Tuesday, April 6, 2010


SOMEONE has finally decided that going potty is the cool thing to do.

We went shopping yesterday and in the middle of the store she tells me, "I have to go potty!"

Okay so have you ever been in a store with a baby in an infant carrier, a cart full of stuff, and a toddler dancing to keep themselves from peeing all over the place?! NOT a fun position to be in. I flagged down an employee and they let me take my cart (baby carrier and stuff to buy) into the restroom.

And then joy of joys. Abigail proceeded to scream, cry, kick, throw a fit for 15-20 minutes before she finally couldn't hold it in any longer. When I come out of the bathroom with her there are people standing there glaring at me as though I was beating my child in the restroom. It was really hard biting my tongue and not being defensive so instead I said really loudly, "Good job going potty, Abby!" which made Abs glow with pride. I saw one woman glare at me, look at the "Employees Only" sign on the door and then stomp off to the front of the store.

Whatever. My baby went potty... not only in public but at home as well! She may have thrown the world's biggest fit about it but now it is a breeze. She has overcome her fear and is doing great. She went 5 times on her own today and only one accident on the floor. Each time she sits down I can see this fear flicker across her face but as she hears herself go it changes to wonder and she exclaims, "I did it!"

Go Abby go!

*She's a total mess in the picture above because I gave her chocolate for going potty, ha ha! Her new thing is wiping her face on her shirts. Needless to say we have ruined a few shirts around here lately with all sorts of stained loveliness!

I hate potty training but I love that we are only buying diapers for nighttime now. I've put her pottying off for so long because I was dreading it and now I'm relieved that we've overcome the biggest hurdles. There will be accidents (like the one she had all over a Walmart aisle) and setbacks but the biggest problem has been solved and that was getting her to actually sit on the potty. Now she is aware of when she has to go and runs to the potty before she pees herself.

If you are dreading the potty training as well I have some tips:

1). Prepare yourself! You have to be ready, mentally. You need to set aside a week where you won't go anywhere for about a week, too. Get your accessories and put them together as a gift for your child (or at least have your child help shop for their potty items). This could include the Potty Book, a DVD on potty training by their favorite cartoon/puppet friends, special handwash, special wipes, undies, a potty chair and reward stickers and candies (M&Ms work great).

2). BE CONSISTENT. This is the major part. Don't keep your child in their undies for one day and give up the next because all they did was pee all over your house the first day. It is a learning process. They have to learn about the sensations they feel when it is time to go. Children can usually go pee on the potty long before they'll go poop.

3). Part of being consistent also means making rules. "Wash your hands" after going potty. "We only wear diapers at bedtime" is another one for us. By being consistent with only putting her in diapers at night it has become part of her nightly routine. We no longer call them diapers but "Nigh-night panties". Your child might not be ready to be out of diapers in the middle of the night until closer to 4 years old and up. Don't add to the confusion by being inconsistent (diapers one day and undies the next).

4). Accept that there will be accidents. Keep the disinfecting wipes ready and confine your child to a room where the floor is easy to clean. Because they WILL have accidents the first day or two as they learn. And when you can accept there will be accidents then you can control how you react to accidents. Do not make a big deal about it, do not ridicule your child and do not spank. It will be embarrassing and scary enough for them. Give lots of hugs, let them know we all have accidents, drop the issue and clean it all up.

5). Reward! This is a tough one because you don't want your child to think they will always get a treat for going potty but you also want to reward them in the early stages of potty training. I've already stopped giving Abby treats for going potty after a week of potty training. She hasn't gone #2 on the potty yet so I will most likely reward her for the first time she does that.

With Elaina I would give her stickers and she'd stick them on her potty seat. With Abby I have given her a few jelly beans or M&Ms the first few times she went and TONS of praise. You'll have to use your judgment for your unique child and circumstances. But you'll definitely want to gradually cut out the rewards at some point, especially if they're a sugary treat. My thought is one week. I've even begun to tone down my verbal praise to be a little more nonchalant and normal.

5). Don't push it. If your child is scared or won't go those first days don't sweat it. Stay close to home (please, please believe me when I say it'll be so much easier if you stay at home those first potty training days!). Keep the potty chair in the open, watch the DVD, read the book and make it FUN. What worked for us was that I refused to put a diaper on Abby until she peed. She held her pee in all... day... long knowing she'd get a diaper at bedtime. So when I caught on I let her know she needed to pee on the potty or the floor because she wasn't going to get her diaper until she went. Well it worked because going on the floor is so embarrassed. I left the choice up to her, didn't push it, but made my point clear. It was the potty or the floor and she chose the potty... and was so proud of herself!

6). Undies, undies everywhere! When you are ready to potty train and you've watched the DVD with your child and picked out the seat the next step is to tell your child that it is time to put on their undies and say goodbye to diapers. Abigail fought me on this and threw a fit. So I just told her she could be naked or she could put on the panties. It was just rough for her and a big change. Once she had the new undies on she was perfectly fine. Leave the choice up to them. Running around your house naked as they potty train isn't a big deal.

7). Got milk? Or juice? When your child is in their undies (or running free as a bird) start offering them drinks. Keep the drinks coming. Give them a cup of milk, then a cup of juice, then a couple cups of water. Get fluid in them. The point is that they need to focus on what it feels like when they need to go potty. This is where tip #4 really comes in because you may have a couple accidents. Remember to give lots of reinforcement if your child does pee on the floor. Change them, clean the floor, give hugs and tell them, "Good try! Next time you feel like you have to pee just tell Mommy/Daddy or sit on your potty." Keep at it! Sometimes just having them sit on the potty all day (if they will sit there) can work, too!

So good luck potty training your child if you're going to be soon! Let me know how it goes for you! And remember... don't give up! It took 4 days for Abigail to finally go on the potty, a week to go in public and today she was going like a pro.


Vixbil said...

Go Abby Go!!

Kaye said...

So excited for her (and you!).

Andrea said...

Good job, Abby!

The other day I was in the bathroom at the mall and overheard a mom and daughter "struggling" with potty training in public. The little girl was so afraid to sit on the big toilet and the mom kept trying to talk her into it. I have to say, I was quite amused listening to it all. ;-)

The Lynchs said...

YAY Abby!!! That's awesome!

shortmama said...

Yay! She did great! Potty training is tough for sure, especially in public. My oldest was terrified of the loud sound of the toilets in a public restroom so she would throw a huge fit too!

Now Im working on potty training my youngest, but you said I dont push it. We keep the potty in the living room and most of the time she pulls her pull ups down and just sits on it, but sometimes she pees and then we give her big praise!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog!

Letherton said...

yay can't wait for mine to be trained

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JDaniel4's Mom said...

I don't look forward to this!