Friday, February 20, 2015

Potty Training Bootcamp

I mentioned a couple posts ago we were loading up on milk and meals in preparation of potty training.  Figured I'd give an update.

This potty business seems to cause so much drama, and EVERYone has an opinion (this is mine).  Most of the reading I did to prepare myself (I felt I needed to go in with a game-plan) ended up giving me mixed feelings, most resulting in discouragement.  Now that the boys are "basically" potty trained (most people probably wouldn't agree) I'd like to share a few things I've learned.

The MOST important thing is deciding if you, the parent, are ready.  Not the child.  (Everything I read, or anytime I ask other parents for advice, 95% of the replies state make sure the child is ready, or my personal favorite, sounds like they just aren't ready.  Especially when it comes to little boys).  Well, let me give you a tiny pep talk about toddlers.  They are SO beyond capable of learning anything, especially when you factor in repetition and patience.

To all my future potty training friends:  In the beginning, success depends on training yourself!  It's not as important to your toddler as it is for you, to make it to the potty.  Set yourself a timer if it helps.  Your toddler isn't only being trained where to go, they are learning to recognize the feelings of a full bladder, how to control it and how to time it to make it to the potty on time.  Lots to coordinate in a brain that's also learning language among new daily discoveries.  Eventually they'll learn how to manage everything themselves, but have patience and keep reminding them it's time to go.  

For us, learning how to use the potty was the easiest thing.  It's avoiding the accident that's difficult.  They are interested in just about ANYTHING else to stop and go.  We can go days without accidents, as long as I'm taking the time to realize it's been an hour, undies are still dry....time to go potty.  We began with a weekend of teaching their elephants the process.  The kids are in control here, just guide them.

Next toddler potty training bootcamp!

Day 1:  We spent the full day pants/diapers/underwear free, downing liquids (I allowed the most watered down juice EVER), rewarding success on the potty with clapping/singing/cheering and a small candy treat..I made chocolate covered raisins.  Day two:  The same, but introduced wearing undies after nap.  Day three:  Undies all the time, rewards shift from potty success to keeping undies dry, introduction to the "official schedule".  (Wake up-use the potty.  Immediately before/after meals-use the potty.  Immediately before/after nap-use the potty.  Immediately before/after bath use the potty.)  The boys are awesome at this.  They love it!

So, that's where we are now.  Definitely not going back to diapers, aside from nap time and bedtime, and for sure running errands.  Public restrooms freak me out.  I'm so very proud of the boys, and I tell them constantly.  The first week was CONSTANT attention as well.  We almost never turned on their favorite shows (which we typically watch after nap time while I prepare dinner), and it's been loads of fun for K&A, and myself.

Happy weekend friends!

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