We set aside 3 days where we would be at home completely (no store errands).
I'd read a lot of other mom's experiences and talked with a ton of moms as well and just decided to do what I thought would work best for my boy. I talked to him and explained what the plan was and brought his little portable potty back out (I've had it since he was 10 months old, oh well). He was excited! I also bought a bag of m&m's as "Yeah! You did it!" treats to encourage him.
So starting first thing in the morning, I noticed that his diaper was totally dry. Perfect opportunity, 'cause I knew he would need to go soon. I took him to the potty and talked with him about it. He liked the idea and sat there trying to figure out how to go tee-tee, but nothing happened, I gave him two m&m's though for the effort and that got him thrilled!
At this point I just left him diaperless and yes he just went around for a while like a naked little indian boy. First, because I wanted to be able to see as soon as he started to pee, so that I could escort him to the potty immediately. And, secondly, 'cause I wanted him to visually see what was happening before in his diaper (I definitely think that helped too). My chance came pretty quickly. He started to pee while playing. I got him to the potty and he finished going there. This happened like 6 times before 11 o' clock and every time, he didn't seem to know he was going until he saw the puddle on the floor and said, "oh, no". If I asked him where you're supposed to go tee-tee and poo-poo, he would say the potty and shake his head no pointing to the floor. I knew he had gotten the idea, but was having trouble feeling when he started to go. I called and talked with my husband about it and we decided since he's a boy, it doesn't splash on his legs and he doesn't notice that he's peeing til he looks down and it's too late. So, we decided that real underwear would be more uncomfortable when he wet them and maybe he would recognize what was going on. Well, after one more pee on the floor and a great big poop on the rug! Yuck! Mommying can be so fun sometimes, lol! Jesse came in at lunchtime with new underwear from the store.
Gavin was thrilled about the "big boy" undies! :-) He had been consistently running to me saying, "tee-tee!" while in mid pee before. And finally, after about two more times in the undies, the third time he yelled, "momma, tee-tee!" his undies were dry and he went completely in the potty!!! Success! The m&m's were very helpful by the way. He never really eats any candy so they were super special and exciting for him.
My first tip of advice is to Be Prepared. Have potty (I really like the portable potties with the removable bowl), treats, and underwear ready before you begin and talk to your little one excitedly about what y'all are doing. Visible joy in your face will thrill him about what is happening and how he's a "big boy" now! :-)
Well, the idea was basically established the first day. The second day was just reinforcement and a whole bunch of barely wetted underwear to wash.
Another tip of advice is feed him lots of salty stuff and things like peanut butter so that he'll be really thirsty and drink a lot! This was really helpful because it gave us plenty of opportunities to practice.
By now he had the concept down! And was barely wetting the underwear at all before getting to the potty. Don't worry though, accidents are going to happen. I just kept working with him and helping him to achieve the goal.
We still wear pull-ups at night and when we go to town, but other than that, we've been diaper free for almost three weeks! I still have to help him pull his underwear down far enough and we swapped to gummy bears at some point, but I am thrilled with the success and can honestly say I haven't changed a diaper for the first time in two years!
Nap time tip. Lay down a water-proof crib liner under him for naps and go ahead and let him wear the underwear as an idea for getting ready for nighttime potty training. He has yet to wet them and hardly ever has wet pull-ups when he wakes up in the morning, as long as I have him not drink much liquid before bed and have him try to go one more time before falling asleep.
Our first town outing was to the hardware store. I was so proud when he said, "tee-tee!" and we made it ALL THE WAY to the big public toilet and used it there! Also, on the way home in his carseat, he said he needed to go right before we got to the house, and again we made it to the potty without getting the pull-ups wet! :-) One happy momma right here!
Well, that's how we did it, but everyone is different. I hope this has been helpful for some of y'all. Be sure that you are both prepared and ready!
I knew Gavin was ready because:
- he was very interested in the bathroom and flushing the toilet,
- noticed and very much disliked wet and dirty diapers,
-told me as soon as he had a poopy diaper
-and really wanted to be a "big boy"
How did you potty train your kids?
I'm still learning and would LOVE to hear from y'all!
What worked? What didn't?