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.
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!
- 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 :)