Sunday, January 4, 2009

Potty Training Update

Disclaimer: this post is WAY longer than I originally intended it to be. If you have no interest in the topic of potty training, then don't bother reading any further. If you do have some interest in potty training, you might find the following useful:

Even though day 1 of potty training went well, I decided I didn't want to have to use pull-ups during outings or at night, so on day 2 I started a new method: The 3 Day Potty Training method by Lora Jensen. So day 2 of potty training was really day 1 of the 3 day method.

Here's how it went: After breakfast we took off Paige's nighttime diaper and she put on big girl underwear. I told her she was a big girl now and got to wear big girl underwear because she knows how to go in the potty. I also told her that she needed to keep her big girl underwear dry and let me know when she needed to use the potty. Paige had 2 accidents that morning that I caught happening and she finished in the toilet. Both times she announced that she was going ("I'm POOPING!", but again it was just pee). The method is all about getting the child to recognize when they have to go before they actually go and these "accidents" are all part of the learning process. She got extra drinks so that she'd have lots of chances to use the potty. I gave her constant reminders throughout the day about keeping her underwear dry and letting me know when she needed to pee. The rest of the morning she told me every time she needed to go in time for me to get her to the potty. The method strictly forbids pull-ups, even during naps and nighttime (with the goal of daytime and nighttime training at the same time), and so I nervously put P down for her nap in her big girl underwear. I didn't let her have any fluid for an hour before her nap and I made sure she went potty twice during that hour. She also usually has a sippy with milk right before her nap, so I was afraid she'd notice the change in routine and not be able to fall asleep. We read a few books and skipped the milk and she didn't even seem to notice. Nervously, I waited for her to wake up. I was sure I'd find her soaked, but when she woke up from her nap 2 hours later she was dry! When she woke up I asked if she needed to use the potty and she did. She had one more accident that afternoon, but she realized again as she was going and we made it to the potty in time to finish. The rest of the afternoon and evening went smoothly with Paige even telling me she needed to go potty right in the middle of her bath. I wisked her out of the tub, quickly dried her off, she did her business on the potty and got back in the bath. As bedtime drew nearer I decided to commit to the method's no pull-up rule even though I was convinced I'd have to change the crib sheets and Paige's clothes at least once during the night. So I didn't let her have any fluids after dinner (I gave her her usual nighttime milk with her dinner), made sure she used the potty twice in the hour before bedtime, and put her to bed. Let me tell you, I hardly slept a wink all night, worrying about Paige, wondering if she was laying in a pool of urine, listening to the monitor for any sign that she was waking up and needing to go potty. . . when 8:30 am came and I finally heard her stirring I rushed in her room to find Paige . . . completely dry!!!

Day 2 of 3 day potty training went even more smoothly. We stayed home all day, and Paige consistently told me in time for me to get her to the potty. She woke up from her nap dry, and she had only one accident the whole day. It was at the end of the day and I think she was just getting tired of the whole dropping everything routine and running to the potty, because she told me she needed to go, I said, "you do?" and came toward her, at which point she said,"NO, NO, I don't!". I backed off, said "okay" and then 30 seconds later she was peeing on the living room floor with me standing right beside her. However, the rest of the evening went great and she slept through the night dry again (I slept better too).

Today was day 3 of the 3 day potty training method. It was COMPLETELY accident free! We left the house for the first time in 2 1/2 days to go to church from 1 to 4pm. Before Sacrament meeting, I showed her where the little potty was in the building and she wanted to try it out right then. She asked to go again about an hour later (during Sacrament meeting) and we made it all the way out of the chapel to the little potty which is way down the hall. I was SO proud! Then the last 2 hours of church she was in nursery (which I am in with her because I am one of the nursery workers). I was a little nervous she would get preoccupied playing with the other kids in nursery and not tell me when she needed to go. However, she proved me wrong again and went on the potty twice. She stayed dry the rest of the evening and is now sleeping through what will hopefully be another dry night.

I'm sure there will be more accidents in the coming weeks, in fact I'm expecting them, but it seems to me that the worst is over. And, honestly, it wasn't too bad. I realize I probably had it easier than most parents, and I've felt a little bit guilty about that as I write this, but I wanted to post this because the majority of people who look at my blog have children who are or who will soon be potty training and I thought I should give a shout out to Lora Jensen and her 3 day method.


With all that being said, the last 3 days have been some of the most exhausting days of my life! I can't even imagine what I would feel like if it had gone poorly. My hat goes off to all mothers everywhere. The things we have to do are astounding!

The End

P.S. I'd love to hear your potty training experiences. Anyone else tried a method that worked well or didn't work? Have you tried the 3 day method? Ideas on the best age to potty train? Funny (or frightening) potty training stories? Please share.


The Rasters said...

my dad kept saying Sadie was going to be the only third grader still in pull ups. She was the most stubborn girl about potty training. I was feeling bad because she was 3 1/2 and still wearing diapers. so finally I had a week where we didn't have any plans and I just decided not to give up and get her potty trained. I did the running around naked routine and she finally caught on on day two. I don't know why she hung on to that control for so long but it was so nice not to have to change diapers. It probably was the hardest week of my life and I wasn't always the kindest, but she is now potty trained and I have already informed Andy it will be his job to potty train all of our next children!!

Wendi said...

Wow. I really cannot imagine potty training Cameron right now. I've barely gotten him to stop playing IN the toilet. I think I will definitely look at that 3 day method though. It looks pretty cool, and sounds like it worked great for you.

Anne said...

Are you sure that Paige isn't just a genius? Cameron has woken up soaked in his own urine plenty of times. And he's a year and a half older than her!

Abby Hanson said...

Sounds like a really good method. I'm going to look into it. Did you feel like it was worth the $ for the ebook? I did "Toilet Train Your Child in 24 Hours or Less" with Autumn & Heidi and felt like it got us started, but like Lora points out on her webpage, we still had a month or two to go until we really had things down.

Bridget said...

I guess the ebook was worth it since the method worked for me. But I didn't think the ebook was very well written and it was only like 40 pages in a word document. Also, I didn't hear very good things about her customer support on discussion boards. I never had to use the customer support myself so I guess that part didn't end up mattering to me, but she tauts it as specialized one-on-one mentoring and I think that's why it costs so much. I could give you more information if you'd like. Though I'm not sure what's legal since the ebook is copyrighted. If I owned the book in hardbound I'd definitely lend it to you, so I don't know what the difference is. Anyway, email me if you'd like to know more.

btw, Paige has now had 3 completely accident free days in a row. Today we went to Olive Garden for lunch and then to Costco (we were away from the house for about 2 1/2 hours) and she did great! The only problem was that once she used the potty at Olive Garden, she kept wanting to go back. Sigh.

Mindy B said...

I've got too many potty training stories to post......I'd say Paige is super smart AND sweet and likes to listen to her mommy and you're being totally rewarded b/c you're doing it on your own! I got Wyatt potty trained before Christmas (see my blog for more details) and now I'm working on Carter. They are 3 1/2, but I learned the hard way with Cora to let it happen when they're ready, not when I'm ready. Seems like Paige is ready, and that is awesome, considering she's still so little.

Bridget said...

Yeah, I wasn't really planning on potty training Paige early. She became interested in early October though and ever since then was going on the potty anywhere from 3 times a day to 3 times a week. I was letting her tell me when she wanted to go and also just suggesting it every once in awhile. Then after talking to a mom in my ward of a little girl who is potty trained and who is just 1 month older than Paige, I thought maybe Paige was ready too. I figured if she was ready then I just wanted to get it over with and not have it drag on forever. So I gave it a shot. When I found the three day method, after doing the first day on my own, I decided that if it didn't work by the end of the week then I'd just take a break and try again in few months. No harm done. I'm surprised it worked myself. In fact, to show how unprepared I was for it to work, I had purchased a brand new batch of Costco diapers just 2 days before potty training began :) She hasn't used a diaper now in almost 2 weeks. I'm stuck with a lot of size 3's!