Friday, March 16, 2012

The Taming of the Two......year old

Well, it's about that time.  Seth is nearing three so it is time to start the potty training process.  sigh.  Haven't I already done this...four times?  Yes, and you would think that would make me an expert.  Not so.  Every potty training experience has been a little bit different in our home and I have had to adjust to it.

This will be the first time that I am potty training from cloth diapers.  I've heard this is easier...we shall see.  I'm not a believer yet...haha.

I usually decide that my children are ready for potty training when they are bothered by wet and dirty diapers, come and tell me when they need to be changed, can talk enough to communicate with me about the process, can pull little pants up and down on their own, and can get on and off the potty alone.  If they can't do all of these things, then it is more work than helpful for me to potty train.

So, here is what we have done to get ready for potty training this time.

1. Stop doubling the soakers in the cloth diapers. I want Seth to feel wet when he goes so I have only been using one soaker at a time during the day since early February.

2. I ordered little "Superundies" for him.  I really wanted to find a product that would be like underwear, mostly water proof, and yet allow for opening like a diaper...just in case...really don't look forward to pulling those accidents down little legs!  So, pretty much a cloth version of "pull-ups". Most of these products are similar but this one is slimmer, has adjustable snaps in back, and is a "pocket" trainer giving me the ability to stuff with soakers if we are going out or for overnight.  I can take the extra soakers out when we are at home or when he is better trained...minimizing the number of messes that I have to clean up...YAY!  Here is what I found...and in red...his favorite color.  He has been calling them Lightning McQueen and begging to wear them:)  That is always a good sign.

2. Set up a reward system.  It seems that if you really want a little one to learn something you have to bribe reward them...haha.  Sethy really hasn't had the chance to earn prizes as he is too little for the jobs we bribe reward the older kids for doing.  (I heard someone just yesterday say that a bribe is paying someone to do something wrong while a reward is paying someone to do something right.  So, I can say that the treats are a reward and not a bribe...haha).  I created a little chart and bought some skittles (our traditional potty training reward).  If he tells me and tries to get to the potty, he gets one sticker.  If he makes it to the potty he also gets a skittle and the cheers of all of his older siblings as he exits the bathroom.  In our house it's a bit like being a contestant on The Price is Right...cheering...high fives...haha.  Later we will set an "all day" and then an "all week" goal with more fantastic prizes like a trip alone with Mommy to the Dollar Store to pick out a prize.  In the end, we will throw an ice cream party when we feel he is finally "trained".  This adds a little incentive for the older kids to encourage him in the process.  In the end, everybody wins.  Along the same theme, I decided to let the older kids get a skittle when he goes least at first.  This way, they will  honestly encourage him to go:)

3. Explain the process over and over.  For several months now, I have been talking to Seth about using the "big boy" potty during every diaper change.  I wanted him to start making the connection between diaper changes and the new potty routine.

I use a regular size potty as I am not fond of the whole dumping and cleaning routine that comes with a little potty.  It has always created more mess than help for me and extra work.  I do have a little seat that fits on top for him with little handles.  I really want him to be independent with the process soon.

So, the day was finally here today.  I chose a Friday so that we could have a reading and movie day.  This allowed me to be able to focus most of my attention on Seth and the new process.

Here is Seth first thing this morning, before he transitioned to "big boy" pants.  He is such a happy little guy who just loves life!

Here is Seth in his "big boy" pants.  He is SO proud.  I am using no soakers so that he will understand the process.  But when we go out, I will add a soaker or two.

I gave him one Skittle (not sure he has had one before) and told him that each time he went in the potty, he would get another.  I set the buzzer for 15 minutes and took him to the potty every 15 minutes all morning long.  He was originally frustrated that he didn't get a treat for just sitting on the potty.  But, I really wanted to keep that reward for actually going in the potty.  After only two accidents he finally had success in the late morning.  He was SO excited.  He said "It's working Mom-mom!"  We gathered around in the kitchen cheering and clapping for him as we each ate a Skittle.  As soon as he ate his Skittle, he ran straight back to try again.  He kept saying "It's not working, Mom-mom". 

He had more accidents throughout the day, but this was a strong introduction for him and I look forward to having a little more success each day, keeping in mind that there will be set-backs along the way.

What things do you do to make the potty training process fun in your home?


  1. You are so smart to wait for readiness. My oldest was tough in this department, and now I think it was because of undiagnosed food sensitivities. Also I think I missed a "readiness window" because we were moving. Second (boy) was easier. Third potty trained herself. Fourth...I honestly don't remember. And I am gearing up for #5 too! I guess I don't have any special technique; it seems that when they are ready it's just pretty easy.

  2. I love the brothers and sister cheering him on!!! I do a day of it too and usually try to do that on a Saturday or Sunday so my hubby can take the older kids out and I can focus on just potty training. And I'm with you. We wait until they are good and ready so that it only takes a couple of days before they 'get' it for daytime training!

    Once mostly trained, I do a sticker each day for no accidents with rewards like icecream, a trip to the park of their choice, etc.

    We've also done 'poop' treats since that has been the last thing to get trained in our home. They have a basket with a couple of dollar tree toys. He will earn one for each time he goes poop in the potty. If he poops in underwear, he loses all of the new toys and must earn them back again.

    I seriously dislike the process and am VERY hopeful that girls are easier than boys. ;)