During the first full weekend of January I decided we’d have a go at potty training. Our calendar was clear and Joel was game so, I stocked us up on the essentials.
I picked up underwear at Costco and on Amazon and Joel made a midnight run the night before for juice boxes and other goodies.
We woke up, had a regular morning and after breakfast it was go time!
I set up their two scout dolls upstairs with diapers on and then started coming down the stairs to where everyone else was and said “What’s that Scout? You want to tell me something?” It took a bit of nudging from Joel but we got the boys to be curious enough to come upstairs and I showed them how Scout had a diaper on and explained they were getting older, getting tired of diapers and ready to move to underwear.
Then I opened their bedroom door where I had put all the underwear choices out on the floor and said “OH LOOK! Underwear!” We took off the diapers and the boys got to pick out underwear and put it on their Scout doll. They seemed pretty excited about it and pointed out all the characters on the underwear.
Then I asked if they wanted to be done with diapers and wear underwear like Scout. One was all for it and couldn’t get them on fast enough. The other took a few minutes to warm up to the idea but eventually was game too.
Once we had them in underwear it was time to juice up!
Our goal was to get as much liquid into their bodies as possible so there would be plenty of opportunity to practice. The boys never get juice on a regular basis so this was a super treat for them. I think Graham had chugged three juice boxes in the first forty minutes.
They were also so stoked about their underwear they didn’t want to wear clothes. Just slippers and a super cape please. That made it easy to reinforce the theme of the day – we don’t pee in our underwear we pee on the potty.
We had plenty of salty snacks (pretzels, goldfish crackers and pirate booty) to keep them thirsty for their water, milk and juice. And by lunch we had done six or so trips to the potty.
Good job staying dry Scout!
The boys did great EXCEPT they only used the potty when we took them to the bathroom and encouraged them to sit. We’ve had potty chairs around for about a year now, using them before bath time, so they understood the whole peeing in the potty thing. It’s the avoiding accidents part that they weren’t getting.
They knew they weren’t supposed to pee in their underwear. But if they did it they didn’t seem to notice or at least they didn’t care. If we set a timer they’d go to the potty regularly and have no accidents. The second day we were less militant about the timer and tested to see if they’d have accidents. And boy were there accidents.
By the afternoon of the second day I was sure they weren’t ready yet. Joel wanted us to stick with it. So we did. BUT by the end of Monday I was done with our test run. If they’re going to treat their underwear like diapers then they aren’t ready yet. The wet accidents didn’t bother me so much as the number twos. There was no way I was going to bother with that.
So, I moved them to Pull-Ups diapers, decided not to stress about it and we’ll revisit it again in a month or two. The nice thing about using Pull-Ups is I can encourage them to use the potty throughout the day and it’s easier than if they were in regular diapers. Our new routine is now potty in the morning, before and after nap and during our bedtime routine. Almost always they pee when they sit and there’s even been a couple of times where Graham has recognized he needed to poop and we got him on the toilet in time.
It was a successful weekend, we know they’ll be able to do it when they want to and when they’re ready we’ll be ready with all the gear.
There are two cues for knowing when your kid is ready to potty train. They have to meet both of them for there to be success.
1) They have to recognize when they’re about to pee or poop and be aware of their body.
2) They have to have the desire to stay clean.
Before both of those things happen your kid will just not be able to wear underwear all the time without accidents.
If you’re getting ready to potty train I highly recommend the book:
Potty Training 411: Kiss Goodbye Those Diaper Changes After 3 Days! by Denise Fields and Dr. Ari Brown
As well as this blog post on the whole process we followed (which I didn’t outline entirely here):
I didn’t use as many sugary snacks or drinks as others talk about. Since we rarely have that kind of fun food just getting to have 100% fruit juice and unlimited pirate booty was huge for the boys. But we did give M&Ms as rewards for successful potty trips and we called friends and family after big moments in our day. That helped get the boys excited about the whole process.
Do you have any potty training stories to share?