Monthly Archives: August 2014

Our First Potty Experience

 

Potty training. Those two words can be so scary to parents who have never taught it before, and I was one of those parents. Part of me was SO sick and tired of having two diapered butts to clean every day, but the other part of me thought, but at least I know where the potty bits are when they’re in a diaper.

So a few weeks ago, Friday rolls around and the husband and I are ready to give it a go (ha, pun…). The day before we had been telling L that she was going to be a big girl tomorrow and have big girl underwear and no more diapers because those were for babies. She wakes up, we put underwear on her, and so the day begins. I started to keep score on L versus the couch or carpet but I very quickly lost count. And Linnea was definitely winning. There was lots of crying and accidents throughout the day. It was really difficult. But we had three successful trips to the bathroom so that was encouraging.

By the second day, Saturday, she was slooowly starting to understand the idea. I remember so clearly the moment the light bulb appeared over her head and she “got it.” She watched herself tinkle and she gasped and looked at me with huge eyes and squealed, “I did it! I went potty!” Things got much better from there.

By the third day we took her to church and put her in a Pull-Ups. We call them “shorts” so she knew they weren’t quite like a diaper. I never wanted to use Pull-Ups, but here we are. So much of parenting is like that, isn’t it? Before L was born and we found out we were having a girl, we were very adamant about not wanting “Princess” things, mainly because of the snotty attitude that can sometimes lead to. Fast forward to a 2.5 year old L who calls herself, “Princess Linnea” all on her own. But, all that to say, she actually prefers underwear because they are more comfortable.

I’ll give you the basics of our method, but there are tons of posts out there in Blogland that you can find on how to potty train. If you need more info than I list below, check out this, this, and this last one is pretty funny and realistic.

  1. Explain to your little one what you will be doing in advance.
  2. Make a ceremony of saying goodbye to the diapers. (Note: we couldn’t do this because our son is still in diapers, but I wanted to do this so she saw her diapers go away.)
  3. Have LOTS of clean undies ready to go. Feel free to take your child to pick them out. I think we have 13 pairs and we still did a lot of laundry from all the accidents. Strangely, my daughter prefers the Garanimals undies over her Disney Rapunzel undies. Go figure. I found them in a 10-pack at Walmart.
  4. Reward system: I hate bribing my kids to do what I ask but this is a situation where it’s necessary. We just did M&Ms, one or two each time she went potty. Now we only offer them if she goes #2 in the potty. Some parents offer sticker charts or a prize basket of little things to choose from. All work fine, but M&Ms were easy and worked for us.
  5. Have all the equipment- We opted to use the potty seat that you set on the regular toilet with a stool. I wanted to avoid yet another transition from a potty chair to the actual toilet. (If you have a 2-story, have a set for upstairs and downstairs.)
  6. Skip the pants! Just have them wear a shirt and undies. Add pants later on in the training, but you want the first few days/week to be as easy as possible for everyone. (Read: a few less things for the laundry) We did this during the summer so she wasn’t cold at all. Slept without pants, too.
  7. Take them potty every 10 minutes. She would go stretches of hours with a dry diaper, but for some reason without the diaper she was going every 10 minutes. Within a few days she would be able to hold it for hours on her own again. Just be patient.
  8. Be ready to ask, “Do you need to go potty?” a gazillion times. I think that’s all my husband and I said around eachother until the kids were in bed. Our neighbors were probably sick of hearing us with the open windows.
  9. Clear your schedule, if possible. If you can do the first few days on your weekend, preferably with a spouse or friend helping, that makes a big difference. Especially if you have other children!
  10. Do NOT limit liquids. More liquids = more potty = more practice!
  11. We kept all of her underwear by the toilets in these little wooden CD crates. One side was for undies and flushable wipes, one was for books.
  12. If you have a girl, make sure you wipe well. L got a UTI so that threw a wrench in our potty training.

One last thing to note at the end is we are still having accidents. Some days are fantastic, some days it feels like she forgot what she’s doing. For instance, this morning she ran up to me with her legs all wet and she was standing in a puddle. It happens, but don’t give up. Also, we still do Pull-Ups at night. We really need to drop that habit because it’s a bad one to keep up.

What are some other tips and advice you would give on potty training! My daughter was almost 3 when we did this. She showed many signs of being ready (holding her bladder for a long time, showed interest in using the toilet, discomfort when she soiled her diaper, etc). I would like advice on getting her to go #2 in the potty. Weeks into this and she STILL doesn’t want to do it, she’s only succeeded in doing it twice. It’s very gross and frustrating.

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The moment the “Light” when on for her. Yes, she’s holding an ice pack. I don’t know why.

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“Mama! I go potty!”

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Our little set up. Nothing fancy, but it worked well for us.

Where?

I apologize for not being around the past few weeks. It’s been extra busy around my household. We a a house guest stay with us for about three weeks (while potty training!!), then we went out to the coast for my daughter’s 3rd birthday, and my Father in Law came to visit. It has been nutty but SO much fun.

We went to the Washington coast town of Ocean Shores and stayed at a friend’s family cabin. My mom, father in law, and my brother and his wife all joined us. We played games, had birthday “cake-cakes” (pancakes), and opened gifts out there. I also attempted to make cake pops for the 2nd time, and I am now ditching the cake pop maker in favor of plain old cupcakes from now on. I tried jumping on that band wagon and got frustrated and disappointed both attempts. I can’t mess up cupcakes, and they’re easy and delicious so I’m not too upset.

When we first got to the beach and we were all walking towards the sand, my kids didn’t understand where we were going. They had never seen the ocean, or sand, except for on TV and that hardly helps. As soon as my daughter glimpsed the waves, her eyes got huge, she pointed and yelled, “Mama! The ocean!!”

Once on the sand, my son took off and didn’t stop running for an hour and a half. He loved every bit of it. If he fell in the water it appeared that he hardly noticed, he just kept exploring. My daughter wasn’t sure of the sand because, “Mama my toes are dirty. There’s dirt on my feet. Yuck!” Us adults smiled and told her it was fine and the more we ignored the “dirt” the better she was about ignoring it, too. The waves made her nervous because they were loud. As we walked down the beach a ways the waves got calmer and quieter and she was running around in the freezing Washington water. We collected whole sand dollars, ran around with our 3 dogs (ours, my mom’s, and my brother and his wife’s dog), and had a blast. Once we turned around and made it back to our pile of towels and toy buckets we saw both of my kids were wet, shivering, and exhausted. We bundled them in towels and ran back to the house where we ate lunch and opened presents.

The weekend was wonderful. It was just what we wanted. Low-key and family oriented. Next week we will have the party in a local park with her little friends. We didn’t reserve anything at the park, so I’ll be getting there bright and early to set up and snag a table near the playground. I’ll be taking pictures of the party and will have links to some printables I used. Until then, here’s some photos of our weekend!

 

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Cuddling with daddy before bed.

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Birthday cake-cakes!

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“Mama, the ocean!!”

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Daddy leading her to the water.

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Grandpa showing Little Man the water.

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Elsa puppy loved the beach.

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He didn’t stop running the whole time!

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Watching their feet sink in the sand.

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Getting over how sand is yucky. Haha.

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She loves the water now!

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Shivering and tired, he snuggled into my mom and fell asleep on the walk back to the car.

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He takes his frozen yogurt very seriously.

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Showing off her accessories. Happy birthday baby girl!