potty training 101

oohhhhhhhh, potty training. i was soooooo dreading it!

soooo many people have told me to train olive when she showed signs that she was ready. um, that never happened. we would read books together, pretend play that her dolls would pee in the toilet. she sat on the potty a few times and sometimes asked to sit on it, with more of a self interest behind it {she wanted to watch cartoons on the iPad and sit on the toilet}. ha! after months of me thinking about potty training her, i thought…forget it! signs or no signs, i was going to do it! i tried to potty train olive a few months ago…around the end of july, early august and that was a disaster!!!

she.was.not.ready. and let me tell ya…training a toddler with a newborn was a killer combination to cause me to go to the mental house. olive pee’d and poop’d all over the place. she did the typical toddler action of hiding behind the couch or hid in a corner and would just do it. yes, she would pee on the floor, poop in her underwear; i would walk away for 30 seconds and that gave her enough time to constantly go in her pants. i almost went insane! i would then have to clean her up, clean up the mess, do another load of laundry, take care of a crying newborn, etc. after a couple days of that, i said nooooo way! i was going to lose my mind so i stopped and little olive was soooo relieved!

well, fast forward to october, i thought – this is it. i am doing this. nothing is going to stop me now! i was determined. olive between then and now showed a bit of interest in it. not much but just a wee bit. by no means did she do a 180 and showed me signs of wanting to potty train…she still did not. we read the same books, played the same way with her dolls, and she rarely asked to sit on the toilet but i knew, in my gut, that it was time. i mentally prepared myself for a week and then bit the bullet.

i cleared out my calendar for 5 days. that was my magic number. 5 days of just sitting around the house and potty training my girl. i also mentally prepared olive and told her for days that we were giving up diapers. i had also gathered a few things that were critical to training her.

1.underwear: i bought a whole bunch. you never know how many you will go through so it’s good that you have quite a few on hand unless you want to do laundry alllllll the time. i probably bought an excessive amount {are 21 underpants too many?!} but i would rather be safe than sorry!

2.a few waterproof pads. i used these on the couch, on her chairs, anywhere she sat to protect whatever furniture you wanted to keep dry and safe.

3.the ipad. it’s a lifesaver when your child is sitting on the toilet f o r e v e rrrrrrrr.

4.the baby bjorn seat cover. ergonomically perfect for my daughter’s bum. it is simple, clean, and portable.

5.i included this potty book because it’s an easy read and really pushes the message through on potty training.

and no, i never rewarded her with candy for actually going pee or poo. she always got a ‘great job’ or high five but never a treat. i never liked the idea of giving your child a treat, like a dog, for doing something she should be doing.

day 1: i would not let olive wear any bottoms. no underwear, no pants. yes, she was naked from the waist down. i turned up the heat a bit so she would be comfortable. i didn’t want her to have the feeling of anything on her bum to remind her of a diaper. we sat around all day. mostly in the kitchen because it was a safe area…no rugs, no couch, just wood chairs and a hardwood floor = easy clean up! we had a few accidents…and that was ok. let me tell you peeps, you have to watch your child like a hawk. no joke. i had to sit next to olive the entire day. i rarely left her side, because if i did, she most likely would ¬†pee if i wasn’t around. i also found that 30-45 minutes was the perfect interval time for us. some folks might find that every 20 minutes is good or longer but for us, 30-45 minutes was a perfect cycle for me to put olive on the toilet to ‘pee’. so all day long, every 30-45 minutes, i would put olive on the toilet whether she had to pee or not. i didn’t ask her, i demanded it, “olive, let’s go to the bathroom” and she would follow me to the bathroom. also, i am not a fan of the potty training toilets that they sell in the stores. if a kid is going to use the toilet, let her use the real toilet. not a plastic toilet that you can move anywhere in the house.

day 2: we did the same routine. she woke up in the morning and i took off her diaper and she ran around naked. we sat mostly in the kitchen again. she had a few accidents but it was much less than the day before, which was an awesome sign!

day 3: we did the same but this day, she wanted to sit on the couch which was risky business. i let her and we had an accident. she became too comfortable, she kept refusing to use the toilet, and i gave in and didn’t make her {with much regret and i learned my lesson to not have her dictate it and stick within my time interval of putting her on the toilet}. i used the waterproof pad and had placed it underneath her but the pee ran down the pad and onto our rug. ugh. well at least the couch was untouched! other than that, it was a pretty successful day! i truly believe that if i had made olive go sit on the toilet within the time interval, she wouldn’t have peed on the couch!

day 4: we did the same routine and we had no accidents! she was totally getting it and i was super excited and proud of her! btw, olive still needs naps but i didn’t give her any naps during this time. i was too afraid to put a diaper on her during the day {i was nervous it would confuse her}, so instead we did earlier bedtimes to make up for it. after her potty training success, we resumed with the naps.

day 5: my sisters wanted us to meet them out at the mall and go shopping. i was very hesitant. olive wasn’t a pro yet but i also wanted to try an outing with her. i wasn’t prepared, so i made hc go to the store and pick up some pull up’s {which i am not a fan of either…it’s too much like a diaper but it was better than nothing!} and my sister picked up toilet seat covers for us. i made olive go the bathroom before we left and when we got there, we all wanted to eat lunch. olive decided to slam a huge lemonade and i thought oh dang, this girl is going to pee in her pants! after lunch, i insisted that she go to the bathroom and she refused. she absolutely hates public toilets but who really loves them?! she freaked out and would not go to the bathroom…um, that made me nervous! i tried 2 more times and each time, she almost had a meltdown. after being at the mall for a bit, i told my sisters that i was going to go home. they understood and off we went, me praying that olive wouldn’t pee in the car! we safely arrived home and this girl didn’t wet her pants once! we were out for 2.5 hours!!! i was sooooo proud of her! we ran inside and she peed on the toilet in the comfort of her own home.

after the 5 straight days of potty training at home, we had total success! olive was a pro after that. she had some nervous accidents after the fact but she has pretty much been on point with peeing and pooping in the toilet!

my next battle to tackle was going to be night training…i was so dreading that. from what i had read, it was pretty much the idea of having a newborn again. it was suggested that you get up a couple times a night and wake your child to use the toilet. whaaaaa?! are you kidding me? ugh. no thank you. well, the most fabulous news i can share is that olive pretty much self-taught herself how to not pee in the bed at night. how awesome was that?! seriously! i put olive in a diaper at night, every night, right before bed. like the minute she was about to lay down, a diaper went on. after about {less than} two weeks of her being potty trained, she pretty much stopped wetting her diaper at night! i couldn’t believe it. morning after morning, she would wake up with a dry diaper. not flick of wetness and would pee in the toilet once she woke up. then soon, she didn’t want to wear a diaper at night and only her underwear! no accidents! i was amazed and so proud!

so, there ya go my friends. my potty training adventure with my sweet girl! i was so proud of her and was so happy that she kicked it this time around. i honestly thought we would never get to this point! it seemed like i wasn’t going to get it and either would olive but we did it! it took a lot of patience, tenacity, and determination but resulted in success! she is now diaper free and we couldn’t be more excited or more proud of her!

via tandeminlove.com

[essentials: a waterproof pad, ipad, the potty book, bjorn potty seat, and fun undies]