Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Potty Diaries

After months of dancing around the potty training issue, crossing our fingers, praying that our preschooler would just magically walk up to us some day and say "Yes, Mother and Father, I do believe that I may need to use the facilities", we have finally had to bite the proverbial bullet and start official potty training.

Initially, sometime last summer when we thought it might be coming up soon in our toddler's development, we did what all over-educated, over-zealous parents do. We started reading lots of books about potty training. So for the last several weeks/months we have done multiple potty training techniques in the hopes that something would "stick" and we would somehow have potty trained our child without much effort. We had done the M&Ms, the stickers, the stickers that go on a chart and lead to a reward, and the training pants. We had done variations of potty apparatus - the singing potty chair (no joke), the padded seat, the stool, and the plain ol' potty all by itself. Needless to say, nothing has really clicked for our boy.

He'd much prefer to pee in his diaper and continue playing on the floor than to be bothered sitting on the potty. I'm told this is common. But he's three. And I feel like he has ALL these reasons to be potty trained. Or maybe it's just me who has all these reasons. You know, because diapers are expensive, because we have all these activities this summer, because I hate our diaper genie, because most of our friends kids are around the same age and potty trained, etc. And also because it's clear to me that he knows HOW to do it, he'd just prefer not to.

So this weekend, we decided to celebrate the National holiday by learning to use the potty. I found a book ("That's How I Roll by Rachel Jacques") that talks about wearing cartoon underwear as an incentive for using the potty. Essentially, you start out with super cool cartoon underwear and explain that Spiderman (or whoever) hates to get wet or dirty and if they get wet or dirty they have to come off and you have to wear plain underwear until after a certain time when you can try again. There's a few more detail than that but that's the technique in a nutshell. I knew the cartoon underwear would be a winning enticement for Ben so we decided to give it a try.

Day 1 - So far so good. We wore Mr. Incredible underwear all day long. Many trips have been made to the potty and multiple M&Ms have been earned. We even wore underwear at nap time and stayed dry. This may or may not be attributable to the fact that we also did not sleep during nap but just laid in our bed talking. The only negative so far is that no poop has occurred. There have been several times when it seemed like we were on the verge and would run the kid to the potty but nothing would happen. It's somewhat unclear at this point if this is because he doesn't want to go in the potty or if he is physically stopped up. Currently he is in bed in his undies and we are crossing our fingers to make it through the night without a major incident (though I think this is highly unlikely given it's our first night without a diaper - EVER!).

Day 2 - Woke up soaked. Ben was discouraged. Poop made an appearance finally and NOT in the potty. Mommy was discouraged too. But we stayed dry all day and managed to make a few pee stops and stay in our Super Hero undies once we got them back after nap time. We also slept during nap and managed to stay dry!

Day 3 - Woke up soaked again. Ben appears surprised by this every time so I think he must be a heavy sleeper. Dry again almost the whole day. Called Grandma and Nana and Poppa to share our successes and reap the rewards (Spider-man toy is on it's way in the snail mail). Put in time out for misbehavior and while in time out, he peed his pants. Took him upstairs to change and set him on the potty. While I was getting dry clothes, he pooped! Finally discovered what may be the secret to pooping on the potty = privacy! Who would have thought?

At the end of the weekend we had only had two actual accidents. I would call us "potty trained". He has even told me when we were out that he needed to use the potty. But, he still cannot stay dry at night. The book says to wait a full week until going back to pull-ups so I think we will keep trying. I am not sure what to do if dryness doesn't happen though. He's so "anti-diaper" at this point and SO proud of his success, I am sure it would feel like a step backwards to put on a pull-up.

UPDATE: Today (Thursday) we woke up dry! Out of the blue! I hope we can keep it up. It will be a week on Saturday and I am kind of tired of washing sheets twice daily.

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