Potty training -- Week #1

Well this has been an exciting week around here. Not only are we in the middle of updating our kitchen, we decided to start potty training as well. This was quite a chore since Megan potty trained in one minute at the age of 20 months. And Maw-Maw did that. So I have no real experience. I figured at 22 months, Madelyn could do it too. However, the biggest difference between Megan and Madelyn is that Madelyn has a much, much, much stronger will than Megan does. This was scaring me to death. I knew the sooner I got this done, the easier it would be.

I set out on Wednesday with the idea that if I locked myself in the bathroom with Madelyn that she would have to go on the potty. With a big bag of M&Ms in hand I started my task on Wednesday morning. And no, the M&Ms were not for me, but a bribe for my little one's success. By 11:00, we were back in diapers. She was more bull headed than her mommy. Madelyn would sit on the potty for what seemed like 20 minutes. I would give up on her going and let her up. She would walk across the bathroom and let it go all over the floor. After the third time, I quit.

Frustrated, I decided to try again on Thursday morning. No better luck. So I spent hours on-line reading anything I could that afternoon to encourage myself to stick with it and find an approach that was more suited to Madelyn's strong will.

Success. I ended up downloading an e-book called Potty Training Made Easy, Fast & Simple by Johanne Cesar. Her approach is to set a timer for 20 minutes constantly through-out the waking hours of the day. When it goes off, it's potty-time. The point is not for the child to go every time, but to get used to stopping what they are doing to go and get used to sitting on the potty. Of course there is to be a big celebration with successful trips. Another point she makes which I totally agreed with was that the diapers have to go. And with that pull-ups also. Let's face it, we can try and fool ourselves into believing that pull-ups are more like underwear, when in reality they are nothing more than redesigned and more expensive diapers. So nothing but cotton panties from now on at home. Carpet cleaner is cheaper than diapers anyway. (Side note: diapers and pull-ups are acceptable at nap time and bed time however.)

Of course, this approach had to be adapted for my little one. She did not like going to potty when she really didn't have to go. And she knew the difference. So I've been following her around like a pesky fly for the past two days encouraging her to tell me when she needs to potty. She appreciated not being locked in the bathroom for hours on end.

Friday started out better. She would start in her panties and tell me. We would run to the potty and there she would finish her business. I considered that a great success. And she loved getting rewarded with a handful of M&Ms. She also loved the celebration daddy and sister put on for her. Now when she successfully makes a potty run, she hurries to share the news with Shawn and waits until she gets her big hug. For those of you who don't know, Madelyn is a very loving child. The hugs probably mean more to her than the M&Ms.

Another side note: On Thursday and Friday, Shawn would tell Madelyn that he was sad after she would potty in her panties. She did not like this at all. She would mope around for at least an hour saying "Daddy sad." I would agree and she would almost come to tears. Then later when she would successfully make it to the bathroom, he would tell her that "Daddy was happy." Oh the smile that lit that little face. Then she would walk around for the next hour saying "Daddy happy!" To which I would agree. She definitely likes the praise part of this venture.

Saturday was even better than Friday. However, we had to use a little discipline at times. By mid-morning she had completely forgotten what we were doing apparently. I finally had to swat her on the leg a couple of times to make her aware that I was serious when I told her not to tee tee in her "big girl" panties. We had very few problems the rest of the day.

I was apprehensive about church Sunday morning. I was trying to be consistent about no diapers during the waking hours. But I was not sure we were ready to go out in public in "big girl" panties. So I did a no-no and put her in pull-ups this morning. I told her they were just like her "big girl" panties and that she didn't need to potty in them. A new quarter had started and her cradle roll teacher had changed. She did not want to stay in class, so she went with me just this once. During class and church she said she needed to go potty three different times. Success!!!!! Three times we went to the bathroom, three times she pottied. We came home in the same pull up and it was still dry.

I was so excited I just had to let everyone know.

Will try and post pictures of the progress in the kitchen sometime. The paneling is down, the walls are textured and painted a smoky blue, additional lights have been installed, and my favorite--the pot rack is hanging over the bar.

4 insightful thoughts (comments):

Amber Smith said...

How wonderful that you are having such success with potty training Madelyn! I was glad to read a Brandy blog entry again. I always enjoy reading about what your kids are up to!

Mindy said...

YEA!!!! Sierra has been pointing to her diaper after she goes, especially after goes goes #2. Maybe she will be easy!

I say that and she will be stubborn. :)

Miranda said...

I'm glad to know I'll have so many sources of potty training wisdom when it's our turn!

Diane said...

Very valid point: Carpet cleaning is cheaper than pull-ups anyway .... I spent my last $23 on pull-ups last night and starting tonight we're doing panties until bedtime. I will go ahead and plan to rent the rug doctor at Food Lion next Friday for $20 minus the coupon I used for thanksgiving for $10 off at RugDoctor.com. I am soooo excited. Been working at this since September.