Thursday, February 11, 2010

In Which I Use The Word 'Potty' A Lot

He's potty trained!!!

Okay, so he's been potty trained for a while now... a few months... but technically this post is not out of order, since I'm still putting Underjams on him at night (that's right... Underjams. My 2.5 year old is ginormous and has to wear the pullups specially designed for 7 year olds who still wet the bed at night). I guess that means that he's daytime potty trained? Oh well... potty trained is potty trained!!!

I know a lot of my friends are going through this right now, so for them, and for me (because I don't want to forget!), here is a long post all about what worked for us!

I suppose I should start at the beginning... I always thought that I wasn't going to push potty training until I felt that Jack was ready. But he couldn't show me that he was ready if he didn't have a place to potty, right? So, when Jack was 18 months old, I bought him a potty chair! I didn't expect anything from him, though. I thought that I'd just ask him if he had to go potty, and sit him on it if he wanted to sit on it. I was so proud of him when he went potty the very first time he sat down on it that very same day!!!
He was extremely proud of himself, too!

He ended up going at least once a day for a few days, and then just sort of lost interest. Which was totally fine with me, I wasn't in any hurry and I didn't want to create a point of frustration over it. He went when he felt like it and I made a huge deal every time.

Over this last spring/summer, I started putting Big Boy Underwear on him more and more (since it was hot and I could do that outside so as not to mess up my house!) so that he could realize the connection between
the feeling and the going. If he was wearing a diaper or pullups, he never paid any attention to potty or poop, but when he was wearing Big Boy Underwear, he definitely made that connection!

Once the connection was made, it was time for bribery! You all know that my kid will do practically anything for M&Ms, so it was easy to decide how to get him to sit on the potty chair! It did take him a while, though, to figure out how to empty himself. I mean, he'd go, but then 5 minutes later he'd had to go again- each time he'd only squeeze a tiny bit out. One day he went 12 times in 40 minutes! I tried putting the potty chair in the living room and letting him sit for as long as he wanted, but he'd still get up after going a teeny tiny bit, shouting "I went potty on the potty chair!!!"

Even though he stayed dry, he he never really emptied himself during the day and would wait until naptime or night time, when he had a pullup on, to go. It was very frustrating! I got the idea on how to fix that problem from him, though. One day after he had gone, he stood up and looked in the potty chair and declared "Oh! I made a nine!" so I looked in there and sure enough, his tiny puddle of potty looked like a 9! I asked him what other shapes he could make with his potty and he sat back down and went a tiny bit more... "Oh! That looks like a fishie!" Finally, after he made a G and a shark, I convinced him to try to make a whole ocean... and he did! He emptied himself right out and then shouted "Oh, I make a ocean! Oh wow, that's a lot of potty!!!" We started making a game out of seeing how long he could go, and to deter him from jumping back up right away, only to sit back down again, we also made a rule that he only got M&Ms the first time he went, rather than however many times he'd go.

Pooping definitely didn't come as easily to him as pottying did. I mean, he did a great job recognizing that he had to poop, but he had a much harder time getting that poop to where it was supposed to go! He'd tell me that he had to "go poopies on the potty chair" but when I put him on he'd sit and he'd sit and he'd sit and... nothing. I'd tell him to relax, we'd sing songs, we'd read books... nothing was working, though. Eventually we'd give up and I'd take him off the potty chair, only to have him poop shortly afterwards. For some reason, he just couldn't relax enough to go on the potty chair!

So, I decided to take a new approach. I decided to sit back and observe his regular pooping habits to see if I could mimic his "pooping environment" when he's sitting on the potty chair. I'm so brilliant, aren't I?! What I noticed, was that when Jack had to go, he'd grab a toy (a helicopter, a truck, a car, a train... something with wheels) and he'd either stand in front of desk or kneel in front of the couch so that he could run his toy along it and be at eye level with the wheels as they went around. Yeah, okay, no problem! I could mimic that easily! The next time Jack jumped up and shouted "I have to go poopies on the potty chair!" I plopped him on there, grabbed a TV tray and handed him a toy, and gave him his space. And guess what?

It worked!!! I was so incredibly proud of him and he was so incredibly proud of himself! We called daddy and we called grandma and he got a ton of M&Ms for that! After that it was pretty easy to get him to relax... if he had trouble he'd ask for the TV tray, but once he had gone that first time, he did pretty well figuring things out from there!

So, now (okay, for months now) I have a boy who wears Big Boy Underwear!!! He absolutely loves all the fun designs that Big Boy Underwear come in, and he gets very excited to find out which pair he gets to wear each day.

And don't his buns look so cute in them?!

He doesn't even let me put his Diego Potty Seat on the toilet anymore... he wants to go like a Big Boy!!!


  1. LOVE IT :) I had to giggle at you re-creating his environment that he liked to poop in :) Very smart!!

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