Saturday, August 13, 2011

Potty Training on the early side

Owen was gradually potty trained from 2-3 years old. He took early to pooping on the potty and so we just basically let him go all day with underpants. But oh boy did he pee in his pants--for 6 months. He finally initiated his own peeing on the potty around 30 months -- aka "I have to go pee" but I'd say it wasn't fully realized until 36 months. Meaning, we still had to ask and remind him a lot or spot the signs (shaking a leg) and he wasn't going by himself without our presence. Personally this was better for me than changing two sets of poopy diapers so I made the push for it. I hear if you wait longer you have faster results. I was just DONE with 2 year old diapers and baby diapers.

What we had going was
Mommy: "Do you have to pee, Owen?"
(repeat 1,000 times a day)
Owen: "No"
-- then he'd pee in his pants moments later. We wouldn't have a big reaction and just change the pants and remind him that he needed to pee in the potty and when he felt that funny feeling, run to the potty. Hubs was behind me on this one too. We never put him back in diapers or ever used pull-ups, even at night. At first I bought 2-3 cloth big kid pants but he seriously NEVER peed in them, so we left him in underwear pants at night and for naps.

We went everywhere in those undies pants we just peed before we left and when we got home and took preventative measures. Basically at home we had a good routine going. Pee after waking up, pee after breakfast, pee before going out for a walk, pee when we got back... you get the idea.

He only had around 2-3 pooping accidents in his pants over the 1 year timeframe and they were sorta "excusable," if you know what I mean. He also only ever peed in his bed at night in extreme conditions, either he was super exhausted or we forgot to have him go right before bed. I have heard of people having success overnight by waking their child around 11PM or whenever they go to bed and having them sleepwalk to the toilet , pee and put them smack back in bed. We never did that. Keep in mind that Owen doesn't drink a ton of water or liquids so I'm sure this helped the process...

One of our biggest challenges with this whole process was the fine motor skills it requires to unbutton and re-button pants. Most kids are great at this from an early age (I know Harper can do it and she's only 21 months) but Owen had absolutely zero interest in dressing or undressing (still would rather have us do it) himself so pulling up and down his pants was a HUGE HUGE deal for us. We were constantly doing it. This is a boy who didn't like to put on his shoes himself, dress himself, zip up his jacket, unbutton things. He's not interested in those skills. He did like to feed himself (wouldn't let me spoon feed him past 10 months).

On his third birthday we enrolled him at a Montessori school -- they had a mid-year opening so we took it and within a week he was self-actuating bathroom skills. He went to the bathroom all by himself and even washed his hands himself. He was still having trouble pulling up his pants in the back but he got the job done well enough. His favorite thing about pre-school was that the potties were his size. I still do the wiping we are currently working on that messy skill...

It's crazy to think that soon I will be diaper-free FOREVER! WHOO HaHaHaHaHaHaHaH (cue Dr. Evil-like laugh). I will make the push with Harper early too because Mommy is ready and dedicated. I think those are really the two most important ingredients anyway.

In terms of what we bought. We were given a One Step Ahead potty, which -- eh, didn't love it. The top of the seat flaps down all the time while they are trying to put it up. I might try the Baby Bjorn potties instead...they look comfy. Yes, you still have to then process the waste... a tad better than diapers, but still dealing with too much poop for me. If your child is game, do directly to the "on top" potty seat. We bought two sit on top seats from (one for upstairs and one for downstairs) and also the Kushie's big kid washable pants, a fold-able travel seat and a Baby Bjorn stool. We have a wooden stool upstairs but it slides around (added some tacky stuff to bottom) and I use the BB plastic one downstairs. If you are on vacation some kids won't go in just any potty... it's not as comfy and then they'll boycott pooping and poof, you've got constipated toddler. AVOID that like the plague, BTW.

If I had another child, I might go for the elimination communication method-- this requires EXTREME parental vigilance, which I was not ready for but in the long run, could be nice results.

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