Friday, March 22, 2013

I Deem Thee...

POTTY TRAINED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We were just waiting on Caleb to catch up to his brothers to make it official, funny he's also the one we were waiting on to leave the NICU, I guess some things never change! Of course potty training is a process and we are still a little rough around the edges but for the most part we are all daytime potty trained! A few days ago Caleb took a turn for the better and has not only been pooping in the potty consistently but he also tells me when he needs to go. And it gets even better, I don't put anything special on Caleb for nap time, he always wakes up dry! I can almost say it for bed time but the problem is that he wakes up crazy early (like 5:45am), and I have to draw the line somewhere, I refuse to get out of bed before 6:15am! He climbs into bed with us and since he's happy to just snuggle till then, I've been taking it! The times I've gotten up before him he is usually dry, so I think he wakes up dry and then just lets it go after a few minutes because he has now realized that the pull up will not feel wet (curse modern day convenience!). Ok so maybe I need to change and make the effort to take him to the bathroom within minutes of his waking, but it's just sooooo haaard. I need to get over it and experiment with sending him to bed in underwear and get my butt out of bed the minute I hear him wake up...we'll see. The other two are still 50/50 in that department.

Where They Are At

When we are at home they all tell me when they need to use the potty and I always go with them to help (mostly because I'm afraid of someone falling into the toilet, it's happened twice already). If they only have undies on or a soft pair of pants they can pull them down and up themselves but a lot of the time I have to help because the elastic gets all twisted. Eli almost exclusively uses the toilet (not a little potty), which is fine by me, less to clean up! Caleb mostly pee's in the toilet but likes to poop in a little potty. Thomas prefers his little potty for both but when we are out he is fine with using the toilet.

All bets are off when we aren't at home. They get very distracted and forget to tell me when they need to go (they do a lot of the time but can't be trusted just yet), so it's up to me to keep track and just take them to the bathroom without asking them. I don't think they can go more than 2 hrs so ideally I take them every 1.5 hrs when we are out (small bladders run in this family).

Accidents are still happening but each week it feels like there are less and less, at the moment we have one maybe two tops each day (that's between all of them, so each boy has maybe one accident every other or third day). Today no one has had any accidents : )

What I've learned

My patience has gone way up since starting potty training mostly because I wanted to be diaper free more than anything! I really tried to figure out what was upsetting each kid (for unrelated potty matters) and keep them as happy as possible so they would be more cooperative in the bathroom. Instead of giving up after a few seconds or just sending them to time out because they were being unreasonable I worked harder to make everyone happy. Not easy but it payed off!

My Two Cents

Here's what I've concluded after everything I've heard, read and all we've been through. Most kids are developmentally capable of potty training by 18 mo (as can be seen in recent history or in other countries, click here if don't believe me this is actually really interesting). BUT you really do have to start when they are very young, like before they can walk. From what I've read it's not a daunting time consuming process. You just start off by taking them to the potty once a day and making it a fun event. From there you keep building up, twice a day, three times a day. If by coincidence baby goes in the potty give it lots of praise! Babies are VERY smart, they will catch on quickly and you can kiss your diaper bill goodbye before you kid(s) turn 2. WHY OH WHY didn't I know this sooner! I should have registered for potty's not Bumbos!!!

So if you start late (after 2 yrs) like I did, plain and simple, you are at you kids mercy! If you've ever dealt with a kid during the terrible two's (or three's for that matter) you know what I mean! Who know's what's going on in their brains, with all their crazy whims, impulsiveness, and tantrums. Honestly, it's a miracle that any kid potty trains between the ages of 2-4! The term 'potty training readiness' really should be changed to 'does your child want to.' With the little resistance Caleb gave me I realized you cannot make a child do something that they don't want to! I struck gold with my three, yes I'm bragging, I deserve this one after all those sleepless nights, living attached to a pump for 4 months, and sacrificing everything else I've sacrificed since their conception!  'Thank you, thank you my boys for giving me this precious gift!' I just could not imagine another year of diapers! No No No No NO! Even though I was all stressed out, after thinking what it could have been like, it really was a piece of cake! I can't take a lot of credit, it was mostly them, they wanted to and they did. But a lot can be said about being as patient as possible and being as encouraging as you can be while the process is taking place. So that's my two cents and that's probably all it's worth, ha!

And a very special thanks to all that gave me advice, you know who you are! : )


Jonalyn said...

Brilliant! No more diapers! But do plan on asking everyone who has to pee before you leave the house ... until they're 10. :)

mary said...

Congrats. you and your boys are totally inspirational. truly awesome.

nan cee said...


mary said...

are youstill planning on a toilet cake?

i think maybe a turd shaped one would be a whole lot easier. and funnier.


Janet Pittsenbarger said...

Mary, if I can't make a decent potty cake I'll use that as my back up plan! But I'm sure I'll sneak in a turd in there somewhere : )

Jessica said...

Interesting observation about potty training before the NO Years.
I was asking a friend from Moldova (poorest country in Europe) what they did. Since the choice was between out-of-the-question disposables and washing cloth diapers by hand (!) they started early. As soon as her kids could sit, they sat on their little potty whenever she sat on the toilet. Mom peed - baby sat on potty. She said they just got it. No more handwashing of the diapers. Quite the incentive, I think!