Two weeks out – the entire experience was a great success. I highly recommend this method. Knock it out and you’re home-free…diaper-free…pull-up free…wipe-free…no. Never wipe free. Wipes are gold – useful for so much more than little bottoms.
That being said, here’s the worst:
The first big disaster: I think this was day four or five when Mac was sitting on our loveseat and I asked him if he had to potty and he said no. He was watching a show and he peed on the loveseat. This is a piece of furniture that was given to us by good friends who moved cross country and have three children, two grown. She knows her stuff. It’s an older loveseat/small sofa with a couch cover, and the cushions are brilliantly wrapped in plastic. Thank God she is a smart mama!
Scene straight out of classic chaotic mom movie: naked toddler, toys scattered, couch cover stripped and in the washer; couch cushions unzipped and waiting to go in washer; plastic-covered foam couch cushions on floor; clean red blanket ready to be wrapped on top of cushions to sit on because – oh yeah! – we had company in a half hour to watch the FSU basketball game.
And did I mention the other pile of sheets and bed cover waiting to go into the washer with the couch cushions because there was a nap-time accident (one of three since all this started). Dog running around. Kitten bouncing overhead. Full-on family circus mass hysteria! Cue husband entry through the front door. He hugs me, assesses the situation, and directly makes me a lovely martini. (I am not a big drinker, especially when I am in full-on mommy mode, but I relished the cocktail.) Good man. And our company was our good buddy who would get a kick out of everything…so no pressure there. At that point, I was no longer concerned. No Shirt, No Shoes, No Pants, No Problems over here in Potty – Training Land! Ok. for the little guy only, please.
That’s the worst it got. So, in the beginning, there was a mommy…
As I researched this and talked to others, I heard day one was the hardest. Of course my craziest was well after the initial three days. But, I was ready! I had the potty we have been using with us in the living room since that’s where we spend most of our time. However, when we played in his room, and I moved the potty in there, he had a problem with it. I understand. Who wants a potty near their bed…unless you live in the medieval or renaissance periods. We had our coloring books, movies, toys all lined up. We had watched the potty training video and started each day with it. I was prepped with Reece’s Pieces and marshmallows, and gummy bears as treats. (Let me state here that I did not, and still do not, discipline if he has an accident. This is a learning process and it takes patience.)
Day One: I had braced myself for potty training hell. He made it to the potty all day except twice, and those were just wet accidents, and he was dry all through nap and that night! I woke up at 2 am to take him to the potty. He went. After washing hands and everything, he went right back to bed. It was a breeze.
I dressed him in an over-sized t-shirt as recommended. Be sure to tie at the waist with a belt or sash. I used a bathrobe belt. It worked for the first day and a half. Then he was over it.
Dare I hope? That was the bad day?
Day Two: He did everything right away in the potty that morning. Seriously? Another good day except a wet bed through nap. The long t-shirt came in useful because it catches…things. We had one incident where we made it to the potty, but barely, so I recommend the long t-shirt thing. That night, I woke up in the middle of the night, and he had a complete meltdown. He did not want to go potty…tears…the works.
Right here, let me say this: listen to your kid. Yes, you need to sit them on the potty to try, and you may need to say something like, “If you go, you’ll get marshmallows,” but if they are full-on rejecting it, crying or bucking, like the song says, let it go! Return when things calm down.
So, I put him back to bed. What’s the worst that would happen? I’d have to wash sheets and give him a bath. Big deal. We all went back to sleep, and he stayed dry all night!
Day Three: Last day! He had no accidents and went in the potty all day! Overall, the initial three days went well. We have recently moved into a two bedroom apt. when we moved to the Destin area – downsized greatly from a 3/2 and full garage of stuff. We don’t have much space. We have carpet (we prefer tile and wood floors). I have read some people in our situation camped out in a tiled area for the three days. That’s fine if you’re willing to do it. I was not. That may work better for an 18 month old, but my 26 month old is way too active. I have a fantastic carpet cleaner and our sanity was worth more than having to clean up a few messes.
Day 4 and After: It has been interesting on occasion. The three days worked. On day three, after my husband got home from work and we were talking, Mac ran to the bathroom and yelled, “I going pee-pee! I going pee-pee!” So, he felt he had to go and went.
You’re supposed to leave your child in only pants for one month – three months after the initial 3 day training. Basically, never put them in underwear because they are so used to the feeling of a diaper or pull-up that they mistake the underwear for a diaper or pull-up and can regress to going in their underwear. I get that. Makes sense. However, because Mac took to it so well, I was willing to try wearing nothing under pants for a few days as we slowly started to venture out. I put the little potty in his radio flyer wagon, and we walked to our playground in our complex. We were so happy to get out! We only stayed out for a short period, and I asked if he needed to potty. He said no. And he didn’t. He went when we came back inside.
As soon as we really left the house to go out, the underwear came on. Baby steps out the door…baby steps to the car…baby steps to the car seat…. I was not going to take him to the playground or anywhere with no underwear on. Again – maintain sanity. Also, Mac was doing well, and I didn’t think he’d regress. It’s totally your call because you know your kid. Know we did no underwear at the house for a week after and now he wears underwear and is doing fine.
When is your child ready? I understand when your child pays attention to the potty, wants to be out of diapers, and shows interest in watching you go potty, that’s the time to start. This intensive method is recommended for children 18 months and up. Mac had trained some before our move. When he ran to the potty once a few weeks ago to go #2 in the potty, I decided to go for it. I am glad I did!
Two tips: Take your child shopping to pick out his or her first underwear and make a big deal! That is the prize, not the candy or treats or stickers along the way, but to wear big boy or big girl underwear (like mommy and daddy). Also, choose one or two books to keep by the potty so that your child will sit and wait on #2. I use small, hard-page books for easy cleaning with a Clorox wipe. Teach that it can take a little while for that to come, and even if your child goes once, to sit and be sure there is no more coming. That second tip came from my former day-care director. She’s a pro, and I listen to those who know! This has helped us.
Good Luck! Comment below and let me know how your experience is going. Have any tips for readers? Please share.