Thursday, January 30, 2014

Potty Training Russ

For a few months now we've been letting Russell sit on the potty when he wants.  Seeing Big Brother do it makes it exciting for him.  He has often had successes on the potty, and when he does we give him a skittle.  Well, yesterday we ran out of skittles, so the boys and I went to the store and bought some more.  As soon as we got home, Russ was so very excited to sit on the potty and earn a skittle.  He had three successful potty encounters (all three with #2, too!) between noon and nap time at 3PM, and he kept his diaper dry that whole time!  But then we didn't bother to encourage too much potty time that evening.

Today, the boys had a bath right as soon as they woke up.  I let them play in the water (they play so well together!) for a long time while I cleaned the bathroom.  They were in there for almost an hour when Russell said, "Mommy, poo-poo!" with his little legs squeezed together as tight as could be.  I couldn't get him out until I was done cleaning the toilet, so he just sat there in mild distress while he held it.  Of course, when he was able to get on the potty, he had another potty success.  So I decided that today was as good as any to put him in underwear.  I really just asked him if he needed to go potty at any of the transitional times of the day (after finishing lunch, before going outside to play, after coming back inside, and before nap time), and he didn't have a single accident!  We even played outside for about an hour and he did great!  He's napping now, and tonight we'll be out and about, so I'm not sure how the rest of the day will go, but I'm pretty excited that it was such a successful and stress-free morning and afternoon!

I know that every child is different, but I always think of age 3 as being the magical potty training age for boys.  Just before Caleb's 3rd birthday is when we realized that he could pee on command, so we started potty training at that point and man.  It was stressful.  So many accidents and such a power struggle.  I remember it being so hard because he insisted on turning the bathroom light on by himself, but he couldn't reach it, so he had to get a stool (and wouldn't accept my help in getting a stool).  Then he was adamant about taking his shoes and pants all of the way off (not just putting them down around his ankles), and of course he wasn't able to put his pants back on by himself, but he always wanted to try.  Most of the time, he had already had an accident on the bathroom floor by this point.  Once we got him on the potty (he wouldn't sit on a big potty because he has awful balance and fell in once, so from then on he was terrified of big potties...and let's not even mention the fear he had for public potties, all because of how loud they are) once we got him on the potty, his attention span wouldn't allow for him to stay there long enough to let his pee-pee out.  So I had to sit there and sing "The Pee-Pee Song" for him (I made up a stupid song), and he wasn't allowed to get up until the song was over.  By then he absolutely did not want to wash his hands, because the whole process of going potty was already too long and drawn-out and he was tired of it.  And let's not forget, I couldn't motivate him with treats because a) he was on a diet of about 10 foods at the time and none of them made up anything remotely candy-like, and b) even if he could have had candy, he didn't enjoy eating at all and certainly wasn't motivated by anything that he could eat.  So we used a sticker chart and got him potty trained after a few weeks.  He was potty trained for a month or more when he suddenly started regressing.  I'm pretty sure it was to gain power again.  So we gave him a few months off (during the holidays and while I had my tonsils out) before trying it again.  When we tried potty training him the second time, everything clicked.  He could do everything by himself, never needed reminders to go potty, didn't need any stickers as motivation, and it all took less than two days.  He was about 3 years and 3 months old, and I thought that was a pretty good age for being potty trained!  However, using the potty for poo-poo was a different story.  He would hold it until he was in a diaper for nap time or bed time, and then go.  He was terrified of going poo on the potty.  He wasn't poo-potty trained until he was 3 years and 8 months old and we went on vacation and we were so busy being out and about that he didn't have any naps.  Boy was I glad when that finally happened!

Russell, though, is as different as could be.  He's excited to sit on the potty, could sit there all day, and can actually balance without a little potty seat insert.  There's nothing traumatizing about using the potty for him, and no power struggles.  But I wouldn't be surprised if he hit an independence stage (he's been saying "MY JOB!" a lot lately) and it turned into a power struggle.  If that happens, we'll just give it a break and revisit it later.  The only problem that I'm seeing now is that he's too small to get onto the potty by himself (I'm trying to avoid using the baby potty).  So even if he does get potty trained before long, he'll still be "high maintenance" potty trained.  And today is just day 1, so who really knows!  But I'm feeling optimistic.  :)

Also, in case you were wondering, the smallest size that you can get underwear in is 2T/3T.  Russell is 25 months old (a whole year younger than when Caleb potty trained), weighs 21 lbs, and wears size 12 months clothes, but the 2T/3T underwear still fits him alright.  It's loose, but it's not falling off.  And it's seriously cute to see him running around in his little super hero underwear and a t-shirt.  :)

So, wish us luck!  Maybe before long I won't have any kids in diapers!!  (knock on wood...)


Alice Anne said...

Yay for potty training!! I absolutely hated the idea of the kiddie potty until I tried cloth diapering out. After handling disgusting cloth diapers for so long, cleaning out the kiddie potty was easy peasy and I've embraced it. Ha ha. Kal likes having his own potty and we've been having so much success all of a sudden. He likes to come a-runnin' to let me know he's pottied, so our company gets to witness this whole potty-training thing and it's so funny. We tried months ago to potty-train and he wasn't having it. I do think timing is everything and every kid is different. I'm just glad it's clicking all of a sudden.

Ruth said...

I came over from thriftydecorchick. Have you seen the toilet seats with two sizes of toilet rings on them? One is just the size for little kids and flips down on top of the regular size one. It's always at the ready!