Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Intense Potty Training

Before I leave, I wanted to do a quick post on Nicole's potty training status. On Friday, I was reading one of the mommy blogs that I always read and I saw this. Her post on potty training her son inspired me. I decided to steal some of her ideas and do an intense potty training with Nicole over the weekend.

Here is the plan that I devised:

  1. Saturday morning, when Nicole woke up, I switched out all her diapers for size 2 diapers. When, I went to put the diaper on her, and couldn't get it on, I told her that she was too big, that her diapers didn't fit anymore. Then, I told her that she would have to wear her big girl underwear instead.
    She, of course, was too smart for my trick and said, "Those aren't my diapers Mommy, those are Dan's!" I need to learn how to do potty training for too intelligent children.
    I convinced her to wear the underwear any way in spite of her inability to be tricked.
  2. Then, once she was all dressed, I told her that we were going to have a potty party and that she could eat all the chips she wanted and drink all the pop she wanted. (Chips to make her thirsty, pop to make her pee!)
    She was very excited about this and said, "Yeah! A potty party with cake and balloons!"
    Because, apparently, party, to Nicole, means cake and balloons.
    So, she ate all the chips and pop and juice that she wanted too and we didn't worry about her snacking too much or her finishing her meals. We let down on the rules A LOT!
  3. Then, every 10 minutes, I asked her if she felt the pees coming out. We discovered a while ago that this was the way to talk to Nicole about using the toilet. Asking, "Do you have to go potty?" did not make sense to her. We took many trips to the toilet and she successfully peed many times. She was rewarded with 3 M&Ms every time she peed.
    If she pooed on the toilet, she got 5 M&Ms. Which did not happen on the first or second day of training, but that was the deal.
She did really well the first day! We had one poop in the underwear incident on the first day and one accident at the table while she was eating, but other than that, she made it to the toilet every time. Matt and I even went on a date on Saturday night and she went to Marie's in a pull-up and even peed on the toilet for Marie. Marie has aided in potty training multiple children now, so I bet she will be a pro when it comes time for Damon to train.

Nicole was really excited about the whole things and was such a happy girl the whole day. Probably because we were letting her eat whatever she wanted and letting her eat candy and pop all day long. Plus, she got one on one attention from Mommy for most of the day.

On Sunday, we did the same thing, except that we put pull-ups on her because we were going to church. We said we were having another potty party and she was very excited. She did awesome! No wet accidents! Though she did poop in the pull-up every time.

On Monday, Matt was totally in charge since I was at work, but I was optimistic because she had done so well over the weekend with me. After the first poop in the pull-up, Matt switched back to underwear because he felt that she would be less likely to poop in the underwear because she has a fear of being dirty. And, he was right, it worked! She had zero accidents once she was in the underwear, pooping in the toilet and everything.

We are so excited! Hopefully, this trend will continue and she will be potty trained for day time completely in a week. Then, maybe in two weeks after that, she can use the toilet by herself without help from Mom and Dad.

For night time, we are still doing diapers. We bought a brand new pack of diapers and told her that they were made especially for sleeping at night because she can't quite wake herself up to pee yet. She did wake up at 5am this morning to pee, but she had already wet her diaper, but it is progress I suppose. Night-time will be our next mile stone once we get day time down.

The MOST important thing in this process was ME! The reason that we hadn't intensely potty trained in the past was because I was afraid. I was afraid of accidents. I didn't want her to pee on my floor or my furniture. I was unwilling to dedicate my time to taking her to the toilet 20 times a day, to drop everything that I was doing to help her on the potty. To get up from a nap to take her to the toilet. I was LAZY! I think that she has been ready for a while, but I was not ready.

I knew that to really potty train, I had to dedicate at least three days and I had to put her in underwear, which meant that she would pee on the floor most likely. I just was not prepared.

So, after reading that post mentioned above and reading the post that my aunt Deanne wrote about potty training her youngest, I decided to change my attitude. I had to ACCEPT that there would be accidents and be okay with it. I had to be positive about the experience and not resent Nicole from taking me away from whatever I'm doing to go to the potty nine times in an hour. I had to be excited for her! I had to be happy, no matter what so that Nicole would view this as a good experience. That was not an easy thing to do.

And, when Nicole pooped in her underwear the first time I just said, "Okay sweetheart, lets go and get cleaned up." Then, after she was clean, I talked to her about using the toilet in the happiest way that I could without any anger about the accident. Because I knew that if I were upset about accidents, she would have anxiety about having accidents and it would hinder the whole potty training process.

And, I was overly worried for no reason because it has been so simple the last few days. Extremely time consuming and sleep depriving, but easy other than that. Nicole has caught on so quick and can tell when she needs to use the toilet when she isn't distracted. I haven't even needed to clean pee out of the carpet yet (though I know I will need to at some point. No kid is perfect).

If I had just chilled out and changed my attitude sooner, perhaps I could have saved a lot of money on diapers, but I'm catching on now! I hope her progress with the potty continues.


Marie said...

Good job. She's getting so big! It's hilarious that she couldn't be fooled by the too-small diaper trick. She's the smartest.

Sarah said...

Nice! I don't know from experience, but it sounds like the intense work of potty training is so worth it.

Jasmine said...

Another key element in potty training is the child's readiness. It is possible that, had you tried earlier, you may very well have been cleaning pee out of your carpet. I wish I had just waited to start potty training Alexis until she was showing signs of being ready. It would have saved me months of stress and frustration. I'm glad your experience has been smooth and successful so far. Good job!

Lisa said...

Yay for little successes! It's nice helping one's child become a little more independent when they're ready to tackle something new. Best of luck moving forward with it!

Laura said...

I think that you are right about Mom being ready for potty training too. You are so smart to have figured that all out with your first child.