Saturday, January 24, 2009

Potty Training, End of Week One

Well, we started potty training in earnest last Friday, 1/16. We have tried before, but we haven't been consistent with it and Caleb just wasn't too interested. Plus, it was so hard to potty-train with an infant around. It seemed like whenever Caleb needed to sit on the potty, Isaac needed to nurse or he was going to sleep. But this time, I do see progress! I think the big difference is that we are ALL ready for him to be potty trained now.

Here's what we've been doing that's been working. Unfortunately, I learned most of this by trial and error!

It's all about the training pants. Ditch the Pull-ups!
We bought some great training underwear. I've been quite impressed with the Imse Vimse training pants. Here's what I like about them.
  • They are organic cotton on the inside and outside, with a waterproof layer (PUL) in between.
  • They are absorbent enough to hold a small accident, but he definitely still feels wet.
  • Even when they leak, pee doesn't go running all over the floor or anything. His pants get wet with a big accident, but it's not a huge mess like it would be if we used plain underwear.
  • Being cotton on the inside, they are cleaning up pretty well in the wash. There are some very minor stains, but nothing bad.
  • They aren't bulky, they are comfortable, and they look like underwear. He's proud to wear them!
Those Pull-ups are awful for potty-training! He didn't ever feel wet, so he didn't care if he'd had an accident or not. That said, we do still use them during nap times and at night. It will be quite awhile before he is ready to sleep in underwear. We also use them if we're going to the store or somewhere that I know he's not comfortable using the potty yet. We'll phase that out over the next few weeks, I hope.

Don't ask--tell.
I never ask him, "Do you need to sit on the potty?" I say, "Yea! It's time to sit on the potty again!" Sometimes we do a little samba line on the way to the bathroom ("Let's go sit on the potty! Let's go sit on the potty!")

Set a potty timer.
Sometimes Caleb likes to argue when it's time to sit on the potty. He just doesn't want to stop playing or doing whatever he's doing. "No, five more minutes, Mommy!!" To solve that problem, I set the timer on the microwave for 20 minutes or so. When he hears it go off, he knows it's time to go try to potty.

Get into a routine.
We try to get him to go at specific times of the day. First thing in the morning, after breakfast, mid-morning, before lunch, after lunch, before nap, after get the idea. He still complains when we tell him to sit on the potty first thing in the morning, but soon it will become habit.

Keep a sticker chart.
We taped a sticker chart to the bathroom wall. It came from an Elmo Potty Time coloring book, but you can make your own, too. Here is what his chart looked like yesterday morning.

He gets a sticker every time he pees in the potty, flushes, and washes his hands. He'd get stickers if he told us when he needs to go, but he hasn't progressed to that point yet.

For every 10 stickers he gets on the chart, he gets a small "potty present" (a book that came as part of a kid's meal from Chick Fil-A, a ball, Play-Doh, etc.).

Make a big deal out of it.
When Caleb does pee in the potty, it's a big deal around here. We tell him how proud we are, we sing, we dance, we clap, we give him a sticker or some other small recognition. We try to use positive reinforcement whenever possible.

Ok, so that's what IS working for us. Here are some things that did NOT work for us, so you can avoid our mistakes!
  • A potty chair. When we started potty training the first time when Caleb was 2.5, we bought him a potty chair. For about a week, he didn't even want to sit on it. When he finally did, we found that he was way too big for it! So keep that in mind if you have a tall child like we do.
  • Pull-ups. I've already mentioned how they don't help because the kid can't "feel" when he is wet. (I do have to say that they are easier for parents, because they pull apart at the sides and make for easy changes. But they just aren't really conducive to potty training.)
  • Waiting for him to tell us when he needs to go. Yeah, it just isn't going to happen anytime soon!
So, today is technically part of week two, but I have to share what he did today. Today, I was an idiot and set the potty timer and forgot about it. I was in the shower when it went off. Caleb says, "Listen! I hear something! It's time to sit on the potty!"

I decided to take a chance, and I told him to go on to the potty and I'd be there in a few minutes. Well, he did it! He went to his bathroom on his own, took off his pants and undies, sat on the potty, and peed all by himself! I was so proud. He came running back to our master bathroom (sans underwear!), saying "I did it!"

Potty training is not easy, but I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. :)

1 comment:

evelyn said...

You're headed pretty much 'down the route' that Dr. Rosemond ( would swear by. The child does not want to feel the pee running down his legs! You're not having a nasty floor, just a bit of wet. Congrats to Caleb for going on his own!