Where can I go after a title like that!?
This is a phrase I’ve been saying a lot lately. Basically, potty training is going phenomenal! However, I still say the phrase “potty goes in the potty chair” quite often. It’s a phrase I think I will probably continue saying for a while.
I think we are succeeding in potty training our 17 and a half month old! (Yeah yeah. She’ll be 18 months July 1 but who’s counting?) Honestly, I think she understood the concept within that first week. She was resistant to me that first week, of course. We were doing something that was out of our normal routine. That, and she’s pretty head strong, which I love and wouldn’t change for the world!
Since I’m new to this whole being potty training thing, I found a virtual book called Potty Train in a Weekend from a momma with 4 kids that helped me.
I referenced the book two months ago when we first got started really digging in to the potty training.
Overall, it did take us a little longer than a 3 day weekend. I started her out with a full 3 day holiday weekend, though.
I technically started potty training my daughter as soon as she started walking. It was about a week after she turned one. I sat her down on the potty chair when I used the bathroom and we’d both do our thing.
I wasn’t overly strict and didn’t force it. I wanted her to be the lead but I also wanted to give her plenty of opportunity for her own personal growth and development.
I tried to keep it fun, too. Our chair has a flushing handle that I’d have her “flush” once she finished. She loved it! We only had the one chair in the bathroom so I couldn’t get her there all the time. If she showed interest in cleaning the chair, by all means. I’d give her a wet wipe and let her have it. Who cares that we’d be in the bathroom playing with the potty chair for 20 min?
As my Baby Love got used to the potty chair, going both poo poo and potty in it, I started thinking about working toward FULLY potty training her. For two months, I took on the mentality of letting her lead the path but at some point, I felt that I needed to help direct her more on where I wanted to go.
The next 3 day holiday weekend, I began trying the techniques in Becky Mansfield’s book (above). I made sure we had a potty chair handy. We don’t have an over abundance of movable baby gates, so I didn’t confine us in one space. I figure there’s enough dog pee from our previous pets that a little baby pee won’t hurt anything. I’ll just clean it up and we’ll go from there.
I highly recommend her book. She outlines the plan through all 3 days. As she says, consistency is key.
Stage 1 – Preparations & Foundations
I chose my date, as recommended, and made a plan. Well, a slightly vague plan of “run to the potty” when she had to go.
Over the first two days of the long holiday weekend, I kept her diaper free and moved the potty chair from upstairs to downstairs depending on where we were. She fought me some. It’s not our routine to be diaper free the majority of the day and use a chair.
I’d put a cloth diaper back on during naps and a disposable for overnight. Otherwise, we were diaper free. I will say, since I work full-time we had to run a few errands. Just to be sure we didn’t have accidents, I’d put a cloth diaper on her while we were out but would go strait to the restroom to give her an opportunity to go potty when we got to the store. The majority of the time, she’d stay dry until we got home. Score!
While out and about, I use a folding potty chair. It’s amazing! Fits snugly into our diaper bag and works great on a home toilet or at the store. I found it at Babies-R-Us but can’t find it on their online store. Here’s a blue one with Mickey on Amazon.
Stage 2 – Positive Reinforcement
Who wants to do anything in life if you don’t have positive reinforcement? Cheering, gifts, something special, happiness…
I’m not a fan of food for this so we cheer and dance. I make it as fun as I can for her to use the potty chair. I’ve noticed that if I ask her if she needs to use the potty chair, she’ll often say no. I don’t think it’s that she doesn’t need to go. I think she doesn’t want to stop what she’s doing (playing usually) to use the chair. She also just gets stuck on the word “no.”
What really put her on the “I want to use the potty chair” bandwagon was going to our
sitters. She didn’t have much of an issue using the potty chair before but it seems that children have a sixth sense for when you want to be more specific. She was totally fine with the lackadaisical, go at your own pace attitude we had until I started to mean REAL business. The other little girl our sitter watches started potty training about the same time so Baby Love see’s this little girl go and wants to be like her and vice versa. It’s a great win for both us mommas.
Lastly, Baby Love needed her own panties. It’s pretty difficult and confusing to potty train then keep putting diapers on. Before I started the process, I tried to find some panties at the store but I couldn’t find any small enough.
I ended up purchasing several packages (ehm…probably 4 packages of 6 panties each) on Amazon. When they arrived, hubby asked if she really needed that many. To which I told him, she most definitely did!
Stage 3 – Being Consistent
You may say, “How hard can THAT be?” Let me just say, it can be more difficult than you might imagine to stay consistent. Especially when out and about. Baby Love seems to have a fear of the toilet at the store. The flush startles her. No issues at home but as soon as we get to Wal-Mart or Target and that flush goes, well, we have an issue.
Just the other day we were shopping for groceries. She told me she had to go “poo poo,” which is her way of saying she has to go potty, so I took her to the restroom with our portable potty. She absolutely would not sit on the chair! After we got back to Daddy, she told me again so I took her. Again, she wouldn’t sit down. We finished our shopping and she ended up going potty ON my while we checked out. Accidents are going to happen.
Weekends are always full for us. Especially lately. We’ve had something going regularly the last few weekends. Using a diaper when out and about is just as confusing if using a diaper at home so I always attempt to go with just panties. However, if I know we’ll be out for a long period of time where there is not a toilet handy, then I’ll put her in a diaper.
Potty training can be tough. It can take a lot of time or a little time. It’s a mutual adventure to potty train and takes effort from the parents, other care givers, and the child.
Ultimately, it has taken us more than 3 days to fully potty train. Maybe that is due to me going into it with that frame of mind. Maybe it is due to my child’s age. Maybe it’s due to consistency. I don’t know. I do know that although we’re not completely done with this journey, we have had some major success.
Are you potty training? What’s your journey been like? How long did it take your child to be fully potty trained, day and night? What age did you begin the process?