Friday, November 2, 2018

Potty Training - What We Learned on Our Adventure

I by no means pretend to be a potty training expert. I just want to share my tips and
mistakes so that someone may be able to learn from them.

When I mentioned on my Instagram stories that we would be potty training over the
weekend, and that I was less than excited, people came out of the woodwork everywhere
saying “ha, good luck”, “praying for you” and things that were worrying me even more.
Yeah, potty training seemed like a big deal for me but I never realized how huge of a
change it was going to be for Isabel.

Let’s get to the mistakes first and that I’ll tell you what I may have actually done right.

First mistake - not dedicating 3 full days to potty training. If you are going to attempt potty training with the faster method, you need a
full 3 days, trust me! I had read an article that said preferably 3 but you could do it in 2.
I don’t recommend it. I needed her to go back to daycare in underwear because
"potty training weekend" is HARD and you don't want to have to do it again.
We made a pact that we “threw out those pull-ups” (we didn’t really as she will still use
them for bedtime) and we were not going to be going back. I think the second day was
the hardest and for us there was a lot more regression than there was progress. It would
have been hard for me to send her back to daycare on the 3rd day, knowing that she
was frustrated and not on board with potty training. Daycare has definitely helped us in
the adventure, but Isabel still needed lots of one on one coaching that 3rd day to start to
feel good again about potty training.

Second Mistake - Forcing her to sit on the potty. Every kid is different but I think the best way for most kids to learn will be to ask them
a million times a day “Do you have to go potty?” and let them answer “Yes” when they
need to. This will also make your life much easier when you have a child that knows
when to ask/tell you that they need to use the bathroom, as opposed to you having to
force them every 20 minutes. The second day, we had planned on going out to Target
to have Isabel pick out some new underwear as a treat for doing so well. I forced her to
sit on the potty before we were leaving (which is a nice habit to instill) but it totally
backfired in my face. She didn’t want to and after that she totally revolted against potty
training and was a wild child all night. Could that have happened on the second day
anyways, even if I haven’t forced her to sit on the potty? Maybe. But I would just say
skip forcing them to do something that they don’t want to do.

Third Mistake - Not preparing enough. Besides not planning for 3 days, I also didn’t prepare enough for the time we would be
spending locked in our house. For everyone's sanity, you are going to want things to do!
I wish I had more juice, treats, toys, rewards, things to do on hand for the three long days
we spent potty training. Watching long movies is not a good idea since they won't be
thinking about what their body needs but we did watch Daniel Tigers potty episode
(Season 2, Episode 1) once/day.

Ok, now what we did right... Every child is different but for us this is what worked pretty well. We waited until she
was ready, actually probably even a little past that. Isabel was already successfully using
the potty a few times a week and was always interested in checking
out the public bathrooms whenever we were out.

Saturday morning when Isabel woke up, I went in her room and told her “Yay, today
you are going to practice using the potty and we are going to have a potty party. No
more pull ups for you, you are a big girl now!” She thought about it for a second and
then said “No.” So I told her “Guess who’s going to learn to potty train with you? Daniel
Tiger!” Then she was excited. It doesn’t have to be Daniel Tiger, but we did love this toy,
but I recommend having a doll or action figure or something that your child can learn to potty train with. Every time Isabel sat on the potty, so did Daniel Tiger. When Isabel wouldn’t
listen to me about something, I would tell Daniel Tiger to do it and why we do it that way.
Daniel Tiger would get excited about Isabel’s wins and we would get excited about his too.

We told Isabel that we threw away all the pull-ups, because she was a big girl now.
The first day we had her run around with no pants on and watched her like a hawk for
any sign of needing to go to the bathroom. Then we had her sit on the potty and when
she went potty in the potty, we got really excited and had a few rewards for her - she got to stamp a smiley face on her hand and get 1 fingernail painted each time.
On the second day we added underwear, because you are always trying to add something
to make it fun again, but if you can wait until the 3rd day to add underwear, that would
probably be best.

We never got mad when Isabel had an accident but we would immediately put her on the
potty and say "Oops, pee goes in the potty, remember?". I read not to say "that's okay"
because then it is not affirming that they need to be going to the bathroom in their potty.

Find what speaks to your child. On Sunday, Isabel told me that she went potty in the potty
like a princess. We had been telling her she was such a big girl but as soon as she said that it switched. Talk to them in their language. If your child likes superheros, tell them how superheroes use the potty!

Be ready to have patience. They will test your patience over these 3 days but also for the next 2- 4 weeks. Using
the potty while out and about is a new adventure too and you probably want to plan a
little more time to be in your house for a whole month, because they practice makes
perfect and practicing at home is easiest.

More Resources:
Our Daniel Tiger Potty Training Doll
Smiley Face Hand Stamp
Princess Potty Book
Potty Training Article

No comments:

Post a Comment