Tuesday October 29th, one week ago, marked our official start of potty training day. I got as many classes covered for that week as I could so that I’d just be home with Hunter. Focused and ready for the task ahead.
My main resource for potty training was the book Toilet Training Without Tantrums (TTWT) by John Rosemond – which came highly recommended by a friend who potty trained her twin boys before they were 2. They say boys are harder to train early, but I figured, if she could do it with TWO of them, I could do it with one, right? Sure, I like a challenge. 🙂 Also, I just felt like Hunter was ready, even though he was barely 17 months old. He’s smart, can communicate, likes to do what he’s told (well… most of the time) and wasn’t afraid of the potty after having it around for a few weeks.
The premiss of TTWT is basically having them naked so that when they pee it’s uncomfortable running down their leg (it never was or has been for Hunter) and you teach them that their pee (and poop) goes in the potty. The potty isn’t hiding in the bathroom, it’s right where they’re playing so they see it and remember that they do their business there. And no more diapers at day time. They’re just gone and no longer a thing. The book even suggests moving your changing table or anything that will remind the kid of diapers, but I really didn’t have a place to put the changing table, so instead I just threw a blanket over it.
Initially I was totally down for the no diapers thing, but as you’ll read soon, they’re being used. Also, for naps and bed time he’s in a diaper.
We purchased 2 of these kid pottys from IKEA – one for upstairs, one for downstairs. They do the job and are not expensive.
Now onto our training!
Beware – lots of pee and poop talk ahead!
Day 1 -3
The first 3 days were pretty similar. We’d have some success with him peeing on the potty (while I’d sit with him reading a book – we read tons of books) and lots of unsuccessful attempts where he’d get up after being on the potty for a good 20-30 minutes, then pee a few feet away from it on the floor. I can’t say it wasn’t a bit frustrating, but I never got mad. He was learning a new skill, and it takes a while.
I do remember that first hour on Tuesday morning thinking to myself (probably after he peed on the floor a couple times), “why have I gotten myself into this?!”, but I was committed. No starting, stopping, starting, stopping every few weeks/months – it was go time.
I used an egg timer as a reminder to sit on the potty – when the ‘potty bell’ went off it was time to go potty. I used increments anywhere from 20-60 minutes, depending on how much water he had been drinking.
By the end of day 3, Thursday evening, I was feeling defeated. It was tiring, I was exhausted, and it didn’t seem like he was making much progress. He’d pee on the potty about 50% of the time, and it was definitely mommy directed potty time.
Friday marked the change. Hooray! My next door neighbor was going to watch Hunter for about 1.5 hours while I taught a class. She has a 5 year old boy and 3 year old girl, and Hunter and them love playing together. She was down with the potty training and didn’t mind him being in the learning stage. At 11am we walked over, potty in hand, extra undies, shorts and a diaper in case she just didn’t want to deal with him peeing all over her house. If memory serves me right, he had peed about 30 minutes before going over there, so I figured he would need to go while there.
Hunter’s definitely in a mommy and daddy stage, so he was pretty sad and asked for mommy the whole time I was gone. Jacob picked him up and was walking in the door as I pulled into the drive way. We went in, and I was surprised to see him still in the same underwear and shorts I dropped him off in. Our neighbor tried having him sit on the potty, but he just wouldn’t have it, so he never peed there. We told him to sit on the potty, so he did, and he unleashed his pee like a waterfall. So much that he held in for 2 hours! We were both impressed that he actually held it until he was back home instead of just going in his underwear.
The more impressive part is coming now. 🙂
I had a nurse appointment at our new midwife office later that afternoon. We decided to put him in a diaper, but brought the potty along in the car and planned to have it use it before or after the appointment, depending on when he went before we left.
During the appointment, Hunter was happily playing with Jacob in the room while I answered a bunch of questions, then out of no where, Hunter says “pee, pee, potty”. Okay, does it mean he just went or needs to go? He’d never gone on a big potty before so we didn’t really know how that would go down. Jacob took him to the restroom, sat him on the potty and he peed right away, without a hesitation. His diaper was dry too! He got a lot of praise when they came back into the room + he impressed the nurse. 🙂
Since then he’s been telling us when he needs to pee. I’d say on average we have one accident a day. And when it happens, he’ll tell me “pee pee” as he’s doing it. We just quickly get onto the potty to finish, then I get a towel and he cleans up his mess.
Over the weekend we ran a lot of errands it seemed, so I took the potty in the car and we happily went in the back. At the grocery store he’s told me he needed to pee, so we set the cart aside and head to the bathroom. Even this morning at the library in the middle of story time he said “pee pee” a couple times, so we went and he peed in the potty. Such a smarty 🙂
Pooping took a couple more days. He still says either pee pee or potty when he needs to poop, and I definitely have to keep a watchful eye for his crouch, but he’s started letting me know more often when he needs to go. He’ll wake up from naps and in the morning having gone #2, so the opportunity to go in the potty isn’t as often as with pee.
And that’s where we’re at with potty training. At home he’s naked or in undies (which he swims in – really small underwear is not easily available I found out). Away from home, I’m putting him in diapers, especially when he’s in child watch since they don’t change clothes or diapers and won’t take him to the potty if he needs to go – they’d come get me while I was in the middle of teaching my class.
My plan for not using diapers out will just depend on him being dry more and more often. It’ll be interesting to see where he’s at in a few weeks and if we’re still using them outside of the house.
We started training so early because I wanted a good 4 months of time available before baby sister arrived and needed the cloth diapers. Also, I didn’t want to begin potty training right at the busy time of thanksgiving and christmas. Thankfully, it only took 4 days for him to ‘get it’. No we’ll just continue on, hopefully decrease the amount of diapers used outside of the house and soon be accident free!
Let me know if you have any questions about our potty training adventure. There was a lot to share, so hopefully it wasn’t too scattered. 🙂 My hope is that this can be a helpful resource for those of you venturing into potty training land. I always like reading about how these kind of things go for others, so hopefully it helps you too!