Adventures in Potty Training: A Follow Up!

Our little fellow has officially been potty-trained for three beautiful weeks now! I decided to write a follow up post to my last blog, as there were some additional things I thought were worth mentioning.

Keep Your Attitude in Check!

Okay, just like the header states, a few days into it, for some random reason, things took a turn for the worst. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that random. The first day, Sterling only had one accident. The next day, I think he had two or three. And the third, he had about seven before the day was over.

Yes, seven. I must say, he never has pooped in his undies, much to my relief. But I couldn’t figure out what in the heck was going on. He had done so good! Well, it was his first full day at home with Dad. I remember calling from  work to say hi, and my hubs grumbling about how the kid already had three accidents and telling me their day was going awful. Despite any motivating chatter from me, he was stuck in his funk and to be honest it was contagiously discouraging!

I got home confident that it was something my husband was doing, and put him on the potty. We waited for a while. I tried to fake smile to him but I was frustrated. I was tired of reading books and I was bummed. I knew he could do it. I sat there in the bathroom floor angry. He had been doing SO good! I began to question whether we were rushing him. Whether I needed to throw in the towel. He didn’t go pee this time either, so I took him off the potty. Minutes later, he peed his pants, AGAIN!

Needless to say, our household was tense. It wasn’t fun anymore. There was no praising. We had really let this whole potty thing get to us. Once we realized it, we decided we were going to take it easy with our crazy, high expectations and we checked our attitudes!

Time Spent On the John

So, before I decided to throw in the towel, I stepped back and analyzed the situation. He had done very well the first day or two and I truly felt in my heart that he was ready. I stepped out of the house for a breath of fresh air and went to the library. I got Sterling some books on using the potty and then had the idea to go over to the Adult non-fiction. I came across a book on Potty Training. It looked like a quick read, so I checked it out and read it all that night.

To be honest, most all of the information was congruent with everything my sister said. The entire first part of the book was making sure the timing was right, and just like my gut had told me, he WAS ready.

The one BIG eye-opener from the book was the time we were spending on the toilet– it was entirely too long. The book recommended 20 seconds at a time and we were spending about 15 minutes at a time. It was killing our days and making us all grumpy!  If nothing happens during the first 20 seconds, their solution was to be chill about it and say, “Okay, we’ll try next time!” and say it with a smile. Valid point.

Once I realized this, I mentioned it to my sister. Her response, “You’ve been spending that long!? I should have told you!  I thought you knew.” While I feel sometimes Sterling really needs at least a minute to fully push out a poo, this advice was invaluable.

The next day, we approached the situation with full confidence and a much more relaxed attitude (which really helped all of us!). We woke up, went straight to the restroom, and he peed. He continued going all day in the potty and didn’t have a single accident! What a difference a pure attitude adjustment, and a casual approach to the timing made.

Don’t Use Too Many Props

We were getting to a point where potty time was becoming reading time. We read to our kid a lot but the stack of books in the bathroom was getting a bit ridiculous. So, as the adults we are ;), we decided to be open to reading a book or two (depending on whether he had to poo) and then we would firmly say that it wasn’t reading time, it was potty time. Also worked like a charm. Now we keep a book in there, but not a whole library worth! I feel like the lines get blurred with the timing and props. I think those things are really only necessary the first part when you are trying to get them to go for the first few times.

Everyone Must Be on Board

We take Sterling to a baby sitter a few mornings a week. She is an older Greek lady and she has not bee shy about telling me to “wait until he is two” to potty train him. Sterling had an accident at her house, he peed his pants that first week. And for some reason, she looks at that as complete failure. Each time I have dropped him off, she has literally asked with an attitude whether I brought him in a diaper or not. REGARDLESS of the fact that he only had ONE accident  with her and it was just pee!

The last time I took him, she even went far enough to actually PUT HIM IN A DIAPER! My little guy LOVES not wearing a diaper. So, he was naturally pissed about being put in one. And he didn’t use it.

Luckily, Remington nicely mentioned to her to not do that again. So hopefully we won’t have to worry with that. I think we will actually start taking Sterling to a Montessori School in a few months. I just get very frustrated when people box kids in.  Just because he isn’t two and he is a boy doesn’t mean he has to be stuffed into the cliche box of not being able to understand going to the restroom. Screw that.

My sister shared with me that even when she worked in the daycare, people did the SAME thing to her. She would tell the women caring for him that they were not wearing diapers, only to come in and find him in a diaper during his nap. Why do people think that some parents don’t know what their doing? I completely respect that some people have years of experience, but it is MY kid. I think I can decide what is best for him. Respect that.

An Idea I liked…

One other idea that I liked was creating a chart where you reward them with stickers. The idea is that they get a sticker EVERY time for just going into the bathroom and sitting on the potty. That way they have something to look forward to! Of course, they’ll get a more special sticker, or several stickers for actually going potty. But the idea is that it rewards them every time, not just when they pee/poo in the potty. I loved this idea…and I think if our attitude adjustments hadn’t been as effective, this was next on my list to try!

Bye-Bye Pull-Ups

As I mentioned in the last post, we did not use pull ups at all, except for the very beginning and only at night. After the first week, he wasn’t even slightly wetting the pull-up. So, we waited a few more days and nope, no wet pull up. We decided to remove the pull up from our night-time routine and so far it’s going wonderfully! A day or so shy of being pull-up-free for a week!

Up Next: Peeing Standing Up

It is our goal to get him a little stool and give this a shot. Or uh, let him “give it a shot”…haha

Also Up Next: Going Potty in Public (Losing the Potty Seat)

After I wrote this, a friend asked what we were doing out in public. To be honest, my child is a HANDFUL, so our trips out and about are usually to the store or the library. Somewhere relatively close. We always use the potty before we leave. And when we are planning on being gone for a FEW hours, I throw the little potty seat into my old diaper bag and leave it in the car. We have tried to use JUST the potty in public, but let’s be honest, it’s SO LOUD (the flush + everyone else flushing), not to mention, the toilets are generally way larger than the one at home. So far, I have taken the potty seat and he has used it. But he also hasn’t had any accidents in public as we generally don’t stay gone too long.

My plan is slowly putting him on the potty at home, without the seat. Once we get him acclimated to not using it at home, we plan on trying it out. I did put him on the potty without it once and he had to use both hands to hold the seat and balance himself. While he smiled the whole time, I think he is still a little too small to go without it. By two is our goal :).

Keep Your Chin Up and Stick To It!

I just wanted to write this to illustrate that although we were fortunate in being able to introduce potty training, there are still learning curves for everyone. I was discouraged so much that third day that I wanted to throw in the towel. But I am SO GLAD we didn’t! 🙂 Remember when going through the exhilarating experience of potty training that it should be fun for all and the second it isn’t, you should check yourself out. It’s a big change and in the beginning, a true commitment! Good luck, mamas!

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