Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dying to know?

Yep, we are having another baby girl! Juliet is going to be a big sister.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Real Adventures in Potty Training

The idea of potty training has always really intimidated me. I really had no idea where to start and I was getting alot of misinformation/exaggeration so I felt very overwhelmed. So I am going to write about my saga for a couple reasons. First to document when and how it all went down. And second to maybe give comfort and info to other first time moms who are approaching the potty training bridge.

So ever since I had Juliet everyone and their dog began telling me "my child was potty trained by 2, by 18 months, by 1 year old..." For real! I think parents sometimes get a faulty memory about just when landmark events occurred. Sure you may have started potty training me at 1 year old but it says quite specifically in my babybook that I wasn't completely trained until 2 and a half. Yeah. Not to say there aren't some kids trained early, I saw my sister do it at 18 months with her first boy and have a couple other friends who also did it earlier than usual with their girls. Being a stay at home mom helps with this I think. You can give the child your attention 24/7 without having other caregivers to make it more complicated. I will test this theory with my next child when I am at home full time and I will of course have that child trained by 18months stat! ;)

My other misconception is people's definition of "potty trained". To me it meant "uses the potty on their own, doesn't have accidents anymore day or night". But I am gathering other people have more loose definitions. "I potty trained my child in one hour." one book said. Um yeah, he probably barely had time to use the potty once in that time and you are already patting yourself on the back? In the second hour I bet he has an accident and he becomes un-pottytrained again. So the child just knowing that a potty is for pottying in can mean their child is "potty trained". Or staying dry during the day, but needing a pull-up at night could also mean "potty trained". So I take people's assertions of "potty-trained" with a grain of salt these days because they everyone has a different definition.

I bought a potty chair for Juliet when she was 6 months old. I put her on it; I hoped she would use it. It sat collecting dust in our bathroom for the next year and a half.

At 18 months it was summertime and alot of people I talked to liked the buck-naked potty method. So I had Juliet running around pants-less most of the summer and she loved that of course. And I cleaned up tons of poop and pee off the floor. The thing I didn't get about this method(and maybe it would have worked if I had) was that you actually need to watch them closely and run them to the potty when they signal or begin to start going. We were in the middle of a huge construction project then and so I wasn't paying faithful attention to potty training and so we failed again.

At around 2 years old Juliet first used the potty on her own. We were all in the room, I was sewing I think, and she took off her diaper and went and peed on the potty all by herself. We got excited, we praised her. She was happy. She never did it again.

For the next few months I would occasionally put her on the potty at random times and sometimes randomly she would go. Nothing consistent. I figured she knew what to do so why didn't she just do it?

Then I decided last long weekend(May 28th-30th) to really buckle down and focus. Still not having read anything on potty training. We put her in undies, but no pants. Every 15 minutes or so I would remind her or ask her "are you was dry?" "do you need to go potty?" "remember to use the potty when you need to go?" Every 15 minutes, over and over and over. I didn't watch her constantly because, again, I was working on the never-ending construction project and couldn't. But she did great. She would go when I reminded her and sit on the potty and do her thing. She would get excited, we would get excited, and she would be supplied with a delicious sugary treat. She didn't stay dry during her nap that day.

That first night we did just undies for bedtime too since she had done so good in the day. Had her go pee before bed. Put her down. About 4 hours later she woke up calling to me because she wet the bed. Changed the sheets, had her sit on the potty. Reminded her to keep her undies dry and use the potty. Repeated two more times that night.

Church the next day went great. She wore undies. She told me she had to go potty during sacrament meeting and I rushed her to the bathroom...at the other end of the building...! She didn't make it, but I praised her for trying. New undies. She tells me her tummy hurts and she needs to go potty. Took her again. And she pooped on the potty big time. I was seriously so excited! I loudly praised her alot, and then felt alittle silly as I noticed some lady was sitting in the next stall over. Ah... new moms, they're so silly. I had no idea I could get so excited over poop. She stays dry until we get home from church. She goes pee on the potty when I remind her. She stays dry for her nap.

Next day(Monday) she goes potty alot, mostly on her own, but also when I remind her. She tries to get treats for just sitting on the potty. Denied! But I thank her for sitting on the potty and for staying dry. Have her go potty before we leave to go to the store. Go to a couple hardware stores (about an hour trip) and she did great. No accidents! I was nervous and reminded her often to stay dry and we even trying going potty at Lowes but she didn't have to go. She stayed dry for her nap this day.

Fast forward a couple more days of similar progress, her going more and more on her own, doing more successful pooping in the potty, averaging one wetting accident a day/night.

Then June 2nd(day 6) she stayed dry the whole night!!! Yay! 24 hours straight with no accidents!!! I woke her up at midnight to go potty and she got up herself early morning (4am-ish) and peed on the potty and called for me to empty it. And then again when she woke up dry at 8am she went potty on her own.

SO proud of her!!!

6/9/11 Update: It has been a few weeks now. She never wets herself during the day anymore, but does sometimes during her nap. We can go out and about and I don’t have to worry about an accident. Weirdly, she now will not poop on the potty for some reason, and will do it in her undies, usually right after being put down for nap. So we are working on this. Also she stays dry at night every third night or so. But all the other nights she has at least one wet accident in the night. I won’t give her back the diapers though; we clean up the mess and move on. I put on a mattress cover and bought a bunch of extra twin sheets at Goodwill so I can change the bedding as needed. She will get it eventually; we have to overcome 2 and a half years of habitual going freely in her diaper, especially in her sleep. That is a big change. People tell me it’s worth it. In some cases it really is, but in the middle of the night and I am sleep deprived because of potty training and cleaning up messes I wonder why I even bother.

I love my little girl. It is so fun to learn and grow with her. To teach her new things and experience her joy and delight in the world.