Tales of Tribulations, Triumphs and Teddy Bear Beep-Beep
If you have found this potty training article today, chances are you are either:
- A loyal reader who’s already “been there” and silently thanking your Maker for getting you through it,
- An anxious parent, bemoaning your perceived reality that you’ve waited too long, or
- A crabby parent, feeling overwhelmed, defeated and possibly angry with your child’s resistance or inability/unwillingness to “get it.”
So for you “number 1” folks out there, welcome back! Gloat all you want to for having all of this behind you. No one will know! “Number 2” folks (tee hee!), buckle up. It’s gonna be fun! “Number 3” folks, you are totally spent. Never fear. As my sister told me, you will not be sending your kid off to college in a Pull-Up. It’s time to turn the page and start fresh.
How We Jumped On the Potty Train
Truth be told, I am all three of those people. January 2017 marked one year since my family seriously jumped on the Potty Train. My twins were just shy of 3 1/2 and my husband and I knew that we HAD to attend to this whole toilet training business.
My son had been a “casual potty user” for about 6 months. With no fear involved, he was definitely the easier of our two. For those first 6 months however, I made the mistake of asking him if he wanted to try wearing big boy underpants. His response every time? “No Mommy. It’s a Diaper Day.” So with a stupid look on my face, I’d reply, “Oh, OK,” then strap on a diaper.
My daughter had somehow developed a fear of the potty. She didn’t want anything to do it. This mystified me.
So as good soldiers do, I came up with a battle plan. My secret weapon? Jamie Glowacki’s book, “Oh Crap! Potty Training.”
Mainly because it’s realistic.
The author doesn’t make grandiose claims that your little darling will be out of diapers in 3 days. (Even though I wanted a “battle plan,” I didn’t want my kids to be in Potty Boot Camp.) Instead, Glowacki breaks the process down into 6 stages or “blocks,” moving at your child’s pace:
- Doing #1 and #2 in the potty while naked, either with prompting or without,
- Doing #1 and #2 in the potty with clothes on, commando, with prompting or without.
- Doing #1 and #2 in the potty in different situations, with prompting or without.
- Doing #1 and #2 in the potty with underpants on, with prompting or without
- Consistent self-initiation
- Training at nighttime and nap (which can be done simultaneously with all the other steps, if you are tough enough!)
There’s no time frame that you must follow for each stage. If it takes your kid some time to get the hang of a particular step, you stay at that “block” for longer. If your child regresses, you can bump back to block 1 to get him back on track. Easy peasy. (Oh, and by the way, this chick has created a very entertaining read, mixing the perfect blend of quality information, humor, irreverence and a teeny tiny splash of harmless vulgarity.)
What Happened When the Potty Train Left the Station….
For the first few days of “official” potty training, it was like a little kid nudist colony at our house. The day arrived with much fanfare, since I had built it up as the Great Day O’ Fun. I draped the entire downstairs with ratty old bed sheets and set up games, an easel, play doh, the works. And let’s not forget that I strategically placed portable potties within spitting distance at any particular moment. Everyone was having a big naked party! This lasted alllll day long.
And then, stuff got real.
My daughter, who only then did I discover is a camel, had been “holding it” for upwards of 6 hours. We had to literally manhandle her to get her to sit on the potty while she wailed like our cat after I clumsily step squarely on his tail. She mustered every ounce of self-control to NOT let go until the floodgates opened. I have never known any human being with the bladder control of this child.
We then had all the proof we needed that these children were ready. Repetition was the key to making it less scary for my little girl, but my son embraced his new diaperless world wholeheartedly right from the get-go as we moved through the blocks of training.
Nighttime Training – a Whole Different Story
In her book, Jamie Glowacki gives parents the option to nighttime potty train simultaneously with daytime. While this was daunting to me, there was one sentence in her book that made this seem as if I had no option.
“My bottom line is that night training can be on the back burner until around three to three and a half. If it hasn’t naturally occurred by then, you must attend to it. The bladder is being developed at this age, and if it develops fully without the practice of holding and consolidating, those muscles will atrophy, and you will struggle indefinitely with bedwetting.”
So, I dove right in.
Check back with me on Monday for more on how I night trained my twins! In the meantime, please share any tips or tricks you have employed that worked for you.
***I was not compensated for mentioning “Oh Crap! Potty Training” in this post. I have included an affiliate link if you wish to purchase it, for which I would receive a commission.