Sunday, July 8, 2012

How to Potty Train to at least 90%!

Let me just start by saying that if there is one thing I'm the least talented at, it would be potty training.  Now I have many things I do poorly and many things I have learned the hard way, but my abilities in the potty training area rival them all.  With my first, my husband was actually concerned she might have to wear pull ups to kindergarten.  The next two didn't train any better.  

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Apparently, in the first 3 potty training situations, I was insane.  There I said it, but just because I called myself insane doesn't mean that you get to.  You know the saying.  I can talk about my momma, but don't you dare say something ugly about her.  Same goes for me.  So anyway, I did the whole "pull up" thing the first three times.  Can I just say that I really was insane to think that switching to a pull up would in some magical way make the baby learn to use the potty.  Guess what?  A pull up is really a diaper that is marketed to moms who are afraid of poop.Yep.  It's a DIAPER.  Calling it a pull up doesn't make it underwear.  The poor child has absolutely no consequence to doing his business in a pull up.  Sure, they say they have "cool sensations" and other stuff like that, but really it makes to no difference to the baby.  They have spent the last 2 years sitting in their diaper doing their business so a cool sensation, while different, isn't all that effective at "training" the child.  In fact, I realize that it's up to mom to do the training.  So now that I've thoroughly gotten on my soap box about using pull ups to prolong an already dreadful task, let's get on to how I trained my boy to 90% success in a few short days!

Mr. P was headed out of state for 2 weeks of training so I took the opportunity to go into die hard potty training mode.  Due to on and off cloth diaper use with this baby and the lack of televised commercials touting the pull up propaganda, I decided to just go with underwear.  I started to buy the thin regular underwear, but decided I wan't that brave and bought the actual training pants.  They are a little thicker in the middle.  I actually planned on sewing them, but realized that I have not had time for sewing in years, so reality set in and I spent the $8+ per 3 pair at Wal-Mart.  I bought a dozen pair and started on a Sunday afternoon.  I only went to church during the first two weeks and he only wore underwear during the day and cloth diapers at naps and bedtime.  I wanted him to be fully aware of when he was doing his business.  

The first day:

In hindsight, if I had started in the morning, I would have needed 2 dozen pairs of training pants.  Or been on top of things and laundered halfway through the day.  As it is, he started to wear his underwear after lunch, wore a cloth diaper to nap in and then wore his underwear to evening services.  I went to the nursery with him and took him to the potty about every 10-15 minutes consistently.  To help with tantrums, I gave him 1 m&m for going without a fit and another if he was able to pee.  He almost never peed in the toilet this day.  He peed on me at least twice during this time.  By bedtime, all dozen underwear were wet or dirty and I threw them in to soak and wash while I rocked him to sleep.  

The second day:

I followed the same procedure gradually being able to take him about every 20 minutes.  There were many accidents and he was not yet telling me that he needed to go.  However, when he did wet he screamed, "WET!!!!"  He was in shock at how he went from dry and cozy to wet and miserable in a matter of seconds.  Another thing I did was only put a t-shirt and his underwear on.  I saw no need in washing a dozen pair of shorts, socks and shoes along with the underwear.  By the end of day two I saw that I still had 6 clean and dry pair of underwear.  I was SHOCKED!  That was a 50% improvement in 1 day. 

The third day.

By the third day he was starting to get the hang of things.  He didn't have any complaints about sitting on the potty. I weaned him down to 1 m&m per visit because now I just had to remind him to tee tee in the potty and he would go.  I also only took him about every hour.  He liked me clapping and saying good job, because on this day, when he went he would say, "Good Job Mommy!"  By bed time he only had wet his pants 3-4 times.  Seriously.

Days 4- now.

By day 4 he started to tell us he needed to potty and now he almost always tells me when he needs to go.  He either say "potty" or "baffroom."  The one place he is still having trouble is with #2.  In the last week he has only had one tee tee accident, but still is having several poop accidents.  He will start to go and sometimes make it.  Other times, he doesn't completely go in the potty resulting in an accident after he has gone to the potty.  I assume it will just be a matter of time before he gets the timing down on this one.  I also have been using pull ups while we are in town, so I"m going to blame his continued problems with understanding this on the evil pull ups.  ;-)  

So there you have it.  My last child is 90% potty trained and while those first 3 days were pretty hectic, it is way better than the 2 years that I drug out the potty training with the other 3 children.  I started potty training him less than a month ago and he is where the other kids were about a year into the process.  

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