Potty training is something that I have been DREADING like the plague for the last year. Let me start out by saying that it was not as horrible as I thought it would be. Yes it was a LOT of work, but very necessary. Obviously. Here I will tell you about our personal experience, and also tell you about the tactics we used to teach her. Lets start at the beginning.
When Roo turned a year old, every time she was naked and about to get in the tub, I would put her on the potty first. It worked like, twice, over the next year and a half, but at least she was getting used to the idea of sitting on a toilet.
As she crept up to being 2 1/2, I thought, “ok, she’s got to be ready now!” So one Saturday morning, I took the girls to the local dollar tree. I. LOVE. THAT. PLACE. Roo would pick up something and say, “Mommy, I want this.” Usually I say something like, “Maybe a different day. You can just say hi to it right now and give it a hug.” But this shopping trip was different. So I excitedly said, “Ok! You can have that when you tee-tee in the potty!” And into the cart it went.
I let her pick out five different items, and when we got home, I placed them all in a box on top of her bathroom cabinet. The prizes were in clear view and I told her that I would get the box down for her to choose a prize when she went tee-tee or poop in the potty.
The next day, I decided to let her run around without a diaper while we were getting ready for church. Church doesn’t start till one o’clock, so I knew that was a long time for her to be diaperless, but guess what! She had NO accidents! By noon, she had tee-teed four times and pooped once. In the potty! She got every single prize out of her box before noon.
I was so proud of my girl, but too scared to go through three hours of church diaperless, so I caved and put her in a diaper. 🙁 I was regretting the fact that we started potty training that day because I didn’t want to back-track and put her in a diaper, but it is what it is. Honestly I wasnt expecting her to catch on so quickly, either. Surprise, surprise!
That night, I was again debating whether or not I should put her in a diaper to sleep. Some people say “yes” to still using diapers at night, while others advise not to so the child is not confused. But after spending half the day in a diaper, I decided to diaper her one last night, and start potty training hard core the next day.
As most potty training advisers suggest, we did stay home for the next two days while she was learning the ropes. I used several ideas from this mothers blog. One of the best things we did was call someone after every successful potty experience. I would get real excited and ask, “Do you want to call _____ and tell them you went tee-tee on the potty!?!?” So of course she would get excited too! (I tried to text the person prior to our call to give them a heads up to be a good cheerleader) We called all the grandparents, and a few other family members and friends that she is close to. I was so proud of my girl and we had very few accidents, in my opinion. So by Wednesday, we were ready to make a special trip to the store in search of “big girl panties” and also to the library to pick out a Mickey Mouse book.
**Side note about toddler underwear: The smallest size they come in are a 2T. Roo is a skinny minnie and I was afraid that a 2T would be huge, considering she still wears 12 month shorts, but much to my surprise, they fit! Thank goodness for that elastic. Before I figured that out, I went on eBay and bought diaper covers in 18-24 months size. Someone was selling a lot of 11 pairs for about $16. Who says you can’t use bloomers as underwear?**
Ok back to the training. So the first week went great. Much better than expected. She had about three days of no accidents, and then Sunday hit. And Monday hit. And poop and pee was hitting the floor. I was devastated.
Back to the drawing board I went, and I realized I needed to remind her more often to sit on the potty, and not slack with my rewards. After we ran out of dollar tree prizes, I gave her options to have one of three things that are considered treats in our home. Gum, M&M’s, or iPad time. Bribing is not beneath me.
Another issue that we had, was happening during nap and bed time. I make her try to tee-tee before bed, and then it’s hugs, kisses, and “sweet dreams”. Two seconds after I shut the door, she would be out of bed, open her door and sweetly smile while saying, “I need to go tee-tee.” Who knows if she is telling the truth or not! So I let her get up three times, and then consequences are in place if she is just crying wolf. The consequence is that I take away her Minnie Mouse that she sleeps with. (don’t worry, she still has Mickey to snuggle with) In the beginning, all it took was that little threat and she wouldn’t get out of bed again. But you know how kids are. They like to test the waters. So during week three of potty training I turned the lock around on her door.
Since then, we are on week four of training and still having accidents, every 3-5 days. Is this normal? How long does it take til she is 100% accident free? Got any tips for me? I would LOVE to hear them!
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