Saturday, December 1, 2012

Potty Training: Part 1

Although I'm not in a rush to potty train Gia, I've been looking forward to the moment when my diaper changing days were over. Last week Gia developed horrible diaper rash on her bum. It was red, scaly, itchy and was definitely bothering her. She's very aware of the bathroom and of her bodily functions so I thought I'd try the Three Day Potty Training Method. ** 

So, let me tell you what we did and how we did it.

1. We've been talking to Gia about it potty traning for a while now. We have a potty book that she loves. She knows that pee pee and poopy go in the potty and not on the floor.

2.  About a week ahead before we were going to start, I told Gia we'd be taking off her diapers for good. Every day I reminded her that her diapers were soon going in the garbage and that she was going to wear big girl underpants and go on the potty.

3. On the morning of our first day, I took all the diapers out of our diaper caddy and Gia said good bye to them.  I asked her to throw them away (she loves to throw things in the gaaaa-bage). She was a little sad to see them go, so I had to throw them out for her, but she did give the stack of diapers a farewell kiss.

4. Gia went pantless all day. No diaper, no undies--totally bare-bottomed. We also kept the potty near us, in the playroom. (We have the potty seen below. It's by Fisher Price and it sings songs when the child pees in it. The music function has been awesome because it let's us know if Gia went or not.)

5. We loaded her up with water, seltzer and whatever else she wanted to drink.

6. We had her sit on the potty at regular intervals (every 20 minutes or so). I used the timer on the microwave to make sure I didn't get distracted and forget to put her on the potty.

7. About 1 hour and 20 min after her first drink, she sat on the potty and woulnd't get up. I think she had to go but wasn't sure how to do it yet. So, I sat with her and read books until she peed in the potty. It took about 10 minutes.

8. After that 1st success, we started a potty reward ritual. We cheered, gave hugs and kisses and had Gia help us dump and flush the pee. We also gave her 1 candy corn as a reward. (My kid is really motivated by candy, k?) She was so proud of herself and loved saying bye bye as she flushed her pee away.

The rest of the day went really well. Gia caught on really quickly.  About 35 minutes after her first success, we were upstairs in my bedroom and Gia was standing with her legs open rather wide. I noticed one drop of pee dripped out. She said "Uh oh! No pee pee on the floor!" I grabbed her and we ran downstairs to the potty and she promptly peed again.

And after that, it all clicked. She understood the sensation of having to go and she hightailed it to the potty every time (pun intended).

Days 2 and 3 were more of the same. Bare-bottomed at home, with quick trips out. She did great. On day 2 she even pooped on the potty, which was a huge accomplishment and earned her 2 candies.

I wasn't really sure what to do after Day 3 was over. How was I supposed to get her into underwear? The method says bare bottomed for 3 months and only loose clothes when we go out. (The theory is that underwear feel too much like diapers, thus causing them to have more accidents.) I wasn't sure that was realistic for us though. Would she have accidents? What would I do when we went out for long periods of time?

For the answers to all these questions, stay tuned for Part 2!

You can read Part 2 HERE

** It's worth mebtioing that this method won't work unless both the parents and the child are ready. We've tried potty training before (right after Gia turned 2) and it didn't go so well. Also, like the article says, if you know your child is ready, it's important to have a 'no turning back' attitude. Yes, potty training is messy and no, it's not easy. But if you stick with it, it will work.

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