Potty Training

The first week of July, Ryan and I decided to tackle potty training with Noah. With my job, I have a chunk of time at home in the summer and over Chrismas break. So, I knew that if I didn't try this summer, it would be Christmas or possibly the next summer before I'd try again. Over the previous six months, I had heard several success stories from different moms, and they all had some commonalities. Everyone said that when you decided to do it, you should just plan to stay inside your house and do nothing but potty train for a week. Many people also said that taking Noah to the potty in regular intervals would also help him learn faster. The last thing I heard several times was to not have any underwear on our kid during the first part of potty training.

When I heard the latter, I was like, "I don't think so! I can't have much child running around the house going to the bathroom all over the place." So when we woke up on a Monday morning, I put Noah right into his little under-roos and took a basket of books to the bathroom. Per some advice from a friend, I decided to take him to the potty every 15 minutes. If he went pee, he could get 2 M&M candies. If he poo'ed on the potty, he could earn 3 M&M candies. The kitchen timer went off in 15 minutes, and he tried to go potty but no luck. Minutes later, he proceeded to pee straight through his new roos onto the floor. Awesome.

After cleaning up that mess and a fresh pair of roos, we were at it again. After several trips to the bathroom, he was started to throw fits about having to go back there so often. I talked to a friend, and she gave me some great advice. Noah's refusal to go to the bathroom was disobediance just like anything else. I would have to be stern with him and have consequences for not obeying. With that, he began doing much better with going back when I asked him. After two more accidents on Noah's part, I thought to myself, "I am just making more messes to clean up. He might as well be running around without any roos." People had told me that their pediatricians had been the ones who suggested not wearing any bottoms during the early stages of potty training. Oftentimes, kids will think they can just go in their underwear because it feels similar to a diaper. So, I decided to give it a shot.

After his nap that Monday, I had him running around in just a t-shirt and socks, and guess what? He stopped having accidents! It was really that easy. Noah started going to the bathroom every 30 minutes or so, and he was earning lots of M&Ms along the way. We didn't really go anywhere all week, and that was the hardest part for me. I get cabin fever quickly! The only thing Noah was having trouble with was going #2 on the potty. I think he was nervous and just started holding it. I went to the library and got the book Once Upon a Potty, as my cousin's wife, Katey, had highly recommended it. When I read it to Noah, you could see something just "click" for him! It wasn't soon after that he poo'ed on the potty. Would you believe me if I told you that I had tears of joy in my eyes???

After many more days of staying dry and going potty consistently throughout the day, I felt like we were finally getting in the groove. Then Noah had one painful experience on the potty, which made him want to hold it. That led to having accidents despite having no trouble peeing on the potty. That was the most frustrating part for me. I felt like he was choosing not to go on the potty, but once I learned how normal it was for kids to have trouble pooing on the potty, it was much easier to for me to cope with when it happened. Because Noah is only a little over 2 years old, I do have to put him in diapers during his naps and at bedtime. He is still so wet when he wakes up. So, I told him that he has two choices - he can go poo-poo in the potty or in his diaper at nap/bed time. Ever since that conversation, we really have probably only had one maybe two accidents in the past 6 weeks.

I have tried to bribe Noah with everything imaginable for going poo poo on the potty! Thomas the Train toys, cookies, candy, Chuck E. Cheese trips - all of them have been offered as rewards for going. I made a sticker chart for Noah so that he could earn a trip to Chuck E. Cheese. He only needed four stickers, and although it took him probably 4 weeks to earn the trip, we finally did get to go a little over a week ago! He had a great time and was so proud of himself. I know he will eventually go consistently in the potty, and until that point, I'm trying to be patient. I know it's a control thing, and right now, it's one of the small things he has control over in his life. I've been so happy with how well he has done! He is staying dry at the sitter and at church, too. Potty training is probably one of my least favorite parts of parenting, but it was really just that first week that was difficult, especially the first 36 hours. After that, it has been pretty smooth sailing!

1 comment:

carissa said...

we are just getting ready to start this... i was debating between putting her in underwear or letting her go without, but plan on doing everything else the same - including being tied to the house for a straight week while we work on it. great job :) i can't wait to say we've made it through potty training too... no more washing diapers!

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