It Starts With P and That Rhymes with T and That Stands for Trouble

Yep, I'm talking potty training. I was intending to wait until after our Christmas trip to TN to tackle this, but it suddenly hit me that we had another big trip in January and that I'd really be waiting until almost February! So we plunged in.

Look at that cute little underwear boy helping to decorate the Christmas tree! There is nothing cuter than a 3-year-old in underwear.

So how did we work it? We started on a Sunday afternoon after church (the day of the picture taken above). I told him he was done with diapers and he was going to wear underwear now. He gave no argument. The first 2 days I gave him 3 M&Ms for every time he sat on the potty. I set my timer to go off every 30 minutes and had him sit on the potty and try. After 2 days he was getting tired of that routine and so was I. Plus, I could tell that he had fully accepting this potty thing, he just needed to "own" it and figure out for himself when to go.

So I introduced this sticker chart. He got a sticker every time he went potty and kept his underwear dry. I thought he'd fill the chart in 3 days, but it ended up taking 5. Five rip-my-hair-out days. It seemed like Austin announced his need to go potty 1 second before it came out of his body. We changed a lot of underwear and spot cleaned a lot of carpet. Obviously, we didn't go anywhere that week. I suppose I could have used pull-ups, but I wanted to get this over with, no handicaps. Finally, on day 7, I had a heart-to-heart with him and asked him if he was trying or if it was just hard. He sincerely told me that he was trying and that it was hard. He was cute. And I decided to have more patience. But, joyously, we woke up the next morning and bang! he'd figured it out. He went dry that day and many a day since!

This was Austin's prize for filling up the sticker chart. For the first 3 days he asked every time he went potty if he could play with his "surprise" now. It was so hard for me to hold out and not give it to him but I wanted him to have a reason to keep trying. It turned out to be just right actually. When he finally earned this, he was so happy! He played with this toy for a solid straight week.

Looking back, the potty training actually went fast, but that one week was excruciatingly frustrating. He only had one poop on the floor incident (phew) which I made him clean up - and I'm pretty sure that convinced him to never do that again. Now he's doing great. We still get wet underwear about once every other day, but he knows how to get himself cleaned up so I'm feeling patient with it. Last week we did another sticker chart to practice wiping himself (that's so nice!). The only big thing left is night-time training and I'm not sure when I'm going to tackle that.

I'm so happy the hardest part is over. He seems so much older and more responsible now. It's definitely changed the way I perceive him and what I expect of him. My little man is truly growing up. And he's at that magical age where he couldn't be prouder.


Michelle M said...

I haven't even attempted night-time training. The night diapers are always filled in the morning, so I'll wait until he pees way less at night- maybe another year- ha ha! Way to go Austin!

One good thing about my kids being so close in age is that when we potty-trained Dayton in the fall, Daphne jumped on the band-wagon, too! She's nowhere near being potty-trained, but she tells me when she needs to poop on the potty, and she always pees on the potty before taking baths. I'm grateful for this little jump start she's got.

Rachel B. said...

Oh this is so on my mind right now! We just potty trained Reese this past week. It went surprisingly well. I have been trying to get myself to sitdown and blog about it too. So it was funny to click on your blog to find this. WAHOO for potty trained kids!!!!!! And yes, their little buns looks so darn adorable in big kid undies!

Julie said...

Congrats! If it only took 5 days that is actually quite easy. Something I did with all of mine is actually have them go naked from the waste down. I found if they had anything on at all, even underpants they were more likely to wet. (Something you could consider for next time.) I wouldn't worry about night time I've found with all of my kids except Emily it just came naturally.

faith said...

Congratulations! Toilet training is the worst, I'm convinced! I had two rounds with Benny (in August and then finally in December - when Dad was around to help!) and I'm so glad it's (mostly) over. We're still working on number 2. He holds it until nighttime or quiet time when I put a pull-up on him. It's our compromise - and better than him making himself constipated like he was...

Melissa said...

Ok, I hope I'm not the only one that had the urge to throw their hands up and yell 'Right here in River City!' after I read your title. :)

As far as potty training...that is awesome! It is hard, but so nice when they get it. I trained my little guy back in January and he got the whole thing in a snap in two days and hasn't had an accident since. BUT...he refuses to poop in the potty! It's so frustrating (I'm sure you understand). So...we're not really potty trained yet. We've tried different things. I just have to keep telling myself that he will figure it out, eventually. Congrats to you though! What an accomplishment!

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...