Saturday, February 09, 2008

Potty Training: Another Learning Experience

So in November I declared that it was time to start potty training little man. I now I stand here three months later the mother of a big boy, who hardly ever has accidents, and I can say that it has been a harrowing journey and as a recovering parenting know-it-all I can say with humility that I have learned much. I have learned that...

1. You can lead a toddler to the toilet, but you can't make him pee. Seriously! There is no amount of pleading, bribing, threatening, or bargaining that will make a two year old go pee if he doesn't want to. This is the most important piece of knowledge I can share with my fellow mommies because...

2. As soon as your toddler learns the above he will become giddy with power and well you will have to give up and try again in a few weeks (or months).

3. You must wait until they are darn good and ready. I picked a convenient time for us to start potty training. That is to say that after I thought Baby Bug was fully integrated into the household, but we were still in that new baby stay home all the time mode, I thought it would be a great time to potty train as we were home anyway...Little Man not so much (refer to #1 and 2).

4. Even when they are darn good and ready you will have to convince them that the potty is AWESOME, because diapers are so much easier. You must act like he is peeing rainbows and pooping gold stars. Think Pollyanna on steroids.

5. Finding the right reward for your child is key because see #1. For us it was some good old fashioned verbal praise (see #4), a sticker chart, the occasional marshmallow, and this potty chair playing a royal fanfare every time he peed on it.


6. After he is fully potty trained, you deserve a serious vacation. Of course it isn't going to happen, but let's all close our eyes and dream about it for just a minute.

When I started my journey I read Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day: Proven Secrets of the Potty Pro I thought it was very helpful, although as has been well documented potty training in a day was just not in the cards for us, but it did have some good reminders on being more positive, patient, and making the whole experience more fun and less painful. The potty party that the author suggests was a great way to introduce the whole concept to Little Man. I also invested in a "Potty Time Elmo" which was a huge hit, Little Man got a kick out of Elmo's shrill little voice saying "Elmo has to go potty!" although late at night when I hear that same thing randomly coming from the toy box it is a tad bit creepy. He and Elmo both had charts and Little Man was so very proud of his progress

And I have to say that I am so very proud of him.

4 comments:

Todd said...

Oh Nicole,

I am so envious that you have completed the journey that I just can't bring myself to start. When I think about potty training Riley, I get all sick inside and just go read a book instead. I am going to try reading that book that you recommended...anything to get me started. Riley is the only Sunbeam still in diapers...of course, he is also the youngest sunbeam by far, so I don't feel TOO bad. :) (I'm starting to feel sick, so I think I'll go read my book now?!?!)

~Sara

Lei said...

Pt'ing is such a huge effort and the payoff is even bigger... love the break on my pocket book and from hunching over diapers every 3 hours. I've only got one more kid to train... I'm counting down the months. Lol!

HolyMama! said...

ahA! the potty time elmo needs to come to our house. must get one. (that picture completely sold me)

Beth said...

Congratulations! Shamefully, we've not even started. And I had the same plan - do it while we were home this winter with the new baby. But Sam wasn't into it and now we've done nothing. You have me feeling inspired though...perhaps it's time. In any case, I hope you take that vacation.

Potty time elmo, huh? Hmmm...