Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Adventures in Potty Training

When I was in seminary, years before I ever imagined having children of my own, I lived with a wonderful family in beautiful paradise. I spent a whole month in Puerto Rico enjoying the beach, rain forest, and learning what it means to be a family. I learned some of the best parenting lessons that summer.

One of the most important things I learned was the art of potty training.

The month I lived there, a sweet little man turned 2 years old. His mama, my friend, potty trained her daughter via Toilet Training in Less Than a Day and the day after little man's 2nd birthday, she used the same model. I witnessed the magic and became convinced this was the way to train my kid.

That was nearly 6 years ago, but I never forgot. My friend made potty training look easy and I'm all about easy! I bought the book a few months ago, scheduled a weekend where I could be home with Wesley, and spoke with his teachers at school. Speaking with Wesley's teachers was crucial because he's there 4-5 days a week. I knew whatever we did at home would have to work with them. Thankfully, they were completely on board!

Last Monday Wesley started practicing on the potty. His teachers took him to the potty a few times during the day. This got him used to the idea and introduced him to pottying. He has friends in his class who are potty training so the concept wasn't completely foreign for him. We did the same thing at home, practicing with his little potty chair on the potty near his bedroom.

Friday was P-Day and I picked Wes up from school early. We were home by 2:30pm and he was in big boy pants. We packed up the diapers and talked about how big boys keep their pants dry. He drank water while we played. Ever 15 minutes or so we made trips to the bathroom to try. He wasn't excited about leaving his toys to sit on the potty, but he seemed to understand what was happening.

We had one accident around 3:30pm. Following the advice in Toilet Training in Less Than a Day, we immediately began potty practices. This is where you practice what should have happened to prevent the wet pants. "Wesley has wet pants. Wesley needs to practice going potty because he needs to keep his pants dry!" We did 5-6 practices, all while he was crying and wearing his wet pants. He got the message. Wet pants are uncomfortable and yucky. That was the last accident on Friday!

Saturday morning we woke up ready to take the day! Jarrod and I decided to split our time - Wesley gets tired of us, so we opted to take 90 minute shifts with him. He had an accident or two in the morning, but quickly got the hang of it. We discovered he's perfectly capable of holding his pee! We forced juice, water, smoothies, and milk all day and rewarded peeing on the potty with m&ms and cookies - HUGE treats for Wesley!

By bedtime he'd been accident-free since before lunch. Because we were watching him closely, monitoring his liquid intake, and making him at least sit on the potty every 20-30 minutes, he was successful.

By bedtime Jarrod and I were EXHAUSTED. It was one of the longest and most exhausting days we've had in a long time. We were patient through fits and ignored things we normally wouldn't because we were focused on pottying. We had our eye on the prize.

We are now several days into a diaper-free lifestyle and are loving it. It's still really hard work, but Wesley is doing GREAT. We have stuck to our guns and he hasn't been in a diaper since we started that Friday afternoon. (He does wear them to bed - we aren't nighttime trained yet!) This means he's not wearing diapers for his naps either - and has been dry!

It's impossibly hard. It's insane and has necessitated a glass of wine often after Wesley goes to bed. But we are starting to reap the rewards of persistence! I cannot believe we're a diaper-free family!
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