Thursday, February 22, 2024

Potty Training

 How it's working for us:

We started potty training in October when L was 2.5yrs and P was 6mo. L seemed knowledgeable about when she was eliminating, so I figured it was time to get her putting it where it belonged.

Started with the "Oh Crap! Potty Training" book and per my findings, you really can't have a younger kid with that. It doesn't allow for nursing and nap breaks or really for anything other than focusing on your toddler who is pants-less and figuring this all out. We made some good strides then kept hitting roadblocks and frustration was all around. SIDENOTE: check your local library for resources - they should have plenty to choose from so you can read up and find what you think could work for you and/or have many options to try for the many situations you could be in. I've read several books and blog posts and it seems there are many avenues to toilet training. We started out reward-less because that's what the first book said and it made sense to me. Switched to giving her a chocolate chip when she went on the potty. 

Switched back to pull-ups with the holidays and too much going on to stay home next to a bathroom at all times. Was reminding her all the time to use the potty, it was nearly always a struggle to get her there.

Things that helped:

  • Make it a race i.e. "I'm going to get to the restroom before you!"
  • Set a timer i.e. "Would you like to use the potty now or in 5 minutes?" (she always selects the delay) "Ok, Alexa set a L potty time for five minutes" and when it goes off she's usually happy to go to the restroom, sometimes she even goes over sooner because she's thinking about it and realizes she needs it.
  • Make her stay in the wet pants for like 2 minutes when she has an accident (gets her to realize she doesn't like this feeling and spurs her to focus more on her body and its needs).
  • Give her a small reward for going all day without accidents (for us it's a small glass of chocolate milk with breakfast the next day).
It's currently nearly March, so 5 months in (with a break for holidays) and she's pretty good during the day, provided I remind her to go - literally anything she is doing is more important to her than taking a potty break it seems. Our current struggle is in the evenings, mainly after dinner. She seems to need a potty break every 20-30min but doesn't seem to be getting the signal or is straight up refusing to acknowledge it. She will pee herself when doing a puzzle, watching tv, or walking upstairs to get a bath in the evening. It's a bit frustrating. 
During the day, she is great with staying dry even when out and about - I currently just do one-destination trips so just to the library and back or just the store and back and try to be speedy while shopping. I have used many public restrooms with her - it's always a good plan to keep your diaper bag with you (extra clothes) and always note where the restroom is in a store. The first few weeks when I took her out and about, I had her in a pull-up. She was very resistant to using public toilets (scary flush! loud flush!) and it took like four months for her to get over this with me constantly coaching her about how it's not scary since we know it will flush and make a noise. 
We are still giving her a chocolate chip when she goes in the potty, however she has to not complain about going to the potty to get the reward. She usually asks while on the potty to get a chocolate chip, and I'll tell her yes but you need to finish here and wash your hands first, but once she's washed her hands she just heads off into some other room to play or read and seems to forget about her request and I'm not gonna chase after her to reward her, so yes we do rewards in theory but often in practice she doesn't take us up on it? It's a bit confusing. 

I'll try to update this as more info dawns on us or improvements are made. It's a journey with many options all ending the same - a toilet trained child. 

April Update: We have good days where she stays dry and takes herself to the toilet when she needs it - and we have rough days where she has multiple accidents and doesn't seem to notice that she's peed herself. It's a bit confusing. We really don't do rewards anymore, like if she asks she can have a chocolate chip but she rarely asks. I've started keeping her pants-less for 30min after she pees herself (she gets out of the wet clothes after 3 minutes and gets dry undies but has to wait on pants) to help sink in the fact that we don't pee in clothes but I'm not sure how much that helps. She turns 3 at the end of this month so we shall see how this goes. The good news is that she is very consistent with getting her poop in the potty - I can't remember the last time she had a poopy accident and I'm very glad about that. 

Tools we have found helpful:
Portable toilet seat that doubles as a car toilet: Kalencom Potette Plus 2-in-1 Travel Potty and Trainer Seat (comes in several color options - we went with green/purple) *
Post-It sticky notes to cover the sensor on public toilets so it doesn't flush while your child is balanced up there and freak her out.
Plastic bottle with glitter and water in it (very tightly sealed and tapped closed) to shake up and say "stay on the potty til the glitter all floats down" - these also work as distractions for the baby so he doesn't try to climb up the toilet or pull off his sister's socks.
Chocolate Chip Bowl from Hobby Lobby to prettily display the reward on the kitchen counter (it's a 10oz ceramic bowl with a lid and it's a seasonal item so that link might not work but for some reason my screenshotting isn't working either).

*We have used this once as a car toilet when we were returning from a rec center about an hour away and she declared she needed to pee about halfway home so we pulled over, set it up, set her on it, and took care of business right there. It was super easy to use and did just what we needed.

No comments:

Post a Comment