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Little Goose turned two last month. I’ve been wanting to potty train her for a while but just hadn’t. I knew she was ready, she gave me all the signs, but I didn’t think I was. A lot of prep actually goes into this endeavor, but it is all worth it, I promise.
- She would notice every single time she went in her diaper.
- She knew the words to tell me when she went potty, she would say “pee or poo.” Even before she knew the actual words I always knew by her body language what was about to happen.
- She always told me she was going to go number 2 before she would go.
- She started waking me up around 3:00 in the morning when she would wet her diaper. She would say “Momma pee come here.” SMH! I would say to myself, “Go back to bed, you’re in a diaper!”
- When she was about 20 months I bought a little potty. I wanted her to get used to sitting on it, even with her clothes on.
- The week before we started potty training, we went to the store and bought three packs of underwear, she has about 12 pairs total. I let her pick them out, and explained to her that I was so excited that she was going to start using the big girl potty.
- I also let her pick out a potty seat cover, an ultimate prize, a few small prizes, stickers, a new cup and some mini M&Ms.
- Three days before we started, I said to her multiple times a day, “I am so excited for you to start using the potty next week!” She would respond with an excited “Yeah!!!”
- I also made potty charts which you can get for FREE here. I used the first two pages for the first six days. Because she liked putting stickers on them so much, I made the third page for her to continue putting stickers on it. SHE SERIOUSLY LOVES IT.
Day one begins by me getting her cute little bear and putting some underwear on it.
I set the bear on the little potty that I bought a few months earlier. I also put some water in that potty to help get the point across. Yes just water, she doesn’t know the ‘teetee’ is not clear, no need to be graphic haha.
I went and got her when she woke up, and I would let her know that I had a surprise for her! I told her something along the lines of, “Remember how you are going to use the potty this week, and we got all these cute undies? Well, let’s go see what the bear did.” I took her to the bathroom where she immediately noticed the bear had underwear on, and the bear used the potty. We quickly did a celebration for the bear, and gave him loves. I introduced Little Goose to the potty chart, let her know that she would get to put a sticker on it every time she used the potty, and after X amount of stickers she would get that ultimate prize she picked out. Then we went back to her room.
I prewashed her underwear, and had them set aside with a garbage bag. We went to her room, and I had her help me throw away all of her diapers. (I say throw away, but I’m really not about to waist diapers when there are so many kids out there that could use them, we just put them in a garbage bag.) She was so excited at this time, I had her pick out what special pair of underwear she wanted to wear that day, as well as a shirt. NO BOTTOMS.
And it begins…
I have always been fond of positive reinforcement, so I always let her know what she’s doing well at. So, I decided to reward her for dry underwear. Today I set a timer for every 10 minutes. When the timer would go off, and if she was dry she got 2 M&M‘s. I gave her that cool new cup she picked out, and reminded her to drink often. I stayed by her side all day long and would watch for those potty cues. When she would start to squirm, or if she was a little wet I would run her to the bathroom. I never had her “try” because I wanted her to learn her body cues too.
Needless to say, day one, we went through nine pairs of underwear. Overall she “went” (dribbled) in the potty four times and ACTUALLY went in the potty two times. It was rough.
At night time, I tried to put on a pull up but she WOULD NOT have it. She cried for about 10 minutes as I was trying to convince her to put it on. –Nope. Kid 1 Mom 0.- It made for a very fun mess to clean in the morning.
When I put her in the tub from the messy night I was still cleaning her up, she starts to tinkle a little bit, and I tell her “Wait! Let’s hurry and put you on the potty.” SUCCESS! … kinda. Throughout the day I kept checking her underwear, but this time every 20 minutes. She didn’t go again on day two until 6:00 p.m., where she had a complete accident. *Face Palm*
Ahh is this ever going to become easier? I’m pretty discouraged. What the heck did I get myself into?
My sister told me that her kid just had problems releasing and relaxing that muscle, she sent me a few tricks to help that I tried on day three.
I decide to wake her up today. SHE’S DRY!!! I’m optimistic! She got lots of “good jobs,” hugs and some M&Ms! I got her dressed and kept telling her to tell me when she needs the potty. About 10 minutes after her waking her up, she dribbles a little in her underwear and yells “BABY PEE!!!” (It’s cute how she refers to herself as Baby) She got it to the potty! Yay! I even gave her a little prize because I was so proud of her! Today my ‘dry underwear timer’ is every 30 minutes. She LOVES the dry check, I think it’s her favorite part- I don’t blame her; M&Ms are the greatest. Today, each time she would say she needed to go I would bring along bubbles, books, or I would do something to get her to laugh to try and get her body to relax with a distraction. She even goes number 2 in the potty today! She’s got it down folks! She ended Day Three with seven trips to the potty and only one underwear change that morning. She earned her ultimate prize today. This Momma is so proud!
Going forward, I made a second (and third) potty chart for her to continue putting stickers on there. I would still remind her to tell me when she used the potty. I still clap, dance, high five, hug, etc. when she does go. But ultimately I’m so proud of her and all of her progress!
A few takeaways,
- Make sure they are giving you cues that they are ready.
- Prep for the big day a few weeks in advance so they know what’s coming.
- Use positive reinforcement for good behavior. Never punish for accidents. Keep it fun for them!
- Make a statement like “tell mommy when you need to use the potty” or “remember to keep your underwear dry, ok?” as a subtle reminder for them. I must have said something similar 200 times each day.
- Be persistent, and consistent, and patient… ever so patient.
Hang in there! They will get it!