Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Completely Unresearched Approach to Potty Training

[Also check out Husband's post below on a new fun bedtime ritual. We were blogging in separate rooms and were both surprised when the other posted!]

When Penny got interested in the mechanics of "potty" I got a small Bjorn potty in our downstairs bathroom and an insert for the toilet in their bathroom. Nanny April has the kids sit on the potty after naps. They love to come in and sit on the potty when I go. The more the merrier in my opinion.

But they are interested and certainly not going to get more biddable as they get older so I'm going to do an experiment (assuming I can get Husband on board). This is not researched, I have read no books, articles or blogs about potty training.

I am not mentally ready for bootcamp so I'm taking a "solid food" approach to potty training. We will "peepee on the potty" party several times a day:

1. When they wake up before diaper changes.
2. After breakfast before getting dressed I will have them sit on the potty.
3. I will ask Nanny April to have them sit on the potty after morning snack (or before they leave the house) and before lunch/nap.
4. She has them sit after nap before snack.
5. I will ask her to have them sit after afternoon play.
6. Then, after dinner, I will strip them naked, have them sit on the potty and - here is the key - keep them naked for an hour or so until bath/bedtime, with a sitting on the potty just before they get into their bath. This will be Husband's job - to ask them if they need to potty. I also advised him that maybe we encourage after-dinner family time in their playroom where we have very easy to clean playmats down. And who doesn't love a little naked time in the warm summer evenings?

To be fair I have no idea if my kids really understand what it means to "go potty". Ned randomly pooped and peed once and Nanny April made much ado about it but no other successes.

They will keep wearing diapers. I am not buying underwear or doing sticker charts. I will not stress about it if I miss a time or two. It will be a toddler distraction activity and not a "time to grow up ". I'll let you know if we have any success but my "program" was designed so I wouldn't stress since I have enough stress with a newborn and a husband who travels every week. This could go on all summer and will probably have set backs like when we are on vacation in North Carolina since I am maybe bringing one potty with us and I'm okay with all that.

My original plan was just to have Nanny April take care of it but she's only here 8 hours a day so I figured I might as well turn it into an activity.

This potty training endeavor was inspired by the tykes' friend: The Duchess, Georgianna, aka Georgie, or GiGi to my kids. GiGi is the leader of this ragtag band of toddlers (check out her grip on her minions in the photo below). Her mom is 8 months pregnant and is going daytime cold turkey potty training. Brave woman.

Lay it on me ... what do you think? Am I doomed to fail?


LauraC said...

It depends on what you mean by fail!

My boys had scheduled potty breaks 5 times a day at school and 2 times at home. In ONE YEAR of this, I would like you to guess exactly how many times they went on the potty.

Did you guess zero?

However the girls in the 2s room had magnificent success in training. The boys were all closer to 3.

You won't know until you try. That's the thing about potty training. There is no one magical method that works for every kid.

Unknown said...

I am doing the same approach with my two 14 month olds. We have been at it for three months and it is going pretty good. I will expect more from them closer to 18 months, but right now I am happy cleaning the floor 4 times if it means getting 1 catch. Good luck and keep it stress free :)

Kathryn said...

About 2 yrs we started introducing the idea (reading books, buying a potty). About 2 yrs, 3 mos we'd have her just hang out in it several times a day. Once in a blue moon she'd pee in it. But it started happening more and more. Finally, around Christmastime (2 yrs, 5 mos) I noticed that after naps and in the morning her diaper would be dry, so I started really prompting several times a day -- and that was it. Fully potty trained. No stickers or whatever. I still need to prompt her, but no diapers for months and very very rare accidents. She's now (at almost 3) also just starting to pipe up herself. So i think your unscientific, organic approach will work (at least for Penny--I've heard boys can be trickier!) I also realize that the ease with which she was trained fully jinxes me for the baby when he's ready!

Julia said...

The girls are 19mo and we have not set times for potty, but we have always left them naked for some time if the weather was nice. If they went on the floor, I'd just tell them what it was. Then they started telling me themselves, and now they request to sit on the toilet every time before their shower. They pee about 80% of the time, but poos are made at other moments of the day when they are usually dressed because it is winter here now.

Lisa said...

I've actually done very little reading on it myself, but I have talked with the daycare teachers a lot about it since they do it all the time. Their main point is to keep all opportunities wholly positive, so it doesn't become an opportunity for battles. They said every once in a while they have a kid trained before they are two, but very rarely. Most kids get it some time between 2 and 3. Right now, we just ask if S&J want to sit on the potty whenever we change their diapers and they are usually pretty enthusiastic. I've heard tons of people swear by naked time too, although mostly outdoors. :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good plan. I have no idea how to potty train. My (now) 3 y.o. just trained herself w/ a little assistance from daycare. She's never in her life worn a pullup. Just some trainer undies.
The only thing I'd worry about is making potty-ing "optional." When we did it, it was potty-all-the-time-no-more-diapers.

Anonymous said...

I went with a similar plan and my girls had zero successes. They loved to sit on the potty, I just don't think they really figured out what to do while there. I did a one day bootcamp where they wore underwear instead of diapers and then we finally had some success. Unfortunately, I haven't been consistent since then, but that's been more me than them.

I think taking a stress free approach is good, as long as you know the potty may remain fairly dry for a while.

Drew said...

I am so scared of this time. I have a family member who has potty trained everyone, so I am hoping to ship J to her at the appropriate time. They can learn at 2 years? That is a relief?

Best of luck, let me know how it goes! I LOVE that you will not do the sticker thing! Nice!

Heather said...

Sounds like a good way to ease them into it. And a low stress beginning for you. I'm sure you're a very very busy family.

Marcy said...

I am in the process of training my twin girls, who will be 3 at the end of September, so this post is very timely for me!

I agree with LauraC in that scheduled potty breaks did not work for us. I tried doing this a few months ago, and we had no successes. Granted, I tried sporadically and did so only as a means to get the conversation flowing (amongst other things!) regarding the potty.

I tried a bootcamp approach last week, which left me both in tears and screaming for diapers by 6pm. They peed and pooped in their underwear and were seemingly unphased by it all. I was so disappointed since I had read so many success stories with the bootcamp approach. I went back to diapers the next day to mentally regroup and gear up for Plan B.

Guess what happened that next day? My one day experiment paid off! To my great surprise, both of them came to me on more than one occasion to let me know they were "doin' somepin." Off to the potty we went, and sure enough, we had successes! The very next day I decided to let them roam free naked. We are on Day 4 of this naked approach with only 2 accidents total between the two girls. I am still putting them in diapers or pull-ups for naps and bedtime, but I consider us about 90% there.

I don't think they truly "get it" until they are allowed to experience accidents. Those are the real teachable moments.

All of this being said, your twins are still relatively young for hardcore potty training (IMO), and I know you want to minimize stress with the new baby. If your goal is simply to expose them to potty training, then I think it is a fine approach, along with books, videos, etc. If you are expecting this method to train both kids, I think you will be doing this for a very, very long time. I generally want these transitions to be over fast. I'm a band-aid ripper kind of a mom :)

Good luck!!

ABS said...

No advice here! Just wanted to say that I LOVE the picture of the three amigos!

Also, thanks for the visit the other day! Josie is a sweet little peanut.

JRowe said...

I love that photo too. It just shows how bossy The Duchess is, commandeering N&P little hands and dragging them around. Ha, ha. I would just like to point out for posterity that although I have read up some on the potty training, I really have no idea what I'm doing and am not trying it at night yet. But I think it is working...a little bit.