So, we took the plunge into potty training. We decided to do it now because we have an mini-vacation coming soom and it would be so nice to not be dealing with diapers. We were motivated and determined!
Here’s what we did:
Step 1 – Read potty training e-books.
Step 2 – Buy and read a real book based on recommendation from friends. Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right by Jamie Glowakie. Read the book twice – once to myself and a second time to Mr. MPB (he didn’t want to read the book, but was happy to listen to me reading it out loud).
Step 3 – Start reading Little MPB potty books like Potty Time with Elmo and Everyone Poops.
Step 4 – Fully Commit to daytime training only (we are no-where near tackling nighttime training – Little MPB is a great sleeper and we are not about to mess with that). Choose the New Years long weekend. Inform daycare. They are actually very supportive of potty training and work with toddlers/families throughout the process. Be happy that it’s supposed to be -3000 degrees out so there’s no way we’ll be tempted to leave the house.
Step 5 – Start!
Day 1, Block 1. (this process does not measure everything in terms of days – it is not a 3 day method. Rather a block process, which could technically take 3 days if your child is a brilliant potty training master-mind – our child is not).
- no diaper and no pants.
- Use positive language.
- No rewards. (So much for my smarties plan).
- Be firm that we pee/poop does not go on the floor, but rather goes in the potty/toilet. Firm, but not mean. No punishments, just firm on the rules.
- Don’t over-prompt.
- Catch Little MPB while peeing and take him to the potty or the toilet. Have him flush it down – he LOVES this step.
- Watch to learn when Little MPB is going to pee. Kids have signals, learn it. Little MPB’s is to stand perfectly still and stare at us.
- He also loves his privacy – corners and under the table. Which means he knows when he has to go – he takes the time to get to where he wants to be before going. Smart kid.
- Text/email friends. Even post on Instagram knowing I’m going to need support. Be thankful for encouragement from friends.
Day 2, Block 1 continued.
- Do all of the above again with less success. His signal has not changed, but we are getting no-where quickly.
- Little MPB kicks and screams when I try to take him to the potty. I CANNOT DO IT. I feel like I’m going to accidentally physically hurt him. His tears break my heart. It simply shouldn’t be this hard. (Note – Little MPB only does this with me, not with Mr. MPB).
- Add in arguing with Mr. MPB. Let out all my stress over the last few months with one magnificent arguing/cry fest.
- I basically check out of the potty training process. Mr. MPB continues.
- Add in scouring the internet for more tips during nap time and after bedtime. Become slightly obsessive.
- Text/email friends. Be really thankful for friends.
- Send a desperate email a potty training consultant who utilizes the process we are using – Jen L’Italien with Oh Crap Potty Training From Me To You. Realize that it’s New Years Eve and who in their right mind wants to take on a new client on New Years Eve? Ask myself, should we need this? Maybe not – parents potty train their kids all the time without expert advice. But I figure, we hired someone to help us train our dog, and plan to do the same with our next puppy. So, if I can get expert advice to help with a dog, surely I can get expert advice to help with my human child. Mr. MPB doesn’t agree, I ignore him. But I either want to quit now or do it right. I’m not prepared for a multi year (or multi month) struggle and I hate failing. And right now, I just feel like a complete and utter failure. I desperately need a win and right now I’m willing to pay someone to help me get the win!
- I receive a response from Potty Trainer on New Years Eve!! Seriously, she’s dedicated to her job and her clients! I’m impressed. I haven’t paid her anything but she’s still responding to me and giving me basic direction. She’s unavailable immediately (no surprise, it is New Years Eve after all). I explained the coles-notes of what’s going on and our upcoming transition to daycare and basic life schedule. Given the resistance from Little MPB, She recommends stopping and re-starting in a few months when our schedule allows for another dedicated block of time. Of course she offers to help us.
Day 3, Block 2
- Mr. MPB doesn’t give up – he firmly believes Little MPB is getting it.
- Add in pants, no underwear.
- Continue with positive language and be firm about the rules.
- Add in a timer for every 45-60 minutes to force us not to over-prompt.
- Add in more arguing between the adult MPBs when Little MPB is sleeping.
- Add in a few more tears from Mrs. MPB.
- Read that daycare will not accept potty chairs due to hygiene reasons, so switch to toilet only. Little MPB is okay with the toilet. He’s willing to sit on it and he had 1 success. The 1 success results in a massive potty celebration! Little MPB loves it!
- Learn that after drinking he pees after about 30 minutes. And he always pees twice in about 10 minutes. We are slow learners, but we are finding his routine. So this counts as a success.
- After an accident, Little MPB says sorry Daddy. It breaks my heart. I cry.
- He’s learned to hold his bladder – he can go a few hours easily between bathroom breaks. We see this as progress, but have no idea if it actually is.
Day 4, Block 2
- Mr. MPB continues – he takes an extra day off from work. I’m well checked out at this point – although I am still on basic clean up duty.
- Keep everything the same from Day 3.
- Progress is slow, if at all.
- We firmly believe Little MPB understands what’s up. He holds his bladder. He talks the potty talk. He agrees to sit on the potty most of the time (so long as it’s with Daddy). But, right after being on the potty he goes straight for a corner to relieve himself.
- Mr. MPB wants to continue training, I want to hide in a corner and cry. So, I emailed Jen with Oh Crap Potty Training From Me To You again. Nothing is working the way it should, and I truly believe it just shouldn’t be this hard. Mr. MPB is still hesitant about getting help because parents potty train kids all the time without paid help. But I think he has resigned himself to the fact that I’m doing this with or without his blessing so he eventually agrees. In the interest of being completely upfront, I told Jen about my blog and my intention to write about this – the good and the bad*. I fork over the money and we schedule a first phone call.
- Immediately after paying, Little MPB has his next 2 perfectly wonderful pees in the potty. We are now mastering pee in the potty dance parties!
Up next we go to daycare and begin really working with Jen.
* In the interest of being upfront to all my readers, Jen offered me a small discount after I told her about my plan to detail our experience with potty training and her help here. Please note that all opinions on her services are mine and mine alone.
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