About 2 months before Caroline’s due date Elliott started talking about the potty. I knew we were probably in a “window of opportunity” but there was no way I was going to potty train at 7 months pregnant. (It was hard enough to get myself off the couch let alone in a timely manner!) We went ahead and bought a potty and talked about it every now and then.
Elliott had hand foot and mouth when we brought Caroline home from the hospital. If you know anything about HFM you know it comes with some seriously nasty diapers! And these continued for weeks after the visible signs of the virus had disappeared. Every time I changed him I told myself, “we’ve got to potty train because this is so gross.”
So I finally decided on a weekend to make it happen - just two short weekends ago!
My sister suggested I read the book “Toilet Training without Tantrums.” It’s not the most interesting read so I skimmed through it and got the basic gist.
- 72 hours of staying home and doing nothing but drinking juice and peeing it out - boot camp style!
- let the kid run around naked (or at least close to it - no way was I letting my little boy run around risking getting pee all over my walls!)
- the potty travels to whatever room of the house you are in
- poop (or an attempt) happens after each meal in the bathroom with a book to occupy
It wasn’t awful except for the staying home all day part. I loaded Elliott up on juice, set a timer for every 10 minutes and we watched entirely too much tv. We had 3 pee accidents and 2 poop accidents. He had so much juice that every time that 10 minute timer went off he actually had to pee. I hadn’t planned to give any rewards but eventually resorted to tic-tac - 1 for pee and 2 for poop.
By far the worst day. Again, we were home all day long (thankfully Daddy was around for back-up since day 2 was a Saturday). It did finally click with me that the whole point of the 3 days is to teach him how to “hold it.” We spent a lot of time talking about “where does the pee and poop go?” There were 2 pee accidents and no poop accidents.
Again, home for most of the day. We did venture out to my parents for Sunday lunch and to a friends house for dinner and went the entire day with ZERO accidents.
Overall I am totally blown away at how easy this was compared to my expectation of how hard I thought it would be. I’m sure part of it was following the method and the other part of it is that Elliott is a bright kid and was just “ready.”
I still feel like he’s a ticking pee/poop bomb and just generally feel on edge when we get too far from the house, and I’m sure that’s normal! We’ve been accident free aside from day 4 at school and Nana’s and day 6 at Mimi’s. (No doubt the different environments played into that.)
The whole process has been, by far, my least favorite part of parenting, and I’m sure the more confident I get in his abilities the more rewarding it will feel!