Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Adventures in Potty Training



Let me first start out by saying that I am in no way, shape, or form an expert on potty training. I literally stumbled upon something that worked for us and thought I would share! I guarantee that it won't work for everyone, but I also guarantee that it will work for someone!

Back in February, I knew that I needed to start potty training Logan. After all, he was two and a half! But with the move, the traveling, the new baby, and all the visitors I had quite the variety of excuses for why I hadn't given it a go yet. So now that life had finally started to settle down and we were in our new routine, I figured I should probably at least try. 

Just one problem... Logan showed absolutely none of the "readiness signs." He never woke up dry, he never told us he had to go, he never showed interest in the toilet, and he never even acknoledged his bodily functions. He had never sat on the potty, and I hadn't said 1 thing to him about potty training or giving up diapers.  So why in the world did I think potty training was a good idea?

Three reasons: 

1. A Rugrats episode I saw when I was little where they discuss potty training and how it's always done at age 2. 

2. One of Daniel's aunts saying all her girls were potty trained within a week of being 2 and a half.

3. My neighbor casually mentioning that Logan was smart and would pick it up quickly.

I know, real scientific, huh?

So the week of Logan's half birthday, we began. I had no plan, no supplies, and no clue what I was doing.

But, Today: Being, right?  So let's begin.

The first thing I did was I bought a potty that sings when you pee in it, 3 pairs of Mickey Mouse underwear, and a box of Oreos (Logan's favorite treat!) Logan was super excited about pushing the button to make the potty sing, wearing the underwear, and especially eating the Oreos.  "Not a bad start," I thought to myself.

Day 1:

My strategy day one was to push the liquids and put him on the potty every 15 minutes. I had ZERO success with this method. He cried every time I put him on it, and the only way I could get him to sit there was bribing him with Mickey Mouse episodes and chocolate. It didn't matter how long he sat there he would not go and had accident after accident all day long.

Day 2:

My strategy day two was the "Let's keep Mickey (on his underwear) dry and clean!" We got up early, put on that underwear, and Logan proceeded to pee and poop on Mickey's head all day long.  Logan couldn't care less about keeping poor Mickey clean!

Day 3:

By day three I was out of strategies and had basically decided that since I had had zero success, he must not be ready and diapers it was for the foreseeable future.  That was, until after breakfast when Logan came to me and told me he had to poop. I was completely surprised but managed to say, "Ok! Great!", undress him and then he pooped right next to the potty. I thought to myself, "Well, that's something!"  I decided I would give it one more day, but that I would keep him naked because I was sick of doing laundry.  

And I don't know what it is about being naked, but it totally did the trick! 

So here's what I am deeming, "The Naked Method".  aka "The Method that Worked"






Keep your kid naked from the waste down.  Don't change anything else about your day, except that you don't go anywhere.  Don't eat differently, don't play differently, don't sit on the potty for no reason. But DO keep an eye on him.  The second he starts peeing (or pooping), because he will eventually, grab those naked little buns and plop them on the nearest potty.  Yes, this method is messy.  Yes, you will be cleaning a lot of floors.  Yes, you will probably get some sort of nasty bodily fluids on your clothing.  BUT, by the end of day 1 of the naked method, Logan was realizing what it felt like to pee, what it felt like when he was going to pee and started running to the potty by himself!

By day 2 on the naked method, Logan would start grabbing himself right before he had to go.  I emphasized that this was his body telling him that he had to go potty.  I would urge him to go sit on the potty and then we would say, "Out of my body and into the potty".  I will never forget the look on his face when he began peeing for the first time actually sitting on the potty (not running to the potty) and the potty started to sing.  He just looked so proud.  I knew right then and there he was going to get it and we would soon be done with diapers!

I kept him naked for an entire week. We didn't go anywhere or do anything other than potty training. By the third day of doing this, he basically had it. But when I really knew he had it was when we were getting ready for church that Sunday, so this was the seventh day after starting, Reagan had a massive blowout that needed her clothes changed and mine changed too. As I was tending to that, I heard Logan run into the bathroom, pee in his little singing potty, dump it into the toilet, and flush. I was so excited that I turned to my poop covered baby girl and exclaimed, "best day ever!"

This was about four months ago. Yes, he occasionally has accidents.  I'd say a month after potty training, he was having maybe 1 accident every 3 or 4 days.  Then that has slowily trickled off, now he's had 1 accident in the last month or so. But he is in big boy underwear 24/7. I did not do pull ups or diapers at all, even at night, after that first week.  When he does have an accident, I don't get angry.  I just matter of factly ask him, "Where does pee/poop go?"  He will answer, "The potty" and then I say, "Next time, we will go in the potty."

Some tricks, tips, dos, and don'ts I learned:

1. Do Bribe. The Oreos did the trick for that first initial week.  Every time he would pee or poop in the potty he got an Oreo.  He looked forward to that (of course, duh) and never let me forget, and sometimes he would even force himself to go potty just to get a treat.  I didn't see that as a negative though. The more practice the better!

2.  Do not, I repeat, DO NOT buy Pull-Ups.  I had a couple friends potty training their kids the same time I was training Logan and they both did Pull-Ups and it took them at least 6 times longer to train their kids than I did to train Logan.  My feeling is that they are glorified diapers.  Remember, the makers of Pull-Ups don't want you to potty train your kid.  The faster you do it, the less you buy their product.  They want it to take as long as possible, don't buy into it.  Yes, they will be less messy, but remember, this is only 1 WEEK of your life.  In my opinion it is better to have 1 REALLY messy week than 6 or more PRETTY messy weeks.

3.  Do not turn back.  Once you do it, do it and don't ever look back.  Logan had a day (maybe 2 or 3 weeks after our 1st week of potty training) where it was kind of like he said to himself, "Nope, not today" and just had accident after accident all day long.  I thought to myself, "What gives kid???"  But I did not put a diaper on him.  I simply persevered, and the next day he was right back to where he was.  We flew to California about a month and a half after we training him.  This was a 6 hour flight.  I was very nervous about having an accident on the plane.  But I decided to trust Logan and trust myself and our training.  I didn't give in and diaper him, and he did great.  No accidents on the plane.  Made it all the way from Gate to Gate dry.  I was so proud!  He's potty trained, dang it!  Don't diaper the kid.

4.  Bring the little potty with you the first week when you have to go out.  We brought that thing to church, in the car, to friend's houses, everywhere.  I wanted to be sure it was close so we could get there in a hurry.  That first week, speed and ease are your friends.  People that have kids will not judge you.  We've all been there and we understand.

That being said...

 5.  Once he's got it, ditch the little potty.  Remember, you can't bring that little potty with you everywhere you go for the rest of your life.  Eventually, he's going to have to learn how to pee on a normal sized toilet.  So, after week 1, we started only using the big potty and put that little potty away.

6.  Remember to remind.  It was hard for me at first to remember to remind Logan to go when we were going somewhere.  It's a hard concept for kids to get because in their mind, they don't have to go potty, and can't understand that they need to go because we will be going somewhere where it won't be easy to find a potty, get to a potty, etc.  Sometimes, even now this can be a fight.  Just insist (and bribe if you must) and try to explain that sometimes you have to go potty before you really NEED to go potty.



So that's it.  That's how I potty trained my little boy who showed ZERO signs of being ready.  So glad to have this done and over with and it was pretty darn easy!  Hoping Reagan is just as easy (fingers crossed!).

 



18 comments:

  1. The only thing I would change is ... you can take a little potty with you wherever you go. They have the small, single piece ones at Ikea for cheap. You just stick a trash bag over it so that it is easy to clean up.
    Then you aren't dangling him over a huge, disgusting park toilet (or honey bucket). Trying to get him not to touch the railing or toilet paper. And trying to not get any on his or your clothes. All the while your second child is trying to pull used tampons and pads out of the trash can. So gross.
    You just stick the porty potty in the car trunk, or for us, the truck bed. When you are out and they have to go, you just stick them back there. You close the truck back for privacy. No one even knows what you are doing. And they love doing it someplace different.
    And if they have to pee, just go behind a tree or bush at the park. Or behind the car door.

    I have seen moms leave the park to take their kids home to pee. The next time the kid is in that situation, he may be tempted to just have an accident to stay at the park as long as he can.
    I can not tell you how many times I have seen kids pee at the park. Behind a tree or bench.

    The real challenge for us will be potty training our girl (1.5yrs). Then I saw a mommy hold her girl by the elbows and knees at the park. The mom was squating behind her and holding her up while she went. Brilliant.
    Pee is sterile and will not make anyone sick. Just go in a bush where kids do not play. And 100yds from river, lake, water.

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    1. Haha. This literally made me laugh out loud. Thank you!! Yes, bring that potty with you wherever you want! For me, he just didn't need it after the first week so we ditched it. Thanks for reading and for your comment!

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  2. Just came across this. Thank you. I will be trying this with my 2.5 yr old son. I am ready to ditch the diapers

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  3. Brilliant, thank you! My son is currently sitting on his potty naked, in the living room.

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  4. Hi, I feel like I'm in the same boat. My son is being reluctant at the moment. I was gonna try this out. What did you put him in at night?

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    1. Once we got past that first week, he was good to be in underwear even at night with no changes in how we did things. The kid has the bladder of a WHALE! My daughter, who I've just finished training, has a much harder time making it through the night, so I cut off all liquids at 7 and take her to go pee before I go to bed around 10. But underwear at night. If you give them diapers at all, they will really take full advantage of it, and it will make the training last longer.

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  5. Hi, I feel like I'm in the same boat. My son is being reluctant at the moment. I was gonna try this out. What did you put him in at night?

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  6. I used rewards for all three of my kids, usually jelly beans, 1 jelly bean for #1 and 2 for #2, all my kids were really easy to train this way, my oldest son was trained at 25 months, my daughter was 21 months and my youngest son was 23 months, just gotta make sure you introduce it early enough before they become defyant, and make it as fun as possible, do the happy dance, make up a potty song, works like a charm!!
    Potty training daily

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  7. Starting this today! Our day 1 of potty training went well!.. day 2 and 3 not so well.... so today we have a naked kid running the house! Fingers crossed!

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  8. Starting this today! Our day 1 of potty training went well!.. day 2 and 3 not so well.... so today we have a naked kid running the house! Fingers crossed!

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  9. Going to give this a try my sons 19 months this week but he has a very sensitive bottom and I can't stand the diaper rashes anymore and the Dr. Said we have to deal with them till he's trained :/ he loves to go on the potty so maybe this will work and we spend a lot of time naked anyways bc of the rashes can you explain further what you did at night? We haven't converted him to a bed yet is that a problem?

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    1. Once we got past that first week, he was good to be in underwear even at night with no changes. The kid has the bladder of a WHALE! My daughter, who I've just finished training, has a much harder time making it through the night, so I cut off all liquids at 7 and take her to go pee before I go to bed around 10. But underwear at night. If you give them diapers at all, they will really take full advantage of it, and it will make the training last longer. It shouldn't be a problem at he's still in the crib, but I would definitely take him before you go to bed, since he's a bit younger it will be harder for him to hold it for a long period of time.

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    2. Hi. My son is 2 1/2 and is still potty training. I was suckered in to the pull up method and thought he would do better but it didn't work. He pees and poops on the potty, but not by himself. He's still in the pull ups and I bought him underwear before. The underwear currently in his dresser due to a failing temp to train in them before,and I'm still struggling.He has the knowledge that he needs to potty on his own. I will definitely be trying this method with him this week. Anything to get him out of these diapers for good.

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    3. Hi. My son is 2 1/2 and is still potty training. I was suckered in to the pull up method and thought he would do better but it didn't work. He pees and poops on the potty, but not by himself. He's still in the pull ups and I bought him underwear before. The underwear currently in his dresser due to a failing temp to train in them before,and I'm still struggling.He has the knowledge that he needs to potty on his own. I will definitely be trying this method with him this week. Anything to get him out of these diapers for good.

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  10. Thanks so much for this article! It took a while to potty-train my daughter but my son is as stubborn as a mule so I was anticipating a hair-raising experience, until I read your article :)

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  11. What do you do at night during the first week?!

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  12. What do you do at night during the first week?!

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