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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Potty Training Success! (Parents Only!)

Warning: If you're not a parent you probably don't want to read this post, as it talks about topics most adults don't normally discuss.

As you know from my previous post, we have successfully potty trained Addie!

We started about 2 weeks ago, letting her run naked at home.  I had a few days where I knew we'd be home with no plans and Willie would be at work (he stresses about naked time) so I decided to go for it.  Why not, right? She hates being wet or dirty and always tells me with plenty of advance when she needs to poop. She knows what the potty is used for and even would occasionally ask to sit on it, we just never had any potty action on the toilet which was the only thing discouraging me.  I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try for a few days and see what happens though. If the first couple of days weren't a success, we could always just put a diaper back on her and try again later.

I had everything in place.  I made a sticker chart and had a stack of sticker sheets at the ready.  3 stickers equaled 1 piece of candy or a prize, so I had plenty of rub-on tattoos and some left-over halloween candy at the ready. I had a potty seat in the living room and one in the common bathroom (we'd had so little luck with the toilet so I thought maybe this would help). I had 3 sippy cups filled with water to encourage her to drink more. We were ready to give it a try.

The first part of the day was....very discouraging to say the least.  She wouldn't drink the water.  Any of it. I think she had maybe half a sippy cup of water all day! At random intervals throughout the day I'd ask her if she was thirsty and she'd take a small sip and put it down.  Just not interested in water. She wouldn't sit on the potty, and would just stand there with pee running down her legs saying "uh oh!" when she was standing right next to the potty peeing. It was very frustrating.  I would pick her up and toss her on the potty only to have her immediately stop in transit and refuse to finish on the potty. I tried having her help me clean up the wet spot and I tried having her practice running to the potty after she peed (all the while continuing to act like it was no big deal that she just peed all over the floor because hey, accidents happen). Nothing doing.  What I needed was to get her to pee-even just a tiny drop-in her potty so she could see how exciting it was.  I began to sort of hover that afternoon so I could toss her quickly onto the potty.  Early that first evening, we finally had a teensy bit of success! I was able to grab her quickly and sit her on her potty mid-stream and she got 3 tiny drops in the potty.  Who cares.  I made a huge deal out of it, we made up a dance and she got her very first sticker for her chart! I was still pretty discouraged though, and at that point had decided we'd probably give potty training a break for a few more weeks before we tried again.

Then, as a total last minute decision, I asked Addie before bed if she wanted to try to sit on the potty and maybe earn another sticker.  A very excited Addie ran over to the potty and lo and behold...peed! Peed like she hadn't peed all day!! Very encouraging if I do say so myself.  Those few minutes changed my mind and I decided to give it another try the next day.

Monday morning, we woke up and just didn't put on a new diaper.  I made the mistake of eagerly asking her often if she wanted to use the potty-which she refused every time.  Heaven forbid she make me happy, right? She continued for the most part to just pee on the floor and ask for diapers, but she did manage to go on the potty again that night.  Again, I was encouraged and decided to give it another day.

That's sort of when things slowed down for a bit. We all ended up with a stomach bug that had us laying on the couch for 2 days. Everyone was miserable and not even caring about potty training.  Addie asked for a diaper and I put one on her just because it was easier. She stayed in a diaper the whole day, and most of Wednesday.  Needless to say, we were a bit worried about not having a diaper on her if she had a stomach bug! That was not a mess I wanted to worry about cleaning on a queasy stomach.

Thursday, though, we got right back to it, and had a bit more success.  I had decided to take the advice of a fellow mom and stop asking her if she needed to go potty. The logic behind it was that she's be more able to focus on her bodily signals if she wasn't being nagged by me all day.  We just went about our daily business all day and suddenly, I hear "Pee pee potty, momma!" as she runs to the potty and pees...completely by herself!  This happened 2 more times throughout the day.  Finally! Some success! On top of that, she got her first piece of candy!

On Saturday, something seemed to have clicked.  She woke up that morning telling me she had to potty, and continued to tell me and run to the potty all day long! 7 stickers!!! Only 2 "accidents" all day long! In less than a week, Addie was potty trained to the point that I was only changing a diaper in the morning and at nap time, and not dealing with pee on the floor.  1 week, and that included 2 sick days in a diaper.

Ever since that Saturday, Addie has gone regularly in the potty with fewer and fewer accidents.  In fact, we'd gone almost a week without an accident at all until yesterday! We've started putting her in pull ups all day now so that she's not just potty trained while naked, and we can even bring her out in public and she'll still tell us she has to go. In fact, most days this week we've had errands to run, and they've all been successful! The only time she has an issue is when she's really distracted (like yesterday) and has friends over all day. Who has time to pee when you're defending your territory and making sure another toddler doesn't walk off with your Thomas toy?

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