I have to say that I was pretty nervous going into Potty Training Week. I had read this post from Marriage Confessions about her Potty Camp, and I took a few ideas from her training for Jack’s training. . I’ll try to make this short, sweet, and to the point., but if you’ve been a reader for long, you know that I don’t seem to try very hard at that.
How did I know Jack was ready to potty train?
The biggest clue what that he started running to the bathroom to poop in his diaper. He’d stop what he was doing, run to the bathroom and just stand there, grunting. Every time he did that, we’d ask if he wanted to poop in the potty. “No.”
He also went to the potty right after we saw a friend of his use the potty. He didn’t have any issues sitting on the big potty without any seat adaptor, so I knew he didn’t have any fear of the big potty anymore.
A lot of when you potty train (as a SAHM) is admitting when the mom is ready to put the work in. I knew it was a lot of commitment on the part of the mom, so I waited until I was ready to put in the time that was needed. That helped a lot.
What tools did I use?
I borrowed a seat adaptor from a friend. I knew Jack could sit on the big potty, but I also thought it might be easier on him if he didn’t have to hold himself up the whole time he was sitting. This was invaluable for training I think.
I made a potty chart. It was a sad little potty chart. I wrote “Jack’s Potty Chart” on a piece of paper and taped it up by the potty. Then I got a sheet of (45) smiley stickers from my sticker pile. (ex-teachers have LOTS of stickers). I put one sticker up on the ‘o’ of Potty so he knew that a sticker went on the paper somewhere when he used the potty.
I bought a jug of Gatorade. This stuff goes right through Jack and makes him need to use the bathroom a LOT. I figured that if he was going to get the idea that ‘pee goes in the potty’, it wouldn’t hurt to have a lot of opportunities to see that in action. I diluted it with some water.
I set my phone alarm to go off every 20 minutes and downloaded a ringtone called Potty Dance. From Katie’s post, I liked that she took her son to the potty every 15 minutes. I changed that to asking him if he had to go every 20 minutes. He got pretty annoyed with that, so I stopped this after day one.
So, How did it go?
It went much better than I expected!! The first day, I took his diaper off after his morning change and didn’t replace it. He was uncertain about that, but I said we could sit on the potty if he needed to potty. He didn’t have an accident that morning at all. But he didn’t want to poop in the potty, so I put the diaper on him later in the morning when I knew he’d probably poop.
That afternoon I put underpants on him. He forgot that they weren’t diapers, so he peed in them. If he didn’t have the underpants on, he was fine and remembered to run to the potty. So I left him without anything on the bottom for the rest of the day. (If I left the house, I put a diaper on him).
The next day he didn’t want to leave his diaper off, but I kind of forced the issue. I just didn’t put a new dipe on him. He didn’t have any accidents, and he even pooped in the potty. Day two and he was already pooping on the potty!?? That was too good to be true!! He was happy to be rewarded with stickers and saying “YAY!!” after he flushed.
But it was too good to be true. that afternoon, he pooped in his underpants. But he kept saying he did it on purpose. He knows that when I change his poopy diaper, I go plop the poop into the potty. (I didn’t mean to use alliteration, but that’s a fun sentence to say…go read it again) His idea was that if he pooped in his underpants, he could just plop it into the potty. He tried to. I asked him how that worked out for him and he said “not good”. Since then, no more poop accidents.
The next day he had a pee accident, but it was because he was upset about having to come inside after having played outside for about an hour with no bathroom time. He was so upset, he peed as Daddy brought him in the house. Poor guy. Poor Daddy.
The next day we went to Kroger to do some grocery shopping. I did put a diaper on him, but told him that he could use the bathroom at Kroger if he wanted to. He did!! It was our first ‘out of our home/foreign potty’ experience. He loved it. That morning he had finished up his sticker sheet. That means he had used the potty 45 times in about a week. That Gatorade is powerful stuff! And he only had three accidents. That’s pretty good in my estimation, so I let him pick out a new toy. He was very happy to pick out a new semi truck!
The next day, we went to work at my church office for a few hours, and he went to the bathroom there 3 times, even pooping once! I think he’s good to go without a diaper now if I know there will be bathrooms around for him.
He did it!!
I know he’s not even three yet, but I could tell he was ready to start learning to do his business on the potty. We are still wearing diapers at night, and they’re still pretty soaked in the morning, so we’re not nighttime potty trained yet, but I’m okay with that. I thought that I might be sad about him being out of diapers – you know, growing up and all – but I’m so happy for him. He’s so proud. He’s getting the hang of pushing down his pants and can kind of pull them up by himself too. He’s Mr. Independent for sure.
Now if we could just figure out how to get him to go to sleep by himself…..