Wednesday, August 3, 2011

He Pooped! He Pooped!

A monumental event occurred at our house today, our youngest child used the potty chair for the first time!!!  He pooped!!

Way back 153 years ago when Sweet Pea was just barely 2 years old we started potty training her.  We tried just putting her in underwear, taking her to the potty several times per hour, and she was staying dry for a couple days.  We thought we were amazing at this whole potty training thing and wondered why people complained that it was so hard!  She was on a role for about 2 weeks when her attention span for the whole deal diverted and she stopped going in the potty and started having lots of accidents.  While we were anxious to be done buying so many diapers for a while we felt like it would be nonconstructive to put much pressure on her as a young two-year-old.  We tried several times during her twos, until a couple months before she turned three when she just got it.  All of a sudden she was telling us she had to go before she went, willingly went on the potty chair, stayed dry (during waking hours), and all was good.  We waited.... and she potty trained herself. 

Now, if we had never exposed her to the process she wouldn't have been able to train herself, but she understood what it was about, she had small food rewards (we used skittles with her) for successful potty trips, and she just decided one day she was ready!

Fast forward to Babydoll.  We knew this time around we weren't going to worry about it much, we would just show her the ropes and be really easy-going about it all.  When she was 26 months old she was already really into the whole deal and was peeing in the potty chair often, but not necessarily staying dry.  We asked her every 15 minutes if she had to go potty, but if it had been 30 minutes since she last sat we would go sit on the potty no matter what.  This method worked really well for her, along with food rewards for successes.  I think we usually used skittles for her, or whatever skittle-sized candy we had around.  We didn't even put her in undwear until she was about 27 months old though, because she was pretty successful while wearing a diaper.  Also I was several months pregnant with Little Man and wanted to make things easy on myself!  As soon as she was in underwear though she did stay drier and had fewer accidents, but she was already well on her way before we switched to undies.  At 28 months old she was totally day trained (though still has little leaks because going potty is "boring" and she'd rather just hold it until she can't hold it any more)! 

Night training for Sweet Pea didn't happen until a year after she was day-trained, for Babydoll it was 2 years of being day trained before she stayed dry at night. 

My personal opinion on pull-ups?  For me, they are a waste of money until they are mostly staying dry all day.  If they are mostly dry, then using pull-ups is really nice because of how much easier it is to get them on and off the potty chair.  I like to use them in that transition period between needing several diapers per day and staying dry enough to wear underwear.  I also prefer them over diapers at bedtime before they are night-trained.  It makes middle of the night bathroom runs much easier!  They also don't seem so expensive when you're only going through a few of them over a whole 24 hour period.

Now fast forward to Little Man.  He is currently 28.5 months old.  We are taking things, again, really easy going.  We bought a new potty chair (my old one was big and awkward) several months ago and he first just used it as a chair for reading books in the living room.  Once he was used to sitting on something that had a whole in it (while wearing pants), I showed him what it was for!  I had Babydoll show him how to sit and pee in it and then he tried it.  Until just recently he has mostly been disinterested in sitting on it at all, and if he did it was only for a second before he'd pop up and say "Done!" 

Yesterday he was willing to sit longer than a second, so I had him sit on the potty for as long as he wanted to,  get up, put his diaper back on, wash his hands, and then 15 minutes after standing we'd go back.  The only reason I was taking him so often was because he was enjoying it.  He's a stubborn kid (takes after his old man) and if I try to push him when he doesn't want to he'll dig in his heels and potty training would be over.  Actually pretty typical behavior for most toddlers!  All that sitting and he didn't go one drop in the potty.

Today, this afternoon, he woke up from his nap dry.  This never happens so I praised him for having a dry diaper and said in a very excited voice, "Lets go pee in the potty!" and he happily sat for a few seconds.  After snacktime we went outside, potty chair with us, and tried one more time to go potty, no luck.  So I did something drastic - I let him run around outside with no diaper/undies/shorts/anything! I wanted him to notice his peeing.  Every couple minutes I'd ask him if he had to go potty, he'd say no and I'd cheerfully reply "Ok!" and then I'd continue to watch him for signs of peeing (also to make sure if he peed on something I could clean it up!).  After about 10-15 minutes he was nearby and looked at me quite seriously and said, "Poop!".  I jumped up and cheerfully exclaimed, "lets go poop on the potty chair and you can have a cookie!" 

He sat, and 30 seconds later there was the most glorious turd sitting in the potty chair!  We cheered and clapped and high-fived and danced and sang a spur-of-the-moment poop song!

Then we went inside to clean up, eat a cookie, call everyone we knew, and announce it on facebook!

Now although I am SO tempted to run out and buy little boy underwear (mostly because his tiny little naked butt is the cutest damn thing on the planet) I am trying to remember not to push him too fast.  If I push, he will push back.  And he is the one who really has control over his bodily functions, so that's not a fight I want to have.  I'll keep taking him to the potty to give it a try, and wait for him to routinely pee in it before I through him in underwear.  If I put him in underwear before he's really ready for it we'd all end up stressed out and exhausted.  And if there's one sure thing I've learned, it's that if you keep trying without the pressure, when they are truly ready, they will practically train themselves, and instead of it taking months or years it will take a matter of weeks or days!

But that first anything in the potty is a huge milestone and we are all thrilled for our BIG boy!
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