Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Potty Training a Stubborn Child

My sweet little boy is potty training and he's doing great! I've never been more intimidated by anything to do with raising my child than potty training. I don't know what it was about actually doing it, but I literally dreaded it. When Caleb was younger, I never batted an eye at getting him to sleep through the night. I never worried about the fits and the terrible two's. I never minded any of it...I just dealt with it.

I didn't know where in the world to start with the whole potty training business. It seemed like different things worked for everyone. Things range from what age is appropriate to start and how to go about it. I studied everything I could to find the easiest approach. Some people throw huge potty parties, others got the child to  teach their doll, and some used Pull-Ups. There seemed like forty-seven million different ways to go about. I was struck with fear thinking nothing would work for my child and we'd be worrying about it when he went to school. Seriously this all went through my head...

So we tried a couple of things. We tried the Pull-Ups that get cold when you pee in them. Caleb did it anyway. Sometimes he would tell me he was wet and then other times he just plain didn't care. We wasted money on those expensive things! I only bought one pack and knew they weren't going to work. 

Then we tried buying big boy undies so we could entice him to want to wear them. I told him he couldn't get his undies dirty if he wanted to wear them like a big boy. Didn't work....at all. So then I tried dressing Elmo in undies and using a potty book with Elmo in it. We praised Elmo for using the potty...I admit I even dropped a couple of raisins in the potty to show that Elmo could do it. Caleb was so happy for Elmo, but just didn't care to act like Elmo did. We tried M & M's as incentives...we tried Thomas the Train stickers...we bribed the kid like crazy! Didn't matter...

In desperation, I reached out to other parents. Many suggested just taking the diapers away. You'd do a lot of laundry, but it forced the kids to use the potty. I was terrified, but knew this was probably our only way. We ended up buying the plastic training undies from Gerber to put on with the undies. They buy just enough time to catch the mess before he leaks onto everything. And it worked like a charm!!!

Caleb is working on day four of no accidents! When he sees us get so excited for him, he gets excited and proud. We make a huge deal out of it each time. This past weekend we started handing out prizes for a complete day of no accidents because that it truly is a huge deal. Friday I promised him fishing on Saturday...so we went fishing on Saturday. Caleb then got a dollar from Granny and a dollar from Granddaddy on Saturday for no accidents. He learned he could buy some candy with that and it was a big deal. Then on Sunday evening, Caleb got a new coloring book for a prize. 

The mess has not been bad at all. He caught on really quick. We've learned that twenty minutes after he drinks something he's ready to use the potty. We ask him quite a bit if he's ready to potty and he will tell us "Not yet" or "Yes". On Saturday morning, he woke up and told me he had to potty, but most of the time we have to ask him. We've learned that if he wants to do something, we make him try to use the potty first and he does well with that. 

Caleb hates using the toddler potty. We're actually thankful for that. He's learning the use a regular toilet and it makes it much easier for traveling with him. The only thing the little potty is good for is using for a step! We recommend buying some of the disposable potty protectors for using on public toilets. You can find them at Toys R Us. 

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