Well ringing in the New Year was totally different than any other year for us. We spent the final day of 2010, and the first 2 of 2011 potty training our 2 “older” girls Addie (33 mos) & Hayden (23 mos).
Fun, fun, fun….
But it needed to be done. I needed to have only 1 little bum to worry about in a day, and being through it now, I’m so glad we did it!!
There are a lot of great methods out there. And just like everything else in life, you definitely need to find the way that will work best for you, your little ones, and your lifestyle.
I have been putting off potty training for a while now as I just couldn’t wrap my arms around the best time to start. The mere thought of having a little baby, while trying to get 1, possibly 2 little ones to a potty…and cleaning up the accidents too, was just too much. Plus we have had events and travel on the calendar that just didn’t coincide well with potty training. But, I also knew we couldn’t dodge it forever.
New Years Eve weekend was our time.
It worked well as my parents would be in town and could watch Piper for the 3 days, and hubs was home from the office. Together we could man on man our way through this and hopefully break the back on the task. Going forward, I’m sure we will see our fair share of accidents, but I think both girls have a really good handle on their “big girl task” now.
Here is what I’ve learned:
- Potty training in a short concentrated amount of time, really seemed to help the girls grasp the idea. Being that we didn’t do this differently, I can’t tell you what it might have been like otherwise. But I do know that even though Friday saw it’s share of accidents, both girls liked being a part of throwing away their diapers and choosing their big girl panties. And they REALLY wanted to keep them dry all day. Late Saturday afternoon. Addie really “got it”. And by Sunday morning wanted nothing more to do with us…..running to the bathroom whenever she needed to all by herself! Hayden started out strong, but unfortunately had a little diaper rash that she had started the weekend with that kept bothering her and getting worse. As it is clearing up, she is getting stronger with her potty visits. Now on Day 4 without accidents!
- Making the kids a part of the prep process was great!! I asked the girls to help me unpack juice boxes into the fridge (which they never get), and to help carry Chex mixes, and snacks to the pantry. I think it helped them to know the juices and snacks were there and to be able to ask for them when they wanted them rather than me always offering something up. I had been told lots of drinks for lots of chances was a good idea. Salty and sweet snacks helped make the kids thirsty, and snack bars with fiber were like “candy bars” to them.
- Having errands done, laundry complete, and groceries purchased was extremely helpful! It left the washer and dryer open for washing sheets and big girl panties (we started with 30 pairs in total for both girls), and left us with time to dedicate solely on the girls. I had planned easy dinners, noting too fussy. Our time was meant to be with the girls at all times.
- Have LOTS of fun projects on hand. This may be 3 days of work for you, but in a weird way, you are also giving yourselfÂ uninterrupted time with your child. With our needing to stick close to the girls for their every waking hour we found lots to do…drawing on the chalkboard, playing Twister, baking cupcakes, making princess crowns, riding scooters in the house, glitter painting, playing monster, reading books, having tea parties…..we were never idol! And I’m now thankful (in a strange way) for that extra “time” we got to spend with them.
- Little prizes are super helpful! A friend I know taped hot wheels to her bathroom wall as rewards. Brilliant! We had saved fun stocking stuffers from Christmas, $1 surprises from Target, and princess gear in “Mommy’s special Closet”. There was always an M&M reward, and they loved drawing a star on their potty charts. But if something really big happened (going for the first time, going on their own, going poopy, etc) then they got to pick something special from the closet.
- Making them feel they are “just like you” was key. We must have asked them a billion times a day “Are you keeping your big girl panties dry? Mommy/Daddy are so proud of you! Be sure to let us know when you need to go.” And then again 3 minutes after asking the last time, we would ask again. In addition to this, every time Mommy had to go potty, I always said “Mommy needs to go potty, who wants to go?” Both girls almost always said “MEEEE!”.Â After it was “Mommy’s turn”, they were super excited for their turns too. We also did not buy a little potty. We did have one that a friend had loaned us, but they really wanted nothing to do with it. If Mommy wasn’t using it (and I’m VERY sure my rear end would not have fit on it) then they didn’t want to use it either. Instead all 3 bathrooms have a step stool sitting in front of the potty for them.
- Being prepared for the night is helpful. I am trying to go cold turkey with no night time diapers. Addie is doing great, even getting up last night to go potty at 3:45AM. But Hayden has woken up wet twice each night.Â We have not given either girl liquids after 5:45PM and we try to get them to go potty as much as we can before bed, but we’re not quite there yet with Hayden. So before she goes down, I make sure I have new panties ready to go, QuickZip Crib Sheets ready to zip in place, and new flannel mattress pads ready for under the top sheet. When we hear her cry out in the night, Hubs scoops her up and takes her to the potty, changing her panties and jammies, and I change her crib sheets. We are all back in bed in under 8 minutes. I’m hoping this helps her realize that she IS going potty at night which is what’s making her wet, that it’s OK if she needs to go potty, and that we will come quickly to help her when she calls out. But who knows, I may have to resort to pull ups for night time. Hoping not.
I’m sure there is lots more for us to learn. We will continue to potty train ahead, 2 little dry bums at a time, I hope! I’ll be sure to let you know of any extra tips or tricks we learn as we further the potty training advenure!
***One tip I might add. If your little one has a friend that needs to potty train too, you might want to plan to spend your days together. It definitely has added a good element to “trigger” having to go potty. When one a sister is heading to the bathroom, the other usually wants to go too. And well, having another friend with mom is nice too….Misery does like company, doesn’t it?? :-)