Potty Training Redux

Apparently real people actually read my blog.  I know this because several real people have asked me in person how potty training is going.  People like the mom of a childhood friend of mine who happens to frequent my restaurant.  Or like a lady who I only know because she frequents my restaurant.  Or like my next door neighbor.  (In actuality, I am pretty sure I talked about potty training some time ago with my neighbor, but she still reads the blog, so there.)  I feel honored that these awesome people read my blog and then actually want to have real life conversations about the things that go on in our lives.  Seriously.  It means a lot.

So, on to how potty training is going.  As you may have gained from the title of this post, Buggy is not potty trained.  In fact, after a couple of weeks of hard-coring it, we did something that we do not do in this family.  We regressed and let it be.  Hubby and I are pretty strict when it comes to milestones that are controllable.  When Bug was 6 weeks old (I think… it might have been closer to 8 weeks), we stopped swaddling him.  We put the swaddles away and never looked back.  It took a few days, but he was just fine.  When he was 4 months old, we started solid foods.  We were diligent about it and kept at it.  When he was one, his pediatrician said no more bottles… only sippy cups from there on out.  That night, we put all of his bottles away and never looked back.  She also said to give him real milk at this point.  We didn’t do the whole mixing of milk and formula until he got used to it.  We just switched.  He didn’t seem to notice or care.  Turns out Bug didn’t really care about what vessel carried his beverages.  When Bug was 15 months and going into preschool, we had to get rid of his pacifier.  We cold turkeyed it and never looked back.  That one took a few days to get used to.  Point being… if there is a change to be made in this household, we make it and we don’t look back.

This was not the issue with potty training.  For a couple of weeks, Bug only wore underwear at home (with the exceptions of naptime and bedtime).  Every thirty minutes or so, we’d ask him if he had to potty.  The answer was almost always no.  Every hour or so, we made him go sit on the potty, which he has no problem doing.  Every time he sat on the potty, he could produce pee.  You know, because pee = m&m and a sticker.  A couple of times a day, he’d poop on the potty, too.  Often, within three minutes of getting off the potty, he would tell us he had to potty again and we’d let him try.  Again, he always produced at least enough pee to get his m&m & his sticker.  At some point, we tried telling him that he couldn’t have a sticker if he didn’t hold it for at least a little while, but he didn’t really understand that concept, so that didn’t last long.

This all sounds great, right?  Sure, except for we felt that he was at the point in potty training where Bug should be somewhat accountable for telling us when he needed to go, rather than us constantly pushing it.  His underwear would stay dry all day if we made him go on the potty every hour.  But, that’s not the point of potty training.  The point is for him to hold his pee & poop and to tell us when he needs to go.  And not just us… he needs to be able to tell his teachers and his babysitters, too.  Buggy would pee (or poop every once in a while) in his underwear and then tell me that he needed to go potty.  Not ok, dude.  That’s not how this works.

We are undecided on whether or not Bug is just too young to know when he actually has to potty with enough warning to a) tell somebody or b) make it to the potty OR if he’s just having too much fun doing whatever it is he is doing to stop long enough to go to the potty.

After a frustrating few days of trying to get him to tell us when he needed to go, we just kind of stopped pushing potty training on him.  Bug didn’t really seem to care either way.  He didn’t mind having diapers on instead of underwear (boy loves his underwear).  We still asked him often if he had to go.  We still put him on the potty before bath time.  He still got his m&m and his sticker.  We realize that this is not a great strategy as parents.  We realize that this regression on our parts might make him think that we’re not really serious about this whole potty thing and that if he’s lazy about it, we’ll be lazy about it, too.

Hopefully that won’t be the case.  Today, we’re starting again.  He’s been telling me the last day or two when he has to poop with plenty of time to get to the potty.  I feel like that’s a step in the right direction.  I haven’t decided yet if I am going to constantly ask him if he needs to go or if I’m going to try to let him tell me when he needs to go.  I don’t want to push him too hard, because I don’t want him to hate the potty.  He’s got a pretty good relationship with it at the moment, and I don’t want to ruin that.  On the other hand, I really want to stop buying diapers.

How long did potty training take your kids?  How did you go about that process?


2 thoughts on “Potty Training Redux

  1. We’re also doing the m&m and sticker combo. Right now, Sully sits on the potty before bath time or any time he asks to. I realize it’s for the candy but oh well. We can’t be too serious about this yet because at daycare, there isn’t a bathroom close by for him to use. Right now, we’re just letting him get used to it. Every once in awhile, he gets it right and pees and we dance around like fools. He’s been telling us for a few months now when he pees or poops so he knows what it feels like. I think the moral of all my rambling is don’t push it. He knows what the potty is and what it’s for, he just may not be able to know when he needs to tell you yet. I’ve received so much advice on potty training boys and have decided we’re just going to go with the flow because I don’t have any better ideas.

    • I agree with you… going with the flow is SO MUCH easier than stressing about it! Also, yay for m&ms (numanums in our house) and stickers. Magic, I tell you.

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