Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ah, Potty training!

Do not let the title confuse you! I am NOT potty-training any children at the moment.

I get asked quite a bit about how we potty-trained Mason and Jack and how we intend to potty-train Will and Theo. I firmly believe in the following (at least for our family):

Pull-ups are the devil. Seriously, all they do is serve to confuse kids. You can pee in *this* underwear {because that is how they think of pull ups- underwear} but not *this* underwear. Ditch the pullups. When we potty train, we plan a week without much going on and stay home. Our potty trained boys are in underwear or naked until they master the skills.

I do not potty-train my boys until they are 3. I did not get that choice with Jack because his mom did half the work of it and she started potty training him earlier than I agreed with. Girls get it faster {because, well, we are smarter. It's common knowledge, right? Right.}. With boys, it has been my experience that 3 is the magic age. Their bodies are ready to be day potty-trained-which is the reason it only takes a week for them to fully comprehend this whole-peeing-and-pooping-in-the-toilet-gig. {yes, I did just say that on my blog}

Give them some pottying knowledge ahead of time.  Even though we do not actually start the process until age 3, we start explaining things between 18 months and 2 and continue with the explaining all the way through the potty-training experience {and yes, it IS an experience}. My children have seen the toilet being used, both by their big brothers and their dad. When they are curious {and they will be} I explain to them what the toilet is and why we use it.{obviously, i explain this in 2 year old language. }

They still use a diaper at night. While our older boys were day potty-trained at 3 or close after, both of them still needed a diaper at night at least through the first half of their 3rd year, sometimes longer. Their bodies are still developing the ability to hold their bladder all the way through the night.

Naked is best.  As I stated above, we plan a week or long weekend to be mostly at home and let our potty-trainees (ha!) be free as a jaybird, or have just underwear on. They will have accidents but they will quickly learn. I had lots of clean undies and the washing machine ready to go.

M&M's do the trick.  Our boys received one M&M for peeing and two M&M's for pooping. Our children are chocolate fanatics so it worked for them. Eventually, the appeal of M&M's as a reward for pottying wears off...but by that time, they are potty-trained.

Do not shame your children. As frustrating and annoying as teaching a child how to properly potty is, I tried my best not to get upset at accidents or messes. They are learning. We learn by making mistakes. Be patient.

Every child is different in our family, as I am sure each child is in yours. This is just what works for us.

**We will be starting more potty-training adventures in April, when Will turns 3! Even though I know the plan I intend to follow, I am terrified!**

PS The hilarious, wonderful Natalie over at Natthefatrat had her baby boy last night! So happy for this mama who waited so long to conceive to finally have her baby in her arms !! oh go on...you know you want to congratulate her!


Dawn said...

Oh, how we are dreading it with the twins. They are approaching 3, but they are 7 weeks behind, really. They love the potty - to sit on fully clothed. They want to be changed as soon as they pee. I agree about pull-ups. This is really hard when they spend lots of time at two different houses.

Kayla Sue said...

Thanks for this post. I am dreading the whole potty training thing... hopefully it is quick and easy! {ha!}