So no $h!t there we were… (ok, bad joke, for those of you who get it). Potty-training has been on my radar for a long time. Ever since I read The Baby Whisperer–a book I loved, btw–where she says you can potty train a 1-year-old, I’ve wanted to just get ‘er done. Heck, who am I kidding, I’ve been dying to be done with diapers and wiping lil G-man’s booty.
Buuuuuuutt (er, but), as it always does, life got in the way. We gave it a shot in January, over New Years weekend, and after a day of changing wet underwear, Gabe *FINALLY* got it that evening. But he was anti-potty all day, and if anyone was to sit with him, it had to be Daddy. And the next day we were out & about, and *whoosh* there went potty-training,
down the drain out the window for another 6 months.
Which brings me to the “They’ve gotta be ready” issue. Yes, they have to be physically able to hold themselves up, hold their bowels, and able to follow simple instructions. But I think sometimes parents use this as a cop-out for their own laziness or unwillingness to try. Gabe was ready a year ago. Why didn’t I push it? Yep, I admit it, laziness. It’s a lot of work cleaning up pee & poop, so I waited. Do I wish I could go back and do it over again? You betcha. How do I know he was ready? One day last July, when he was 18 months old (yes, a year ago!) Gabe got out of the bathtub, and said to me “I have to go potty.” So I got the potty insert out, set him on there, and lo & behold–he peed in the potty! If ever there was a sign of readiness! But *doh* I didn’t do anything with it, assuming it to be too difficult and messy for the time being.
So how did I do it this time around? I waited until we had some time off of work, which was the 4th of July week. We went to the beach for the first part of the week, so I planned for Friday July 5th to be P-Day, yes potty training, pee-pee in the potty, day. I told Gabe weeks ahead of time, and reminded him every few days that P-Day was coming. This might sound silly, but Gabe has an excellent memory, and I knew it would help prepare him mentally. I had already purchased two 7-packs of big boy underwear (the ones from Carters are way cuter, but the Wal-Mart ones are OK too 😉 ) I am about to order him a 3rd pack, because yes, we have our fair share of accidents:
On P-Day, I went and bought Gabe a little potty. I went back & forth on this, trying to follow the Baby Whisperer’s advice to just get an insert for the big potty. This didn’t seem to work too well with Gabe, as I think he felt scared he was going to fall. Her logic was then you wouldn’t have to make another transition (baby potty to normal potty), but everyone I talked to said the baby potty worked for them. And even more so if it sang songs and did fun things! So I found this lil beauty at the consignment store for $10:
Not only did it come with batteries, but it makes sounds when you flush, play with the toilet paper, and put the lid up and down. Probably would’ve been $30-40 in a store. So I got it at roughly 75% off! Score! Little money saving tip: if you live in a nice town, or near one, go to their consignment store. I save boatloads of $$$ getting Gabe boots, shoes, swimsuits, clothes, toys, and yes potty chairs at the consignment store. Best part? Most of it is hardly used, it’s mostly name brand (not that I really care, but name brand is usually cuter, lol) and I don’t have to search all over Target or Carters or wherever, it’s nicely organized under one roof, at very low prices. #winning 😉
Anyways, I sat Gabe down on it, and he went the first time! Say whaaaaaaaaaat?! Yep, I was as shocked as you! Maybe I shouldn’t have been. After all, he’s watched a few of his classmates at daycare pee in the potty for months. He just sat down, and he was a natural! I had asked a fellow mom of boys for advice, (TT—thank you!) and she said offer a treat when he does it right. So, gummy bears are the
bribe treat of choice 🙂 And he loves them! Another mommy friend (BB) had said, just stay at home and let him drink & pee, drink & pee. So we did. Basically for 3 days straight. Gabe did awesome! And he even did awesome when he got back to daycare on Monday.
Now, we’ve had our share of accidents, to be sure. He will get to playing or watching TV, and just completely forget about peeing on the potty. Oops. And he refuses to go #2, waiting until bedtime when he has a diaper or pull-up on. Today was the icing on the cake–following a weekend rife with accidents, Gabe pooped himself at daycare. It got on his shoes and everything. He was super upset, said his tummy hurt, and had a fever. Ugggghhhh. So I went to get him and we are home. I’ve given him a pep talk every day before school, saying “You’re going to stay dry today, right?” “Yes!” Welp, that didn’t work today or this past weekend. Watching TV, he peed himself (and the couch) and didn’t even notice til he got up!! (insert multiple expletives) Good thing we have slipcovers. See honey, the IKEA couch is good for something!
Now, while I go buy stock in Febreze, I can at least be comforted by the fact that he’s come home from school about 50% of the time in the last 3 weeks DRY. He has successfully gone potty at Wal-Mart and at a rest stop somewhere, with no toilet insert, just me holding him. And he loves his big boy underwear, and looks great in them!
Last tip for you moms of boys, watch out for The Arc. The arc occurs when little boy is sitting down, and grabs his little pee-pee while peeing, causing pee to go in an arc, straight out all over your door, wall, floor, pants, etc. His pants & undies might have gotten hit by The Arc too. Make sure you emphasize “Point it down!” over and over. And over.
Gabe is now partially trained (still wears diapers at night & naptime, and still won’t poop in the potty), but I’ll take it. At 2 1/2 years old, I think we are doing OK. And I’ve cut my diaper bill by about $50 a month (~$0.33/diaper x 5 diapers a day x 30 days). I’ll definitely take that!!
1. Have a plan. I bought the potty the day of, but should have bought it ahead of time to give him a chance to sit on it and get used to it. I had the day picked out well in advance and stuck to the plan.
2. Be prepared for messes. In addition to buying stock in Febreze, get some Clorox wipes and paper towels too. And extra detergent. And extra undies 🙂
3. Reward consistently. When Gabe does right, he gets a gummy bear. If he has an accident, no gummy.
4. Be patient! They didn’t learn to walk overnight, they won’t learn to use the potty overnight either. Give it several weeks, and be prepared for regression (ahem, I need to take my own advice here!)
Have a wonderful week! And I have to share one final thing: Gabe says the word slippery like this: “Swip-a-lee” Absolutely cracks me up!