Sunday, June 10, 2012

Potty Training

Having a little celebratory ice cream for pooping in the potty!
We are successfully potty trained! This is an experience & a milestone that I have to record somewhere, if only just so I remember for next time! Also, this has lots of potty talk in it, so if you're not interested in reading all that...don't. 

Isis has been going occasionally in the potty for pee since she was a little older than 18 months. This would happen more often with the grandparents because they seemed excited to do it & she seemed more at ease about doing it with them. We didn't push it almost at all at our house because I wanted to go all in or just wait. I didn't want to just go halfway with the potty training & drag it out forever. She also has woken up dry for naps pretty frequently for about the same amount of time. She has also woken up many times dry in the morning. She would also tell me sometimes that she needed a diaper change, so I knew she was ready. As a teacher, I just waited until summer to do it because I didn't want a babysitter to have to potty train her - especially considering our sitter watches several other kids, so that's just too much. This past week I had 3-4 days in a row where I knew I could be home & focus on it, so we did it! General stats: Isis is just over 2 years 5 months right now.

Gathering Info
If you've been reading my blog for very long or know me at all, you'll know that I like to take experience & advice from lots of different people & figure out what combo of that will work for me. No one parenting style is going to work for a wide range of people & the same can go with potty training or any other guided parenting strategy. So I set out at first to gain some knowledge from the experienced parents around me! I also had a friend who suggested the 3 day potty training method. I have the ebook & I read it in less than an hour the day before I started. Taking all this into consideration, I determined what method I wanted to use. Now, those who know me also know that I like structure, I like having a plan of action & I like to think things out in advance. I try to be intentional in my parenting, so I went into potty training with this mentality. 

My method / Our experience
 I focused on the positive with Isis through this whole process. She never received any sort of negative response to an accident or anything. I started by putting her in big girl panties & being really excited about it. Good thing was, with her past experience using the potty, she was excited to go on the potty first thing in the morning the first day. After that, I left her in big girl panties, told her to "tell mommy if you need to go potty" and just let her do her thing. I stayed close to her all day, playing more directly with her throughout the day than I normally do. (I usually try to get her to play independently during the day for a little while.) If she had an accident, I just tried to catch it right when I realized what was happening & I ran her to the potty. If any pee made it in the potty, I got really excited & gave her 2 M&M's. I then kept reminding her throughout the day to "tell mommy if you need to go potty." I didn't ask her if she wanted to go potty & I didn't suggest it. I tried to give her the control because she is 2 & we're in the "I do it" stage, so this made more sense to me than asking her all the time or trying to take her to the potty after a certain amount of time. The first day, she had what I'm calling 1 1/2 accidents. 1 was a full on accident & 1 was just she started & finished on the potty. The rest of the day she asked to go.

I also did diapers for sleep. I'm going to keep diapers for sleeping for a while. Not sure how long. The first day she did wet her diaper during naptime & bedtime. But she didn't after that. So, it's interesting. Maybe I won't need diapers when she's sleeping as much as I thought I would. 

The second day, she asked to go pee every time. She had one accident at night right before bath time. I think she just forgot because she was running around with Lewis getting bubbles for the bath and stuff like that and she just stopped in the middle of the hallway & goes "uh oh!" We also got out the little potty on the second day and she got more excited about that. She would run in the bathroom and open that one and start pulling her panties down. So that was pretty exciting! 

The third and fourth days, she did perfect with the pee. No accidents at all. 

The problem
Here was the only problem with the whole thing: poo. I started potty training on Thursday morning. Isis is normally a once a day pooper. The last time she had gone was Wednesday  morning. I could tell Tuesday afternoon that she kinda needed to go, but she didn't. Then on Friday I started to tell that she really needed to go, but was holding it. I had expected this would probably happen because I'd heard about how common it was. Friday afternoon, I called the doctor just to find out what I should do if it continues and to find out at what point we start to worry. Isis has done this before where she held it for a few days. We had used apple prune juice & it had worked great before, so we tried that, but it didn't work. The doctor told us we could use a glycerin suppository if high fiber foods didn't work. They said, though, that they didn't recommend this during potty training because it could cause them to have a negative association & I really didn't want that. I also knew from someone else that I could use Pedia-Lax, which is a children's laxative. I bought the chewable tablets on Saturday because her belly started getting big and I knew she was really uncomfortable. We gave her 1 tablet on Saturday night & she ended up going 1 teeny tiny bit, but nothing really substantial.

Today, though, she finally went! We had given her another tablet for breakfast and 1 around lunch. It was after dinner when she finally told me she needed to poo. She'd been drinking prune juice all day, so I knew it was going to be interesting. She was in the living room and she seemed uncomfortable when she started going & so I told Lewis to bring the little potty into the living room because I was afraid moving her would make it stop. So she just ended up sitting there in the living room to go. Because of the prune juice and the laxatives, I think the whole experience was a lot more comfortable than it could've been after 4 days of not pooping! She seemed really excited because we made a really big deal about it! There were lots of high fives & big smiles while she was going. She'd look in the potty & point at it & go "look at that!" It was actually really funny and I had to focus on not laughing. I tried to just stay really positive and happy and excited! She got a little bit of ice cream & some M&M's afterward for pooping in the potty!!

So overall, I'd call that all a success! We'll see how the pooping goes from here, but I feel like getting her to go that first time was a breakthrough! And she was excited about it, so hopefully we won't have as much trouble after that!

What I think worked: 
  • Being consistently positive, no negative associations with accidents or not pooping
  •  Having her "tell mommy when you need to go potty" - giving her control
  • Patience, patience, patience
  • Consistency - I tried to treat each time the same so that she knew what to expect from me & from the whole process
Now, this was my experience. As I said, I gathered info and advice from lots of different people whose experiences looked different than mine & we all now have potty trained children so you've gotta do what works for your child. So in the grand scheme of things, just like anything else, take from this what works for you & leave the rest! Mine is just one more experience to add to the mix!

What was your experience?
Any tips for readers looking for potty training advice?

Good luck with your own potty training experiences!!


The Geeks Wife said...

New follower.
Feel free to follow me back!
@thedayafterxmas (twitter)

MMI said...

Okay Cameron, Charlotte is only 20 months so we've just been toying with potty training for a couple months. She's pooped a few times. I really want to try the 3 day method! Thanks for the info!

And congrats on your new little lady! My sister and I are very close. It will be wonderful for Isis to have that!

Amy said...

Oh, Whoops! Sorry Cameron. It's Amy. I was logged in at work. Shh! ;-)

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