P is for Potty Training…P is for PATIENCE!!

The day I brought my second son home from the hospital, my two year old decided he wanted to start potty training. He had the little potty that sang to him and although he loved to sit on it and play with it, he never really wanted to pee in it. From what I had read, you are supposed to look for the signs- and when they are ready, they are ready. Don’t push them. So I didn’t. But I didn’t expect that the day his baby brother came home for the first time, would be the time. I quickly found out that it is as much about the child being ready as it is about you being ready. It never failed, whenever I was nursing the baby, my 2 year old would yell “Mommy, I want to go potty”. It was physically impossible to help him at that moment…and I found myself thinking “really? But you have a diaper on?”. I was exhausted mentally and physically and did not want to take the chance of using my last bit of energy up on potty training, to have him regress for attention as the baby grew a few months older. So I bought pull ups and thought I was beginning the process. I soon realized, that to a child, a pull up feels a lot like a diaper and they do not mind using that still, for their toileting needs. At Easter, the Easter Bunny brought my son “big boy underwear”. He was not very excited about it.

When he turned 3 two weeks ago, I made up my mind that I was going to put 100% energy into this and do it. No more pull ups (except at bedtime-after all, who wants to chance have wet sheets every morning). He started to wear big boy underwear all day during the day. I made sure I had tons of them clean each day…and yes, we went thru almost every pair some days. There were days he went willingly to the potty and there were days I carried him kicking and screaming. We did this consistently for about a week and then I gave him a few days of a break. We started again the next week consistent again. No pull ups- just at night. I gave him rewards every time he went on the potty. He soon thought he was going to get a lollipop (organic of course) every time he went on the potty. I thought about this and decided I needed to change the reward or he was going to end up with a mouth full of cavities by the time he was fully trained. I started giving him stickers and promising prizes every time he went and told him that there would be no tv for the day, if he messed in his big boy pants. He is super excited and proud of himself every time he goes. Whether we are in a pool or relaxing in the house he either tells me when he has to go, or just goes in and goes by himself….never forgetting to come to get me and show me what he has just done. Stay tuned for his potty dance….

I realize three may be late for potty training a girl, or may or may not be right on target for a boy, according to some. I am a firm believer that when the child is ready, and you put your mind to it, anything is possible. I would love to hear your potty training success stories…funny things that happened or techniques you have used or are using. I would also love to know how you handle public restrooms…I have my portable potty all ready to go in the car, but I have a feeling when we are on the go…I am going to be missing those diapers!! Looking forward to hearing your comments!!!

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