Friday, November 6, 2009

It's Potty Time

Want to start a good old mama debate real fast? Ask how potty training is going. Here's a list of possible topics that can come out of this:
-when to start?
-are they ready?
-just underwear?
-right to the toilet?
-what about at daycare?
-what about leaving the house?
-night training?
And the list goes on and on and on. I don't claim in any way to be an expert at potty training. I have ideas. I have experience with one child and I'm starting to get experience with my second. To our great surprise and wonder, our second has decided to start training on his own. I really don't know how this happened and I have no idea how to make your child decide to do this. Our boy is 2 and a half. We struggled training his older brother until he was 3 and a half. We tried everything. We read potty books. We filled him with liquid and sat him on the potty every hour. We tried reward charts and treats. We paid out so much money in pull-ups that I should have taken stock in the company and nothing worked. He simply wasn't ready. Do you want to know what finally did it for him? Hockey underwear. He loves hockey and decided that he didn't want to get the hockey players dirty. That was it. That was his big motivator and it worked.
I think our second is being motivated simply because he wants to be a big boy like his brother. We've had the potty out for a while now and let him sit on it when he wanted with no expectation for anything yet. The hope has been that we would work on potty training at some point before he's three and the new baby comes along (I really don't like having 2 in diapers). Last weekend, he shouted to me from the bathroom, "Mommy, I peed!" and I had this little naked boy running excitedly around the house. Sure enough, on his own initiative, he had ripped off his diaper and peed in the potty. I was shocked. And very excited. The next day I went searching for training pants. The thick white cotton kind. He told me he wanted to wear underwear - so that's what we did. He wears the training pants first with pair of little underwear over top. He's extremely proud of this. At this point we are only doing this while we are at home. He hasn't yet gone potty at daycare and we're not pushing it. He's still wearing a diaper when we go out because I don't think he's ready for that next step yet. Once he's a little more consistent with using underwear and making it successfully to the potty then we'll venture out diaperless.
How has it gone since that first time last Saturday? Pretty good. He's gone potty at least once or twice each day when we've been home. The times where he hasn't quite made it there, he's almost made it and told me he has to pee or has run into the bathroom and just didn't quite give himself enough time. We're taking the stance of being relaxed and encouraging about it. It's a learning process. We know he's starting to pick up his own body cues which is great, and now it's just a matter of putting it all together. Sure there's extra laundry to do, but it's to be expected at any stage of potty training (just wait until it's sheets for night training, then the extra pants won't seem like much). At this point we're not buying him pull-ups, but that's not to say we won't at some later point. I like that he feels wet immediately with the training pants, but they soak up enough that it doesn't leave a mess behind. Training pants can be harder to find these days (not like when we were kids and that's all the option our parents had), I believe I found ours at Zellers. They are basically a thick underwear, made out of a similar material to long johns.
As with anything potty training is something that you need to find what works best for you and your child. I don't think there is a perfect way to do it. Just take a deep breath and relax, everyone gets it eventually.

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