Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On the Potty Train

After hearing that my friend Cassie's son (who is a month younger than Dean) is completely potty trained (except for 1 night diaper), and after hearing her method, I decided I really needed to hit potty training hard now or be resigned to the fact that it probably won't happen till he's closer to 3.

When I asked her what her secret was (both of her kids were potty trained before they turned 2), she said, "make every second of it fun and silly when they are doing it, let them watch you, make it a race on who can go fastest, be sooo excited when they do it, and be very {sad} when they have an accident (the guilt factor) how mean i know!, quiz them all the time on where we go peepee and what we call {toto}....one day-- completely saturated him with water--TONS. he really got the idea of what it felt like to NEED to go- and then starting telling me for the 1st time!"

I can see now that there is a small window where potty training is "fun" for little people because they're doing something you're doing. I'd kind of done some of the things she suggested, and Dean's been going on the potty a couple times a day since he was about 18 months. Just a short 3 weeks ago I think he was very open to it and was going both poop and pee on the potty. He was so up and down and up and down, though, that I have to admit I was getting kind of frustrated with him. I think he started having some negative experiences with the potty because of my rigidity and frustration. Since then he's digressed and hasn't wanted to use the potty much.

So today I put two bowls of treats in his sight (one with smaller treats for pee and one with bigger treats for poop) and let him go commando all morning. (I would have put undies on him if he would have let me, but he wouldn't. I'll try and get some boxer briefs and tell him they're undershorts.) I tried my absolute hardest to be really flexible and excited and happy and not get frustrated with anything related to the bathroom. I knew I was probably going to have to clean up a few accidents, but I really wanted to know how frequently and how much he went since I know he doesn't tell me every time he needs to go. He REALLY wanted treats so he was in the bathroom all morning. Sometimes it was legitimate. Sometimes it was a rouse to get treats. But I tried to just praise him for the mere fact that he was in the bathroom.

I had to clean up a couple pee accidents. The first time I saw the accident. The other two times I knew because he said, "Mommy so sad." since that's what I told him the first time.

All morning he said he had to poo, but he didn't want to go on the potty because "bum hurts". While I was trying to put Walt down for a nap, Dean ran in and said he needed to go. I encouraged him to run into the potty and a few minutes later he came in and declared "big poop out!" So I went and checked and sure enough. A BIG poop was in his potty. He must have been kind of backed up. (TMI, I know.) I didn't have to feign praise or excitement one bit for that one! I even took a picture of it so (I'll spare you all the photo documentation) he knew it was a good thing and so we could show daddy what a big boy he was for going in the potty.

Another time I after rocking Walt I came to check on Dean. I'd told him to wash his hands and this is what I walked in on. An ENTIRE bottle of soap. HAHAHAHA. It was so funny I couldn't resist.

The afternoon wasn't as productive. I had a piano lesson so we had to put a diaper back on him for decency purposes. He didn't want to go in the potty nearly as much after that. I hope I can have enough energy to do it all again tomorrow!


Kristeee said...

Man, potty training is one of those things that is slightly unnerving to me. It seems a rather delicate line to walk between making a big enough deal of it to make it important to the kids, but not to make too big of a deal out of it and scare them away. Sigh.

Good luck!

Amanda said...

I have two sisters-in-law who felt like they couldn't deal with accidents in their homes at all, so they waited until their kids were over 3 years old to potty train, and sure enough, those boys were potty trained in 2 days with very few accidents if any. My theory is that you can potty train early, put up with a lot of accidents, and save yourself a lot of diaper money until they are 3, or you can wait and they will usually catch on faster with a lot less work at 3. All of mine potty trained at around 2 1/2 years pretty well, but I think I might wait until 3 for Boston. He seems to need a little more time to catch onto things compared to my others, and that is fine with me.

CASSIE said...

Good luck with everything! Hope he enjoys the whole thing more...find a few days where going out is minima, totally helps! I started off my taking him almost every hour, saying "peepee time!!"- Until he started telling me, so accidents were next to none! I am NOT one that deals with accidents very well! :) Good luck!

Lindsay said...

No, I'M impressed. Seriously. Garrett is so far from ready to jump on this train. Which is fine. Like Amanda said, there are two potty training philosophies: train them before they're ready and spend months going back and forth between accidents and success OR train them when they are ready and mature enough and have the potty mastered in a week. I fall into the second camp, and at the rate Garrett's demonstrating readiness, I think we'll start potty training next spring or summer when he's closer to 3.

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

Part of my motivation has been the HUGE fight that is every diaper change. He has fought diaper changes tooth and nail since about 19-20 mo.

Plus he's shown an interest in it for over 6 months now. We'll see how it goes and if I have enough energy to keep up with it. He went commando again for most of the morning. I haven't had to change a poopy diaper for Dean in nearly 2 days, so that's nice. He hasn't had any accidents yet this morning either.

I don't care that much about pee accidents. I'll clean it immediately and get my carpets cleaned afterward if needed. Poop, well, I haven't had to deal with that yet, so I'm not sure.

AmyJane said...

You're brave. We didn't even start with Patrick until he was 2 3/4. He trained fast and was completely done by his 3d birthday. I had heard too many people say something to the effect of that you can start when they're one and be done when they're three, or you can start when they're almost three and be done when they're three!
However, Kennedy is MUCH more interested in potties, pooping, peeing, and getting a clean diaper on ASAP so we may end up trying earlier with her. I'll be interested to hear how it goes for you!