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Friday, 28 September 2012 22:18

Potty Training: Day 2

This morning I woke up as early as I could drag myself out of bed to make sure I could be ready whenever Clara woke up.  So far we had heard nothing, so I suspected she either didn't notice having peed in the night, or we had gotten lucky and she was still dry.

7:30am - I hear a whimper from her room and run in to see her quickly.  I completely expected to find her soaked from head to toe - but she was completely dry! I asked her if she had to pee, and she sleepily stumbled to the bathroom.  I was super excited for her, but she didn't manage to put anything in the potty which made me a bit nervous also.

7:40am - She has Froot Loops again for breakfast - trying to keep life exciting for her! She eats and drinks almost nothing.

8:00am - The little girl I babysit arrives, and about two minutes later her stored-over-night pee explodes all over the living room.  I pick her up and run, but it splashes all down the hallway as we go.  Luckily my husband has not yet left for work, and I drop Clara in the bathroom with him and run back to clean up and keep the other toddler out of the pee! So, we are now on Panties #2...

It suddenly hits me how exhausted I am, and I started to wonder if this was really the best idea... potty training, I mean.  But we've started now, so even if it happens to take more than the '3 days' allotted, it would be much worse to simply stop now than to just keep going - even if I can't manage the energy level I somehow kept up yesterday.

For the next half hour, I let the girls play with some of their regular toys and activities - the pom pom ball thing, reading books to each other, jumping on the couch :) etc.

This picture is deceptive, she looks happy - she spent most of this time being really grouchy and lethargic. 

Like this.  Might be still from her immunizations a couple days ago.

8:35am - I pull out the playdough that I added glitter to the evening before.  They don't seem to notice the glitter, but the playdough keeps them occupied for about 15-20 minutes.

8:50am - I give the girls a snack of Teddy Grahams and water.  She seems much happier after having something to eat.  The girls start chasing each other down the hallway and shrieking at each other.

9:15am - I realize it has been over an hour since Clara's pee explosion, and I have no idea how much she let out since none of it landed in the potty, so I coerce her to try peeing on the potty.  I know I'm not supposed to do that... she didn't produce anything anyway.

9:25am - The girls play with the lego blocks in the living room, and read books again to each other.

At this point, I sit on the couch and try not to space out.  I am absolutely exhausted, and I feel as though I really haven't even done anything yet.  I remember how I took off work 3.5 months before Clara was born - except for teaching piano - and I had all day long, at least until about 4pm each day, to sleep if I wanted to.  I should forget times like this ever existed...

10:00am - I pull out another snack for the girls - more jello, and some banana pieces.

10:05am - Clara tells me she has to 'poop', and when we get to the potty her panties are a bit wet, but most of her pee lands in the toilet.  It seems as though she either can't differentiate between when she has to pee or poop, or she doesn't realize there is a difference - and that either word works for either event. Anyway, I'm proud of her, and she gets a chocolate for this success.

10:15am - I pull out the window painting bags I put together last night.  In large-ish Ziploc's, I added a few different colours of paint and sealed the bags.  Then I taped two to the window and showed the girls what happened when they poked and played with it. 


This entertained them for about 3 minutes - which I completely don't understand - this is the coolest thing ever! I played with these more throughout the day than any of the toddlers did... seriously, they're awesome!  Maybe they're too young for them? Yeah, we'll go with that...

10:30am - Clara runs to the bathroom, saying she has to pee, but just pulls down her panties and pulls them back up a few times.  I think she might be practicing?

I feel a sudden wave of nausea, and find myself standing over the toilet trying not to vomit while carrying on a conversation with Clara for a few minutes.  The nausea passed, but I still wasn't feeling overly well.  I kept reminding myself that in regards to how I was feeling - it wasn't going to get any easier anytime soon, so it was still a good thing to be trying to get this over with now.

10:45am - The little girl I babysit leaves to go home, and I immediately have Clara try on the potty again and put her down for her nap.  This has become quite regular for her, since she seems to be a 'sleeper' and gets quite exhausted after a morning with her friend - on days when her friend comes and leaves early (like today), I will often have her nap before lunchtime.

11:20am - I hear Clara playing in her room with her baby monitor (it plays music, and she knows how to turn it on) and the rocking chair.  I finally go in and have her try to pee again before telling her again that it's time for bed. This time she reacts typically and settles down quickly.

Then I crawl into bed and sleep... ignoring the mess that is my house.

1:25pm - I vaguely register that Clara is making noises, and somehow manage to launch myself out of bed to see how she's doing.  My body is still shaking from exhaustion (this is typically for me - I shake when I'm tired, especially after I've just woken up from not-enough sleep - is that normal?), and I check her all over.

She is dry!!! I ask if she has to pee, and she sleepily stumbles to the bathroom with her bear in hand.  I evidently stopped jotting down whether she actually peed in the potty throughout the day - but I assume she did.

We have peanut butter and banana sandwiches for lunch.  I felt clever, I sliced a hot-dog bun the wrong way and made three mini sandwiches for her...

She took a bite of one, dropped one on the floor and didn't touch the other one.  Not eating much today, I guess.   She has a little tantrum where she is trying to tell me something, but the words aren't clear and every time I guess what she's saying she yells 'NO' and gets quite upset.  At one point, she pushes her cup of chocolate milk across the table, which causes a bit of destruction.  She gets a reprimand for this, and seems to calm down a bit.  She asks for more chocolate milk at one point, and I make her promise not to throw it again and she listens.  I still have no idea what she was trying to say.

2:00pm - We read books to each other on the couch.

2:45pm - Our Friday supper visitors arrive - the woman who babysat Clara over the summer and her two kids.  I know it probably wasn't really intelligent to have a sort of dinner party while in the midst of potty training, but Clara and these kids have developed a pretty close relationship and our once-weekly suppers are sometimes all they get to see of each other and I didn't want to take that away from her. 

By this time, she has had only one true accident - the one first thing in the morning - all day, and my guard is definitely down.  Each time she has a bit of a leak, she runs to the potty and handles it herself and all I have to do is help her get new panties. 

3:15pm - She hasn't peed in awhile, and my friend asks her two kids if they have to pee.  These kids commonly will all go to the bathroom together and line up to use the potty.  I used this opportunity to ask Clara if she wanted to go too - like she did when she was with them over the summer.  She jumped at the opportunity, and was even a little bit successful.

During the time before supper, the kids play together pretty much on their own - as I said, my guard was down - and every so often Clara would end up in the bathroom - her panties off, pee in the potty.  Usually her panties were a bit wet, but she was getting the drill of going to get a new pair all by herself also.  It will be awhile before she can manage the whole process by herself - especially when jeans are eventually involved - but I was pretty proud of her independence anyway.

6:00pm (ish) - Clara has a pretty large accident on her bedroom floor.  I know, I know, our guard was down...

7:50pm - Clara poops! Typically, she will tell us she has to poop and use the toilet with no problems.  It has been a long time since I have even changed a poopy diaper on her, so I wasn't really concerned about poopy panties.  She told us she had to go, Brian took her, and she pooped easily in the potty.  Unfortunately, she wasn't entirely finished, and I think she wasn't feeling overly well either, because a few minutes later she tells us she has to go again, but it's too late - she's gone in her panties.  And it's softer than usual, too, so I think more is going on - maybe the immunization reaction, or maybe the stress of all of this training!

Our friends leave, and we put Clara down for night.  She doesn't manage to successfully use the potty very near to bedtime, so hopefully that won't be an issue later.

My one big concern with how today went (despite my own inattentiveness, which I completely accept was my fault) was the fact that she seemed to be peeing in the potty AND wetting her panties frequently.  She also seemed pretty excited about running to her panty drawer to choose new panties - I sort of wondered if she might be wetting her panties a bit on purpose just so she could try on a new pair... but maybe not.

Published in Blog
Thursday, 27 September 2012 20:06

Potty Training: Day 1 - Part 2

My last post ended as Clara was waking up from her nap... here we go from there.

2:00pm - Clara wakes up from her nap, and I check her 'sleep panties' (disposable pull-ups that I DO NOT call diapers in her presence so hopefully she doesn't trust them...) and the are DRY!!!! I am so excited I almost cry. Clara sits on the potty and has a huge pee - and all of it, every single drop, lands in the potty.  I'm ecstatic, I really don't know what to do with myself.  She gets some chocolate (chips), and one of the toy bracelets that I bought at Walmart. 

2:05pm - Clara paints again for a few minutes while I make her lunch. 

2:07pm - Clara sits to have lunch.  She eats the grilled cheese I was going to make her earlier, as well as some grapes and banana pieces.

2:20pm - She decides she's done eating lunch - she hasn't eaten much - and I pull out the bubble solution I made earlier in the day. She loves this, and gets all excited.  I gave her the whole container of it and had to keep telling her to keep her fist out of it - she kept diving in up to her elbows.  She loves bubbles.

2:40pm - She is standing by the door waiting for her babysitter to arrive (I teach soon, and made the mistake of telling her a bit too early that one of her favourite people was coming to see her), and lets out a small dribble.  Panties #8.  I was so excited about her successfully dry naptime that I have to remind myself that this is still the first day, and I manage to stay positive...

2:45pm - She is back by the front door, and out comes another dribble, this time more than the last.  Panties #9.  This is the point I start getting really discouraged.  How could she have done so well over naptime, and then all of a sudden be peeing constantly! Also, we have only 2 pairs of panties left and my husband won't be able to bring more home until he's off work, which will take at least 3 hours... I'm feeling panicky already.

Note that my photos stop here - between teaching piano for the rest of the afternoon and being exhausted, I 'fell out' of picture-taking mode.

2:55pm - Clara and I read stories on the couch while we wait for her babysitter to arrive. 

3:30pm - Her babysitter finally arrives, and I give her the rundown on what has been going on so far that day, as well as letting her know what sort of 'language' to use - ie, say 'Tell me if you have to pee' instead of 'Do you have to pee?', etc.   Her babysitter takes it all in, and they start playing in Clara's room.  They fill up a ton of balloons and have a little party, and even do a little bit more paper towel painting in Clara's room.

The whole time they are playing, I'm teaching piano but feeling a little on edge because I'm sure Clara's going to pee everywhere and her babysitter is going to need help dealing with it.

4:15pm - I see them cross the hallway to the bathroom.

I learn later that this was a successful trip, and Clara peed in the potty!!

5:15pm - Clara is increasingly fussy and obviously tired (she had immunizations the day before, so I'm sure she's not feeling well), so she is changed into her 'sleep panties' and put down for another nap.  She tries telling the babysitter that she has to go pee, which works once, but she is obviously just stalling...

I should note here, that the panties she changed out of to change into her 'sleep panties' at this point are still clean! Which means, she has gone 2 1/2 hours without wetting her panties! Maybe I can get excited after all!

Brian gets home, and her babysitter leaves.  I fill him in on the days events (since my earlier post, which he read :).  He has brought another 7 pack of panties that are still too big, but the closest size we can find for her in the city, as well as a 3-pack that we can keep on hand as a surprise for her, or pull out if we need them suddenly.

6:30pm - We eat supper.  Clara has lots of playtime with Daddy, as is their typical routine... He spends a lot of time letting her sit on him and crawl all over him, which freaks me out, but they're his clothes, I guess... :)

7:50pm - As she is getting ready for her bath, she has another big pee in the potty! We're on a roll so far today...

8:00pm - Bathtime, which Daddy supervises so Mommy can rest and start writing this blog post :)

Here is the reason I maybe shouldn't have let him do that...

Sometime after (or before?) her bath, Clara is playing with Brian and running around the house completely naked - because this is what she does sometimes - and she sees her 'sleep diapers' sitting next to her bedroom door.  She goes to grab one, and Brian says 'You don't want those, they're diapers!'.

I said 'WHAT???' and then really registered what he has just said, and I say quickly 'Don't call them diapers! They're SLEEP PANTIES!!!'

So we attempted to distract her, and some time passed while she kept playing with Brian, but when we went to put her into her 'Jammies' for bed, we learned that the damage had already been done.

I went for a pair of her 'sleep panties', and she said 'No!', and ran to her panties drawer for her 'Big Girl Panties'.

I glared at Brian.

I really didn't feel ready to deal with the possibility of middle-of-the-night sheet/blanket/stuffy/panty/jammy changing, and told him it would be his job if it happened...

In hindsight, I'll (hopefully) be glad we just got this over with.  She never learned today that her 'sleep panties' didn't leak all over, because she didn't pee in them - and I was afraid if she did we would have an entirely different issue on our hands that would take a whole new set of training to overcome.  If we are done this completely in a few days, I'll be glad we just got it all over with.

After Clara was in bed for about 5 seconds, she claimed she had to go pee.  I didn't want to turn her down, so we let her get up and sit on her potty where she immediately proved that she was simply stalling by showing extreme interest in every little thing around her. 

This is my biggest question after the second half of today is finally over - how do you deal with stalling tactics? I don't to deny her going to the potty if she really needs to go, but she's definitely crying 'wolf!', so how do I deal with that? 

I told her she had to wait 5 minutes, and if she still had to pee she could call again.  I also didn't let her sit on the potty too long - I counted to 10, and then she was done.  After the second time, I think she finally just fell asleep so the fight was over.

She's sleeping now, and I'm praying that I won't hear from her until tomorrow morning... but not too early ;)

Published in Blog
Thursday, 27 September 2012 13:06

Potty Training: Day 1 - Part 1

I just want to say that I am not nearly patient enough to do this - but I'm extremely stubborn, which can (as in this case) have the same effect.  I spent hours lying awake last night, scared to death of how today was going to go, so I woke up extremely tired and feeling a little bit on the verge of getting sick.  I ignored that however, when I heard Clara wake up, and jumped into 'Mommy mode'.

Here is a play by play of our day so far...

8:00am - Clara wakes up - way too early.  She insists on putting on her robe when she sees Daddy wearing his, and we say goodbye to Daddy as he leaves for work.

8:05am - We take off Clara's night diaper, and I have her sit on the potty.  I explain to her that we are now 'All done' diapers, and that it's time for 'Big Girl Panties'.  I also tell her she needs to try to keep her panties dry, and to tell Mommy if she needs to pee. She seems to get it, and agrees.  Then she asks to brush her teeth.

8:10am - Breakfast - Froot Loops, water in her fun new sippy cup as well as milk in a cup which she didn't touch.

8:30am - My Incredible, Awesome, Amazing, Super-Fantastic husband shows up with a Pumpkin Spice Latte for me from Starbucks, saying 'You're going to need this today!' Oh, yes...

8:45am - Clara's still sitting at the table, and I'm taking pictures.  I let her watch a few videos of herself that are on my phone, because she loves watching herself on video.  It's a day to indulge her a bit, right? Right.

9:05am - I see a small leak, and we run to the bathroom.  I change her panties (Panties #2) and explain all over again that she needs to keep panties dry, and tell Mommy when she needs to pee. We wipe and wash hands.  She sits on the potty, but produces nothing.  I put some apple juice in her cup and keep giving it to her.

9:15am - We start waiting for the little girl I babysit.  Clara likes to watch out the window for her.

9:30am - The little girl arrives, Clara and I brag to her Mommy about what we are doing today.  I pull out the colanders and pipe cleaners to entertain the girls.

I can't believe how well this actually works - it didn't keep them busy for super-long, but Clara especially really loved it!

9:35am - Big accident. Suddenly Clara is in a puddle.  I grab her and we run to the bathroom.  She sits on the potty (produces nothing), wipes, changes into new panties (Panties #3) washes hands and I explain everything all over again.  She, again, agrees.  We return to the pipe cleaners.

9:40am - Bigger accident. This time we lose a single purple pipe cleaner to the spill. Potty, wipe, change (Panties #4), wash and explain. Still nothing in the potty.

9:50am - I keep pushing the apple juice.

9:55am - The girls sit down to read books to themselves.  This really seems to be their favourite activity...

10:10am - Small accident on the front mat. This time Clara declares that she is wet. The front mat is removed from the floor, and the whole potty-change-(Panties #5)-wipe-wash-explain procedure happens again.

10:15am - Paper towel painting.

This actually worked really well.  They don't actually 'paint', but they seemed to really enjoy it.  Especially Clara, again, who got all weirdly into it and started chanting and waving and stabbing at the paper towel with a paintbrush in each hand.  She's a strange one...

10:30am - The girls return to their reading in the living room.

10:40am - Two little monkeys jumping on the bed... yes, I let my kid jump on her bed...

10:50am - Snack time.  Blue jello and fish crackers.

This is where I discovered that my daughter had never had jello before... she didn't realize it was food.  She kept repeating 'fish in the waaater', 'fish in the waaater' and kept shoving her fish crackers into the jello.

She gave it a try after a while, but made a funny face and spit it out again.  Doesn't like the texture, I guess?

11:00am - Has it seriously been almost an hour??? The girls spend some time chasing each other up and down the hallway and shrieking. Clara stops to rest on my lap and... of course... another accident. Into panties #6.

11:20am - Jumping on the couch. The girls, not me.

11:30am - Clara suddenly checks her panties and announces that they are dry.  Her friend and I both cheered for her.  I'm seriously hoping this is some sort of small break-through... The girls continue to jump and play on the couch, and wave at people walking by.

11:45am - We say goodbye to Clara's friend.

11:50am - Successful moment! I think... Clara suddenly seems stressed and starts saying she has to pee.  She is dribbling a bit, but when she sits on the potty most of it lands in there.  I am so excited, I almost cry.  I cheer and give her a few chocolate chips (reward for peeing on the potty), and then we call both Daddy and Great Grandma to tell them all about it. She still has to change her panties, so we are now in Panties #7, but this last one seems encouraging!

12:00pm - Clara snacks on a few grapes.

12:05pm - Clara refuses lunch, so I change her into her 'sleep panties' (disposable pull-ups), and she goes down for a nap. And I have a break.

In brief, we had one almost-successful potty run, our casualties included 1 purple pipe cleaner, 1 front door mat, 6 pairs of panties and Mommy's jeans.

I mentioned once in a previous post how I had read about trying to demonstrate to your toddler with a peeing doll.  I didn't have that, but everytime I had to pee, I went to the bathroom and made a big deal of explaining what I was doing.  I also pretended to give myself a 'chocolate' (chip) every time I peed.  Clara definitely paid attention to this part, although I don't know if it helped or not.

Some of my questions, and maybe these are just difficulties based on my situation are...

  • How do you handle cleaning up puddles and messes while trying to pay 100% attention to your child? I had the added complication of having another child here so I didn't have the option of leaving the mess for a while so I could deal with Clara.  I pretty much had to leave Clara on the potty to 'do her thing' and rush back to wipe the floor each time...
  • You aren't supposed to ask your child if they have to pee - part of the point is to teach them to tell YOU when they have to go.  This was difficult, because Clara's language skills are still not perfectly clear, and she would mumble something that would make me ask 'What? Do you have to go pee?'.  That was a struggle for me... she would also do things like walk into the bathroom for no reason, so I would ask her if she needed to pee then too.  'No'. Ok, then.
  • There are a number of times/places when I can't directly see if she might have a leak or not.  The biggest issue for this was when she was sitting at her booster chair at the table for either her breakfast or snack.  I tried to adjust her so I could see, but it wasn't always possible.

I think I hear a little voice in the other room... sigh, break over. Wish me luck... Day 1 Part 2 begins.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 22:37

Getting Ready for Day 1

Yes, another potty training post.  I have been and will be consumed by this process for another couple of days at least... I'm sorry.

This evening, I lay my tired and cranky daughter down on her change table to change her diaper - for what will likely (hopefully, sadly) be the last time.  She was extremely over tired after an evening of 'big girl panties shopping' (which was entirely fruitless - evidently it's impossible to find panties for 2-year-olds) and cried the entire time, which didn't make either one of us feel particularly endeared to it, I'm sure.

Shopping also consisted of purchasing a number of 'getting ready for potty training days' items...

At the grocery store, we purchased lots of yummy snacks like Goldfish crackers (did you know you can get these in rainbow colours???), Teddy Grahams, ketchup chips (ok, those are mostly for Mommy) and Froot Loops.  Also apple juice, which is her favourite thing to drink and we want her to drink LOTS!

We also bought her a new fun 'sippy' cup (it has a straw), which was convenient because we had just recently misplaced her old one and she needed one anyway.

Then I went a little bit crazy on activity supplies. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest this week, and found a lot of great ideas.

Like...

Bubble Stuff! Seriously, Clara could watch people blow bubbles for hours and chase them around - usually this is an outdoor activity, but we'll make a special exception for her this week.

Colanders with Pipe Cleaners.  This one is so odd, but it's all over Pinterest and evidently it's a good activity to keep toddlers busy.  So... we'll see how it goes!

The pipe cleaners fit through the holes, I checked.

Then I saw this great idea where people dye macaroni with large holes in it all kinds of awesome colours and string it into jewelry, or just for a fun hand-eye coordination activity.  I had every intention of doing this, but then I saw this container of beads (with really big holes!) in it at Walmart and thought - "Hey! Then I don't HAVE to dye beads." I never said I wasn't lazy...

And then I saw this awesome idea for mess-free painting (because everything I do for the next three days has to be entertaining AND not too messy, since I will likely have to suddenly grab Clara to take her to the bathroom multiple times and having paint all over... just not a good idea).

Take paper towels, and draw with marker a simple-lined image.  Then give it to a toddler with a paintbrush and a little bit of water and let them go crazy.  In the post I saw (crap, I wish I could remember where...) the woman had her toddler in a high chair with a bit of water in the cup holder.  She had pictures of the activity, and the coloured lines bled out from where they were drawn to create a really cool image.  I'll let you know how this one works.  Here are my paper towel works of art for Clara to use.

I have a ton of other ideas, and since I'm exhausted tonight I will leave them for tomorrow.  I also have a lot of 'back-up' supplies like construction paper, glue, tape and stickers.  Hopefully I'll set up a few more things tomorrow night and maybe - just maybe - that's all I'll need.  I would LOVE to be done this by tomorrow night.  I guess that means I had better make sure I'm being really diligent tomorrow...

Then I also bought a couple of 'treats' for her that I'm not sure when I'll give her yet - we might just play with them, or pull them out at random times as a distraction or something...

My daughter loves balloons and I found these party-favour bracelets in a package of 6 for $1, and thought she'd like them also.

The house is clean (ish), her area rugs are off her bedroom floor.  Her pants drawer is full, and we have at least 2 spare fitted sheets for her bed.  Tomorrow morning I intend to launch her big fluffy Dora the Explorer blanket into the crib so I don't have to worry about it and hope she doesn't pee on any of her precious stuffies.

I have a list of things to do written on the white-board in our kitchen - for myself so I don't forget anything and stall.  It includes:

  • Blow bubbles
  • String beads
  • Play with balloons
  • Read books
  • Collanders and pipe cleaners
  • Papertowel painting
  • Lego
  • Have fun with the camera - Clara loves watching herself on video... hours of fun, really!
  • Play with a beach ball
  • Play with stickers
  • Colour on construction paper
  • Colour in a colouring book
  • Watch Super Why!
  • Play with playdough

Oh yeah.  And I made Jello :)

Wish me luck! I'm SOOO afraid!!!

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 13:36

Preparing for Potty Training

My last post briefly mentions how (and a bit about why) we are planning to embark on the Potty-training journey with Clara at not quite 22 months old.  I want to link again to Nurse Loves Farmer for her thoughts and details on how she did this - her post is here.

Nurse Loves Farmer

So, the decision is made to attempt 3-day potty training with Clara.  Last night, I read over the 3-day method and here is the basic premise of the method:
  • Set aside 3 days to focus exclusively on, and stay within a few feet of your child constantly - this means you don't leave to send an email, cook supper or ANYTHING.  The book discusses different ways of dealing with this in different situations, including making meals ahead of time and sending your other children to stay with Grandparents. 
  • The author says that all children are ready at 22 months - Clara isn't there yet, but she's pretty close and I think she's been ready for awhile. I'm having trouble admitting this to myself, I don't know why :)
  • Switch to underwear EXCLUSIVELY - the author discusses making a big deal for your child of putting away (if you use cloth) or throwing away ALL of your diapers.  This is for your child as well as for you to get rid of any temptation - once you start, no going back! Even for sleeping.  For our own reasons (and because Sarah at Nurse Loves Farmer managed to do this successfully) we will be buying some disposable pull-ups for naps and night.  One thing the author talks about in reference to 'switching' for your child is to allow them to immediately be treated like a 'big kid' - which means no more lying them down to change their diapers.  This is why we won't be continuing with our cloth diapers for naps/nights so that Clara will make the distinction between being a 'big girl now' and won't have to lie down for changes anymore.
  • Supplies: potty (using the big toilet is fine), 20-30 pairs of underwear/panties - we have about 10 already and Brian is taking Clara out tonight to pick out about 10 more for herself, lots of fluids for your child to drink, activities planned and lots of rewards/treats
  • Stay close to the bathroom for these 3 days - and keep the potty in the bathroom!
  • Have your child only wear a t-shirt and undies for the first while, so you can see immediately when they have a leak
  • After getting rid of all diapers, take your child to the bathroom and explain that all pee and poop now goes into the potty, and they must keep their underwear dry.  Also tell them to 'tell Mommy when you have to go pee' instead of asking them if they have to go every 10 minutes - the point is for them to learn to tell YOU when they need to go.
  • When they have an accident - no reprimanding - carry them to the potty and have them sit on the potty to finish.  Tell them that their underwear isn't dry anymore, and tell them again that they have to keep their underwear dry.  If they succeed in going to the potty with no leaks - give them a ton of praise and be overexcited - call Grandma, give them treats, etc.  Make a big deal out of it! 
  • Also - don't be discouraged if this takes all 3 days - it might. Stay positive!
After reading the 3-day method, I came across a 'Potty Training in less than 1 day' method that also seemed interesting, but I didn't like everything that was in it.  It suggests having a doll that pees, and using it as a demonstrative tool - I really dislike the concept of dolls that 'do things', so I won't be doing this.  It did, however, suggest giving your child a ton of sweet and salty snacks - to promote thirst, to keep them peeing.  Because we're really not that health-conscious in this house - and Mommy sure could use a bag of ketchup chips :), I think I'll adopt a little bit of this and we'll make our 3 days 'party days' for Clara. Not going overboard, of course, but we may as well make the experience as fun as we can for her.
 
Next comes preparation.  Here are the things we will be doing today and tonight to get ready for the next three days!
  • I have made a schedule of the next three days.  It is not possible for me to stay EXCLUSIVELY with Clara, as the method suggests, so I have it noted when she will be with people other than myself and I will explain in detail what we are doing, and what the babysitter needs to do - this amounts to only a couple of hours in total, so I think it will be ok.
  • By the end of tonight, we will have to create a meal plan for the next three days - it will probably include take-out at least once :) - I'm almost done this already.
  • Clean the house as much as possible - stuff off the floor - including the small area rugs in Clara's room, dishes done, laundry up-to-date (at least all of Clara's sheets and pants)
  • Locate all waterproof blankets that we used when she was an infant - we will use these to secretly sneak them under her bed sheets or on the couch if we're feeling afraid :) Hopefully this won't hurt her feelings...
  • Have a list of activities ready to keep us busy - including a large selection of 'Busy' Bags and Bins to pull out to keep her entertained.  I will post more on this later.
  • Have snacks and drinks lined up and ready.  Will also post more on this later :)
Today I told Clara that tomorrow she would be all done with diapers.  Throughout the day I have mentioned this a number of times, and asked her if she would like to say 'Bye bye' to diapers. She has acted extremely excited each time, and although it feels like 'tomorrow' would be a difficult concept for a toddler, she seems to understand what I'm saying. 

 
 
She is ready.  Hopefully so am I!
Published in Blog
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 18:17

Potty Training Begins... with a Method?

It felt like it fell out of the sky - a Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer sends me a link to her post on how she potty trained her son in 3 days. 

Nurse Loves Farmer

I had heard of methods like this before, and after doing a bit of research (reading a couple of online articles about it), I decided that these methods were really only for children who were old enough to talk clearly, and to pull down their jeans by themselves.

But the method she speaks of claims to work at 22 months - guaranteed.  You can read her thoughts on the process here.

Here are my struggles and questions in regards to when to potty train - or, more specifically, whether to do it before or after baby arrives:

I am due in about a month to have another baby.  So, I wonder if we should wait until after baby, or get potty training over with now.  There are a few general pros and cons to both of these. 

If we train now, Clara could revert after the baby is born (this seems to be a relatively common occurrence among older siblings who are recently potty trained), and then we would have to spend more time and energy on the process afterward anyway. 

She isn't even quite 22 months yet, so what if she's just too young? If we wait, she may have to wait longer than just a month since I will probably have my hands full for awhile and won't have the energy to pick up potty training as well.  Also, then we would have two children in diapers, and it would certainly be nice to not have to wash that many diapers...

After thinking about this a little bit more, I realized something. 

Clara is READY to potty train.  She has been using the potty since she was 8 months old for pooping - almost exclusively - so she knows what it is and what it is used for.  We have casually attempted to make her comfortable with the potty, but she seems reluctant to actually pee on it - I've decided that this is more out of frustration than anything.  She KNOWS that peeing in the potty is somehow connected to not using diapers anymore, yet every time she pees in the potty we put another diaper on her! I think she may be wondering 'What the !@$# is the point?'

After I realized that, I decided that it's probably really aggravating to her to keep her waiting.  So - it's time to begin, I suppose.

Tomorrow I will post on how we have gotten ready for this, and the plan is to start on Thursday morning.

Wish us luck!

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 13:08

Method-Free Potty Training!

For someone who likes to read up on parenting methodology, I've embarked on potty training with absolutely no method or real plan in mind.  Think I'll succeed? Well, eventually...

I have been saying all summer that come September - when I am finally at home with my daughter - I will start actively working on potty training.  It would be great for her to be out of diapers before the baby comes, although I'm certainly not expecting that at this point - my goal now is simply that she is out of diapers by the time her little sister needs to use the diapers Clara is currently using, which will be about 6 months from now. 

She hates being in diapers, and throws a fit every time we go to put one on her, screaming 'I have to PEE, I have to PEE!!!', which is usually not true, because we will then set her on the potty and wait for about ten seconds until she makes a break for her toys.  She really just wants to avoid the diaper itself, it seems. 

So, bravely, this morning I asked her if she wanted to try wearing panties.  She was so excited! I tried explaining to her very carefully that the rule with panties was 'only pee in the potty.'  'No peeing in your panties.'

"OK!" She grinned.

First she sat on the potty for awhile, but produced nothing.  This didn't really surprise me, since she'd just woken up and had probably already used her diaper. 

Then it was breakfast time.  Diaperless toddler sitting at the kitchen table... nervous Mommy sitting across from her. 

No accidents so far.

Then she went down to play for a little while.  Suddenly I see her crouching in the hallway saying "I Poop! I poop!" with a puddle forming below her.

I try to explain to her how it is yucky to pee on the floor...

"Yucky!!" She excitedly squeals... I don't think she's getting it.

I then explain to her that now we have to change her pants and panties because she has gotten them dirty. 

I think my biggest mistake today was letting her try again... because then I let her put on a fresh pair of panties and pants (and socks), which she wets again about 30 minutes later.

Then I tell her it's time to wear a diaper again.  This makes her sad, and she fusses and cries.  I try to explain again that if she wears panties, she can't pee in them or else she has to go back to diapers, and for a second it seems like she might understand.  Maybe she did.

Maybe we'll try again tomorrow...

I have read articles on potty training in just a few days, but it seems as though this is only ever attempted on children who are quite a bit older than Clara.  I have also read articles on letting babies go 'diaper-free' from very early, and training them young to respond to signals, etc.  I don't want to make Clara wait until she is 3 to potty train, when she so clearly wants to be free of her diapers now - and I certainly don't have the patience or ability to devote the amount of attention and time to a more vigorous method of potty training, so I guess we'll just try again tomorrow - and see how this goes!

What methods of potty training have you used? Do you have any advice for training an almost 2-year-old?

Published in Blog
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