|Oh, my handsome, handsome little man!!|
I've done several posts on potty training before and how we go about it.
You can explore those posts before reading the below content so you have context.
Due to the busyness of ministry during this season of our lives, potty training our son went a little different, but we stuck to the same game plan.
I wasn't actually planning on potty training him until the summer, but Elias was really showing a great interest and perfect opportunity to want to go on the potty (he was dry after naps and sometimes overnight; he would tell me when he was peeing or pooping etc). Not to mention I was almost out of diapers and really didn't want to spend half my toiletry money on a huge box of diapers again (my husband hasn't been on board with my cloth diapers much with this baby).
So, unfortunately, there were times we had to put him in a diaper while we were training (which I STRONGLY advise against). We had a few events where we needed to leave him with a sitter and didn't want to burden them with a fresh-training-potty-user.
But typically, as I stated in the past posts about potty training, here area few rules that still stand even after training 4 children:
RULE # 1: When you're done with diapers, you're done! There is no diapers at nap or nighttime. But, they'll pee all over the place! Only a few times, maybe.
My son peed on himself once at nap time and then never wet the bed again! WOO HOO!!! My twins wet the bed for a few days in a row, then they understood the concept. Hayven was the same as the twins. We were given this awesome pad to place under them that absorbs the pee and prevents it from going on the mattress.
Rule # 2: Don't introduce pants or underwear until they are going on the potty themselves. I've found this helps tremendously! My son associated pants with a diaper and would pee right in them without any thought; however, when I left him naked for a few days, until he knew he needed to pee on the potty (as well as teaching him to communicate with me that he needed to potty), we were accident free! He's still unable to pull his pants down by himself because he's so little, but since I taught him to communicate (yes, you need to teach this while potty training) with me that he needs to go potty, this isn't an issue.
|Our "outting" at a thrift store to get some warm weather clothing.|
RULE #3: Plan outings around training, with the purpose of training. We bring his little potty everywhere for the first month or so. We pee before we leave, we find a bathroom immediately upon arrival and pee (yes, I carry the potty into stores with me. It makes great conversation :) ). We then use the back of the car as a bathroom and keep wipes, a towel, and the potty in the trunk and pee before we leave the store.
I don't know the science behind this, but this rule (practicing outside of the house, with underwear on) has solidified the potty training for us. It's like the last step that helps the child fully understand potty training.
RULE #4: Make it Fun: I think in everything we do as mothers, we should always portray the joy there is even in menial tasks or tasks we don't enjoy. There is abounding joy in Jesus whatever the circumstance.
We bought Elias Cars "Mannies" (there NOT panties, there MANnies. My husband made sure I understood this. Haha!). We would reward him with chocolate chips for the first day or two. We would all cheer for him when he went on the potty. We bought him a small green potty from ikea that had HUGE pee-pee guards (must need for my little man).
A few tips for boys:
- We decided to train sitting down. We'll teach him how to stand once he's taller ;)
- You may need to put "mannies" on your boy when you first start having him go through the "naked phase" since boys don't tend to feel the pee run down their legs. They tend to run around spraying all over and they don't even realize it (only the poor sisters who get caught in the stream notice it, or the mommy who steps in wet spots scattered ALL OVER the living room notice it).
- We are still teaching him how to point down so he isn't spraying all over, but we waited until he really understood potty training to work on that.
- We are still teaching him to pull down his own pants, again not an immediate MUST for potty training.
Again, you can read step-by-step how we potty train here.
Often people don't understand WHY we potty train so young and there are a few reasons. They aren't anything deep! It's just why we do it:
- Diapers are expensive
- We always had kids so close together, it's nice NOT having 2-3 in diapers at the same time
- I can cut back on all the items that I carry in my bad with me (diapers, wipes, plastic bags ect)
- We love to inspire other parents on how to potty train and that it's possible to do it young and with any child (provided you've had a good discipline routine set up with them since they were born).
- We've noticed the perfect window is right around 16-18 months. Kids tend to go through a short window of understanding how to hold their pee and when they are peeing.
I hope you're encouraged to endeavor potty training! I've noticed teaching them so young opens up a maturity in them that is beyond their age and affects their development in such a positive way. :)
- Pooping on Grandma's Floor: We were celebrating my husband and little sister's birthday at my mom's house. My son was fresh potty training. My mom's boyfriend has had no children and has never been through potty training before. So here's my son running around with no pants on. He's flapping all over the place and runs and squats on his potty and then gets up and runs around again. We're packing up to leave and my husband noticed it smelt like poop. Sure enough, all ... and I mean ALL over the kitchen floor was poop smeared. Little foot prints of poop trailed all over the kitchen. The play kitchen had poop on several of the pieces. George (my mom's boyfriend) was shocked! Not only was he taken back by the naked man running around, but the poop all over was a real jaw dropper. We laughed so hard! It was just natural to us who have been through potty training before. George never realized it was actually training to potty train a child.
- The 4-foot spray: My husband and I were bring the kids upstairs to go to bed. At the top of the stairs we put Elias on the potty. Alex was right in front of him and I was to the side. I believe I said, "you may want to help him point it down...". Sure enough he sprayed right into Alex's face and hair, and onto the stair railing about 4 feet behind Alex. "WOW!" Alex exclaimed. Hahaha.
- Warning the Sitter: I warned the baby sitter that Elias is a boy (they only have a girl) and he needs help pointing down because he's got about a 4-foot spray. I could kind of tell he didn't really know what I was talking about, but he reported back to my husband that he now knows what the 4-foot spray is :).