It’s been a big couple months in our home. Nora Kate started potty training!
My first plan was to start after she turned two before there was a newborn in the house. Then I decided to wait since I had a pretty rough last month of pregnancy. My next plan was to do it when the new baby was 3-4 months and was much easier. Well that didn’t happen either. I just kept putting it off even though I knew Nora was ready. Well here we are, Nora is 2.5 and potty training has begun.
I am going to share the method we used to potty train Nora. This is not a how to post about an amazing potty training method you should try with your kid. I haven’t even fully potty trained one kid yet. I just want to document this process, because I know I will forget the details when its Ivy’s turn. (Writing that last line made me cringe just a little.)
If you don’t like bathroom talk, this is not the post for you.
I decided to pick and choose things from all different methods I had heard about. I basically created a style that would fit Nora and her personality well. I liked the idea of the 3-day plan. Basically hit it hard for 3 days and then gradually back off and you have a pretty much fully potty-goin’ kid. So that method was the basis. Here’s the rest:
| Nora spent 3 days in nothing but a big t-shirt with a knot tied on one side. No diaper, no underwear, and no pull-ups. Just a precious little toddler booty hanging out all day.
| I planned to set a timer for every 30 minutes and would take Nora to try and use the bathroom each time. I did that for about the first 5 trips and then Nora took the reins and told me when she needed to go most of the time. Every once in a while I would tell her she needed to go try (I watched for cues), and I was typically right.
| We simply used a potty seat and step stool and she could climb up on it herself. We had her get her own toilet paper and wipe for pee. We did the job for #2 of course. Her favorite part was flushing the toilet!
| No prizes or bribes. Nora simply didn’t need them and I knew it. She responds so well to praise and I didn’t want to have to wean her from an M&M every time she used the bathroom later on. She never got a single prize or reward in the process, but she got plenty of encouragement and praise.
| Fluids were increased at certain times and decreased at others. She got her normal cup of milk with breakfast and then a few hour later she got a big cup of water with flavor in it. We used Mio flavoring and barely put any in there. We never do juice, just water and milk. But we wanted something special for her to drink to get things flowin’. She thought the “slavor” was the best thing ever. At lunch she got another half cup of flavored water and then no more liquids until she got up from her nap. Then she got a cup of water after nap, milk with dinner and no more food or drink after dinner.
| We debated back and forth about doing diapers for nap and bedtime and decided we would to start with. We wanted to see how much she was going during those times and if she could stay dry. She hardly peed at nap even stays dry occasionally, but lots of pee at bedtime. So we are sticking with diapers for a while.
| The first week went really well and she was basically potty trained for peeing in a week. We still have the occasional accident, typically when she’s playing, gets distracted and starts peeing while running to the potty to finish.
| Pooping is another story. Oh my goodness has this been rough! A poop rollercoaster if you will. She was doing great getting to the potty to poop until we started having her wear underwear. Then she was holding her poop in and refusing to go. That lead to a rash, a suppository, lots of ruined undies, and just a miserable few days for all. We worked that problem out, went back to nakey for a while and she was doing great. Went back to undies and she started pooping in them. She always tried to get to the potty, but it was too late. We had to bust out a jelly bean (her favorite treat) bribe to help with this issue. We have made some progress, but we still aren’t there yet.
I now know why people dread this part of parenting. It’s not fun… and messy. Butt (see what I did there?) it’s part of life and it must be learned! All in all she really is doing great and we are very proud of her! I’m glad we have a while before we need to do this again though.