Ladies and gentlemen.....potty training has begun. Finally! My youngest just turned three. I've always heard that they will let you know when they are ready and my other two did. So I waited...and waited....and waited. She was not interested a bit. "I don't wanna go potty!" That was always the response I got when I asked if she wanted to go to the potty "like a big girl". So I stopped asking.
After two and a half years of diapers and six months of pull-ups, we have laid them aside! (cue heavenly music) We are now on day four of this endeavor, still a work in progress, but the end is now in sight! I would like to provide a run down of what has gone on so far because I wish I could find something I could relate to prior to this.
While I am NOT as organized as I am about to sound, this is what I did to prepare.
Step one - Run really low on pull-ups and DO NOT go out and buy more. I live in a rural area, the nearest Walmart is 35 minutes away so we plan our trips accordingly. This was a BIG step because I recognized that I was using the pull-ups as a crutch just as much as she was.
Step two - Get the big girl panties (back) out. We bought them a long time ago but I would get so discouraged when she would pee in them almost immediately that we gave up too quickly. She didn't care a bit that she was soaking wet.
Step three - Keep the washing machine open and empty. This step is very important. You do NOT want to get caught with poopy panties and no place to put them. (On a side note, my laundry has stayed caught up all week!)
Step four - Take a deep breath and jump right in! Take off the pull-up and put the rest away, to be used only for night time.
You'll want to make sure you don't have many places to go during this transition. Staying home has worked pretty well for us. We've only had one outing since it began and I planned for that by limiting the drinks and taking her to the potty at all three stops.
DAY ONE -
The pull-ups came off and the panties went on. I have learned to tell her its time to go potty, DON'T ASK! If I ask, she says no. We went to the potty about twenty times on that first day. It seems that when she had a pull-up or diaper on she just went a little at a time. I know this because even when she peed in the floor she still had some left when we went and sat on the potty.
The times that she went when I took her was a very big deal. I am not ashamed to admit that I offered her M&M's with every success (don't judge me, it worked).
I tried not to make a big deal when she wet her panties even though I was screaming on the inside (this is never gonna work!) We just cleaned it up, sat on the potty and put on a clean pair of panties.
I waited until the evening to wash all the panties we went through but I kept soapy water in the machine so I could toss them in there throughout the day.
Stats for DAY ONE - Three puddles in the floor and a half a bag of M&M's but she pooped in the potty for the first time!
DAY TWO -
We started first thing in the morning, straight to the potty. We took off the night's pull-up and put on the panties. It was a slow start, she seemed to forget about it and reverted back to "I don't care where I pee, even if it is running down my leg."
She even came to tell me that she peed in the floor. Then she had the nerve to ask for some M&M's! Nope! "No M&M's because you peed in your panties instead of in the potty. You have to tell Mommy when you have to go". Her immediate response "I need to go potty".
We had one more puddle in the floor by the end of the day, no big deal.
What was a big deal was the POOP IN THE PANTIES! It was AWFUL! NOT like changing a diaper! Try getting FULL panties off a three year old amidst gagging and retching. She STEPPED IN IT while I was trying to carefully pull them down. I got them off, used about ten baby wipes and hosed her down in the tub. Despite all my misgivings after this horrific event, I still went and got another pair of panties and was BEYOND grateful to have the washing machine ready for just such an occurrence.
Stats for DAY TWO - Two puddles, one poop and about a quarter of a bag of M&M's (she is starting to forget about our M&M deal!)
DAY THREE -
Day three went very well. She only peed in her panties once and actually seemed upset that she did! She's starting to realize that it is frowned upon to have a pee puddle at your feet. I was actually starting think that she would never get to this point but it happened! I assured her that "accidents" were okay and we went straight to the potty where she finished her business. She had actually tried to stop the flow this time!
I caught her "I'm about to poop" face today before the horror of horrors happened again so it was a great day!
Stats for DAY THREE - ONE puddle!
DAY FOUR - The first outing
We used up our last pull-up last night so we HAD to get to the store. I made sure she hadn't drank anything for about an hour and took her to the potty several times before we left (she only went once but I needed to make sure.)
We stopped by my mom's first to see if she needed anything from town and I took her to the bathroom there. (She didn't go) We went from there to Walgreens where she did use the potty (score!) and then we went on to Kroger's. We weren't there long and she still hadn't had anything to drink so we were good. We had one more stop at my mom's pharmacy and since she went to the potty there I thought it was safe to give her a drink for the ride home. Our first outing and NO ACCIDENTS!
In fact, no puddles today at all! She was a little damp once and came to tell me she needed to go! Things are going great!
Throughout this whole experience we have made a really big deal every time she actually used the potty. When family members come over we make sure to let them know that she is "a big girl now" and everyone tells her now great she's doing. We call her daddy everyday (he works out of town) to let him know how its going and so that he can congratulate her too. I was starting to wonder if this day would ever come.
I'll keep this post updated on our progress but its looking really good so far. Anybody else want to share any potty training tips and/or horror stories? Comments are greatly appreciated!
Check out the Potty Training Diaries Part 2 for an update!