Our First Adventures in Potty Training

We have finally decided to take the leap and potty train Lady A. I really think she was ready to start during the summer but with vacations and family visitors, time got away from us. But if you must know I was really worried it was going to take weeks and we would never be able to leave the house. With baby girl number 2 on the way and all the changes that will be coming this summer, the winter break between semesters seemed like a great time to undertake the adventures of potty training.

I have been pretty sick with being pregnant so I needed to make sure to do this while Paul would be home to help. I gag so easily that if there was going to be a mess to clean up, Paul would have to do it and I would need to go in the next room.

Here was my plan. Ask and listen to as much 'advise' as I could get from mom's who had recently potty trained, take it with a grain of salt knowing that it wasn't going to be perfect and be willing to change my method if what we were doing wasn't working.
  • Spend the day in the bathroom with books, phone/tablet, drinks {to make sure they have to use the potty} and plenty of wipes.
  • Put her in big girl underwear {this way if they have an accident they know what it feels like and will hopefully make them want to try harder}.
  • It could take a day to a week.
  • Put the little potty in the open {dinning area, living room} and let them figure it out.
  • Potty stickers/treats or anything that would be a reward for your child.
  • AND so on. Everyone had suggestions and no two were exactly the same.
We had gotten the little people potty and underwear over the summer so she was familiar with them already. Any time she wanted to sit down on it we encouraged her or if she wanted to put the underwear on over her diaper we were happy to help.

Like I said earlier, she might have been ready this past summer, she started pointing to her diaper every time she wet it a little or if we knew she was going in her diaper we would talk to her about it, letting her know that soon she would use a toilet like mom and dad.

Day One:
The day arrived and we had breakfast first {maybe we should have put her on the potty first, oh well} then took the little potty and all our goodies into the restroom. This lasted almost two hours and mom and dad were done. Our operation moved down to the family room. We had her in her big girl undies and she had already had a mishap but I could tell she knew when she needed to go {even if she did not make it to the potty on time}. One of us stayed almost within arms reach of her the whole time so if we needed to we could grab her and run for the safe haven of the linoleum floor.

The rest of the day was a great success. Her candy of choice right now is Hershey Hugs so we used those as her potty treat. Lady A would always point to herself when she needed to go, she picked up the potty dance real quick, so we knew when it was time to help her. Every time she made it to the potty we also made a big deal out of it: hugs and kisses, high fives and knuckles.....I mean this is a pretty big deal and big change, it was our job to let her know how proud of her we were and to encourage her to keep going, even after accidents.

Right before bed she needed to go number two and I heard that this had it's own set of issues. Well it wasn't perfect for us but we recovered. Even at the very last possible second before dad laid her down for bed she let him know she needed to go {this might of been a scam to come down and see mom and stay up just a little bit later} so they came downstairs and sure enough, she earned her treats.
Now to just keep doing the same thing for the next while. I'm sure the first time we go out for a trial run with the big girl undies on, it's possible we'll need to take extras and make a lot of potty stops.

It wasn't perfect but it was pretty good and didn't scare me so bad once we finally started. Maybe with baby number two I won't put it off so long once she starts showing me she is ready.

Day Two:
She woke up with a dry diaper!!! Yay. I know this one can take a lot longer and it might of been a one time thing until she gets better at controlling herself.....but we are counting it as a win.

Today was a bit harder with Church right in the middle of the day. She wouldn't use the restroom at church and I can not blame her.....those things are so big they looked like they could swallow her whole. For nap time she is still in Pull-Ups and figured out quickly that she could use the excuse of needing to go potty as a way to stay up. She has perfected that excuse and was able to stay up almost 2 hours at bedtime. But every time she sat on her toilet, she used it so I can't be too upset.

Day Three:
Another dry diaper!!

Paul had to work this afternoon so I was going to do the second half of the day by myself. Lady A has come up with her own way of letting us know she needs to go. Trying to make her go ever couple of hours or constantly asking her was causing more contention than anything so from now on she stops what she is doing, assumes the potty stance then runs to the toilet yelling "Go, Go, Go" until she has made it. We did have two accidents but one of them was my own fault. For the past few days I have been staying within arms reach and not doing anything but waiting for our next trip to the potty but I got caught up doing my own thing today.

Day Four:
You guessed it.....A dry diaper!!! I'm super excited for Lady A but don't think we will stop using Pull-Ups at night and nap time for a little while.

I was also told {by others as well as from Elmo's Potty video} that mastering number 1 and number 2 can happen at different times but today she decided that it was time to master the second. By now the treats do not mean as much to her as running back and forth from mom to dad and getting high-fives and knuckles. This little girl cracks me up, she has such a huge personality in a little tiny body.

From others and my own experience of having four younger siblings, I know that sometimes the kids can go back to wanting diapers and that wet diapers at nap time and bed time could come back for a visit. Even though it seems like we have mastered this milestone, and are moving forward, we could take a step back at times so I will have to keep reminding myself to be patient.

Here are some tips I have put together as a first timer {I'll be coming back to this list in a couple of years for baby number two}:
  • Ask around about different potty training techniques. This will help you decide on what might work for you.
  • Don't get stuck on one method. I had heard from a lot of moms who had great success by spending a whole day in the restroom with their toddler. There is no way Lady A was going to do that, so we adapted with some of the other ideas I had gotten from moms.
  • Wait until they are ready. As I said, I really think Lady A was ready. She would let us know every time she went in her diaper and needed a diaper change. This is a huge reason why I think her potty training went so well.
  • Help them get familiar with what changes are coming. The little people potty had been out in the restroom for some time and she had sat on it before.
  • A lot of patience. There will be accidents and bumps along the way. Potty training is just as much an exercise for the parents as it is for the kids.
  • A tag-team partner. Even if it is just for the first day, having someone there to help was a great help and can encourage you to stick with it.
Something I did not think about until we had potty trained her was that once she is awake from nap time or bed time I have to get up too to see if she needs to use the potty. There is no more sleeping in and waiting to see if she'll fall back to sleep. If I want her to be potty trained, I need to make sure I get up to help her when she gets up.

What potty training tips do you have? Help us build a list of ideas for all those who are taking on this adventure in the future.

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