I can finally claim victory! Roen is potty trained! After a few weak attempts to get it done, I finally put my foot down to get Roen on the potty. See, for months I had been reading countless articles and blogs on how to appropriately potty train. I wanted to go about it right because the one thing that still sticks out from a child development class I took years back is that scolding, shaming, or forcing during potty training can cause some long term effects on a child, and can result in them forming bad habits later on in life. So I was determined to make sure my baby boy was completely ready, so that he never felt ashamed during the process or rushed before he was ready. I learned a lot of great tips, and tried many different approaches, and Roen just didn’t want to use the potty anytime I asked. But I was so set on him being potty trained well before his baby brother entered the world. I tried the bribes with treats and toys, made a big deal about it when he did go, read him potty training books, put his stuffed animal in underwear and on the little potty, got him character undies, but he just didn’t want to keep up with it.
So what was the little trick I learned in order to accomplish potty training in 3 days? Well, it’s something that seemed to never be mentioned. None of the articles or blogs ever talked about it. It’s not just about the child being ready, but the parents have to be ready! Emotionally AND physically! I’ve gotten pretty lazy in my last month of pregnancy, and diapers are easier than running to the toilet 2x an hour. Potty training takes work on both ends. You have to commit to staying home for 2-3 days and have to prepare to clean up accidents, which sometimes include pee on the carpet and poop on the couch! You have to enforce them being naked or in undies and commit to saying no to diapers. There’s no half diaper, half underwear day in potty training world. And above all, you have to keep up with enforcing it. Don’t ask them if they have to use the potty, they’ll tell you no. You have to tell them when it’s time to use the potty. Every 40 minutes to start. And make sure they’re not refusing liquids to avoid peeing. When I made sure to be aware of the time and get off my butt to bring Ro to the toilet and sit with him while we waited for something to happen, it did! So being ready myself to make the change- accepting that he wouldn’t be wearing diapers ever again, despite their convenience, cleaning up messes while Roen learned, and enforcing going in a gentle and loving way was the ingredient I was missing in my approach to potty training. It may not be what’s missing for everyone, and your toddler might throw a fit if you do try to put them on the toilet when they really just don’t want to go, or aren’t ready for potty training, but Roen was ready and didn’t put up too big of a fight. He just needed me to be ready in the ways I described!
Another thing I think I would’ve found useful is reading another moms day by day experience. So I thought I’d write out a brief description of how potty training went for us over the 3 days.
We had 1 small potty training toilet in the living room, and an insert that sits on top of the regular potty. Toddlers love having control, so giving Roen choices on which potty to use helped him feel like he had more control, even though I was telling him when it was time to sit and try.
Day 1 wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The hardest part for my husband and I was staying home all day. We started by putting him on the toilet and showing him some potty training song videos. He sat there for 15 minutes but nothing came. Then we went to pick out some underwear and made a huge deal out of it, which he seemed to like. Roen avoided drinking liquids because he made the connection between drinking and peeing. I didn’t realize it until later though so I couldn’t correct it initially. He had 1 pee accident, but knew to sit on the toilet every time he felt the urge to poop. He couldn’t pull his underwear down on his own, so there were a few times I found him sitting on the portable potty with underwear up, but he was going to sit on it on his own, which was exciting! Unfortunately, he ended up being constipated, but he did sit on the potty every time he tried, and eventually he did get it out in the toilet! At nap time and bed time we put a pull up over his underwear, something a friend told me about doing. They still feel the underwear first, so they’re less likely to feel the comfort of a diaper/pull up, and therefore, not encouraged to pee or poop. I’d say it worked because Roen stayed dry during his nap! Before bed time we tried to reduce liquids. We put him on the potty before bed but nothing came.
Day 2 Roen stayed dry throughout the night until the morning, which we guess he ended up peeing right when or before he woke up, since it seemed fresh. We put him on the potty first thing again, which we will continue to do until he’s going easily on his own. We spent the morning outside where he peed twice on the ground, even though his toilet was out there for him to use. That’s when it clicked that I needed to be putting him on the potty more often, and not just asking him if he had to go. Once I sat him on it after he had drank some water, he went pee on the toilet, which was the first time ever for pee (he’s pooped on the toilet 4 times before in our previous training attempts). I made a huge deal about it and told him how proud I was, and you could tell he was proud of himself too. After that, almost every time I put him on the toilet he peed within a minute! It just clicked. He stayed dry again during his nap! We put him in the potty right before bed and he went pee.
Day 3 Roen woke up with less potty than the morning before. Aside from that, he had no accidents the whole day. No urge to poop, but he went potty on the toilet a handful of times. We went out in public without a nearby toilet (risky, I know) for 2 hours and he stayed dry the whole time. He also stayed dry during his nap again and asked if we could skip the pull up and just wear the underwear. I couldn’t be more proud! I decided at night to put a pull up on him without the underwear because, lets face it, going all night is hard and I don’t think his body is ready to wake him up when he has to go. However, the pull up only felt a tiny bit damp the next morning!
So I am claiming victory over the potty training journey! Hopefully there’s no regression once baby brother is here in a month!!!