I you follow me on Instagram and I hope you do, you would have experienced the epic fail, that was my first serious attempt at potty training that I documented for you my friends, to follow along with....
I mean it helped me keep my sanity for one, sharing it, and there was so much solidarity when I called it quits after 8 hours. I couldn’t clean up one more per puddle and my then two year old and I were both nearly in tears.
This time I was more prepared and she was showing the classic signs of being “ready.” She can pull her own pants up and down, she told us when she was wet or dirty (sometimes) I mean she just generally didn’t love being in a nasty diaper even taking it off sometimes on her own (facepalm). She was interested in other people going potty. So, for a week leading up to us starting I told her I was going to be throwing her diapers away and brought out all her character underwear and encouraged her to look and them and choose which ones she might want to wear. Then it began...
The Monday, admittedly, two weeks after I told her I was going to toss her diapers (I wasn’t mentally prepared the first week) I put underwear on her after I took off her nighttime diaper and was armed with “potty candy” and stickers. LET’S DO THIS THINGGGGG.
The mornkng started off very shaky, she asked for one of her friends to come over that day and so agreed only because this friend is potty trained, AND I knew her momma would keep me sane and encourage me to continue going through the trenches of my pee and pop cover house (Love you Kam!). When her little friend went on the potty for the first time at our house I rewarded her with a potty candy. Listen, pissed isn’t even a strong enough word for the emotion that came out of my toddler. Where was HER potty candy????
Me: “You did not go on the potty so you don’t get potty candy, when I see pee in the toilet you can pick any color you want.”
Who was I? Some hardcore potty candy wielding drill Sargent? I don’t know but something came over me and I was determined, I KNEW she could do it and there was no going back. We struggled through the morning but stuck too it and by lunch time I could see the light, the underwear were piling up in the tub but alas there was pee in the potty. Three potty candies were earned that day and her best friend said she was proud of her for going pee on the potty!!!
You have to up the ante a bit as you go, for every three stickers she gets a prize or varying sizes. Her Gigi got her a charm bracelet which is honestly genius, so every three that hit the pot and her characters on her underwear stay dry and “happy” as she says, which is too cute, she can pick a charm or something else. The rest of th prizes are random small things from the bins at Target! Once a whole sheet is filled she gets a big prize, like a new Barbie! My kid is most definely reward and attention motivated. EVERYONE in the house has to know every time she goes and they have to be proud, she even made me call my mom to tell her a few times. I’ll call the president if it lands a turd in the toilet ok kid?
So what else was different this time? She was older, by like fourish months I think. Up until we were ready to really give it a go this time we didn’t talk about, just leave it alone, we even put the potty seats away for a while. The praise is really really high, and the rewards are even better. Why would you want to just play all day and have someone change you? Never having to stop your fun for a trip to the bathroom right? Whatever gets her to do it has to be better than waiting and getting a diaper changed. So whatever that is for your kid figure that out. We only let her hang out with friends that were potty trained for the first week. Later that week another little girlfriend came over too and they got the potty candy and again that worked like a charm, no accidents during that visit.
Maybe most importantly my husband and I were on the same page, no diapers and NO PULL UPS! Stick it out until after dinner time when she gets into PJs diaper for sleeping only. Which honestly is such a relief when you aren’t on edge that you are going to walk through a pee pile. Best part of the night.
The thing is you have to let them lead though, no matter how you do it, read their cues. Are they proud? Do they want to do it? Are they ready? The most unexpected rewarding part is the changes in her. She is still a stinker, she’s three give me a break. But, she is definitely soak up something that’s just for her, Mom and Dad are more focused on her that we have been able to be since little sister came along. Of course she is still a three-nager, but there is a spark in her and more of a connection to me I think anyways. It was such an experience to kind of watch her grow through, and myself to be honest. It is so true whoever said you have not truly experienced parenting until you have potty trained. Godspeed!
Oh, and the letterboard is just a line from Big Daddy that won’t stop playing my head. I am still most definitely the wiper of asses.
Shauna Hyler, mommy of two beautiful girls! Working, blogging, and adventuring with the hubby and my sweet girls.