Friday, August 10, 2012

Adventures in early Potty Training

Once we found out we were expecting again, I knew I wanted Landon potty trained before the new baby arrived.  I was very careful about saying so too much because talking about early potty training is often met with looks, comments, and "boys don't potty train till after 3!"  I knew it would be a lot of work and I was diving into new territory but honestly every step of the way with a baby is new territory.  You learn as you grow!  With all of that said...

Potty training is a B*$#@! :)

 We started the process about three weeks ago, after returning from a month long visit down South with family.  I feel like I researched and read everything out there trying to determine my approach: 

-articles for early potty training (the rest of the world potty trains by 15-18mo)
-articles against early potty training (teaching your toddler to hold his bowels can cause lifetime
             bladder & incontinence problems)
-bootcamp method (have you toddler potty trained in 3 days)
-bribery (3 m&m's for pee pee and 5 m&m's for poop)
-casual (my toddler can tell me when he's ready to use the potty)
-naked (prepare for lots of cleanup)

        I could go on but you get the point.  There is an argument for practically every approach.  Ultimately I decided I wanted to go ahead and begin potty training now, at 18mo, even though I knew it would be more labor intensive, but I wanted to approach potty training like every other change so far (no more bottles, big boy bed, etc.)  Treat it as the new normal and go with the flow. 

So how are we doing?

Surprisingly good!  This post would have had a totally different tone 3-4 days ago though.  Lesson #1 - there is a whole new definition of patience when it comes to potty training.  Lesson #2 - Potty training early means a lot of teaching.  For example, teaching Landon what peeing and pooping even means.  I guess I kinda of knew this because I wanted to teach him early that pee & poop belong in the toilet, not his pants and I wanted him to know this before he got comfortable with it in his pants, lol.  At first I tried running him to the potty what felt like every 10 minutes, trying to anticipate when he was going to go.  Turns out, what I really needed to do was leave him in his training pants, let him start peeing and feel it running down him leg and then run to the potty and explain that THAT is what using the potty means.  Like I said earlier - early potty training is labor intensive.  I honestly wore myself out for a several days, got frustrated many times, then took a step back and realized my "laid back" approach had quickly been thrown out the door.  So then I decided to focus on key times that he would likely potty.  First think in the morning, right after nap time, and after dinner/bath. 

This week it seems that something has clicked!  He's using the potty every morning and in the past few days has done #1 & #2 a handful of times!  Yay!  Is he still messing in his diapers some, absolutely.  But he really seems to understand now.  Even if he pees in his diaper he comes and tells me "ba, ba" while pointing to his diaper as it's happening.  And then there's the time I went to his room after nap, smelled poop and saw a naked kid looking at me saying "uh-oh!", lol.  Thankfully the poop was only in his diaper BUT he knew that after it happened he shouldn't be in his diaper anymore so he just took it off.  Ohhhh the fun!  

We definitely still have a ways to go, but I can tell that we are making great progress and feel confident that we can be all or mostly potty trained by the time baby gets here in about 9 weeks!

As always, I will keep you posted!  That is, if you want to be!

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