Rabu, 16 Januari 2013

Potty Training Cliffs Notes

 One of my goals for January was to get Claire potty trained.  Potty training is one of those necessary evils that parents dread; and no matter how painfully long (or short or messy) the good news is that all kids eventually get potty trained.  So yes, there are special cases, and every child is different, ect, ect.  but I really do believe this method works. I decided to write out how I did it for those of you who have asked about it.  I totally believe in this method because it worked for my kids.  If it didn't work for yours- you didn't do it right. Haha, just kidding. Like I said, it worked for my kids, but that doesn't mean it will work for every child. 

First of all there are a couple things you want to be sure of before you even attempt potty training.

1) Is your child verbal enough and aware enough to potty train?

Both my kids were both talking in sentences by 20 months, so they were already saying things like, "I have poo poos" or "I meed a new diaper" so they were communicating enough both in words (duh) but  also in concept. I knew they had an understanding of going potty. 

If your child speaks few or no words...I would not suggest trying to potty train yet.  {remember- this is just my opinion, from my own experience}. However, they do say that the ideal window is 18-28 months old. I did Jack and Claire at 22 months.  The closer you get to them turing 3 the harder it is (so I've heard).

2) Are you ready/able to commit to the process?

I basically followed the "Potty train in 3 days or less" method, but does that mean you are done after 3 days? um. no.  Think of the 3 days as like the boot camp to kick off the potty training process. Does it mean after the 3 days they will never ever have an accident- maybe- but most likely no. 

For those mamas wondering what I did exactly...Here it is.

I start with 3 solid days at home. Potty training was the only thing on the agenda. Like many areas of parenting, consistency is key. 

                             Step 1:
Tell them first thing in the morning, "all done with diapers"!  This method is no diapers, no pull-ups, nothing; as much as possible. So for my kids they just ran around naked from the waist down. It has been pretty chilly lately though, so for Claire I had her wear an undershirt and jammie shirt, and knee socks :-) After the first day, when she was chilly, she wore loose jammie pants. 

I totally think that trying to potty train using pull-ups {during the day- I do use them at night} is pointless. It feels just like a diaper so they don't get the point that they can't just go potty in their pants anymore. Going pant less- they get it, really fast.  They won't like the pee pee going all over. 

Step 2: 
Get a little potty seat for them. I'm not kidding- the one I have is the best. It sings and says "hooray" as soon as they go in it. It's great. Plus it has a removable seat that will fit on a real toilet when they are ready, and they can use it as a step stool. 

Sit them on the potty and say, "Pee pee and poo poo only in the potty!" 

*I think how you approach the topic, 
and speak to them during the process is
 half the battle.*

Step 3:
 Give them juice or milk, and lots of it the first few days. You want them to go to reinforce the process. So I gave Claire juice in her bottle every little while (no she doesn't usually have a bottle all day- but I knew she'd drink it if it was in her bottle). Then you take them to their potty every half hour or so and say, "Its potty time!" 

Don't ask if they need to go. 
The answer will almost always be no until they are older and are fully potty trained. Just tell them it's time.

Step 4:
You really have to be vigilant and watch them carefully for those first 3 days. If they start to pee pee, grab them and get them on their little potty.  If they get a little into the potty, you celebrate. I mean really make a big deal out of it! We did the "potty dance" and sang little celebratory chants like, "Oh yeah, you did it! Go, Claire, Go Clarie! She did it! In the potty! Yeah!!!!" Literally, they love it.  I then told her how proud I was of her- like 100 times. 

Then I did something you may or may not want to do: gave her a potty treat. Some parents don't like using treats as incentive, but hey, it works and it makes it fun. So I give her an M&M or a Trader Joe's Gummie Bear each time she got anything in the potty. 
{Jack got a treat too, so he was involved in the process- he encouraged her, reminded her, and celebrated with her too!}

Step 5:
If they have an accident, don't scold them. You don't want to make them feel bad about something they have been doing naturally for the last 2 years {just going potty wherever, whenever}. You also don't want it to turn into a battle of the wills. They are not being naughty. They have to learn. So help them learn. 

Tell them in stern, serious voice, "Pee Pee or Poo poo only goes in the potty." 
Don't say, "It's ok" because it's not. 
Say "Next time run to the potty, pee pee only goes in the potty!" If she had an accident, I still had her sit on the potty afterward to see if she had anymore. And to reinforce that that was where she should go potty.

You want to celebrate and encourage their success. 
They will feel so proud of themselves!

So that's basically it. 
No pants, lots of liquid, put them on the potty for potty time every little bit, get them to the potty when they start going, and repeat. 
For at least 3 solid days. 

After those first few days they should get it. 
Claire now says, "Poo poos!" anytime she needs to go potty and then we run to her potty and she goes. There may be "set backs" though. Don't get discouraged. She did really well all week then we had one day where she had 3 accidents in 2 hours. I was bummed. I thought we had gone backwards and I was getting frustrated. But then I just took a deep breath, and kept on helping her get to the potty, celebrating her success and going on. 

After that, on her own she would tell me when she needed to go, and we haven't had any accidents since. We've even gone out and no accidents! It just clicked. She gets it and I don't think we'll have any more problems. I will still remind her, and help her get to the potty when she says she needs to go. I will take her little potty with us- wherever we go- for a while. And I'll keep celebrating her success!! 

Sidenote: My theory on nighttime potty training- once they are waking up dry every morning, then they stop wearing a diaper or a pull-up. 
Yes- I put a pull-up on her for nighttime. 
Not nap time though. I have her go pee pee before her nap, and she hasn't had any accidents. I don't really worry about the nighttime thing. That will happen naturally as they continue to get the point that we only go in the potty. 

Good luck and happy potty training!

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