Thursday, April 14, 2011

Potty Training: Not for Dummies

When Lynden was a newborn I was relying on a book "On Becoming Babywise" that my sister-in-law had lent me when I was pregnant.  It was a fairly easy concept to get and the benefits seem to be great.  The basic premise was from as early as possible set up a routine of eat, awake time followed by sleep time.  According to the book 95% of babies on this routine would start to sleep through the night (about 5-7hrs) as early as 7 weeks, with 98% of babies by 12 weeks. 

Lynden took to the feeding schedule beautifully, but the sleeping schedule.... not so much.  We had a hard time getting him to sleep through the night.  It was long after 12 weeks, maybe around 5 or 6 months.  At one point I had to give the book back because I was SO frustrated with the fact Lynden was in the other 2-5% of babies and the book offered no solutions to help us.  It didn't help that the brood of other babies born around the time we had Lynden were sleeping through the night much earlier. 

Lynden has never been one to follow to norm.  I've said from very early on that he won't do something unless he knows he can do it.  Which is why I believe he didn't roll until he was almost 6 months (at least it's what I tell myself to feel better).  When he learned to walk he refused to stand unsupported and we had to trick him into taking his first 3 steps.  About 2 days later he pulled himself up on one couch and saw a ball in the middle of the living room, took 13 steps and sat down at the ball.  Just like that he could walk.

So, trying to potty train him has been an interesting adventure.  We read up on the subject and chose the best, we felt, from many and started on our way.  On Sunday March 20th we took Lynden out of his diaper and sat him on the potty.  That first day was... awful.  We had accident after accident after accident.  Around dinner time my husband and I both thought "maybe it's too soon".  At 7:30 Lynden, who was still bare bummed, walked over to the potty, which was sitting in the living room, sat down and peed.  We were thrilled! 

The next morning we had 2 back to back accidents and then no accidents for almost 3 days.  My husband and I both thought "he's got it".  Then we had a bad accident... Lynden pooped in his underwear and by the time I got his underwear off he was covered in it from the waist down.  Into the shower he went and was hosed down - thankfully we have a detachable shower head.  For the next 2 days we had more and more accidents, to the point I was washing his underwear at the end of each day because there were no more clean underwear for the next day. 

Now, we still have our days when there are a lot of accidents and then days where he can get through the day in one or 2 pairs of underwear.  He's a bit of a way from being accident free all the time.  But I feel confident enough to say he's got pee down pat, we've just got to work on going #2.  He realizes when it's coming but he does not like going on the potty.  And to be fair, a lot of his accidents are from when a) he's trying not to poop or b) he's having too much fun playing that he doesn't want to stop to go. 

It's been just under a month and we think he's done very well.  I think he has learned a lot about himself (he's Fascinated with his pee pee, but what boy isn't?) and I know we've learned a lot about patience, because let me tell you it takes patience.  There was even one day, late last week, where I broke a big potty training rule - I was tired of washing underwear and pants day after day, so I asked him what he wanted to do: wear underwear or diapers.  If he had said diapers I was ready to give up and put him back in a diaper.  Thankfully, he said he wanted to wear underwear and that night he woke during the night to tell us he had to go pee.  BIG success.  For the next 3 nights he would wake us in the night to tell us he had to pee, and his night-only diapers would be dry in the morning.

I am looking forward to potty training to be done and grateful we don't have to do it again for at least 2 years, although I think we'll start earlier with Alyssa.

My only words of wisdom I have for those venturing down this path is be consistent.  Whatever your potty training routine is stick with it.  During our bad days I'm reminded of something my mom was told while she was potty training us: "no kid goes to Kindergarten with a diaper in their lunchbox".

Lynden's potty reward jar

1 comment:

  1. Awsome to hear the success!
    I made courtney a poster with a calender on it. "courtneys potty time". Pink and sparkley. When she goes potty, she can put a sticker on the calender. :)