Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Potty Progress Report

We are almost 4 weeks into potty training and at this point, we've dropped the word "training" and the diapers and pull-ups, too.

I am a little hesitant to write this post, one because I'm afraid it could jinx our accident free streak, but also because I always try to stay cognizant of that line of over sharing.  I truly never thought I'd post about potty training, but in the last few months I was always interested in reading others experiences and that's part of what I love most about blogging.  Connecting with a great group of supportive moms and sharing ideas, experiences, and stories.   At the same time, this is a story and experience I share with Ashlynn and I don't want to put all the details out on the internet for her to be embarrassed later on, because I'd probably die if roles were reversed.


You can read my "potty prep" post here.


Basically, here's what worked and what didn't.  I had planned to do a "modified 3-day method" meaning ditching diapers cold turkey, except I was going to use Pull-Ups at nap and bedtime since we still had issues with waking dry.  I'll quickly say the method I used evolved to sticking with what was working for us and changing what wasn't.

We spent the first day doing a lot of time on the potty.  "Trying" every hour or so.  This was less about forcing her to go, or catching the rare occurrence that it would happen at the time we were there, and more about keeping focus.  She had never gone on the potty prior to this attempt so it really did become the theme of the weekend.  By the second day, I switched to the "Let mommy know if you need to use the potty".  Of course, I still said this fairly frequently as a reminder to her to keep her cues in check, and even still three weeks later I'll occasionally ask if it's been a while and I feel like she may be getting to side tracked by something else.

The first day, the bucket of toys, books, miscellany was great.  I would read a potty book, or let her hold a princess wand.  By the third day, I realized she was spending too much time on the potty.  Not because she was truly trying to go, but because she wanted the novelty of a story or bathroom exclusive toy.  I also kept the little potty downstairs and insight, mainly so I could keep my eyes on Kenley without actually dragging her into the bathroom each non-productive visit.  At this time, all potties were kept in the bathroom and visiting the bathroom became solely for the task of going potty.  The potty is not a chair, we do not sit and play.  We try, if no success, we can try later and leave.  This definitely helped cut back on the trips and I think instilled a better understanding of her false alarms.

By Monday, we were still having problems.  No accidents and she definitely knew the cue of when she needed to go, but it was the fear of going.  I started getting scared that I was traumatizing her and we were headed down a path of a child who would give herself actual physical conditions, yet at this point I knew that diapers or potty it didn't matter, she knew when she needed to go and didn't want to in either.  I called the pediatrician in the morning to get advice and waited for a call back.  By nap, I hadn't heard from them and decided it was over.  We'd try again in a few months, I didn't want her having the stress.  She's only 26m and there was no need to be doing it other than she showed signs of readiness and it was a good time to take the opportunity.  I put everything away.  Everything.

She woke from her nap and insisted on the potty.  I tried to say, it's okay, we'll use diapers, no potty.  Nope.  Wasn't acceptable.  Relunctly, I pulled it out.  I don't think we had success until a bit later, which only frustrated me more that I indeed caused damage in the span for 4 days.  However that night, after daddy put her to bed.  I was called to her room and requested urgently to use the potty.  I let her and she went right away.  She woke a few hours later night, went again, no problem.  Morning, no problem.  The switch turned on.  I don't know if it was the reverse psychology of taking it away, or just that she needed to do it X number of times to get used to it and get over the fear, but ever since number one is a breeze.  The other job was still a bit of production, but the pediatrician didn't show any concern and she's slowly gotten the hang of that and it has gotten much easier now that we built experience.

I had used Pull Ups the first few nights, but after a solid week of waking dry and calling for me when she needs to go, we switched to undies full time.  It's still a learning curve, but she's survived a road trip out of state, multiple outings, pool time, etc.

For my experience, those first five days were some of the hardest days I've had a parent.  Am I doing what's best for my child?  Am I pushing something that doesn't need to be pushed?  Am I'm supportive enough?  I truly feel as if there was no way possible that I could have been a bigger cheerleader and master of patience without losing my temper.  It took a toll on me.  However, seeing her success now and how easy it seems in hindsight, it seems to have made those first few tough days worth it.

That said, I truly have no advice.  I am not a professional potty trainer and every child is unique.  I would support giving it some time to sink in, as in, don't quit the first day if there is some resistence.  Let them have a chance to figure it out, but if it's a battle and progress isn't made, no one is failure.  Just simply it's not time.  I also support the whole, letting accidents happen and not getting upset.  They'll learn pretty fast that they don't like it on their own and don't need the fear or guilt of disappointing their hero of making the mistake.  Ashlynn was also smart enough to refuse drinking water and milk when offered (all.the.time.), but couldn't resist smoothies and popsicles, so use those your advantage!

So yay!  We officially have a "Big Girl"!  Just don't tell her that cribs are for babies, I'm selfishly milking that one a bit longer.



Any tips or tricks that made the task easy for you?  Please share in the comments for readers looking to gain more information!

24 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience - you're right about the community of bloggers; it's one of my go-to places when I look for advice or what other mommies have gone through. Saving this for when we get to that stage!

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  2. Amanda {Tickled Pink}July 16, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    Although I have no tips, (I feel like it was such a blur, I'm not sure how Lily became trained. Ha!) I would like to also second the motion that cribs are for big girls too!! I'm soooo paranoid about making that transition. We have such a good rhythm down I selfishly don't want to affect it! I'm with you girlfriend!!

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  3. Yay! I knew she could do it! I swear it just "clicks" one day. It's just waiting for that click that can suck. But I'm so so glad you were successful!

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  4. Yay!! I'm so impressed that she's potty training this early! You have a genius child on your hands. I'm not anywhere close to being ready to try this with Mac. He's just not focused enough or ready yet. I'm hoping maybe by Christmas (when he's 2.5). I'll be hitting you up for help then!

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  5. Patience and waiting for the "light bulb" are key!!! My 3yo is still in pull ups at night. She was dry for 6-8 weeks but then started wetting again. As for #2, it just takes a little more time but once they get it, it sticks usually. Sarah has been potty trained since last October but she still has the occasional distracted accident.

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  6. My 18th month old son was begging to use the potty (what?!) so we thought we'd give it a go and for 2 days he did about 50% of his number ones in the potty chair. At that point I started to worry that I was going to be doing this slow sort of potty training for a REALLY long time and I wasn't sure how much more urine my floor could take so I hid the potty and decided to wait on the real training. He's 21 months old now and he figured out where I hid the potty but he hasn't shown any renewed interest so I think I'll hold off until he's 2. Hopefully it goes fast - he always wakes dry from naps and tells me when he has to pee pee or poo poo - but I know those are not guarantees by any means.

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  7. That's awesome! Way to go!

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  8. Yeah for potty training success! Way to go Ashlynn and mama!!

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  9. Wow, way to go (both of you)!! Also, thanks for sharing. I'm now understanding that line of sharing on a blog, but keeping some things/moments personal. Either way, I know I'm anxious about full-blown potty training with our little boy. With baby on the way, I don't think I'll even mess with it until we settle in with THAT big change. We started at 18 months just sitting on the potty so it's a familiar thing and he knows what to do on it. We've had a few random successes, but nothing consistent and that's ok. :) I'm glad to hear that sometimes/eventually it just clicks and they get it.

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  10. Ashlynn started having the awareness around 16m and that's when we first got a potty to see if there was interest. I was about 7 or 8 months pregnant, so it wasn't happening on my end nor anytime soon after baby arrived. I believe the 3-Day Method says that once they hit 22m they are physically able to do it, personally I don't know if that means they are mentally. Sounds like he has a lot of the readiness signs so might not hurt to try! It's always amazing when they surprise you!

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  11. My SIL/BIL worked on potty training their second this summer (she is 3). She was having a hard time and the Ped told her she was old enough to use the big potty and sometimes He needed help to relax before going so he takes three deep breaths and it usually works. At the end of the appointment he had the nurse take her to the potty and tried the three breath method - success! So now that's her thing.

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  12. Yeah, we still have the pull ups on hand, and I even used them on our roadtrip just incase. I know there could be a point of regression or just the distracted accident, so we'll see what happens. It's just nice to only be changing one kid's diaper!

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  13. Girl, with Mim on the way, don't even bother!! I really wasn't in a rush, just thought it was a good time and she seemed like maybe she could. I honestly thought it'd be three of nope, not happening, and an intro to when we'd try again. The whole experience was a surprise in so many ways, good and bad.

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  14. Thanks, and thank you so much for all the advice!!

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  15. She's already started fighting bedtime since we trained. An extra trip to the potty, request for water, music back on, another tuck in. It's like she's 4. I'm actually really nervous for when she can just walk out of her bed.

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  16. It's really a great resource!

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  17. Yay, what a big girl!!!! We are in our three days now ... Taking all this advice!!

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  18. Yes! Great post. We will in your shoes soon so any advice is much appreciated. Way to go Ashlynn!

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  19. yay, A! B has been waking up dry from nap time for a week but no way am i ready to risk changing the sheets of her full sized bed. selfish mama. and then last night she woke up dry too! the difference is she doesnt ask to go potty in the middle of the night. i wonder if she ever will? time will tell!

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  20. Yay! Hope its going smoothly!

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  21. Yay for B! And yeah, we aren't switching to a bigger bed for a bit, trying to get as much life out of these cribs as I can and would like to avoid the learning curve in a non-waterproof mattress too, so I hear ya on the pull ups. A only ever woke up in the middle of the night maybe 2x so far, usually its 5:30am but I also need to start cutting liquids off earlier. We went through the "cup of water" procrastination phase...

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  22. YAY Ashlynn!!! I'm so impressed she caught on so quick. Mason shows no signs of wanting to, so I am definitely not pushing it. That and I have NO idea how to potty train someone who is supposed to pee standing up. Nope, not happening. Until I can convince my husband to do it! How did you handle outings? I would be terrified he wouldn't tell me until the last minute and I would be nowhere near a potty!

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  23. Yeah, I find a lot of my friends have more success after 2.5 and hear boys are harder. I honestly wasn't really expecting it to go well, but thought we'd give it a shot. I'm clearly no expert in boys, but I thought they learn sitting down too? Maybe not, but I would imagine there will be quite the clean up if they are standing lol! As for being out, she's pretty good. I'm always aware of how long its been and if she'll probably need to go. So far if she tells me she needs to go, and we are in the car, I just say we'll be home really soon and you can use the potty. I do have a travel potty that we attempted twice, but no success yet.

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