Monday, May 2, 2011

And the potty training saga continues…

If you aren’t a Mom who is going or has gone through potty training, I won’t blame you for skipping this post. If you are, you probably know exactly how I feel – knowing that all this will be over someday, in the near future, and perhaps sooner than you think; yet sometimes feeling as though you will be changing diapers forever.

Shira is currently 28 months old, and so far, only goes to potty when I chance to offer it at the right moment – which isn’t exactly a smashing success in my book. I know that physically, she must be ready, but I guess that mentally, something just doesn’t “click” – yet.

A couple of days ago, we had a really hot day around here, and I just took off her diaper and let her run around bare-bottomed. I placed the potty in her play area in the living room, and explained to her that whenever she feels the need to go, the potty is right there.

Soon after that, we had the first “miss” on the floor (thankfully, we have tiled floors in all rooms – no carpet). She looked down with curiosity and an expression of mild concern. Nothing to worry about, I encouraged her. Next time, just go in the potty.

The next time she missed the potty, she was even more worried. The third time, she was hysterical, clinging to me and begging me to hold her – even though I did my best to soothe her and didn’t express any anger or frustration whatsoever over her not going in the potty.

All that day, she didn’t go in the potty even once. I spent the entire day mopping up the floor – and being thankful it’s only the floor, and not the chairs or sofa.

Then, we had another few rainy days, it was too cold to continue going bare-bottomed, so we went back to diapers. Still, I think the experiment was not entirely useless, in the way that it evidently raised her awareness of bodily functions – now, every time she feels the need to go, she grabs her diaper, looks up at me, and says she doesn’t want to go on the floor. I then promptly offer the potty, and we have had more “hits” than usual.

Still, it’s obvious that we have a long way to go (a way that might be completed within days or within months). The goal is awareness and independence – she has to know she must go, and must be able to either use potty independently, or call me for aid. As long as it’s only guesswork on my part, we haven’t done much as far as I’m concerned, even if we’re using fewer diapers.


Heather said...

My third is finally trained, I thought we would never be out of diapers. It sounds like she is just getting to the point where she is ready. I would suggest taking her every 15-20 minutes to see if she needs to go, and in all honestly when she is ready she will do it, not a moment sooner. I learned that one the hard way. You are doing good, shame is something that they shouldn't be made to feel about this.

Lady Anne said...

I also used the bare bottom approach with our daughters. I could pretty much count on our eldest needing to use the potty every two hours - almost to the minute! - so I would set the timer for about an hour and 45 minutes, and then ask her if she needed to go. It worked out very well, but there were, as you said, a lot of misses and messes. Good luck!

HeatherHH said...

My personal definition of potty-training is that they must be able during the day to take care of urination on their own, and for bowel movements only need help wiping. So, I've never been one to start at 18 months, because I don't want to spend a year dropping everything when they need to go to the bathroom (especially since I'm typically nursing a baby). I also would rather wait until training will be easy and accomplished completely within a couple weeks, as opposed to months.

So, with my oldest four children, the three girls potty trained between 2 1/2 and 3, and the boy at 3 1/2. Once they get to be 2, if they're showing any signs of potential readiness, I'll try for a few days, and then if they're not going more often than not in the potty, I'll stop and try again a few months later. My next potty-trainer-in-line is 2 yr 3 mth, and he has no awareness whatsoever and isn't very verbal. So, I'm probably not even going to end up trying with him for another six months or more....

Leah Brand-Burks said...

I am exactly where you are! My son is 29 months old, and although for a while he enjoyed our routine of sitting on the potty after meals, he now hides out, and hates sitting, if only to go against what I want him to do. It's a control thing for him right now. And we just met a friend who is only one month older and completely done training! Frustrating for sure.

Scrapqueen said...

My daughter didn't potty train until she was 3 1/2. Funny story. We had two small dogs at that time. She use to watch them go outside to potty. I also did the diaper off method. I was missing her and looked outside and there she was squatting with one of the dogs.

Emily, wife of Jeremy said...

I hate to say this but when she's ready she'll just be ready. With both of my girls (4 and 2) I tried several times before they were ready. I had a 3 month old right at the time that both of them were 2 and it was just too much to clean up constantly. One day they just did it on their own. I always left the potty chair right next to the adult potty. The day they started using the potty on their own they never had an accident, not even at night. They were right at the 2 year mark but every child is different. My long point is that keep offering but don't push it and when she is ready it be easier on both of you. : )

Anonymous said...

We let our daughter train herself. Never an accident. Once in underwear, dry bed..forever. She was 38 months old. Our second child self-trained at 26 months. Same success (no 'accidents', even when we went away). Just a thought.

Kate said...

Oh my, I know how you feel! My daughter will be 3 years old at the end of May and she does NOT want to be potty trained. She doesn't even mind sitting in her own mess, not that I allow her to stew in her own mess, it's just that sometimes she goes in her pants and doesn't tell me or runs away, refusing to let me change her even though a burning rash is developing. She's VERY strong-willed and doesn't like to be inconvenienced from her activities. Oh well. She won't walk down the aisle in a wedding dress with baby diapers on!

Katie V. said...

Hi Anna,

Good to see you back again! What beautiful pictures of God's creation.

Just a couple thoughts on potty training (with boys):

It seems one of two things can happen -you can train a baby to by habit it seems and they learn by one year old (which was the case with my husband, in Colombia)
I started suggesting/offering around 2. We had some successes and some failures. But, it wasn't mastered by both my boys until 3, when THEY decided they were ready.

You seem to be doing great. Good luck and God bless you! Katie

Joanna said...

For all of our 5 girls, we started out with sitting them on the potty until they peed in it. If that mean they had to sit there for an hour or more that is what we did. How do they know they are supposed to urinate in there unless they actually see it happen? We'd set their potty down in front of the TV and let them watch cartoons or read them books or just go about our household duties and if they tried to get up, made them sit back down. Especially with bowel movements, they would often cry and be scared to let go in the pot, but once they got the idea, it was generally smooth sailing from there. Our 6th is a son...we'll see how it goes with him.

Bethany Hudson said...

I'm with many of the other moms who say "when they're ready, they're ready." Here's my post on the subject:

I know that in other cultures, it's common to try to potty train early, but remember that this sort of "education" is not unlike academic education. If you push your child before he or she is ready, you may be setting them up to view themselves in light of their failures rather than their successes. You shouldn't coddle them, but you also should be wary of putting before them challenges that they are unable to attain.

Anyway, it does sound like perhaps Shira is finally showing you that she is ready, and with summer approaching, this is a great time to be doing it.

I might recommend doing a "treat" system like I did. I don't believe in bribing children with candy, but the positive reinforcement might just help to boost her confidence in this case.

God bless, and good luck!

Laura said...

Ahhh, potty training. The best of times and the worst of times! :) Potty training is one of those unique challenges that is awful going through, but once you come out on the other side, it's the best thing ever. I just second everyone else's advice. It doesn't really happen until they are ready. Our first potty trained around 2 1/2 years od. It was a challenge, and once he got bladder control it was even longer before he was able to get bowel control. We ended up using the M&M minis.. that way we could offer outrageous amounts ("If you poopy in the potty, we'll give you 15 M&M's!!" which is equal to about 4 regular sized ones! haha). Believe me, offering candy for poop was not first inclination, but it worked! haha

Good luck with potty training. When she gets the hang of it, it will be one of the best moments ever! :)

P31 Mom said...

You've gotten lots of advice on this topic, lol.

Care to hear one more mommy's perspective?

I've potty trained 5 out of my 7 kids. Two of them were (mostly) potty trained when we adopted them (except for when they slept).

All of my children that I potty trained, were trained around the age of 2 and all of them were relatively easy to train.

We had a busy 2 weeks for sure! Diapers or "Pull Ups" did not work...they had to feel the wetness. Potty Charts worked wonderfully for all of my children. They loved putting a sticker on a piece of paper when they'd go potty and getting 1 little M&M candy as a reward.

I heard recently of a great idea for potty training that I would try if I were potty training today. The idea was to take a doll that wets and set it on the potty, letting the doll "pee pee" in the potty. This is done in front of the entire family, and after the doll potty's, the entire family cheers for the dolly! Everyone shows excitement. The dolly can then put a sticker on her potty chart (with help from you of course).

After doing that a time or two with the doll, you can then put your child on the potty, with equal excitement once she potty's.

Personally, when I began potty training I would start out letting my child put a sticker on her potty chart and a small candy reward just for "trying" to potty by sitting on the potty. That immediately generated an interest and desire in the child to sit on the potty. When they would finally go pee pee or poo poo, we would have a potty parade for the little one. Sigh....brings back good memories:)

You are such a good mommy. You know your little one better than anyone. I'm sure if you feel she's ready, then she is.

Personally, the idea of waiting till my children potty trained them selves, at 3 years of age, was not something I wanted to wait for. An older child's bowel movements are not the same as a younger child's, and the quicker they were potty trained once they were physically ready, the better, lol.

Anonymous said...

Where has the time gone? Shira is 28 months old?....sigh. I like the way you're handling the potty training; I'm sure those "hits" will soon outnumber the "misses"!


The Kitchen Witch said...

Ah I am in the potty mess right now. With my son he was the opposite of what is normally expected at around 18 months he hated to go poopy in his diaper and would always insist on the potty, so we let him go and pick out a potty seat. Well after a few months of him always going poopy on the potty I decided to encourage him to also pee there. Then he decided he didn't like the potty anymore and wouldn't tell me if he's gone in his diaper. I always check at the 1 hour 1 1/2 hour mark but I also worry that he has been sitting in his mess for awhile and just not told me. As of now he will once or twice eagerly go on the potty (for an M&M treat) and after that he doesn't want anything to do with it. Maybe if I also add a chart he will be more eager to go.