I promised myself over and over again that I would absolutely not write a post about potty training. I sincerely apologize to those who could care less about potty training, because I hear ya! But here I am, writing about putting “pee pee” and “poo poo” into the toilet. Here’s the deal, recently we’ve decided to actively potty train and I feel like I am living a nightmare, so I have to share.
My oldest son is 3 ½ years old. He was slightly premature and I blame his early arrival for so many things. I have done no research and I have no idea whether or not it actually had any impact, but I always found it to be an easy fall guy. So when he had zero interest in the potty for his entire life, I figured that it was either normal or due to his early arrival.
After a few diaper mishaps and blow outs paired with the realization that he really is at that age, I decided that it was time. Our sitter was taking some days off over Spring Break, so that was my opportunity to “boot camp” him in our house over five straight days. I prepared myself with some tips and tricks and on Day 1 even armed myself with a potty trained friend William’s age and his mom, a good friend of mine to keep my sanity. Here’s how it went:
Day 1 – I told William that there were no more diapers for him and that he’d have to wear only undies now. He seemed to understand as I dressed him. He had lots of fun observing his friend use the potty all day. He even had a few pee pees in the potty. He wet his bed during his nap, but I was prepared with a Good Night mat. He had an accident later that night. Nothing too eventful to report.
Day 2 – William came down with a nasty stomach bug. We ended up putting him in a diaper since we were scared that it may turn into something nasty down there and we thought that the last thing he needed was to worry about the potty.
Day 3 – William is on the mend and back to trying to use the potty. He’s pretty dehydrated and managed to hold it all morning. I’m pretty sure he thought that he would have a diaper on during the nap, but he didn’t, so he wet the bed again. Loving those Good Night mats. Not a single use of the potty all day. He just pretended that his undies were a diaper, I guess.
Day 4 – I had some previous commitments, so William stayed with Daddy all day. After an awful Day 3, I decided to make him naked from the waist down (previously just wearing undies) and see how that goes. William did not like being naked. Daddy said that he did great and used the potty a few times. He even had his first dry nap!
Day 5 – I’m becoming a bit more confident, especially after such a great Day 4. I kept him naked again today. He held it until nap time again. As I was doing laundry, I kept thinking that I smelled something. I decided to check on William and found that he had pooped (and peed) the bed. He was frozen in fear and I was at my breaking point. Thank goodness we had dinner at Bapa and Nana’s, so I had to pull myself together and move on.
The five days weren’t even close to my expectations. I thought at that point we would have it down and I would confidently send him to the sitters in his undies. I debated for a good part of the night and then I finally sucked it up and messaged the sitter that William would now only wear undies during the day. Here we go, no turning back.
Day 6 – I didn’t get a ton of details, but William came home in his back up pants and I have a bag with wet pants. Definitely had an accident.
Day 7 – The same as Day 6. Sigh. I am relieved that at least he is holding in the mornings and in the car, but I’m definitely losing my patience. I used my last trick – extreme bribery. I promised him that if he put pee and poo in the real potty (not the one that we have to dump) then I would take him out for ice cream (I think that we might have tacked on a cheeseburger, too). That resulted in quite some time sitting on the potty, but no action. I’m out of tips, tricks, and advice, and now I just have no idea where to go from here. If this week doesn’t get any better, I’m really going to have to evaluate how to continue.
Day 8 – I can’t believe it. It’s our first dry day. We even had a party that night that was about an hour drive and he did great in the car and at the party! I am so proud of him!
Day 9 – Another dry day! I can hardly believe it! The sitter even had to take one of her kids to the dentist and William used the potty there. When he came home he let us know that he needed to use the potty and just did. I think that it’s finally clicking!
Day 10 – He had a great day. Unfortunately, during a fit on the way home from the sitter, he peed himself. All over himself and the car seat. So frustrating.
10 days and counting. I still am not confident enough to say that yes, he is potty trained. Please pray for me (and focus on my sanity).
I’m a little disheartened with all of the potty training advice out there. I will admit, I have no idea how or why it will finally click for William. I know that he always understood the concept, but it seemed that one day he didn’t want to use a potty and the next day he did. No rhyme or reason, just a 3 year old deciding on his own. Unfortunately, his mind still gets sidetracked enough or he just makes up his mind that it’s not going to happen right now, and we are right back to Day 1. To all of the other moms who haven’t potty trained her 18 month old in 48 hours, I know the feeling and I’m here for you. I’m not going to make it sound easy and I’m not going to give you a magic solution. You know your kid, so do your best with what you know – you have my full support. And good luck!