Saturday, November 5, 2011

Potty Training Q & A

Just a little Potty Training update with a little Q and A. 
It has been almost 2 weeks and Helen is doing great!!   We had  an exhausting 1st day, but day 2 went really well. and by day 3 she pretty much had it! Daddy even took her out on her first outing day 3 and she did great.  She even was waking up dry from naps after 1 week and asked to wear panties to naptime.  I let her and she woke up dry!  She is still in pull ups for bedtime, and waking up wet in the morning (though she woke up this morning dry!).  We’ll work on that next.  Overall, she did great. 

I received many questions over the past week and a half.  So I decided to answer a little Q &A….

Can you really potty train a child in 3 days? Yes. It takes a lot of work and the first 2 days will wear you out.  Not every child will “get it” as quickly as Helen did by day 3, but usually on day 2-3 something clicks and by day 3-5 they are mastering it. 

So, do your children just potty train naturally? Or Easier than other? No.  Helen and Charlotte are seeming like they might have similar personalities, temperaments.    Charlotte potty trained quickly too.  Carson was a little different.  He didn’t get it until late afternoon of day 2 and didn’t master it until day 4 or 5.  We also had a lot more out and about accidents with him.  But I don’t think it is specific to my children I think it is specific to this kind of method. 

Does using this method mean our kids will never have an accident?
  Does this mean she will never have accidents?  No way.  She actually had a little accident on Wednesday. She didn’t want to potty right after nap, and I am beginning to trust her ability to go when she needs to… but she was washing her hands, and the running water just got her distracted.  so, yes… my kids still have accidents.  But I think this method prevents them from being a full wet pants accident. Most of the time, it is a little dribble let out, then they realize what they did and hold it back in.  Now, their pants are still wet and need to be changed, but it’s not like they just stood their and peed in their pants… the literally did just have an accident. 

Were all your kids interested in Potty Training ? No way!  Charlotte actually screamed if I put her on the potty just a few days before we potty trained.  Helen was interested and would sit in the potty some.  Carson didn’t really care.  Helen has actually asked a number of times for her diapers back.  Usually when she wakes up and doesn’t want to change her pull up, or go potty right away.  I think she just still needs those morning cuddles and not a rush to the potty. 

Any other funny or unique things about your kids?  Charlotte and Helen both have camel bladders.  The first day I sent Charlotte to preschool after PTing, her teachers called me and said “you are going to want to make sure you come inside and don’t go out for errands”    And I was thinking “great she has had accidents all day”  Nope…. she was still in adorable outfit.  But she had not gone potty ALL day, from 9-12:30.  She had held it the whole time!  Helen can hold it too.   Another thing about the girls--- Charlotte was afraid of public restrooms, even if I didn’t flush them.  She didn’t like those big toilets.   It took a lot of firm conversations many times, bribing, and convincing to get her to potty at Chick Fil A, or Target, or even church.   Helen on the other hand has the opposite problem…. if you have a potty, she wants to test it out.  And probably multiple times.  Right now I am running with it and letting her potty as often as she wants… but in a week or so I am going to be more strict…we go potty at Harris Teeter only 1x, not 3.   Carson, once he got it, didn’t have any quirks other than he had more random accidents for no reason--- like in our basement, or back yard.  Accidents due to laziness (he didn’t want to walk inside 10 feet to use the potty) vs accidents do to trying to hold it, or not making it, etc.  

Why don’t you use a little potty?  Because Target, and church and the rest of the world doesn’t have a little potty.  And my kids have big bums.  I think little potties are meant for tiny peanut bottoms or children under 2.  I did use a potty seat with the others, but didn’t with Helen.  I just teach my kids to sit up on the potty, strattling it, and hold themselves up…it’s really not that hard to do, and I have never had a child fall in.   Helen just didn’t even fit well on a potty seat.  Her front was too close to the edge, and I think pee would have gotten everywhere.  But I think you just try with your little person and see if they fit on the potty seat.   But yeah, I don’t see a need for a baby potty. 

When do you Potty Train at night? Charlotte began waking up dry after 2 weeks .  So I started putting her in undies. And then we began taking her potty at 11 at night when we went to bed.  She would wake sometimes in the night and call out for us to go potty.  It wasn’t until she was almost 4 that she started going potty by herself in the middle of the night and probably around 4 1/2 when she started not waking up to potty at all.  Carson, has had a harder time with staying dry at night.  He still wears pull ups.  I think perhaps it is a boy thing, meaning harder for boys to stay dry at night.  But also, a heavy sleeper thing.  He is like a dead man when asleep.  we try often to wake him up and go potty and he just won’t budge.    But I have had much encouragement from other parents and Drs that children must develop a hormone/chemical in their brain that enables them to wake up to potty… and that some children (more often boys) may not develop this until 5 or 6. 

Why Do you say that Potty Training is harder on the mom? Because it’s hard work.  It is much easier to leave a child in a diaper and not worry about it.  Let’s face it , we have all left a child in a diaper and forgot to change them until we smell a stinky.  Potty training requires an extra step…everywhere you go.   It is a pain, inconvenient, and now adds a million steps to your already busy day.   That is hard.   Also, training this way is hard, but only for about a week.  You have to say no to friends, Bible Study, a lunch date, Chick Fil A, the park, museum, even the grocery store.  You have to buckle down and stay home and get it done.  YOU have to say no those things and say YES to your child.  You have to hold strong and not buckle after day 1 thinking “she’s not getting it…I tried too early”.  Many moms make this mistake… of throwing in the towel the end of day 1….when most kids really “get it” on day 2.  It may mean you pop out of church 2 or 3 times to take your child potty, or go potty 2 times at target.  Or stop 4 times on a 2 hour road trip.  But if you put your child in pull ups for outings, trips, and events (church, school, etc) then you are essentially putting them in a diaper… and they know this.  Why not just put them in undies and bring 2-3 changes of clothes with you?

Why do you focus on dryness and not on pottying? Because kids know how to pee.  They know how to release.  They do this naturally.  What they need to learn to do is hold it.  The sphincter muscle is what enables them to hold their urine in—to squeeze it in.   For 2+ years they have never had to control their urine, and now we are asking them to do that.  Any child can pee on a potty--- even a 1 year old.  That means nothing --- I don’t mean that harshly, I just think that is the truth.  Toddlers know how to pee.  They need to be trained to hold it, and that is where “dryness” comes in to play.   When we focus on dryness we help to train their brain not just to pee on the potty, but to focus on keeping those undies dry.  We talk a lot about it, in repetition… it is training their brain “I want my panties dry”.  This rote repetition about dryness helps to train the sphincter muscle to tighten and hold pee in, so they can make it to the potty.

Can I send my child to you to potty train them?
Nope.  I have done this 4 times.  It is hard.  But once it’s done and over you are SO relieved!  You CAN do this.  Your child can do this.  Most likely if your child is over 2 1/2 they are ready.  The question is are YOU ready???

Any more questions I didn’t answer??