Based on what I’ve seen on Facebook and Twitter, most people out there spent their Labor Day weekend at the beach, at the pool, with friends, at BBQs, and generally enjoying the last weekend of the summer by being outdoors and having a great time. I, however, did none of these things. My long weekend was spent not saying goodbye to summer, but instead saying goodbye to my little man in diapers. This weekend was the Adventures of Potty Training.
For the past year I have been dreading the potty training. It just seems… HARD. As my mom and I have discussed, it is pretty much the only baby transition that isn’t natural. Milk to food? Natural. Rolling, crawling, walking? Natural. Talking and communicating? Natural. Sitting on a ceramic device that swallows your excrement? NOT NATURAL. It isn’t instinctual for kids and I think that’s why it seems to be such a hard venture.
I have attempted it at other times, to little interest or initiative on his part. I was busy being pregnant and moving across the country so I really didn’t want to push it on top of everything we had going on.
So, we hunkered down this weekend and set our sights on the potty. Based on others experiences and some research, I opted for the complete “cold turkey” route – no pull-ups, no diapering during sleep, straight to underwear and no turning back. We loaded the little guy up with juice and milk and got to work.
We didn’t really have a set “plan” for how to do this, so we kind of just winged it. Didn’t intend on a reward system, only to freak out like he just won the superbowl every time he went in the potty. Didn’t really have a set “this is what we’ll work on today” list, though that sort of formulated itself as we went along and realized what items he needed to learn. You don’t think about the multi-step process involved in going to the bathroom until you are trying to teach your child to successfully do so independently.
One thing I knew going into this venture is that my kid pees A LOT. I mean, A LOT. In the evenings, he would get one juice box with dinner and half a sippy of milk. He was saturating and leaking through his overnight diapers nearly every night. Maybe that is normal for the amount of liquid consumed. If so, Huggies needs to step up their game with the overnight diapers. For real.
So, knowing how much he pees especially during sleep, I was preparing for the floodgates to open once we removed the diaper barrier. Carpet cleaner? Check. Towels at the ready? Check. Raincoat and galoshes… just kidding. Sort of.
First we concentrated on getting him to go on the potty and recognize the sensation of having to go. Wearing just a shirt and his underwear for the day, we had him sit on the potty every 20 minutes or so and by the 3rd or 4th sit down, he totally got it. He even pooped a little the first morning, though he didn’t realize it. He opted for sitting down to pee, though we intended on training him to stand and aim at Cheerios. We didn’t fight him on the sitting down part, we just want the pee in the potty, no matter how it gets there. He still wanted to aim at the Cheerios while sitting down, so we had to dissuade him from that. This is not Cirque de Toilet, kid.
We had a lot of accidents, of course, but by the end of the day most of the accidents were him starting to go, then stopping, then getting on the potty. So, he recognized the sensations and was able to control himself a little. Woo hoo! He of course wet the bed during his nap, but that was totally expected for the first time sleeping without a diaper on. He was so tuckered out by the whole thing that he fell asleep on the hallway floor for over 2 hours AFTER his nap.
Overnight he wet the bed but we think it happened right before he woke up because he didn’t have to “go” for a couple of hours in the morning, so we thought that was pretty good. He even slept an hour later than normal. This was heavenly for Mommy because OH MY GOD SLEEP.
Day 2 we continued our mission to recognize the sensation in addition to learning to pull up the underwear properly. He has no problem pulling them down, but getting them back up and in place was a little tricky for him. He kept whining “I need HELP!” Pathetic. So, we practiced that a lot. I can’t even count how many times I said “Up and over your bum bum, buddy!” or “I still see some cheek!” It probably matches the amount of times I danced like a friggin’ idiot while singing “Pee pee in the POTTY!” The stupid antics worked, though. He pooped twice knowingly and had less and less accidents through the day. A little leakage during nap and very minimal leakage overnight. Woo hoo!
Third and final day of the concentrated potty training, we added pants to the mix. He still wanted to run around in his undies but we needed him to learn to pull up his undies and his pants to complete the training. After convincing him he needed to pull the undies up first and then the pants, he was a pro by the end of the day. In the evening, he got on the potty and pooped all on his own, no prompting from us. We had a few accidents but he stayed dry through his naptime and even stayed dry ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT. THIS KID IS AMAZEBALLS!!!!
So, now we can check that one off the list. Potty training: DONE. Now someone please get me a beach chair and a Margarita, I need another holiday weekend!