Potty Training – Part II
If you recall, we tried potty training about 10 months ago (See Potty Training – Part I). Since then, we haven’t pushed potty training at all. With April’s arrival, the last thing I wanted was another avenue for Abe to use when acting out. So we’ve talked with him about it and periodically, whenever Abe decides, he’ll use the potty (for both #1 & #2); it’s never forced and is always at his discretion. This typically happens when getting dressed or at diaper changes.
Two weeks ago Saturday Abe made it clear he was ready: he had been outside with Mike while I was holding April in the chair inside. I was nodding off with April when I noticed Abe run to his room with his helmet on and still in his pjs (It had been a pj kinda day). I didn’t think too much of it. A couple minutes later I just happened to open my eyes to see a diaper being thrown out of the bathroom and I heard the potty lid go up. On the potty, completely on his own doing, with a helmet on (not to mention a temporary tattoo!) was just too perfect, so of course I snapped a picture. I had the picture up for a day or so but felt that he might find it embarrassing when older so took it down.
We tried pull-ups this weekend (with marginal success) and this Monday Abe decided he wanted to wear underwear. I took advantage of that and we spent all of Monday and today at home potty training. Day 1 (Monday) was a completely dry/clean day – no accidents (pull-up for nap was dry; diaper at bedtime – not dry)! Almost all instances were initiated by Abe (“Oh, I have to go potty!”) and he often chose times that I was not around (changing April’s diaper for example). Day 2 (today) we’ve had one accident, but otherwise dry and clean all morning (we haven’t hit the evening yet; I’m typing this during his nap). No pull-up for nap since he went right before laying down; we’ll see how that goes. I should add that I’m extremely proud of Abe; he’s doing incredibly well!!
We’re still trying to figure things out as we go. Tomorrow we’ll venture out of the house for the first time for BSF and I’m not sure if I should put him in underwear or wimp out and do a pull-up. Overall though, I do think he is ready, but time will tell just how willing he is. My biggest prayer for this whole thing is knowing when to push him and when not to. Mike and I both know he’s smart enough to do it; however, the last thing I want is a power struggle because we all know Abe will win that one. Here’s hoping this is Potty Training – Part II of II, not of III or IV or even V. We’ll see. I’ll likely just keep posting updates to this same blog, so if you really want to follow our potty training, check back periodically.
UPDATE: 3/26/10 We’re on day 5 now of undies and each day I get more proud of my big guy. We average about one accident a day, but those accidents have revealed key stepping stones in the process. The 1st accident Abe made the mental connection that undies don’t hold the pee in like diapers/pull-ups do. We talked about how we don’t pee in our undies and he replied, “Because they don’t hold it in!” “That’s right!” Huge step! Every accident since then (and 2 of them I don’t consider his fault) he has been very upset over, which to me is great because that means he cares. It’s hard for me to not automatically console him and say, “It’s okay!” Instead I hold him and say, “Buddy, we’ll get it next time!” And sure enough, he gets it the next time and proudly turns to me, “Mommy! I got it the next time!!” Today’s accident at the park resulted in learned how to pee outside standing up; this was big! The first time he had to go was really tough, but the second time went fabulous! I’m hoping we’ve conquered that fear (ideally not just going outside but standing up too – bring on the urinals!). Our biggest obstacle by far is using the big potties; he’s terrified of them. He used one on Wednesday, but since then, no luck. I think next week we’ll start gently pushing him to use our big potty and go from there.
Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with how he is doing. He’s even wears undies for naps (no accidents at all there – knock on wood). We’ve been doing pull-ups at night, and last night before crawling into our bed he went potty all on his own. Hoping I’m not jinxing it, I feel we are done with diapers for him – only the pull-up at night (and even that I think won’t be for very long). He gets it and he cares – in my mind the two big keys to success. Sure, we’re going to have some accidents here and there and we definitely have to get over the big potty fear before I consider him fully potty-trained, but we’ve made great progress! I wish I could truly convey to him how proud I am of how well he is doing.
UPDATE: 3/29/10 It’s been exactly one week in undies and we’re on day three of no accidents!! This includes having a dry pull-up the last two nights, which has just completely floored me. We’re still struggling with using the big potty and peeing outside, but we’re talking about it. Go Abe go!
UPDATE: 3/31/10 We’ve had no accidents in the last 5 days and Abe is even wearing undies at night (4 dry nights in a row!). Amazing. While we’ve got the peeing outside thing down (I think) we’re still struggling big time with going on the big potty. However, even though we have that one obstacle yet, I’m going to go against what I wrote earlier and declare us potty trained. Time to put away the diapers and pull-ups for April to use because this boy no longer needs them!! Way to go Abe! Now to start working on using the big potty…
ABE AND THE BIG POTTY – UPDATE 4/16/10: While Grandma was here, Abe completed his big potty chart and in the process earned a bunch of fun train stuff. Four new (new to us) Thomas trains – Trevor, Alphie, Percy and Terrence – as well as a bunch more train tracks. So, we have the big potty thing down…at home. Still limited success with the potties in public places and even at friends’ homes. There are moments of greatness, but then the next day, we’ll be back where we were and he’s scared of them. Baby steps, and I think it may be time to get another chart going. The thing is, the kid has an extremely good bladder; this is good, but it only means that he can usually outlast the necessity of using a public potty. In the last 20 days, we’ve had only two accidents (this doesn’t count nights; we’re dry about 2/3 of the time with nights), and those two have been random ones at home. In processing with Mike how to handle this when we go out (do I bring our little potty? allow him to pee outside? make us leave if he has to use the little potty at the car?), Mike reminded me that the success we’ve had with Abe has been primarily because we haven’t pushed (or punished, i.e. making him leave a fun place) him. I am so glad I have such a wonderful husband that reminds me of the obvious when I can’t see it at the time. We’ve allowed him to go at his own pace while making sure that he knows what is desired of him at some point in the future, and then we reward those steps. Let’s not change our game plan. Thus far, it’s proving to work; we are using the big potty at home after all! The couple of times that I’ve tried to push have had very negative results. Sure, it may take us awhile, but remember, we’ve been talking to Abe about using the potty instead of diapers for MONTHS now. Even though the training itself has gone quickly, the mental prep on it didn’t. So, we’re not going to rush this public potty thing, but we need to be ready to reward success when it happens, and with more than a chocolate egg I think. Better get on that…
UPDATE 5/7/10: Well, I think we are completely over the big potty fear both in the house and out of it. As of a week ago I still had to take him outside to go while at McDonald’s, but this week we’ve gone at least 3 times while out and about without and fear or hesitation at all. Yahoo!!