Warning: We talk about going potty in this post!!
Let me start by saying that potty training for us was almost accidental. I didn’t know that I started potty training early, but I did, and I’m going to do it again!! Because by the time my daughter reached 17 mo. she was asking me if she could go potty! She was fully trained in 5 days and this is how…
Every mom knows that privacy in the bathroom is a daydream after having babies. It just is. My first time having to pee in a grocery store while shopping with Aven was so awkward. I thought “Oh crap, what do I do?! I can’t leave her in the cart. I can’t fit me and the cart in a stall. The handicapped stall isn’t open, and I have to GO NOW!” I grabbed my overstuffed diaper bag, my sleeping baby in her car seat and set the entire contraption on my lap in a mini stall. I remember wondering how in the heck I’d properly wipe or pull my pants back up with this massive hunk of plastic and baby on my lap… Like every mom, I figured it out. Little did I know this was only the beginning of our shared potty breaks.
I figured if this was how it was going to be I better take advantage of it. As awkward as it is, I told her what was going on… Around age 1 we started to gasp at the sounds and giggle. I told her which # was which, I told her about all the steps, what to do and when. How to wipe…. all that good stuff. I just told her about it without realizing, mostly I was just thinking out loud, like “Now we wash our hands” and I tried to make it exciting to keep her busy.
The older she got, and the more I realized she was getting it, the more I played it up. Very excitedly I would gasp and say “AVEN! Mommy has to go potty!! Run, run!” And we both would run to the potty. She would see what was happening and say “Wow, wow!” I showed her how to flush and we would tell the mess “Bye, bye” Haha. Not kidding. All this was months before I ever asked her to go. In fact, I never asked her to go.
She asked me around 15/16 months and I wasn’t ready! So for a long time she took her potty turn, by me just holding her over the toilet with her pants still on. We would both make the sounds and I would cheer and tell her good job! She started playing with her toys pretending they had to go potty too. As I watched her I knew she actually knew the potty concept.
What set the real training in motion was have her around other kids that were potty trained. Her cousins aren’t shy and when she saw that they knew how to ‘do their business’ too, she was set on doing it herself. I guess there is strength in numbers and other kids are always cooler than mommy.
So we took a trip to the store and bought her a potty and potty books. I picked a few days that were slow for us and tried to make sure we were alone most of that time. I then followed the ‘3 day method’ I read about here. We followed it almost to a “T”. (my goal was 3 days, but we had cousins around for a couple of the days and it slowed things down a bit. I’m telling you, one-on-one time makes this process easier.)
For those of you who haven’t heard of the 3 day method, I’ll sum it up.
For a solid 3 days you stay in the same room together and you bring the potty wherever you are. Most of the time is spent ‘nakey’ on the lower half… unless you have enough underpants to fill the moon! And you do lots of activities on the toilet. We colored on the toilet, played the piano on the toilet… you get the picture… lots of toilet time. And lots of accidental pee making it in the toilet because that is where she was sitting! That was super fun for both of us! I think it helped her feel good at it right off the bat. We watched as many youtube videos as I could possibly stand of potty training cartoons. We sang all the songs, read potty books and drank lots of water.
Day 1 is usually mostly spent having accidents. Its really really REALLY important that you celebrate every bowel movement no matter where it ends up. Moms, this is the hard part, but the only way to build their confidence. When they “go”, CELEBRATE. No matter where it ends up, be happy! 🙂 This day they are just learning what it feels like to have the “feeling” and what happens when it runs down their legs! Remember they have had a diaper absorbing it, making it pretty hard to tell when they’re actually going. Today is all about feeling whats happening. You’ll notice them start to go and looking down at it, not knowing what to do! Tell them good job, explain the feeling they get, and show them where it goes. Let them help you clean up if they want to (my daughter loves to help us clean), and give lots and lots of love so that they don’t give up.
Day 2 gets better. I’d say about 40-50% might make it into the toilet. We tried wearing underpants this day and it was a long day. Lots of accidents and the occasional making it where we needed it to be, and huge celebration. I chose to reward with stickers on a sticker chart we made together. Some mom’s do treats, we did stickers…
Day 3 is the day they say should be just about 100% in the toilet. We took a few more days, because play time with cousins was much too exciting! But honestly by day 5 the potty was staying in the bathroom and we were making it there every time. She was fully clothed and we may have even run errands that day without a problem!! The best day ever is finally getting out of the house with underpants on and making it home dry! We still bring extra pants and undies with us when we go places for our own peace of mind, but the girl rarely has accidents. If she does we practice saying “MOMMY! POTTY!” as we clean up, trying to keep the entire potty situation a positive thing for her. She is so proud of herself and so stinkin’ cute on her new potty!
It was a long hard week, but soooo much easier than taking months to get it down. And that was my very long and belated post on how we potty trained in 5 days! Good luck moms… You can do it 😉