Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Potty Training

A friend of mine asked me a question about potty training today, and I couldn't think what else to write about....so I figure it would be a good topic.
I got home from the Keys yesterday, and I am having a very hard time getting back into the swing of things.  I went to bed early (for me) last night, yet I still feel blah.  Therefore, I am having trouble thinking of a topic to write about.  So poop and pee it is!

Potty training is my least favorite part of parenting.  Three of my four kids are fully potty trained (and have been for two years)....yet I am still dreading potty training Levi.

My potty training method (it's worked for me, but there are many methods out there that work):
- I find a week where I will be home for 3-4 days straight (being an extrovert, this is the very hardest part for me....I am not even kidding)
- I reward (with candy) for potty success but don't punish failure
- For the days at home, I give lots of salty foods and lots of water/juice....to give the opportunity for lots of potty failures chances
- I put the child in only underwear and a t-shirt for those days (this is just to have less laundry and easier for the kid to pull down)

Each of my kids' experience:

Caleb: I tried potty training him at 2 years 6 months.  I did not think he seemed ready, but people were weirdly putting a lot of pressure on me (plus, Chloe was 1 and having two in diapers for over a year got expensive).
Sure enough, it just wouldn't click for him.  I called my friend, Carol, who is an amazing mom of six kids.  Through lots of tears, I explained his lack of progress.  Her gentle words to me were, "He doesn't seem ready, and you're definitely not ready.  Put a diaper back on that kid and try again in a few months."

Her advice was SO freeing to me.  Since Carol has six kids, she obviously had enough experience to know I wasn't going to ruin Caleb by putting a diaper back on him (which I believed would happen).

(That actually was a turning point in parenting for me.  I finally decided to stop letting others pressure me into things I didn't think were right for my children.)

Sure enough, in 3 months, I tried again.  It went a million times better.  Caleb learned to pee successfully within 2-3 days.  Pooping was a different story but not a huge ordeal (though it felt big at the time).  He would wear a diaper at bedtime, and he would wait until bedtime every night to go #2.  At around 3 and a half, I (cold turkey) stopped the night time diapers, and he started pooping in the toilet.

Chloe: She was fully potty trained before she turned 2 (her prompting, not mine), but about 2 months after her 2nd birthday, she got really sick with diarrhea.  I put a diaper back on her because GROSS!  It caused her to regress completely.  I was very pregnant with Luke, so I just let the regression happen.  We were planning to move after he was born, so I knew the combination of all of that would be a nightmare.
I can't actually remember if I potty trained her before or after we moved.  But somewhere around 2 years, 8 months (give or take), I worked to train her again.  However, she struggled with potty training....and wasn't fully potty trained until she was over 4 years old.  (She was mostly potty trained but would have accidents and still used a diaper at night.)
To break her of the diaper at night, I just ran out one day, and Brett said not to buy anymore.  It worked well, actually.  Soon after potty training during the night, she quit having accidents during the day.
(This was a really big worry for me for a long time, and now it is all such a blur.  So, mamas of kids who aren't potty training well....take heart!!  It WILL happen!)

Luke:  I trained him about six weeks before his 3rd birthday.  In less than a week, he was 100% potty trained (day and night).  He was, by far, my easiest kid to potty train.  I put it off for so long because of how hard it was the first two times....but he did awesome!

Levi:  He is still fully in diapers.  I have zero plans to potty train him until around May.  I want to wait until school is over because it is just too much to balance.

Some hindsight opinions on potty training:
- Unless it's required for your child's preschool, don't let external pressures make you train earlier than you want to
- YOU have to be ready, just as much as your child has to be ready
- Give yourself and your child lots of grace
-  The closer the child is to 3, the easier it is to potty train (some people think this is waiting too long but personal experience tells me otherwise)
- My three kids that are potty trained rarely (if ever) have accidents.  So even though the road was long, we made it!!!  And you can too!!!
- BUT some kids just struggle with potty training and will wet the bed and/or stay in pull-ups well into elementary school (at night).  So don't be hard on yourself if that's you.  I've heard Cypress Essential Oils help, but I don't have first hand knowledge of that.  (It should be noted the extent of my essential oil knowledge is very limited.  So take that with a grain of salt.)

Here's to hoping potty training goes well for Levi.
At that point, I will have had kids in diapers for TEN straight years.  What ever will I do with the windfall of cash once we're done with diapers???????

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, thank you. I needed this refresher. My story is so similar to yours. First born son I tried way to soon and it finally took on the third round when he was just over 2 1/2. My daughter was self trained before two, and I only have one other. He just turned two and I have been thinking about it a lot, but wasn't sure when or how I wanted to approach it this time. Reading this was really helpful.


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