January 1, 2010

Adventures in Potty-Training

January 2009

I am proud as heck to say, Summer and Camryn are both completely out of pull-ups. It was a long, strenuous battle, but we have achieved victory.

We got Summer a little potty when she was about 18 months old. I had an infant at the time, and the thought of having two in diapers for who knows how long made me cringe. She took to it right away, peeing in it a few times and even pooping in it once, when we sat her on there. (Take that Mckmama - urinate and BM my ass.)

We didn't make it a big deal, because she was so young. She lost interest pretty quickly and we figured she wasn't ready.

We started pushing potty-training more when Summer was 2 1/2. We knew she was ready. She did not. She hated to sit on the potty and threw a fit. We backed off a bit, because we knew that forcing her would do more harm than good.

Flash forward to right after their 2nd and 3rd birthdays this past August. We knew we really needed to get to work to get Summer potty-trained. We were sick of dealing with diapers and pull-ups, not to mention she was fully capable of knowing when she needed to go.

It only made sense to work with Camryn at the same time. Because of her having an older sister so close in age, Camryn tends to pick up things most kids her age do not. She was ready and willing to be a big girl and use the potty.

Summer was a bit more hesitant, but we worked with her over and over, to let us know when she needed to go and to try and stay dry.

Before long, they were both making a huge effort to use the potty. At this point, we had their portable pink potty sitting out wherever they were, whether it was in the bathroom or the living room, or even their room if they were napping.

Every time they took the initiative to sit down and try to go, we made a huge deal about it. If they were successful in their efforts, we would often reward them with a few M&M's or a sticker.

It was a looooong, sloooooow process. I feel like we have been potty-training for years. But, our efforts paid off.

Up until a few weeks ago, both of them were in underwear during the day, but pull-ups at night. We ran out of pull-ups and decided to try to let them be in underwear at night. We put mattress protectors in their beds, and told them over and over that if they felt like they needed to go, they were supposed to get up and go to the bathroom.

They have not had one single accident in their beds. Both of them wake up dry every morning, and go pee as soon as they wake up. It is a beautiful feeling every day, to have the luxury of not changing any diapers or pull-ups.

The success has not been without hurdles, however. They have both had plenty of accidents, and, while Camryn seems to have accepted this new-found responsibility with ease and will go anywhere at any time, Summer is a bit more cautious. She has refused to use the potty anywhere except our hall bathroom (with her Dora potty-seat), and my mom and dad's house (with a small potty seat). It's been a problem when we are out somewhere and she refuses to go. And no, this isn't her telling us no and us going along with it. This is her saying no and when we try to convince her otherwise and sit her up there anyway, she screams, arches her back, and looks terrified.

We have been at a loss as to what to do. We know she is doing it out of fear, but how to break her of this fear if we can't even get her to sit there for one second has been the problem.

She hasn't wanted to use the one at Joe's dad's house either, which was a problem on Christmas. She had been holding it all day, and I could not convince her to sit on his potty, even with her Dora seat on there. I finally asked her if she wanted to go potty outside. She said, "Yea!" And she did, right in the backyard.

Last night, at my aunt and uncle's house for New Year's Eve, we had a breakthrough. Summer told me she had to pee. I took her into the bathroom, and she WENT. No cries, no protests. And she was SO proud of herself.

I am hoping this means she will be more willing to use other potties.

So, what I have learned potty-training a 2 and 3 year old:

*Don't force them. They all learn and are ready at their own pace. This could be when they are 12 months old, or it could be when they are 4. Younger potty-trainers aren't any smarter or more adjusted than older potty-trainers.

*Don't give up. You don't want to be forceful, but it is important to be consistent when you know they are ready. Don't throw in the towel (or toilet paper) after a few hard days.

*Keep in mind that it WILL happen. They won't be in diapers at their high school reunion.

*Lead by example. Tell your child when you have to go, having them follow you and watch the steps of using the bathroom. Sit, go, flush, wash hands, etc.

*We reminded Summer that if she wanted to go to preschool, play soccer, be in dance class, etc., she had to be potty-trained. That seemed to help motivate her.

*They WILL have accidents. Be prepared for them, and do not punish the child for their accident. Concentrate on their success rather than their mistakes.

Feel free to share your own experiences and potty-training tips in the comments section!

16 comments:

Karen said...

Awesome achievement! Congrats!

Kaileigh said...

Congrats!!! What a wonderful (and I'm sure very welcome) achievement for the girlies!!!

By the way, your layout is BEAUTIFUL, I love LOVE the flowers on your heading, and the girls, that is SO CUTE!

Missie said...

I think that's one of the biggest achievements us parents can have. Congrats on no more diapers!

BirdsMama said...

I can't wait for this day. Bird I think understands the concept....just isn't ready to except it!! Like you, I am not looking forward to haveing 2 babies in diapers!! Ughhhhh!! I might have to hit you up for a few pointers every now and then!! Happy New Year!!!

Collins Family said...

Awesome, you give me hope! We are in the middle of potty training and it is going pretty well but mommy has been home from school and we have really been working hard on it. Next week life settles back into the normal routine and hustle and bustle and I hope she continues to do well. Yeah for both of your girls!!!!

Brandi said...

Great Job :) Yay Summer and Camryn!!!!

Brandi said...

WOO HOO for being potty trained! (um, and we pee and poop too) ;)

My 1st was fully potty trained at 2.5. I thought his brother would be easy peasy 'cause he'd want to do as his older brother. Nope. He's my "payback child." He wasn't potty trained until 3.5. As for the 3rd? Well... we've got a ways to go before worrying about it, but I'm crossing my fingers for easy! :)

PunkRockChic said...

That is AWESOME! Yeay Summer and Camryn! Thanks for the pointers, I know I will DEFINITELY be needing helpful tips in a few months here. I plan to introduce the potty to Franky in the next few months when he's around 18 months, so he'll be familiar with it when potty-training time comes. I'm hoping to have him trained by 2, but that's probably not likely, lol.

Tiffany Lockette said...

We have started the process with Zoe. I may be asking for pointers along the way.

Lesli said...

That is great...Like Summer, Ayla will only go potty (pee) here at the house and she will still poop only in a diaper...the one time we accidentally left a diaper off at night, we woke up to a bed full of pee..nice..lol... so we are taking baby steps but not quite there yet...it doesnt worry me really, I figure they will eventually be potty trained...ONE DAY.. of course it will be sooo nice to stop buying diapers.. so far we have been buying diapers for almost three and a half years and Brennan just turned two sooooooo.....at least another year...sigh....

jennohara said...

Nice job! I know I didn't want two in diapers either. Gracie was actually out of diapers and pull-ups at 14 months! She was easy. :)
Hanna uses the toilet, but we're working on her. She's now 14 months. I hope she'll be as easy as Gracie was!

Kristine said...

WTG, girls! I totally agree that if you wait until they are actually ready, there is practically no "training" needed. It just happens!

Tiffany said...

Way to go Summer and Camryn! :) Keely still has issues going while we're out if it's an automatic flushing toliet, which I don't blame her those things are scary! LOL She has and will go on them, but there are some days where she just won't at all...period! It's frustrating, but I just tell her she'll have to hold it longer if she won't go at this store or whatever. Though I think she's part camel and can hold it forever!! It seemed like such a long process, and Keely has had an accident here or there still, but it's sooooo nice to only have one in diapers! :)

Holly said...

That's awesome! Good job Summer and Camryn! Kyndra turns 2 on Sunday and she's still in dipes. When we first got her potty she peed in it 3 times and was really interested in it but that wore off. She's becoming more aware of potty type stuff so it'll happen eventually.

Bridgett said...

Autumn trained at 3...probably would have more quickly if Parker had been using the potty. But with Parker, circumstances were slightly different. He finally trained at age 6 and for me, that was awesome. :)

Sounds like overall, your girls are doing really well! Bravo!

Lori said...

Well done to you!
And big Congratulations to Summer and Camryn!!

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