I've been meaning to blog about our adventures in potty-training with Joey -- so I'm happy that I've now gotten around to jotting it all down...even though I've been writing this for the past few months. You know how it is. Oy. :)
"He'll learn when he's ready." is what I kept telling myself. So Mr. Awesome a.k.a. The Hubbs Joe and I never pushed the issue of potty-training our son. The important thing for us was to make it a positive experience for Joey -- no matter when the potty-training actually occurred. Sounds good, right? He was only 2 years old, he loved to sit on the potty and pretend to flush. It would happen soon anyhow, we thought. Then Lily was born. Then we had to get used to having two babies...which OMG!!!!!! is heckuvalot different than having just one. :P
Then we moved from FL to NC. Then my son Joey turned 3 years old...and yep it was getting harder and harder to remember that whole 'he'll learn when he's ready" thing. So we tried everything, but nothing seemed to work! We were still pretty laid back about the whole thing, because we didn't want to rush him. But I was determined to make it happen within the month of September...somehow. We didn't want to use pull-ups, had considered soakers -- but thought going "cold-turkey" was probably the best way to go about it. At least that's what I was going to try...it was the only thing left! And ultimately, thankfully, Joey was finally potty trained that month...which was four months after he turned 3. Whew!
We did a potty-training boot camp...here's how I did it -- maybe it'll help someone else out there:
When I started my "official" potty-training with Joey, my baby girl Lily was then 15mos, and although my son Joey had been showing many signs of being ready to be potty-trained, he just found it more convenient to do his business in his diapers. Those darn diapers are so absorbent that he never knew when he was wet -- so it was a false confidence. As if he was staying dry. And...when it came to #2...he didn't mind his diaper being all poopy-filled either. Gross.
On a Friday afternoon in September, I had had enough of two kiddos in diapers! So I put a 5-day plan in place, and all weekend we spoke of wearing big-boy pants, we did big-boy things, we did a no-more-diapers-dance, and we made a huge potty chart together on giant paper. We drew a train with tracks, (because he loves trains) and each square had enough room for a sticker as the reward he'd receive for going potty -- or for at least sitting there and attempting to go potty. We made the potty chart w/5 columns, Mon - Fri. and taped it to the bathroom wall with 5 colorful markers, one color for each day -- which in the end...made all the difference.
By that Sunday nite, we were both ready to begin! I told Joey when he wakes up in the morning there will be no more diapers. He was psyched. My goal was to have him potty-trained by the next weekend.
As of that Monday morning he didn't wear anything around the house except a tee-shirt. We stayed in the house for 4 days straight (oy!), and no matter what we were doing, we went to the bathroom to sit on the child-sized potty every hour. But...after a couple of early morning accidents I realized we should cut that down to every half hour. :) Monday night we put towels under him on the bed (just in case) but he stayed dry because he actually got up in the middle of the night and woke me up to say he had to go potty. So we went together.
And every morning Joey would ask "what's today's color?" and he'd look forward to helping me scribble on the potty chart -- which was fun. We'd write down the time he went, and also if he went #1 or #2 and also what he was doing just prior to going potty. Ex: after snack, after playtime, after reading a book, etc. -- so by the next day it was pretty automatic that after every thing we did, Joey knew he would need to go try to go potty before we moved onto doing something else. Oh and we're big on hi-5's around here so Joey felt pretty proud of his big-boy accomplishment after every trip to the potty.
By Wednesday night Joey was getting out of bed to go potty by himself, and not even waking me up -- although I'd hear him get out of bed and knew what he was doing so I made sure he knew it was an awesome thing.
By Thursday he had realized that he could play longer if he held his potty longer -- so he was learning to control it better and was now going potty every hour or hour and a half, max.
We also have the hot water pipe turned off in his bathroom under the sink, so he can wash his hands via the step stool all by himself. Very very big boy thing for him.
By Friday morning Joey was fully potty-trained! Woohoo! He was going #1 and #2 on the potty, telling us when he had to go, and looking forward to the poopy-dance which we did at night as a family if he went #2 that day.
I had also read somewhere that it's important to have the child flush his own waste, so we said goodbye to it, and then he emptied it into the toilet and flushed it. We also talked about where it may end up...fertilizing flowers somewhere is usually where that convo goes.
And since that wonderful Friday he has had only 1 accident -- and that was because he fell asleep in the car before his bedtime and we didn't want to wake him so we just put him to bed -- and even though he woke up to go potty, he just didn't get there in time. No biggie...and actually our fault anyhow. Added that to the list!
Oh and bedtime is 8pm in our house, so the kiddos' last drink is at 7:30pm...and that made the difference between Joey needing to get up in the middle of the night to walk to the bathroom to go potty. Everyday we still make sure that the very first thing Joey does when he wakes up in the morning or after a nap -- is a beeline for the potty. And after every meal, and also before we leave the house.
We have kiddy magazines in the bathroom, and Joey loves to read his Nat Geo while on the potty. hehe. It's really cute! In the above photo he's reading his "Stories for Boys" book, a fun collection of short stories and classics.
And now all I need to do is pick a date that we will "officially" begin potty training boot-camp for our 20mos old Lily. It'll be interesting to see if the experience with her is similar...or completely different than with Joey. hhmmm...fingers crossed for us! :)
Good luck to all the potty-trainers and trainees! And hang in there!!
Want to read about how our potty-training boot camp went with our baby girl @ 26mos? Read about all the fun here.
In the above photo, Joey is rockin his super cool Monster and Robot Hoody by Joey & Aleethea (me!)