We started potty training Xander on Tuesday and after four days I can honestly say it’s going much better than I had anticipated. I’m sure I’m like most parents in that I thought about potty training at some point during the day everyday for at least a month before starting. Friends have been talking about potty training their (older) kids for the last year so I’ve heard what has worked and what hasn’t. I’ve also heard what Xander needed to be capable of doing. The main capability needed according to others was pulling down his pants and then being able to pull them back up again.
After reading various methods, and lots of blog posts from my fellow mommy bloggers. I pieced together what I thought would work best for us. (In my opinion no one way is going to work for every single little boy, because every little boy is different in his own way!) We had a toddler potty, but it hasn’t really been used much. Prior to Tuesday I would casually ask if Xander wanted to sit on it a few times a week and when he said no we’d go on to other things and when he said yes I’d either put him on with his diaper on, or sometimes before bath he’d go on without pants. I didn’t want to pressure him.
Tuesday morning instead of just changing his diaper, I took off his nighttime diaper and put him in undies that we purchased in Miami on Monday. My thought process was, “The worst thing that could happen is we learn he isn’t mentally ready so we’ll go back to diapers for a few months.”
Well, I’m really glad we started when we did. Xander has completely surprised me and is having less and less accidents every day. Tuesday he probably had 30-40 accidents, maybe more! Wednesday we were down to 8 accidents. Yesterday he had 5 (one of which was our fault for not getting to the bathroom in time–he was there ready to go!) and today he only had 3 plus he went poo poo on the potty!
While I won’t say he’s completely potty trained yet, he is doing SO much better than I even expected.
Some things that are working for us are:
•giving him control. We do sometimes ask, “Do you need to go potty?” But we’ve tried to say, “Remember to listen to your body and let mommy/daddy know when you need to go potty, okay?” If your toddler is big on Signing Time like ours then you should download their free potty training app for some catchy tunes. That inspired our “listen to your body when you need to go potty” phrase.
•candy Xander had never really had candy before this week. Maybe one sucker in his whole life. So when he started getting one M&M every time he peed he soon caught on how “tasty” candy was and he wanted more. He has randomly asked for it a few times and I just tell him it’s only for when he goes potty and then I try to distract him. I’d be lying if I told you there weren’t a few meltdowns because he wanted candy and didn’t get it, but they’ve been pretty few.
•he helps clean up the mess Most of the time he’s just watching me clean it up and say “Yuck, pee pee only goes in the potty, not on the floor! Yuck!” But he does come and help me clean most of the time. Eventually I plan on having him do the cleaning himself. This just won’t happen until we’re having a LOT less accidents
•remembering this is a totally new concept. Being patient and not losing our cool is probably the most important part of this whole thing. The first day Paul asked me how many accidents were normal because we were having so many! It for sure can be frustrating but every time he finished going pee in the potty it made it so worth it. So applaud the successes, and don’t sweat the accidents. Just spray some cleaner on them and wipe them up.
And remember that just like every other milestone, it doesn’t last long!