Tuesday, January 15

Resolution Help - Potty Training

Sean's Grandmother has given me the biggest wisdom on this subject. She has potty trained nine children of her own and countless grandchildren and great grandchildren.
"Hannah," she'll ask me chuckling, eyeing our smallest one still in a diaper, "Have you trained yourself yet?"
And she's right. Potty training your child included training yourself. Her method has always worked for us.

1. Make sure their potty is comfortable.
Pinched buns or the feeling that they are going to fall into the great abyss will not encourage them to train. Don't go for the bells and whistle toilets that are a waist of money, something simple suffices just fine. Ours is an $8 potty from Target.

2. Every hour place your little one on the potty.
This will involve training them to sit still for a few minutes. Aim for having them sit for five to ten minutes each time. You'll most likely have to work up to this amount of time. Make sure they have had lots to drink all day long. Hold off on drinks after supper, except for a small sip of water before bed.
Every hour when you sit the little one on their potty, sit with them. You can be folding socks, playing "This little piggy", cleaning the bathroom or reading them a book. Be diligent about the hourly sitting and sooner or later they'll accidentally go on the potty.
If your child has a healthy, pretty consistent diet, you may begin to notice that they have bowel movements at certain times during the day. Keep track of when they poo. This is an opportune time to put them on their toilet!

3. Make a BIG deal of it.
Clap, shout, sing their praises, call the family, and give them a chocolate chip!

4. When they mess between hours, don't make a big deal. Don't point it out to anyone. Clean them up and reinforce in a kind voice that "we are learning to go pee-pee and stinkies on the potty".
As a general rule, boys will be ready to be potty trained later than girls. Our son's pediatric urologist says that those muscles for holding urine and bowel movements develop later in boys. If the little boy has an older sibling that is already potty trained, this will help motivate him and he may train earlier than other peers his age.

5. Once you've accomplished daytime training, move on to night time training. Buy a waterproof liner for their mattress and get used to washing sheets every day or so. You'll get used to it and soon won't be noticing the extra load of laundry. Hold off on those drinks after supper. Bring them potty before they go to bed and get them up to go to the bathroom before you retire. In the morning, if they are dry, remember to make a big deal of it with a reward. If they bed is wet, have them help you take off the sheets and wet p.j.'s and put them in the washer and then wash their hands.

Some signs your wee one is ready to be potty trained:
1.Noticing a wet or smelly diaper by pulling at it, taking it off, bringing you a clean diaper, verbally or nonverbally communicating with you that they are "stinkie" or whatever word your household uses for having a smelly diaper.
2. Crying or running off when a clean diaper is to be put on. Some kids just cannot wait to be rid of diapers. Who can blame them?
3. Finding a quiet or private place to do their business.
4. You notice your child is staying dry for longer periods of time.

Don't get discouraged by relapses. Things like holidays, company, or any other upheavels in a small child's world may set them back for a bit. Persevere. It is sooo worth it!


New Mom said...

I'm trying to get my 15 month old accustomed to being on the potty. Just so he's ready when we go into the full-fledged training. It is so hard to get him to sit still though! He wants to be doing everything else but sitting!

Anonymous said...

I agree that the parents have to be trained first. I remember putting each of you girls to go potty once an hour - and right after meals. The funny thing was one of you asked why we bothered to eat since you just go potty right after the meal and get rid of it all. Oh if that were true then we could all eat all we wanted and never get fat! :)

Sean'd grandmother is a wise woman!

Me said...

Hi New Mom, yes, it definitely takes time for them to get adjusted to sitting still since wee ones their age just want to go, go, go all the time.
Mom, I think that's so funny that one of us asked that about why we eat. That would be nice to eat as much chocolate chip cookies as I want and not worry about it!

forcryeye said...

Too cute! I just potty trained my youngest over Christmas break, what a relief! You would think the fourth one would be easy, but I hadn't trained myself. Really, I was just lazy, and maybe I didn't want my baby to grow up quite yet.

Mrs. D said...

My best friend (who has three little daughters) always "starts" potty training right after they are born. This was a suggestion by her midwife. Everytime they change a diaper they hold the baby over a bowl with water, encouraging anymore peeing etc. When they are older they hold them over the toilet bowl. My goddaughter stayed dry through the night really early. With her this worked extremely well. It didn't work as well with her sister, but still it helped. I found it rather interesting :).

Me said...

I'm familiar with the no diapers parenting, Jeannine. I know it is very popular in African countries. The women just wear their babies on them all day and can tell when they need to go to the bathroom. They just lift them off their backs, let them do their business and strap them back on.
I was reading a blog of a couple who adopted from China and they said their 18 month old daughter had already trained herself at the orphanage when they got her.
We're working on our fourth one here. So far, no luck but we're keeping at it.

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to get our 2 year old son to potty train and I have to agree that you need to train yourself. He was doing well for about three weeks and now I can't seem to get him to go. This is boy number three to train and I have to say thank God that he is the earliest to learn! Thanks for the words of wisdom it was encouraging.

Amy said...

Thank you for sharing all of this Hannah. Peapod is already doing #2-4, and we have already purchased a potty chair just so she can get used to it and realize it is not a toy. ;o)

Christ in the Chaos said...

Thanks so much. Your post pretty much sums up how we do potty training in our home. I have sent my readers your way instead of posting about it myself:)