Posts tagged potty training

Potty training: Success!!

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Potty training Nathan has been a long, bumpy road. I first started potty training Nathan when he was 2 1/2, but even then I knew he wasn’t really ready yet. It was a long, slow process, and we had to take everything in baby steps. First, I had to coax Nathan to sit on the potty fully clothed. (He would usually freak out.) Once he became comfortable, we spent a few weeks sitting on the potty with his pants off but his diaper still on. After that, we finally progressed to sitting on the potty bare-bottomed. But it took a long, long time before he first peed in it. And poop? Wow, his first poop on the potty wasn’t until around December or so of ’12, shortly before he turned four.

The reason I remember is because he had a stomach bug that day, and I was on the phone with my brother while Nathan was peeing in the potty. Suddenly, Nathan jumped up and exclaimed he had a “tiny, tiny poop.” I checked and sure enough, there was a very small amount in the potty. Excited, I told my brother that was Nathan’s first bowel movement, and I coaxed Nathan into sitting there to see if there would be more success. There was! I was ecstatic!

So anyway, backing up to before his first poop in the potty, whenever there was a potty success, I’d jump up & down, clap, dance, and just make a huge deal out of it. Nathan loved the attention of it all, but he was still never really motivated enough to go on his own. Around age 3 1/2 or so, he finally started to go pee in the potty more often than not. But not pooping. Nope, not that elusive poop. I tried everything I could think of; bribing with candy (one piece for pee, three or more for poops), tv shows, and even a Poop Prize Box full of special prizes for poops. I tried going cold-turkey on the diapers and putting him in big boy underpants since other parents swore by this method. EPIC FAIL. I tried for a couple weeks, but it was a total flop. Then I tried keeping him in underwear but putting a plastic diaper cover over them, but that was a disaster as well. Nothing seemed to work. And it was *incredibly* frustrating.

I found myself wondering if he was the exception and would be in diapers forever.

And all these parenting experts that warn against getting frustrated when your child doesn’t go on the potty have probably not been trying to potty train for a YEAR AND A HALF. It was incredibly hard to keep calm because I knew that Nathan knew where his poop should go. And changing a four-year-old’s diaper is hardcore gross, let me tell you. I’d been changing his diaper for four long, tedious years, and now that I was pregnant, I was done.

One day, shortly after his 4th birthday, Nathan had pooped in his pull-up yet again, and I had enough. For the hundredth time, I told him this was beyond ridiculous; he was four years old now and perfectly capable of putting his poop in the potty. I said other kids his age put their poops in the potty, and he needed to as well or he’d run the risk of being made fun of. I don’t know what was so different about this time versus all the other times I’d told him the same thing, but it was like a light switched flipped in his brain.

After that, he all-of-a-sudden started peeing AND pooping in the potty. Consistantly. After a few successful potty trips, I started putting him in underwear during the day. He had two accidents and peed on himself the first week, but those are the only accidents he’s had. He very quickly transitioned from the training potty to using a seat on the big potty, and from there he transitioned to peeing while standing up. Without peeing all over the place! He’s not even had an accident at night. We kept him in pull ups for a few weeks, but went ahead and made the switch to underwear with no problems at all. There was evwn one time a couple weeks ago where he stumbled out of bed at 2am to go pee. I was shocked.

It’s the craziest thing. Literally, it was like a light switch flipped in his brain. He decided he was done with pull-ups and that was that. He hasn’t looked back since, and we couldn’t be any more thankful. Potty training for us was a long, hard road. Now? Every morning, the first thing he does is pee in the potty. And I will only sometimes have to remind him during the day to go potty only because he occasionally gets so engrossed with playing that he’ll forget to go.

Hopefully the new baby will be a little less stubborn than his big brother, and potty training will go more smoothly the second time around. And to any parent out there struggling with potty training- it will happen eventually. Not on your clock, though, but on theirs. When they’re ready. I don’t really think there’s a way to speed the process along. And believe me, I know how frustrating it can be. Just give it time.

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Little Nathan’s such a big boy

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I’m so glad spring is here!! It’s been a warmer-than-normal winter here in Tennessee, so everything is blooming earlier. Which I like. Because I like spring. I feel all happy and spinning-around-in-circles giddy. I also like spring because it gives me this energy after enduring the drab slump of winter. I like to get my house cleaned out (a.k.a. Spring Cleaning!) and reorganized. We live in a little house with a grand lack of storage space, so things tend to pile up and get cluttered quickly. Which drives me INSANE. Seriously, I hate clutter. It makes me feel claustrophobic and incredibly anxious. There have been times where I couldn’t sleep because I kept thinking about the clutter. Ironically enough, clutter in other people’s houses don’t bother me in the slightest- it’s just my own clutter that I find agitating.

I don’t see how hoarders can do it. I would go crazy!

So anyway, I’ve been taking Nathan to the park to enjoy the lovely weather, and (of course) he has a blast. He’s growing into such a little boy. We’ve been working diligently with him on speaking in complete sentences. The kid has a steel-trap memory, so he’s memorized the basic sentence we taught him which is “Mommy, may I have some more Dino Dan please?” What’s really cool is that he uses that sentence for other questions. He just switches some words out. For example, he’ll now say “Mommy, may I have some more grapes please?” It’s incredibly awesome to hear the little baby you gave birth to talking to you in a complete sentence.

He’s also really advancing in the potty-training area. He tells me when he wants a diaper change, which is great. And he also tells me when he has to go potty. But I have to be quick… I have about ten seconds to get him to his potty before he pees in his diaper.

Nathan is also flapping his little Wings of Independence. He does NOT take too kindly to being told what to do. For example, I can expect a meltdown if I just grab his hands and start wiping them when he’s done eating. But if I ask him if I may wipe his hands, he’ll say okay. Other times, if he balks at the notion, I offer to let him do it himself. Sometimes it takes a while for me to convince him to let me do something, but I’ve noticed that if I just keep asking in different ways (“May I wipe your hands please? … Will you let Mommy wipe your hands for you? … Will you wipe your hands for Mommy please?”), eventually he’ll give in and let me.

He has such strong willpower! Last night, it took me nearly five minutes to convince him to let me brush his teeth. And I bet someone out there is thinking “Forget that! I’d just MAKE him brush his teeth!” Well, that doesn’t work with my kid. Sure, I could force my will on him, but it only leads to a meltdown and will put us both in an angry mood. I think avoiding those types of strong confrontations are important when you have a spirited child. Granted, there are times when you must be confrontational, but I think it should be saved for the Really Big Things.

We’ve had to drastically cut down on naps. Remember how we were having a bear of a time getting him to stay in bed at night? Well, he would go a few days doing pretty well- but then, inevitably, he would relapse. It was driving us crazy. Well, we had one more trick up our sleeves; we cut down on his naps. So now he doesn’t nap every day anymore. He’ll still nap if he really needs one, but here lately, I’ve just been keeping him up. And at night, he falls right asleep. Go figure.

He’s also becoming sweeter and sweeter. He is constantly seeking hugs and kisses. And he loves nothing more than to sit in Mommy and Daddy’s lap, cuddling with us. I love how lovable he is! And I’m taking full advantage of it because he won’t want us to love on him forever. Before you know it, he’ll be grown. And I won’t be able to nibble on those little arms anymore.

We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful child. Granted, he can definitely be difficult and trying when he wants to be, but his sweet side more than makes up for it!

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Potty training, here we come

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Big news in the house: Nathan is on the verge of being potty trained!!

I’ve been working with him since last summer. Yes, it has taken MONTHS! I knew he was nowhere near ready, but I wanted to go ahead and introduce the idea to him. I didn’t push him and just let him get used to the potty on his own terms. At first, he wanted nothing to do with it. Then I was able to coax him into sitting on the potty fully-clothed. Then from there, I got him to sit on it with his pants off but his diaper on. Then we transitioned to diaper-less but most of the time, he still didn’t need to pee while he was on his potty. Since then, I’ve just been patiently watching him for his cues, waiting for him to be developmentally ready. (Different kids are ready at different points- some aren’t ready until after they are three years old.) He is finally at the point where he tells me when he needs to go potty. Up until now, he would tell me but then he would’t actually go while he was on his potty. Now, however, he’ll tell me and will actually pee once I get him to the bathroom. Most of the time when he wakes up in the morning, his diaper is dry. This tells me that he’s developing bladder control, so I will usher him to his potty where he will relieve himself.

Sometimes he is still mischevious though. For example, the other day he told me he needed to go potty. I checked his diaper and it was dry, so I took him into the bathroom. I couldn’t stay in there with him because I was right in the middle of doing something, so I got him situated and told him to stay on his potty until I came back.

He didn’t listen. Of course.

I heard little footsteps echoing on the linoleum, so I went in there to discover him standing up and walking around. I admonished him and told him that he needs to make sure he remains on the potty until I am able to come back. So I sat on the floor beside him and read him a book. I KNEW he had to pee because it had been a few hours since his last diaper change. After about ten more minutes of reading to him, I realized that he simply didn’t have to go. So I put my hand on the floor to help me stand up.

And my palm splashed firmly into a puddle of pee. Right in front of the bathroom sink.

I was not amused.

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Poor Elmo didn’t see it coming

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I walked into the bathroom and this is what I saw. Apparently, Nathan thought Elmo needed to use the potty. I have a feeling Elmo was not pleased with Nathan’s idea… but at least I keep the potty clean!

I can’t stop laughing…

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