Sunday, 14 January 2018

POTTY TRAINING!



The last bit of Ellie's babyhood is coming to an end as we transition into being diaper free. We've been meaning to do this for a few months, but life got busy and we put it on hold. But once the holidays came and went, we decided that it was the perfect time to attempt it!


When we potty trained the older two, we did the 3 day method and it worked really well for us! 

I'd love to share some tips that worked well for our children. I'm definitely no expert when it comes to this department, but hopefully my experiences will be helpful. 

Here's what we did this time around!

PREPARATION

I tried to prepare Ellie the best we could for what was going to happen. 
A few weeks leading up to when we were going to try it, I reminded her gently when Maddie was going to the bathroom, that soon she would be a big girl too and would get to try to pee on the potty! I tried not to make it a big deal, but I did take time to remind her and explain what would happen. The more we talked about it, the more sure she was that she was ready to try going on the potty.

I took Ellie shopping with me one morning when Ben and Maddie were both in school. I let her pick out her own special underwear (she choose Peppa Pig and Frozen) and she loved it so much! That day I also asked her what special treat she wanted for potty training and she choose gummi bears. (Haha, those are my favorites too!)

I made sure to find 3 days where we could be home all day. I chose rainy days where I thought we wouldn't want to be going out anyways. And I asked my mom to help me with pickup and drop off for Ben. I think finding 3 consecutive days helps so much because you can really stick to the routine of taking them to the bathroom alot. 





DAY 1

The morning we decided to start potty training, I took off her diaper first thing in the morning and told her she could pick out her new underwear. She was really excited and couldn't wait to put them on. (She had been asking for weeks since we bought them!)
I decided to have her wear a dress and no tights all day. I found this helpful because you didn't have to worry about pulling pants/tights up and down each time you tried to use the potty. 

We rolled up all our carpets in the rooms to avoid extra clean ups. I ended up making Ellie her own special blanket area she was able to sit on. I just folded up multiple blankets to make a soft spot for her to play on. (They really missed their soft carpet areas!) I also though an outdoor waterproof blanket would be great for that also.






I started the morning giving Ellie lots and lots of watered down juice. They only ever get juice on special occasions so she loved it and drank it ALL up. I did this because the more they drink, the more they actually have to pee on the potty. And the more they do it, the more practice they get at using the toilet.
I tried to ask her every 15-20 and we would go to the bathroom together to try. At first she just sat on the potty and didn't actually pee. She had her first pee upstairs in her bedroom on the floor. We cleaned it up (without making it a big deal) and I think she understood what the feeling of actually needing to pee felt like. She had a few accidents that morning, but we also had our first pee in the potty! Maddie and I cheered like crazy for her and she smiled SO big. She was really proud she did it and was so excited to have a treat. 

She did say to me a handful of times that she wanted to wear her diapers and not her underwear. I reassured her that she was getting so big and was really ready to use the potty like her big sister and brother. I tried to be really upbeat about it and I tried to change the subject quickly so she would be distracted. 

We continued this the rest of the day with a few accidents, but by the end of the first day she had had more potty pees than accidents. 

DAY 2

The next day we carried on all the things from the first day.

First thing in the morning we used her new underwear and took off her night time diaper. We gave her lots of liquids to drink (this time only water and milk) and asked her all day long (every 20-30 min) to try to pee on the potty.

We did still have some accidents, but more successes!

I never got upset at her if she had an accident and just cleaned her up the best I could and asked her to find some new underwear. She was still so thrilled she got to pick it out herself. And I didn't want her to think that if she had an accident I would be mad or upset about it.

DAY 3

The next day we did the exact same thing!

The only thing we did different this day was that we didn't offer as many liquids. We just went around doing our normal thing, but with reminders to use the potty every 30 min. Because she wasn't drinking as much, she wasn't going pee as much either. But by then, she seemed to be getting the idea!

We did put a diaper on during nap time and before bed. 

I don't think she actually told us when she had to pee, but each time we asked to to try to go to the bathroom, she would go! I think the key thing this day is to be really vigilant about reminding them to go regularly. Even though they may not tell you that they actually have to pee, you are re-enforcing what it feels like to let your pee go when you're on the potty.

We went out for dinner that night (with lots of wipes and extra clothes just in case!) but there were no accidents! Yay! We went out for a quick dinner and she made it back home in time for another gummi bear.

Note: It feels like we are pretty much pee trained, but poops may be a different story. Ellie hasn't yet pooped on the potty (she has been currently waking up with a poopy diaper at nap time), but we're hoping as she gets more comfortable with using the potty, she will do it soon. It was the same with the other 2 - it took a few extra weeks to get them to do actually have a poop!

A FEW EXTRA TIPS...
  • Make sure your little one is ready! With Ben (our oldest) we tried when he was 2 and it was an epic failure. He cried almost every time I asked him if he wanted to go on the potty and eventually we stopped after a day. And when we tried just after 3, he was fully ready and it worked after 3 short days.
  • Make sure you have 3 consecutive days in a row where you can stay home. I know it's not fun, but it makes for an easier transition when you're at home and have your own potty available. If you can, see if your husband can help out on the weekend and it will make it that much more bearable. (Doing it in the summer is the best becuase you can be close to home just in the backyard and be able to rush in at a moments notice.) 
  • Wearing the right clothes! With Ellie we just put her in a comfy cotton dress which was great because there's nothing in the way of pulling her underwear up and down. This also helped when she had a few accidents - the first time she had an accident she told me after she peed that her underwear was wet, but her dress was ok! (Haha!) I remember with Ben we only had him in a tshirt and underwear - no pants. It makes it quicker and easier to get up on the potty those first few days.
  • I find that using juice (or another liquid they really like!) works best for the first 2 days of potty training. I water it down so it isn't so sweet. I really encourage them to drink alot of liquids, and using juice really works. They love it, and are happy to drink alot. I find that with water, they will only drink until they're not thirsty anymore, and won't drink alot of extra. 
  • Find a way to offer an incentive! We used gummi bears, but other prizes would be just as great. (Stickers, little cars/princesses, small animals would work just as well!) I remember at first I was worried they would want treats every time they pee, but after about 3-4 days they really forget. 
  • Cheer them on! I think the more they know you're happy with what they've accomplished the happier they'll be do continue doing it! Maddie and I really cheered her on whenever she had a little pee. We clapped our hands and cheered - and gave her lots of high fives and hugs. Ellie thought she was so special when we did that!
  • Going out - when we went out for dinner that last evening, I took her portable potty with us just in case she had an accident. I ended up leaving it in the back of our van just in case there's any time she needs to go in a pinch. That way I know its clean and it makes for a less stressful going out experience. Because really, potty training is stressful enough!
  • I also pack a little bag of essentials each time we go out. I've got a pack of wipes, 2 extra underwear's & a full change of clothes (top, pants, sock). There have been so many times when we've been out and I've needed to use something from the bag. 

Good Luck if you're about to go through the process of potty training! I hope this post helps any of you about to venture into this! 

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