Potty Training Followup Questions

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I recently had a friend who was preparing to potty train his son. Referred him to my potty training post and he had obtained the same manual and read through it. He also loved the approach and said it was the best one they had read as they prepare to tackle this milestone soon. Here were some of the questions he had for me, and my responses. 🙂

  • what type of reward system did you use? did you get one of those stars and day of the week thing? What did you reward your kids with if their diapers stayed dried? I don’t want to give him cookies all day or anything like a toy car. any good suggestions?
    I DIDN’T USE A REWARD SYSTEM FOR KEEPING THE UNDIES DRY… JUST A WHOLE LOT OF PRAISE AND HIGH FIVES. IT SEEMED TO WORK FINE WITH BOTH MY KIDS. WHEN THEY STARTED TO GET SOME PEE IN THE POTTY, I WAS GIVING THEM CHEDDAR BUNNIES (THOSE ORGANIC ONES LIKE THE GOLDFISH). BUT SERIOUSLY, I WAS GIVING LIKE 2 EACH TIME….WHICH ISN’T MUCH. MY KIDS RARELY GET COOKIES AND CERTAINLY DIDNT GET COOKIES OR TOYS FOR IT. I THINK IF YOU CAN MINIMIZE THOSE TYPES OF REWARDS, THEN YOU WON’T HAVE AS MUCH OF A PAIN WITH TRYING TO WEAN OFF THAT TYPE OF REINFORCEMENT LATER. PARENTAL PRAISE REALLY GOES A LONG WAYS!
  • how did you do the nighttime training without a huge mess and cleaning up? did you put absorbent mats on the bed? I’ve heard people put diapers outside of their undies so they feel the wetness but the diaper stops it (I know, I’m supposed to throw away all my diapers)
    OK. SO ON THIS ONE… I DIDN’T REALLY FOLLOW THE MANUAL. I WAS TOO CHICKEN. HAHA. SO I USED PULL-UPS FOR NAPTIME AND OVERNIGHT. MY PEDIATRICIAN SAID THAT WAS FINE ANYWAYS BECAUSE THE BIGGEST THING IS BEING POTTY TRAINED WHEN YOU ARE AWAKE. ALSO, AT THE TIME OF POTTY TRAINING, MY KIDS WERE STILL SLEEPING IN A CRIB… AND I WANTED TO KEEP IT THAT WAY, SO I WASN’T ABOUT TO TEACH THEM HOW TO GO PEE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. THEY EVENTUALLY WEANED THEMSELVES OFF THE SLEEP-PEEING. NAPTIMES WOKE UP DRY AFTER AS WHILE, AND EVENTUALLY OVERNIGHT TOO.
  • did your kids go to daycare at that age? i’ll need to talk to my daycare and tell/ bribe them to check up on my son more often
    MY KIDS WERE BOTH POTTY TRAINED AT 22 MONTHS AND DID  NOT START PRESCHOOL UNTIL 36 MONTHS, SO THAT WAS NOT AN ISSUE FOR US. HOWEVER, IF YOU DEDICATE THE WEEK TO POTTY TRAIN, THEN ASSUMELY, YOUR CHILD SHOULD BE READY TO GO TO SCHOOL AND PRACTICE WHAT HE LEARNED BY TELLING SOMEONE WHEN HE NEEDS TO GO… AND JUST SOME ACCIDENTS WHICH WOULD BE EXPECTED AS THEY STILL LEARNING.
  • did you use a potty chair for your son? I find that my son needs a splash guard in front of him or else it don’t quite work. Did you have to carry a potty chair in your car for when you go out to public places?
    MY FRIENDS AND I ALL TRAINED OUR BOYS SITTING DOWN ON POTTY CHAIR TO START. STANDING PEE CAME LATER ONCE THEY WERE CONSISTENT AND READY. AND YES. I HAD A PORTABLE POTTY SEAT THING THAT I LOVE. CHECK OUT BLOG POST ON POTTY PRODUCTS. KALENCOMM PETITE SEAT. STILL KEEP IT IN THE TRUNK FOR EMERGENCY ON THE ROAD BATHROOM STOPS.
  • what kind of high fiber foods did you feed your kids? (to help them poop normally)
    MY KIDS EAT A LOT OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES. DAUGHTER DID HAVE AN ISSUE WITH CONSTIPATION FOR A WHILE, SO DR HAD HER TAKING MIRALAX SOMETIMES WITH HER MILK.
  • what kinds of liquids did you give them? I’m thinking coconut juice since that’s a lot less sugar than regular juice (we’re trying to be healthy parents)
    HEALTHY IS GOOD! THAT’S WHAT I TRY TO DO AS WELL. I DID DO SOME JUICE, BECAUSE THEY DON’T DRINK IT OFTEN, SO IT INCLINED THEM TO DRINK MORE… BUT IT WAS DILUTED, AND ORGANIC. ALSO POPSICLES WERE A NICE TREAT. MOSTELY DILUTED JUICE THOUGH. I NEEDED THOSE ACCIDENTS TO HAPPEN DURING TRAINING!!!
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Potty training: When is the best time?

My BFF has a daughter who is 3 months younger than my son. Since I had potty trained my son at 22 months old, she was considering potty training her daughter now (especially since she is preggo and hoping to avoid double diaper duty). I directed her towards the manual that I had based my efforts on, along with my own tips, etc from my previous two experiences. She was fortunate enough to have a full week off at home with no interruptions and was ready to dedicate herself to this.

So this all took place last week, and I had her texting me for moral support and everything. I told her – don’t show any frustration to the little one! Take it all out on me! But I could sense that she was having a hard time keeping her cool (and believe me, I potty trained V when I was preggo so I remember the range of emotions that this induces). I tried to coach her through it and cheer her on, but it just didn’t seem to be working. UGH. But deep down inside I totally am a firm believer that “YOU CAN DO IT!”.

Perhaps, if I was there, I could see what she was doing wrong. Even though, she admitted to me that she was definitely letting her daughter see the frustrations and often times did the opposite of what she needed to do to make this potty training thing happen.  Gosh, if I got paid enough, I’d gladly come camp out at their house for a week and do the job myself. I’d be up for the challenge!

Towards the end of the week, my BFF posted on her Facebook status that she was giving up and would try again at a later time. As I was reading through the comments to that post, someone had said “It’s ok, she will do it when she is ready.” That statement struck me because omg – really?!?! What if she’s not ready until she’s 3 or 4!? Goodness! Are you really going to just wait around until it just magically happens on their terms? Yikes. Not in my house I guess.

When one of my friends shared how she potty trained both her kids at 22 months using the 3-Day Potty Training by Lora Jenson, I was a little skeptical. But I gotta admit, it worked. Ahhhhh.. and it feels damn good to be diaper free.

I know there is a lot of debate between when it is best to potty train.  Studies are now supporting that potty training is best between 27 to 32 months. But ultimately, you do what you are up to doing. Buckle down and attempt to do it earlier? Wait it out until they are ready? Whatever it is, I don’t personally think there is a right or wrong answer to it. Ultimately – YOU are the parent right?

Anyone care to share when and how their kid was potty trained? Any regrets or changes you would have done in retrospect?

BTW, I found a good booklist for children on the this topic of potty training. Anything to get them in the mode right?

Potty Training: The Gear

After potty training 2 kids, one girl and one boy…. you can imagine the various “potty gear” we have gone through. Here’s the round up:

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Baby Bjorn Potty Chair – This was the first seat we got and with my daughter we started training with this. We still have it 2 yrs later and my son is now using it. Its lightweight, simple and easy to clean. No complaints about this chair with my daughter. With my son, however, there were several times where he peed over the front notch. So at first I had to take my finger and hold his Jr. down – but now, he knows to angle himself down for the most part. I’m still having to clean up piss outside of the seat sometimes though. *sigh*

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Kalencom Potette Plus – When I potty trained my daughter, we alternated between the Bjorn chair and this one in the house. Primarily because I also wanted her to get used to this seat (which we would be using when we are outside of the home). She didn’t like using it actually flipped out on the adult toilet at first, so we just practiced using it with the bag liner as if we were needing to do an emergency pee stop somewhere. I also started to get lazy about lugging the Bjorn up and down the stairs, so it was nice just to have the Kalencom set up downstairs. I actually really love this seat. Its not as light-weight and small for keeping in your diaperbag, but we still took it everywhere with us for a while. I liked that it raised a child up more when over the adult seat – especially in yucky public bathrooms. But I especially loved the bag liners! We have definitely had to bust the potty in the SUV trunk move a couple of times! Once my daughter got the potty thing fully down, we didn’t lug the Kalencom in the “Kids Backpack (aka Toddler version of diaperbag)” and just left the seat in the car for those emergency trunk potty times.

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Soft Potty with Handles – You see these ones everywhere, and with every character imagineable. Once we got over the smaller chairs on the ground, my daughter started to be more comfotable sitting on the larger toilet using the Soft Potty Seat. She was able to put this on the toilet herself and using a stool, get up and go pee. What I didn’t like about this – was the pee that would sometimes end up underneath the seat or betwen the soft pad and seat. Gross. Needless to say, we moved on to the built-in potty seat next.

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Bemis Toilet Seat with Built-in Potty Seat – Pure genius. It may not be as comfy as the padded ones you put on top, but its space-saving and easy for child to flip down on their own. I seriously have no major complaints about this seat. BUT, I will tell you that my son (who was just potty trained about 6 weeks ago) does not yet like this seat. He actually prefers to spread wide open across the adult seat. In actually, this has worked better for us anyways, because it allows him to angle his Jr. down and not spray outside the toilet onto the floor. Go figure.

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Little Looster Booster step stool – When I found this stool, it was thoroughly impressed with the reviews that I read on Amazon. Once we got it in home, I can see why. One of the major benefits I find with this stool is that it wraps around the shape of the toilet. So not only can it be space saving in that sense, but it also gives the child more stepping space to get on the toilet or push off of (if you know what I mean). untitled

Folding Potty Seat – This is another one that is everywhere and comes in nearly every character. We got this when my daughter no longer relied on the Kalencom when we were out and about. It is extremely light-weight and portable, so we were able to easily tuck it in with us anywhere. We still use this one to this day (she’s now 4) when we are out and she needs to use the public restroom. I put it over a toilet seat cover though – of course. Public restrooms = germies. My son has yet to like using this seat. I’m still using the Kalencom with him in public restrooms. However, I predict that when he wants to start using this folding one, I’m definitely going to have to keep putting my finger on Jr. to keep the pee downward. Maybe he’ll be ready to pee standing up by then!?!?

Potty Training in 5 days… what?!?

Two kids. Both potty trained at 22 months old. One girl. One boy. Done. Do I miss changing diapers? That would be a negative baby!!!

Ok… so how did I even manage to do that? Well. A friend of mine had used this manual for a 3-Day Potty training and she had successful trained her son in 3 days, as did her sister and a friend. I told her to send it my way because 3 days sounds quite appealing to me.

This is the method we followed: 3-Day Potty Training by Lora Jenson. www.3DayPottyTraining.com

I say in my blog title “5 days”, because for me, it really took me 5 full days to feel like the kids had gotten it down. The first 3 days were definitely the core of it all, but the additional 2 days sealed the deal for me. Be sure to check out Lora’s book for details on her method!

Back to what I personally did…. I used Lora’s book as the foundation for my potty training week. I used almost all of her suggestions (except that I wasn’t brave enough to let go of pull-ups at  naptime and overnight – I know, I was weak). Here is another biggie: I TOOK ONE WEEK OFF FROM WORK. Now, if that’s not commitment, I don’t know what is! Now for your SAHM’s, you have an advantage here if you can give up doing nothing else but potty training for one week. But it really is commitment beyond the time dedicted to potty training, because you basically have to give up focus on anything else except that. That meant, I couldn’t sit at my desk, play on the computer, play on my phone, read a magazine… nada. We didn’t leave the house… actually, we barely even left the living room (because I didn’t want accidents on carpet). All I did for 5 days straight was stare at my child’s crotch… patiently waiting for these pee accidents (aka learning moments) so that I can promptly get to them to the potty in hopes that a drop or two will end up in there.

When I first potty trained my daughter, I was pregnant at the time (no double diaper duty here!), so you can imagine the range of emotions I was experiencing with this. I literally was ready to quit on Day 3 and cry in frustration that I failed. But low and behold! The very LAST pee on the 3rd day – she “got” it! She actually got it (the concept)! When I woke up on Day 4, I was rejuvenated enough to stick with it a few more days and hone in on her practicing and practicing. *sigh* memories…..

(Check out the outfit my daughter had to sport back then when potty training in the spring time weather: warm layers of shirts, Elmo undies so mommy can see accidents, and leggings cuz its chilly!)

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I was told that boys were harder to train, so I was apprehensive about tackling this one last week. Let alone, I had my now 4-year-old daughter with me so it gave me less one-on-one time with him. I honestly, couldn’t believe how much easier he was to train!!! It just goes to show, its all dependent on the kid. I don’t really think that its a matter of a girl or boy being ready… its the kid. But I do have to say, that Lora’s recommendation of potty training at 22 months old, did not fail me at all. I was skeptical at first that a 22mo would understand (especially since my daughter was not really talking much at the time)… but both kids picked it up. Perhaps we underestimate the 22mo too much? My son picked up potty training by Day 2. Regressed on Day 4 a bit, but shortly after that… we were home free. Now, me saying home free doesn’t mean there aren’t accidents! And we haven’t fully mastered the pooing. BUT – we are in a good place. There is no turning back to diapers as we only move forward from here! He’s pretty much been off diapers for over 2 weeks now and its been good!

After going through this experience twice… I’d have to say what I took from it was:

  • It was worth it to take a whole week off and dedicate it to potty training.
  • Cheering on even the smallest drip in the potty is incredibly exciting to a child.
  • You are their biggest cheerleader and its important to keep cheering – even when he pees onto your feet because it shoots over the potty seat.
  • Empowering a child to learn to read their own body signals can go a much further way.
  • Solid colored undies are easier to see small drip accidents on boys.
  • Girls drop major puddle accidents.
  • Accept that there will be accidents – even after the week is finished. They are still learning!
  • Try to have a fellow mommy you can call and vent to! You will need the support and your own cheerleader!
  • Make sure you reward YOURSELF with a “me” day the week after! You deserve it!