Thursday, April 22, 2010

Potty Time

I've had a couple people ask how I potty trained my kids (they all 3 have done it in 2-3 days).  So here goes...

1. AGE: Someone (thank you Valarie Nelson) told me not to even start trying until 2.5 because it was just frustrating for the child and parent.  I realize some children are ready earlier, but this mama wasn't.  So I waited literally until the week they turned 2.5.
2. PREPARATION: The week before you are going to potty train purchase (or pull out) the potty chair, buy new underwear, talk about how they are going to be just like mommy and daddy (or their siblings), watch movies, read books, get excited!
3. TIMING: The week you are going to train make sure there is no stressful things going on and make sure you have a couple days to spend at home with no big plans to go anywhere.
4. BUY M&M'S: or skittles, or jelly beans... the reward they will get every time they go.
5. TAKE OFF THE DIAPER AND DON'T LOOK BACK: First thing in the morning make a big deal about how today is the day and put on the underwear.  Sometimes this can be scary and seem odd.  Just stay super positive, but don't waiver.  Offer them their first piece of candy for putting on undies or just let them go naked! Put the potty chair in the middle of the living room so it is visible.  Let them sit on it.  Explain the candy. 
6. JUICE AND REMINDING: Keep the fluids flowing and every 15 or 20 minutes ask them if they want to sit on the potty or if they have to go (yes, THAT often).  Even if they don't pee praise them for all of their efforts, but only give candy when they go.
7. WHEN THEY GO: Freak out with excitement.  Dance, sing, make up a potty dance (Blake went potty, Blake went pee pee, WOOHOO!).  Immediately give them the candy.  Let them help you dump their pee in the potty and flush it.
8. WHEN THEY HAVE AN ACCIDENT: Stay positive and encouraging.  Say, it's ok!  You will get it next time.  Clean things up, show them where it goes next time.  Never scold or make a big deal about it.
9. NAPS/BEDTIME: I still leave a diaper on when they are sleeping until they can stay dry through the night for a couple weeks.  For me it just seemed to naturally happen.  I don't limit drinks, it just happened, so I don't really have advice on that.
10. KEEP IT OFF: You may be tempted to put a diaper on when you go out.  Don't.  Take a change of clothes with you, wipes, towels, plastic bags.  But don't put the diaper back on.  It is just confusing (credit my good friend Lisette Molina ;)).

Good luck!  It doesn't have to be as painful as you have made it up in your mind to be!

Boys/Girls: Aside from the obvious plumbing differences there was nothing I did differently.  Now, when Travis returns from out of town he may want to work on the whole standing up thing, but Blake sits for now.  I tried to get him to stand up, aim at things, etc., but it just frustrated him and felt odd.  So for now, he sits.


Matthew said...

Sounds great anyways no offence but the second better start peing standing up if he countinues tell him girls pee sitting down well hope that might help

Erin said...

Great tips! Caden was easy and we never used a potty chair. He started with sitting down on the toilet to pee, but pretty much decided standing up was the way to go and I didn't have to persuade him. Of course, he climbs on the toilet backwards to poo (faces the tank). We still have to work on that :)

Crystal and David said...

LOL, Erin. My son used to sit on the toilet backwards to poop. One day we were out at a store or something and he had to go...he decided it was too much work to take EVERYTHING off, so he sat facing forward and has ever since. He does occasionally sit backwards, but really and truly it's hardly ever.

kellynkourtney said...

So funny girls. When I tried to get Blake to stand he ended up sitting backwards on the toilet too. He thought it was hilarious.


Tamara said...

Thanks for sharing this! I love how you have so much information in one place. And easy to read! We pretty much followed your suggestions. I bought Hattie's potty about 4 months ago, so she is used to it, and has gone many times on it. But, when were had a 3 day weekend, I knew it was time to get serious!

Day 1, she peed 3 times in her panties (and pooped 1 time)
Day 2, she peed 2 times (and pooped 1 time)
Day 3, she peed 1 time (and pooped 1 time)

Since that time, no peeing in her panties! While at home, she has been a panty girl, with a diaper or pull up at night. After night #4, she woke up dry! Nights #5, #7, and several more nights have been dry! This seems to depend on how much milk she drinks at dinner and late afternoon.

Weekend #2, we tried something new with the poopy. :) I found a goofy little sticker chart with rough drawings of kids doing things like washing hands, using the potty, being dry, etc. So, she gets a sticker when she poops in the potty. She had 3 successful poopy visits this weekend!

Now, she is not saying, "Mommy, Potty!" Well, she is sometimes. We are watching her cues but she tells us sometimes, too.

Thanks for your help, Kelly! I am going to share your post with other moms, too!


Tamara said...

Oh! I meant to include this. Here is the chart. The graphics are horrible, but Hattie thinks it is a picture of her on the potty, so it is working for us!