Sunday, January 31, 2016

Adventures in Potty Training!

As I am sure most people know, parts of the East coast got slammed with Blizzard Jonas last weekend.

Since I knew we would be holed up for a while with nowhere to go I figured I would take advantage of the situation and work on potty training Zach.  He just turned 3 in December and we have attempted learning how to use the potty two or three times before but nothing has ever come of it.  He has just had no interest at all.  With Samantha we never really pushed her to train and then one weekend, about a month after she had turned 3, we could just tell it was time.  She was so easy to train, figuring it all out herself and running with it.  There was nothing like I had read about on websites -- accidents all over the place, wetting the bed, holding her poop.  We didn't have any of it.  She day and night trained all at once and we never looked back.

I could tell from the get go that things would be more difficult with Zach.  He would tell us after he had gone in his diaper but could never tell us when he had to go.  This proved difficult in the beginning because the method I decided to try had me putting him on the potty every 20 minutes.  He would sit for 10-20 seconds and say he didn't have to go and get up and run off to play.  No doubt, a few minutes after he sat on the potty he'd yell that he had peed on the floor!  I was not going to force him to sit on the potty if he didn't want to, so both times in the past we decided to just wait it out and try again when he seemed more eager and willing to spend some time with his little froggy potty.  When we started last week, it was more of the same, mostly playing and not wanting anything to do with peeing.  So away the potty went but this weekend my dad had been getting on Zach's case about his diapers and every time we talked on face time, my dad would ask to see what kind of pants Zach was wearing and ask Zach why he wasn't wearing big boy pants.  This got Zach angry and insisting that he wore big boy underpants.  This time he seemed really into it!

We have a froggy toddler potty that we've had since Samantha was little.  We keep the potty in our family room so that it is easily accessible at all times.  Once they start night training and are able to pee independently, we put the potty in their room overnight so they can go alone and aren't wandering the house to go to the bathroom.  We also put the potty in the trunk of our car when we're out and on long trips so they aren't stuck using icky public bathrooms and you aren't pressed to find one when they have to go RIGHT THIS SECOND!

I know most blogs say to load your kids up on drinks so that they constantly have fluids moving through them and need to use the bathroom more often.  My kids are naturally big drinkers and have a cup of milk or water at the table for them always so I didn't really push additional drinks on them.  We also don't really use treats to reward them after peeing.  I mean if he's going once an hour or more that is a lot of treats!  The treats also didn't seem to make him more motivated to go so we just skipped them.

Next, I made sure we had plenty of underwear on hand.  I have bought a few packs for Zach the past few months and my aunt and brother both got him some for Christmas so he is definitely good to go.  I admit with 2 adults and 3 kids we do A LOT of laundry, but I don't want to feel pressured to do laundry quickly because he's out of undies.  So while 30 some pairs may seem like a lot, at the beginning when they may be having several accidents a day (or hour!), it's definitely not too many!!  I also let him run around in only his underwear so he doesn't have to worry about getting more clothes on and off and I don't have to worry about more pee soaked clothes to clean.

Zach's current top pic as you can see is Paw Patrol.  He also has Thomas, Cars, and Super Heroes.  I make sure to always let him pick which pair he wants to wear so that he's excited about putting them on.  I told Zach that his characters don't like getting wet although that backfired on me because a Paw Patrol character Zuma likes getting wet so I had to explain he likes water but not pee!!

Our first day training got off to a rough start.  I set our Amazon Echo Alexa timer for 20 minutes and each time it went off I had Zach sit on the potty.  He peed a few times and there were a few times that he didn't have to go.  I got confident and turned the timer up to 30 minutes and of course at the 27 minute mark he had gone on the floor.  No big deal though!  I never scolded him, but praised him for trying his best and said that he'd get it next time.  I never wanted him to feel bad for having an accident.  Unfortunately after half the day he was over it and once we ate lunch he wanted his diaper back.  Day two he had 3 accidents on the floor but lasted longer with the underpants on.  Yesterday though (day 3) was a completely different story.  My husband got up for work and changed Zach's diaper and put on his underpants and then put his feeties back on before leaving.  I had been in another room taking a 30 second breather when Zach ran to the door and said he had peed.  My mind immediately jumped to soaking wet fleece feeties but he said no, he had gone on the potty.  Of course I didn't believe him, but I opened the door to see his feeties in a pile on the floor in front of his potty and the potty full!!  His first time ever going unprompted.  He continued all day long going when he needed to and if I noticed it had been an hour or two since he had last gone, I asked him to sit, which he usually did.  He went all day with NO accidents!!

I knew not to get my hopes up and it was a good thing I didn't because already today he has had 2 accidents within the span of 30 minutes.  He still seems to be excited about using the potty though and the first thing he asked when he got up was if he could put on his underpants.  I am really hoping this sticks and we can get him completely out of diapers soon, though I must admit I will miss my cloth (even though we only use it part time).  Zach is excited for the "prizes" he will earn once he is completely potty trained.  He will get to go to the store and pick out a new toy and daddy is going to build him his very own big boy bed!  I am excited at the prospect of only having one child in diapers though I am not so secretly hoping we have another little one to diaper very soon!!

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