Potty Training

Posted by  | Friday, November 11, 2011  at 11:50 AM  
This past Monday morning, I decided on a whim, to give potty training a whirl with my second child, Mattie, my 26-month-old little girl.
Rewind with me back to when I pt-ed my first child, Laney. I did Lora Jensen's 3-day potty training plan. It worked! It really worked, and I still love that method. I remember sharing our story with some Mommys in our Kindermusik class about how it worked all across the board with Laney. But shortly thereafter, Laney started to backtrack in the bm area.

She learned if she didn't go one day, it really hurt the next day or the day after that, and so this pattern of holding the bowels started. And she did that for a little over a year, sometimes doing good and sometimes regressing back to holding it again. It was a roller coaster ride I would never wish upon any parent.

My little Lanes is a joyful, spirited, yet determined little lady. She knew it caused her pain, and she wasn't going to do it. Thankfully, we're smooth sailing now. I would encourage all parents to help your children out by giving them things that keep them regular during the potty training days. I'll elaborate more below.
With my second, Mattie, I did a very relaxed version of Lora Jensen's plan. Seems that after you have your first child, as Mommys, we tend to relax a bit in most areas. I didn't care if we didn't master potty training in three days. Stay realistic.

Monday morning, I decided to give this potty training a whirl. She was already showing the signs of being ready. For months she has told me every single time when she has to pee pee and otherwise in her diaper. She has woken up with a dry diaper for months.
My goal was to teach her to tell me BEFORE she wet and understand how to stop the flow until she could get to the bathroom.

When I heard M waking Monday am, I whisked her to the potty since I knew she had a dry diaper and was about to open up the floodgates. I sat her on the potty and waited. We talked for a bit and nothing. She was getting figity and wanted to get down, so I told her I'd be right back, because I had to go get something downstairs. On the way back to the bathroom, I heard the peepee!! What a joyful sound to a Mommy's ear!

Throughout the day, when I'd think of it, I'd remind her to keep her panties dry and to tell Mommy when she needed to go. She quickly caught on. When she'd tinkle a tiny bit, she'd stop tinkling and tell me. I'd take her to the bathroom, me encouraging her with smile and happy attitude, all the while telling her to keep her panties dry. She'd then finish in the potty.

I couldn't believe how quickly she caught on. But then again, she was ready. She had shown all the signs of being ready, and so I think her readiness in combination with the fact that she was a second child, saw potty training modeled for her, and that she has a compliant personality, potty training just clicked for her.

I didn't go overboard with treats or bribing or anything, although I'm not opposed to those either. What did I have to lose? I was willing to go back to the diapers if she didn't seem ready. I didn't care what any article or pt-ing specialist said. I was very relaxed with the whole approach second time around.

Day one: We stayed home, and it was a relaxed day. I didn't pay her 100% attention and stop daily life. I didn't have all of our meals prepared and the house wasn't clean, so I could focus all on her. Remember, I just decided to give this a whirl one morning. She pee-peed in the potty four times that day! At the end of day one, she pooped in the potty right before her bath. I was FLOORED.

Day two: In the a.m., we left the house to go to a Book Study I'm a part of, and I was doing the childcare rotation that week, which was so timely.  I brought my little potty with me. She was pretty good at communicating with me that she needed to pee pee throughout the day. We also had a lot of "false alarms" as she was trying to discern all of these new feelings and what to do with them when. I think those "false alarms" were moments when she needed to go #2. We went to the potty every time so as to stay consistent.  She eventually poo-pooed TWICE that day! Needless to say, I was elated.

Day 3: I had to go into town, so I took the potty with me, and we dropped by TJ Maxx. Like I said, I had a more "let's just roll with it" attitude about the potty training this time around. If she wet her pants, who cares. :) I was going to try to teach her to make it to the potty, but if she didn't, no big deal.

Funny story: As soon as we walked into TJ MAXX, she said, "Oh, I go peepee!" I was THAT Mommy running through the clothes, with her almost 5 year old trailing behind her and holding her 34 lb, 2-year old in arms.  My diaper bag bouncing off my hip and probably hitting people along the way, and having big, urgent eyes asking the employee where the bathroom was. Haha! And as we ran, saying things like "We're almost there girl. Keep your panties dry, okay? C'mon Laney. Stay with me Lanes! This way...run!! We're almost there girls!" We made it, with dry panties and all. She passed the test. I knew that she was on her way to being potty trained.

Nighttime: She goes to bed with big girl panties, and as long as she doesn't have lots to drink before bed, she normally stays dry. She did wet the bed this week two times in the night. We stayed up late with small group, and she got thirsty while running around and playing with the kids. But knowing she normally wakes up dry, I keep her in panties. I am not opposed to diapers at night though. Just do what will be best for your child or what will keep your sanity. In fact, on night one, I kept wrestling with what to do at nighttime, even though I figured she'd be fine. I opted for the diaper, and as I was putting it on her, she said, "I don't like my diaper." Right then, I knew she needed to know I had confidence in her and that she knew the difference between big girl panties and diapers. So, I put her in her panties and just prepped myself to be up at least once. But we slept all night that night and she woke up dry. You will have some pee-in-the-bed nights, and that's just part of the learning curve.

I have a big, waterproof cover to protect the mattress, but on top of the sheet, I lay down a flat crib-size waterproof pad. You can get those probably anywhere, but definitely at Babies R Us. She sleeps right on top of that little waterproof pad. The top sheet will be what I will have to replace if she does wet. I cover her up with a throw and not her twin quilt. That way, if she DID happen to pee-pee in the night, I don't have to wash EVERYTHING.  Worst case scenario, I just wash the top sheet, the little waterproof crib pad, and maybe the little blankets/throws.
BM's: I've learned natural ways to keep the bowels loose, and I highly recommend you keep these on hand while you are potty training: apple cider, castor oil/honey mixture, prunes, raisins, blueberries, coconut oil

I wouldn't OD on any of these or do ALL of these at once, but just keep try one thing at a time if needed and keep it in moderation. (ex: don't give 5-6 glasses of apple cider in one day.  But if I had to choose an extreme, I would rather my child poopie in her pants from having too much cider than struggle with fear and have constipation.
That's just how I see it.

No potty training experience is the same. So many factors that come into play that make up your child's potty training experience. No matter what approach you take, my greatest encouragement is to stay relaxed, positive, and realistic. There will still be hiccups, even after your child is potty trained. Use your discernment that's individualized to your own child, and be encouraged that one day, it'll just click.


aje said...

Thanks for the tips. I had the very same experience with my firstborn, Ella, who is only a few days younger than Laney. She was fully potty trained (it somehow just happened when she was just over 2), and did fine for about 6 months, then during a time when we were traveling; (flying seems to mean lots of constipating snacks) she had the same problem with contipation/fear for nearly 6 months soon after that. It was so painful for her and so frustrating for me. I was trying everything. Apple juice, raisins, prunes, blending all of the above, etc. even suppositories, which were very traumatic for her. We were back home in the states in preparation for our 2nd child and the doctor suggested I try Miralax for a while to get her good and soft and over the fear of hard stools. It worked! Miralax is colorless and tasteless and is good because it only stays in the bowel. We only needed to use is a couple of weeks and then the problem was over. I still have to stay on top of things, especially in winter because where we live there isn't a lot of fresh fruit and veg available, plus I give her a daily vitamin with iron because of the lack of nutrients she gets in winter. I have been giving her a couple of dried apricots a day and we haven't run into this problem since. This time around with my 21 month old, I want to be sure not to repeat that trauma. Thanks for the thoughts on potty training. Its not an easy task!

Hollie Carson said...

Thanks for your comment. I agree with you about Miralax. We did use that for a while too. I didn't want to stay on it too long, so I opted for apple cider and that sends her running. haha. How much iron do you give your eldest daily?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate both the blog post and the comment! We tried the Jensen method at 25 months w/ my very bright & verbal 2 year old. After day 6 we surrendered! We've been doing it gradually now & she's about 50% trained (she'll be 3 in Feb & does wear panties all day @ her preschool) but just in the past few weeks we've started having this problem w/ #2. Tonight we gave her 1/2 Tbs of milk of magnesium per my friend's dr's suggestion (her son had an issue when he was a toddler) but I'm thrilled to find these natural remedies. Encouraged by Aje's commment that it was over in a couple weeks! I wonder how the Miralax compares w/ milk of magnesium, how much Miralax did you use?

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