Potty Training Slow and Steady: Final Update-Stage Three

If you haven’t checked out the introduction, you can do that here. Today, I’m going to update you on Stage Three, the final stage!

Summary Thus Far

Our potty training experience started off incredibly well. Overall my son did exceptional but there were days when I felt like he was allergic to porcelain. When he had accidents they came in bunches over a several hour period. When these became fewer and farther between, I considered us in Stage Three.

Stage Three Update

It’s been about six weeks of slow and steady potty training, and I’ll admit that I beam inside everytime someone comments about how well my son uses the toilet for his age. Since my last post, my little man has been in underwear full time, even during nap time. He still wears a cloth diaper at night and is slowly beginning to wake up dry here and there. (I think it will be quite a while before he’s out of diapers at night though.)

Over the last month that has encompassed Stage Three, I have noticed some things. The occasional accident is quite normal in toddlers and very young children. I think that over time, most mothers notice a pattern. (Or at least they would if they were blogging about their experience.) These are what I consider normal for my child, although you may notice very different patterns in your child’s bladder behaviour.

  • I have to take farts seriously: if my boy starts to smell it’s time to go! By the time he realizes the difference between a flatulence and a bowel movement, we had better be next to the toilet.
  • If he gets extra tired, bladder control completely escapes his mind. I do think that routine is good for children, but (as a pastor’s wife especially) we have to be flexible when it comes to the needs of others and demands of ministry. Sometimes a late night or skipped nap is worth it. Thankfully, my son doesn’t get cranky, just starts wetting himself.
  • The final issue is simultaneously the most humorous and the most frustrating, especially while camping! He will neither make time for the toilet nor pull down his pants (on his own) for a tree when he is outside. It may be his sheer love of the outdoors, but even if I stay on top of taking him he has accidents while outside. It’s weird and it’s getting better, which is good because I was beginning to have an aversion to going out

Self-review

Not having the pressure of a time limit yet combining the disciplines of being all-in worked really well for our family. I also feel like allowing him to build an awareness of his bladder control with very little pressure made the whole process easier on everyone.

On the negative side, no matter how low pressure I tried to make things, I found myself frustrated at times. I think one potential problem with taking it slow is feeling like your child should “know better by now”.

Also, there may be a potential for some people to waver back and forth from toilet to diapers. I tend to always want to move on to the next thing so it wasn’t a problem. I have friends who might have been tempted to slap a diaper back on when it was convenient which could have extended the process and made it more difficult for their son/daughter to get the hang of things.

I feel like this whole process was a cinch and loved the relaxed learning environment! Now that I’ve been beaming for a few weeks, I’ll open myself up:

Do you feel like the Slow & Steady approach would work in your home? Why?

Potty Training Slow and Steady: Update-Stage Two

If you haven’t checked out the introduction, you can do that here. Today, I’m going to update you on How Stage Two is going!

Summary Thus Far

I let my son spend much of his play time naked (at least the bottom half ) and in less than a week, he would make his way to an available potty-chair before he urinated. Seeing when he went and how it felt gave him self-awareness of what it feels like to need to void his bladder. I didn’t scold him for going on the floor (we have hard, easy to clean surfaces) or ground and only once in a while mentioned that there was a potty chair available to him if he wanted to use it – and it turns out he did!

We began Stage Two with great momentum!

Stage Two Update

I am currently on day 8 of Stage Two. As I look back on this week, I’m having a hard time simply categorizing our progress. We’ve had several great days, a couple horrible ones and a few in-between.

Days 1-3 all had about five hours straight of no accidents. Micaiah would make it to the toilet or chair every time. When asked, he always said no (he actually does this to all questions) and then reconsidered and responded appropriately. Then, for some reason for a few hours in a row, he would just wet his pants. I would guess maybe he got tired of it except that two of the days it occurred in the morning and one in the evening.

The rest of the week he has done great (one or two accidents a day) with the exception of two days later this week where he didn’t make it for several hours. One of those he was with a friend of mine while I played softball and he wouldn’t go for her. (Plus, I think the game was pretty distracting.)

So all in all, I think we’re doing well. My son is just over two (2 yrs 2 mos). I think potty training takes work no matter when you choose to do it. I personally feel like earlier is better (as long as the child is truly ready) even if it takes a little more time and patience. For me, I’ll be happy if he doesn’t have to sit in diapers for our cross-country road trip coming up.

How long did it take to toilet train your child(ren)? Are you and earlier or later type of person?

Potty Training Slow and Steady: Update-Stage One

If you haven’t checked out the introduction, you can do that here. In the meantime, here’s a review of our slow and steady way to toilet train.

Step 1: Run around naked as much as possible – 3-5 days.

This is to bring an awareness of what it feels like when he has to urinate. He is forced to think about it instead of just letting it happen and the diaper taking care of it. I keep the potty chair out in case he feels it in time to sit down.

Step 2: Once he is aware of what it feels like before he urinates, we introduce the potty chair as the place we try to pee every time. He can wear underwear and/or training pants at times for this stage, but running around pant-less will still be very helpful – 4-7 days.

This is where pee on the floor officially becomes an accident. He has an awareness and should communicate or sit on the potty before he goes.

Step 3: At this stage he can be considered potty trained, but we’ll still reward for going in the toilet to encourage this to stick – about 1 week.

Underwear are a must during the day now! (Unfortunately we can’t run around butt-naked forever!)

Stage One Update

I kept Micaiah bare-bottomed for a little less than a week. He began to say “Oh! Pee!” when he went on the floor. Or he would come and say “Mum, towel!” when he made a puddle. If I asked him if he had to go he would usually say no but sometimes he would reconsider and go sit on the potty chair. Eventually he started saying yes and willingly sitting on a toilet/potty chair. He had definitely developed an awareness of what it feels like to need to pee or poop.

On Saturday I felt like he would be ready the next day but Sundays are way to busy for me to give him the kid of focus potty training requires. To my delight, in the evening after our activities(since he was naked) he made his way to the potty chair everytime he had to urinate without even being asked!

I would say Stage One – huge success!!

How old was your child (children) when he/she knew when they had to go to the restroom before it was to late?

Potty Training Slow and Steady: The Introduction

I had always planned on potty training my son as early as I thought he possibly could get it. So when his second birthday came around and he showed an interest in using the toilet, I was stoked. Thinking I knew all about how to get this done, I promptly bought some little briefs and set aside a few days for some hardcore training.

Epic. Fail.

All of the methods I had studied so hard didn’t click with Micaiah. He eventually began to whine when it came time to sit on the toilet. I decided hating the toilet wasn’t a good direction and threw in the towel for a while before I did some major damage to future potty training efforts.

It’s been over a month and I can’t get over the fact that I still think Micaiah is ready. Last week was fourth of July which meant lots of BBQs and campfires. I ran into two dear friends whose potty training experiences gave me some clues to our own little training plan.

One of my friends mentioned that her son was about three by the time she got him potty trained because he couldn’t tell the difference between underwear and diapers. As obvious as it may seem, he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t be in his undies.

The second gal and I got to experience pregnancy for the first time together. Her son was born just a month after Micaiah. I was surprised to show up at her house and find her son in undies. She said he started telling her that he had to pee after running around naked in the yard this summer. (Please know that we both live out in the boonies!)

This all made me think. In our previous attempt, Micaiah wouldn’t say anything until after he had wet himself, if he said anything at all. I began to wonder if cloth diapers and undies seemed different to him at all.

So yesterday we started afresh.

Here is a detailed outline of my (very flexible) Slow and Steady Toilet Training Plan!

Step 1: Run around naked as much as possible – 3-5 days.

This is to bring an awareness of what it feels like when he has to urinate. He is forced to think about it instead of just letting it happen and the diaper taking care of it. I keep the potty chair out in case he feels it in time to sit down.

Step 2: Once he is aware of what it feels like before he urinates, we introduce the potty chair as the place we try to pee every time. He can wear underwear and/or training pants at times for this stage, but running around pant-less will still be very helpful – 4-7 days.

This is where pee on the floor officially becomes an accident. He has an awareness and should communicate or sit on the potty before he goes.

Step 3: At this stage he can be considered potty trained, but we’ll still reward for going in the toilet to encourage this to stick – about 1 week.

Underwear are a must during the day now! (Unfortunately we can’t run around butt-naked forever!)

Helpful Hints for any Toilet Training Method

  • Rewards for good behavior (stickers, treats etc)
  • Never scold or punish for accidents – gentle reminders that we go in the toilet are great though!
  • Don’t use diapers/disposable training pants if at all possible (cloth feels wet!)
  • Make sure you have a comfortable seat/chair. (You wouldn’t want to go if you felt like you were going to fall in either!)

I’ll continue to update you as we take this adventure!

What potty training tips and tricks have worked for you? What hasn’t?