies & pants solo. I just don't have the time/patience right now to wait FOREVER while he plays around & the baby is sitting outside the door screaming. Did I not mention that he is teething? No? Well he is. Got his first 2 teeth last week. Needless to say I'm a little worn down... potty learning, teething, first week of school, family party at our house friday night, wedding to attend saturday, hubby's bday sunday... I'd say picking the wrong week is an understatement... I need a drink...