Sunday, January 27, 2013
Adventures in Potty Training
Brady is getting ready to turn three in just a few short weeks and soon after that will be a big brother. Around this time people start to think about potty training. The average age for potty training is two and a half for girls and three for boys. For his second birthday, Brady got a potty seat for the real toilet and a step stool. I had thought with so much time at home in Europe, we'd have time to work on potty training. Well, he wasn't ready and in the end that worked out for the best as it's harder to find bathrooms in Europe and they aren't public.
Around August, I decided to start putting him on the potty because he thought it was funny to pee right out of the bath or shower. The toilet is right there, so I'd quick put him on, then praise and reward him. He wasn't too keen at first. I would catch him starting to poop and run him to the bathroom and he'd start screaming that he didn't want to go on the potty.
We moved into our house at the end of August and when we went home to visit in September, my mom had bought Brady a potty book. It was very simple and he really took to it, wanting to be read it several times a day and several times in a row. After that, he started telling us when he had to go to the potty. It was shocking because it was like that book had flipped a switch. By October, he was completely trained with poops and would only tell us about half the time when he had to pee. He was still in diapers, but we would only have to change about two or three wet ones a day.
At the rate he was going, I was starting to feel good about him being trained by the time he turned three and certainly before Izzie B arrived. In early December, one of the ladies in one of my Facebook groups had mentioned that when she potty trained, she went straight to undies and although it could be messy at first, it was more effective as the kids knew right away when they had an accident. I know other people have allowed their kids to go around without any pants or undies on, but Brady thought it was all too funny to pee on the floor, so I knew it wasn't for us. I had bought a package of undies before we left for Europe and decided that day that I would put them on Brady. I made a big deal of it for him and reinforced that if he had to go to the potty, he had to tell me. That first day, he had one pee accident in his undies and was very upset about it. We changed his undies and went on with our day. At that point, I put him in pull ups during nap and overnight just in case. From that point on, he stayed dry and clean every day, even while sleeping. He would scream for me when he woke up because he needed to use the bathroom.
I had kept him in just a shirt and undies for a week, so I could see if he had an accident. He stayed dry that week, so we moved on to wearing pants (and only pull-ups while sleeping or out in public). Another week went by with no accidents, so I decided to let him wear his undies while sleeping. Still no accidents! I was amazed at how quickly he took to it. It was getting close to Christmas time and we had several long drives ahead of us (4 hours to Pittsburgh and what ended up being almost 12 hours from Pittsburgh to NYC). I knew I'd put him in pull ups, but was worried he'd fight me on it. Fortunately, he didn't and stayed dry, holding it until we made a potty stop for ourselves (although we made sure to ask him every time we were coming up on a rest stop).
Since we've been home from the holidays, he's had a total of two accidents, but nobody is perfect and I expected the occasional accident. Even older kids have accidents sometimes. He was getting good at going all by himself by going into the bathroom, putting his seat on the toilet, getting his stool, taking off his pants and undies, sitting on the potty, going, then coming out to have his pants put back on. I am getting ready to register him for preschool at the beginning of March and while reading through the info, noticed that due to legal reasons they aren't allowed to assist the children in the bathroom for any reason. This means I have seven months to teach him not to completely strip from the waist down to go to the potty and then how to pull his pants and undies back up. We've started the past couple of days working on this. I have to go in with him to make sure he doesn't take everything off, and then I coach him on how to get things back up. It's not perfected yet, but I feel that by September, he'll have it down. Of course, in five and a half weeks, we go back to diapers with Izzie, but diapers never really bothered me. It was actually easier in a way because you didn't have to find a bathroom immediately while out and about. We are so proud of our little guy and amazed at how fast he's growing up!