We are on day 4 of potty training so I thought I’d give a little update.
Usually I’d have a hard time admitting this, but for the sake of maybe helping another parent out there I’ll go ahead and say that I was naive going into this. I honestly believed that this potty training thing was gonna be a piece of cake. I actually said the words, “Olivia is gonna be potty trained in a week!” And to that Dominic responded, “Really?! A week?” And I confidently said, “Oh yeah, definitely.”
Who did I think I was speaking such high words?
Potty training is hard. It’s frustrating. It absolutely, positively tests your patience. And at the end of the day, once the potty trainee is asleep, the potty trainer is left on the couch with this look like “what in the hell just happened?” I actually can’t even believe tomorrow will already be day five, it’s a bit of a whirlwind process.
But I do have some good news: We are making awesome progress.
Here’s a run down of the first four days:
Day one: She was super excited in the morning. She went on the potty twice and Dominic and I looked at each other like oh hell yeah, she’s got this. Piece. of. cake. The middle of the day she had a lot more accidents, as if she forgot or just chose not to do it anymore and we ended the evening pretty well with two accidents, but two successes as well.
Day two: Man. Day two was by far the worst. I won’t lie, I think it was because she woke me up at 7:30 am when she usually sleeps in until at least 9:30 am (side note: I am WELL aware that I sound like a brat-mom because I know most kids wake up a lot earlier, or even at 7:30 every morning). Or at least I think that’s maybe why the day started off so bad. But throughout the course of the day, it was like she completely gave up on life and had more accidents than successes. I was so frustrated by the end of the day that I just wanted to cry and eat tubs (yes, multiple) of ice cream in the corner of my room.
Day three: She seemed back on track. I think that she was really scared to poop in the potty, like maybe she didn’t think she was allowed to? But on day three she finally did. She still had a few accidents, but more successes than accidents, which was super relieving.
Day four: My favorite day so far. I am SO happy to report that today Olivia has only had ONE accident. ONE!!!!!!!!!! And it was first thing in the morning! Yay!
Every 10 minutes we ask her if she has to use the potty, sometimes if we know she hasn’t gone in a while we’ll just sit her on there and she ends up going. We make a HUGE deal when she goes. And she looks forward to it every time. When she goes when I’m at the computer or doing dishes or something where I can’t actually see her she either comes up to me and just lets out a huge Gasp!! or she’ll say, “Mama, LOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” And then she runs over to show me that she’s gone. Here’s the order we’ve been following every time:
-Look to make sure there’s actually something in there.
-Say, “Oh my god you went peepee in the potty like a big girl!!!!!” (to which she’ll respond, “Yeah!!!!!”)
-Have a dance party.
-Wash our hands.
-She runs to our dish towel to dry her hands.
-And then she get’s to pick out three M&Ms from a big bag that we bought especially for her.
-And then I clean and dry the little bowl so it’s ready for her to use again.
We have been very consistent and persistent. We know that using chocolate (or anything for that matter) doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for us and it’s a nice little encouragement to get her going. Once she gets the hang of it, we’ll worry about her not getting a treat every time she goes. We’ve also been making sure that she drinks as much as possible, just to ensure that she always has to go, for as much practice as possible.
The only problem that we’re having is teaching her to tell us when she has to go. If we don’t ask her, she’ll just run to the potty herself. We’ve been explaining to her all week that she needs to say, “Mama/Dada, I gotta go potty” and she does repeat it, she’s just having a hard time telling us when the real deal is about to happen.
We are also not night training yet. We’ve decided to strictly stick to training her while she’s awake and moving around. Again, I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s working for us. She wears a pull-up, which we’ve been referring to as “big girl underwear”, for naps and bed time and as soon she wakes up off, come the underwear and we sit her on the potty until she goes.
Because she’s done so well today, tomorrow I’m going to have her wear underwear all day. For the past four days, we wanted her to be able to get the hang of using the potty before adding underwear into the mix (we tried her wearing underwear on day one and it kinda seemed like she felt it was still a safety net for her to go where ever she’s standing).
I’ll say it one more time: I know that this process doesn’t seem ideal for everyone. The way we look at it is that we’d rather take baby steps so she gets it right the first time. Last night, when I was still a little frustrated, but relieved that we were getting somewhere, my husband said something that really made sense to me. He said that we have to remember that her whole little life, she’s never had to worry about going to the bathroom anywhere else except her diaper. If she’s in the middle of a dance party and has to go, she doesn’t have to stop dancing/having fun, she just goes right in her diaper and then we change her. Now, she has to actually stop dancing/having fun, run to the potty, pull her underwear down, go to the bathroom, wipe, wash her hands and then get back to the dance party. It’s a lot of extra steps. I never looked at it that way, but isn’t that what husbands are for, to calm us down and put our views into a different perspective? That’s Dominic’s job anyway! ;)
Of this whole process, one of my favorite things has been watching her run. I know that sounds so weird but she’s been naked (or pant-less) the past few days. So say she’s coloring on her easel, which is across the room from the potty, she stops coloring and runs as fast as possible to her potty when she has to go and her little buns shake and it’s just seriously so cute. I know my favorite thing will probably change tomorrow when I see her in all her cute underwear all day.
There’s never a dull moment when you become a parent, and through all the frustration/tears/feeling drained it is still, and always will be, SO WORTH IT.
We’re teaching her life skills over here, people!