Everyone always told me that boys do the whole potty training thing later than girls. Having just turned two in June, I didn't push the issue. Although, he did get a cool, singing potty chair from Grandma and PaPaw for his birthday, but it remained in the corner of the bathroom untouched. He did, however, like to pour water in it just to hear it sing! He still has never peed in it. I fully expected we'd be talking "big potty" in about a year.
He wasn't really showing many signs that he was interested in the big potty, although, he was going longer and longer without being wet and often waking up dry.
I've never been huge on reading any particular parenting or "how to" books. Sometimes I think that when you read too much and/or take other people's advice, it just leads to overlooking your child's own cues or following your own instincts as a mother. So, I hadn't been reading up on potty training.
One day this summer, Grandpa showed up with "Elmo's Potty Time." Elmo is a personal favorite around here. He watched it over and over. They talk about pee pee and poo poo and about putting it in the potty. Grover and Elmo sing a fun song about how "accidents happen." I think things were starting to click. But, I still didn't press the issue.
One Friday morning he woke up dry and told me he wanted to go pee pee on the big potty. Then he wanted to put undies on. So, I was interested to see where this was going. That morning, as we headed out for errands, I wondered...undies or a diaper. I took a chance and we left the house with undies on. At Old Navy we bought an Elmo potty sticker chart. When we got home, I put in on the refridgerator and made a big deal about getting stickers if he kept on going. That day he went in the big potty five times and had no accidents. Hmmm....ok, cool!
Two days later we left on a seven hour car ride to visit family. Undies or diapers? Undies it was. I had kind of decided not to revert back since he was doing so great and I didn't want him to be confused. Looking back, I am so glad we never looked back to diapers. On the trip, it was an interesting introduction to public restrooms and one stop on the side of the toll road for an emergency poop! At gas stations, I wrapped the toilet seats in toilet paper, I just tried not to think about the germs. I wasn't really mentally or physically prepared for what a trip to a public potty was going to be like. But, I really hadn't prepared at all for this whole potty thing to begin with. Although, since then, my friends tell me that they make portable potty seat covers and little potty chairs are great to take in the car for just such occasions! Whew! We made it to our destination with no accidents. He continued to go potty and poop in the big toilet. He told me every single time he had to go! However, just a heads up moms, if you are playing hide and seek with your potty training child, don't hide too hard. That was his first accident about five days into it!
I continued with diapers at night for about a week before I realized he was always waking up dry. So, undies at night it was! I can happily report no accidents at night with undies after six whole weeks. He's had a couple of daytime accidents here and there - usually when he's been with someone else. What kid doesn't though, right? So, I've learned to always leave the house with a change of clothes and washcloths to clean up messes. And, definitely make sure you take them potty often because when it hits, it hits!
His latest thing is to "do it like Daddy." Kids, they just want to be so big sometimes. So, he stands on his little step stool and goes. Thankfully he has pretty good aim! I've managed to keep the messes to a minimum.
To all the moms out there that are amongst the potty training years, I have no magic advice really. I think I caught a huge break. I can honestly say that was easy! But, the Elmo movie was a great introduction. The potty chart was fun too! He has always liked to feel proud of doing something right and loved the stickers.
Take one day at a time. It's easy to get frustrated when accidents happen, but they get the hang of it quickly! Kids like to feel encouraged and know they are doing it right. Just keep on high fiving and giving them big hugs for it.
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