May 15, 2015

Potty Training

I am in the midst of daytime potty training with my 2 year old (4 days in and it's going pretty well) so wanted to write a post about some of what we've tried with potty training.

Infant Potty Training:
Yes, I did try this with my first and with my second. It actually was going very well. My infants did go in the potty quite often. However, it was a lot of work and every time we moved, the potty training seemed to get undone. (This is the 8th place we've lived in, in less than 5 years of marriage.) Since I gave it up with my first, I was even more gung ho to try harder with my second, but eventually gave that up too. By the time I had my third, I had decided I was not going to try again. Not with 3 kids under 3. (I actually did hold my 3rd over the potty a few times when he was newborn and indeed, he did go, but I knew there was no way I could keep it up.) 
Conclusion: It was a fun experience for someone with 1 or 2 kids. And if you can keep it up, go for it. I probably won't try again now, but more power to you if you want to give it a go. Babies definitely can go on the potty regularly, but it is more training for the parent to know when to take the kids that for the kids to take themselves potty. And it make potty training a super long process lasting months or years rather than maybe a couple weeks.

Daytime Training: 
I'm finding that at 2 years of age, they seem to be the most ready. It's easiest if they can walk themselves to the potty, pull down their own underwear, and talk well enough that if they knew they needed to go potty, they could tell you.
To Start:
I put them in underwear for the time that I want to potty train. It's best to do it during all their waketime and put them in diapers for sleeping, but if I'm really tired, I might only put them in underwear for a part of the day (usually the morning). 
Then take them potty as often as you think they might need to go. I did it every 20-30 minutes. Even if they don't need to go, they can sit for a minute or two just to make sure. I did try a technique that I used with infant training. Put some warm water in a water bottle and drizzle it onto their privates. It can help them to go when they haven't learned how to relax to go on their own yet. (Make sure it's a nice temperature, not too hot, not too cold!)
We buy some kind of treats that are only for going potty. (Right now we have freezies, gummies and little candy canes they can choose from.) At first, I give them for just sitting on the potty to help make it fun and something they want to do. When they start going more regularly, then I only give it for successfully going in the potty. 
I don't think it's right to punish a child for doing what I've trained them to do, pee in their underwear/diaper. However, when potty training, I do want it to be undesirable. Since an accident means pee all down their legs and on their feet, I give them a shower and I don't attempt to make it a nice and warm and fun shower. I give them a quick rinse under the cool water. In this way, I help them to want to try not to pee in their underwear. 

If it's not going well, just stop for a while and try again in a month or two. This is probably my 3rd time starting again with my 2 year old since he turned two. I had to stop because he wasn't getting it and I was getting tired and frustrated. But this time, he is getting it, going regularly without the help of drizzling water and has even told me that he needed to go before he had gone. At 4 days in, we're still having accidents, but he's getting the hang of going very well. 

My 3 year old is daytime trained, but it'll be nice to get my 2 year old daytime trained before the baby comes so I only have 2 in full time diapers instead of 3. 

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