Friday, March 2, 2012

Do The Potty Dance

Well, I think I can officially report that we have said bye-bye to diapers for good (well at least for one of our kids!) Lucy has been diaper free an entire week and is doing great. I'm not going lie, I had a lot of anxiety about this whole process leading up to it, but in the end I would have to say we've had a really easy time with this whole potty thing. I think Lucy was really, really ready, and from what I hear, that's what makes the difference in positive experiences vs. negative experiences.

So here is how we went about potty training. I hope this helps other moms out there and I'm definitely going to use this as a reference for next time. When I started this process I felt so lost and confused - after all, I've never potty trained someone before and none of my friends had done it, so I felt like I was starting from scratch! After lots of books, internet research and questioning other moms, I came up with a plan that seemed to work for us.

For the past month, I've been letting Lucy run around naked when we stay home for the day (which happens a lot since Hank sleeps so well in his crib and not so well on the go). She was sitting on the potty a lot, but would not actually go and I wasn't sure how to make this happen so I called up my mom to get some advice. She recommended trying to get her to sit for a long time on the potty until it just eventually came out. So one day after waking up dry from a nap I got Lucy to sit on the potty by enticing her with books, my phone and snacks. And then it came! She went pee in the potty and we made a HUGE deal about it. We called Ben and my mom and showed them the pee and we got Hank and showed him the pee and cheered and celebrated. From then on, when we'd have pants-free afternoons, Lucy would sometimes hit the potty sometimes not, but gradually got better and better at telling me she had to go - she'd run across the room saying "potty, potty, potty" in a frantic manner... it was pretty cute.

Since she was initiating telling me she had to potty, I figured she was ready to make the transition, but I wasn't sure if I was ready! I was still feeling pretty exhausted from being up all night with Hank and the idea of having to help her to the potty and watch her like a hawk while taking care of a newborn was daunting, so we decided to wait till the end of the month, once Hank turned 3 months and we had a weekend we could dedicate to focusing on the potty.

I decided to follow the book "Potty Train Your Child In One Day" which has you throw a big party to celebrate getting big girl underwear and saying goodbye to diapers. I'm not sure if everything we did was totally necessary, but like I said earlier, I really wasn't sure how to go about this whole thing so it seemed easiest to pick one method and try that. Plus I'm the type of person that likes specific steps and a plan for success, so this book worked well for me.

The book basically has you potty train a doll in the morning, cheering for it when it goes on the potty and saying "uh-oh, dolly had an accident" when the doll had an accident. Then you give your child their underwear in the afternoon and go about the same process. I'm not sure if the doll actually helped Lucy, there were a lot of times that it seemed like we were forcing Lucy to interact with the doll, but apparently something clicked because that afternoon Lucy kept her underwear completely dry and went pee-pee on the potty eight times! What I did really like about this method was the party idea - we got a bunch of elmo stuff and treats and tried to make the day all about fun. Lucy got to watch lots of potty dvds (which was a treat in itself) and got a treat for anything potty related - having dry underwear, sitting on the potty or actually going on the potty. The whole day was all about her and was all about fun, and I think that made the potty experience really great for her. At the end of the day we threw her diapers away and she got to celebrate with my sister and Jadyn. She also got a new elmo doll for becoming a big girl.

The next day she did great as well, only having two accidents (out of about 16 times going) and we even made it out to a friends house where she successfully went potty. This past week we've had a mix of days, I think she has stayed dry a couple days, had accidents a couple days and we had one really bad day where she had five accidents (not sure what happened there, I think it was a combination of being tired and too much juice). But overall, she is doing really well, telling me when she has to go and enjoying the potty process. She still gets treat every once in a while, but unless she asks for it, I don't give her one - I was nervous we'd have a kid hyped up on sugar all the time, but the treats have tapered off. We stayed home almost everyday this week (I was too nervous to test out going in public with her new underwear), but she did successfully make it to church on Thursday and stayed dry all during Real Moms, and made it to the library with Ben today.

At night and during naps we are doing pull-ups, I'm told we need to do this until she keeps her pull-ups dry for a whole week. Apparently night time dryness just has to happen on its own. I think we are pretty far from this because Lucy usually soaks her pull up, sometimes all the way through her PJs onto her sheets. This was a little annoying at first, after having washed her bedding 3 days in a row, but I've learned to stop giving her drinks 2 hours before bed time and have started having her sleep on a small, thick blanket, so if she does leak all I have to wash is that.

*I forgot to add one thing - I thought getting rid of diapers would help make our life easier, since we would only have to change one kid's diapers during the day, but it turns out Lucy pees a bajillion times a day (which I had no way of knowing since she used to wear a diaper all day) and since she still needs a lot of help on the potty (pulling her pants down, wiping, pulling her pants up, washing her hands and then of course cheering) I've actually been feeling a little worn down by the whole process. Don't get me wrong, I'm really glad we have started this process, but I definitely didn't realize how many times we'd be running to the potty throughout the day. And let's just say Hank has ended up having to wait patiently in the bath tub while I tended to Lucy's potty needs.


  1. Way to go, Lucy!! I love the "potty party" idea! Jackson has been going pee-pee on the potty for a long time now, but it's really inconsistent (more due to me b/c like you I was too tired with a newborn to mess with it all of the time...), but he's scared to go #2 on the potty. I think we'll recreate your party idea in a couple of weeks and try the potty thing again!

  2. You should definitely try the party - she addresses kids who don't poop on the potty in the book and how you can reprimand the doll for doing this instead of the kid... that way you don't hurt your toddler emotionally, but they understand where to go #2. Good luck!