May 16, 2016

Claire is Potty Trained!

About a month and a half ago I decided to tackle potty training with Claire.  I'd been going back and forth with myself on whether I thought she was ready or not but I really wanted to get her potty trained before the baby was born so I decided to just go for it.  I'd heard really great things about 'Oh Crap Potty Training' by Jamie Glowacki so I checked it out from the library about a week before I started the actual training with Claire.  I loved this method and Jamie Glowacki's approach to potty training so I decided to basically follow exactly what she suggested.  

The first day or two you have be naked days and you literally keep your eyes on your toddler the entire day and don't go anywhere so you can learn her potty signs and bodily schedule.  You try to catch the first time they start peeing and hurry and run them to their potty and tell them to pee on the potty (and then continue this throughout the day until they start getting the hang of it.)  Claire played dress up with Rory A LOT during her naked day to stay entertained.  As I mentioned earlier I really wasn't sure if Claire was ready so I was way surprised with how quickly she caught on.  By the end of the first day she had gone to the potty by herself without me initiating or prompting anything.  I did a second naked day just to make sure she really got it and she did great.  She had a few accidents, mostly trying to make it to the potty on time, which is to be expected but nothing too discouraging.  
After they get the hang of going potty naked you have them wear clothes but no underwear or bottoms, so dresses or long t-shirts.  In the book the author states having them wear underwear is too confusing at first as it feels so much like a diaper having something snug on their bum and also their muscle memory will make them easily forget they are supposed to go on the potty and not in their pants.  The author suggests having them go commando as much as possible for 3 weeks. We did commando at home for 3 weeks but would have her wear leggings or panties in public.  Once they have going potty down commando then you add underwear and by this point they should be basically fully potty trained.  The book obviously has way more detail and I would definitely suggest reading it!  We used diapers for naps & nighttime only for the first 3 days but she was waking up with a dry diaper so we stop using them all together and she has only had one accident peeing her bed in the morning when she didn't get out of bed quick enough.  I also checked out a bunch of potty books from the library for Claire and we watched the Daniel Tiger potty episode I don't know how many times.  I figured if we drilled it into her head in all forms she would eventually catch on ;).
Potty training went so much better than I was anticipating!  I was genuinely surprised with how well the method worked and how quickly Claire learned.  Most people warned that their toddlers regressed when they had a new baby and the author addressed that in her book as well.  She argued that although that may happen (and it doesn't always) its much easier to retrain from regression than to totally start at square one with potty training while you are also taking care of a newborn.  Claire loves her little potty, and it has even turned into one of her favorite reading spots even when she isn't going potty :).  She uses the regular toilet in public (library, church, grocery store) and at grandparents houses but at home she is still mostly using her little potty.  It's a lot easier for her to be independent this way and easier on me being 9 months pregnant and not having to lift her on and off the toilet all day long.  We'll probably transition her to only using the regular toilet in a few more months after we get adjusted to the new baby.  
Once Claire was fully potty-trained we surprised her with a chalkboard/whiteboard from Ikea as her reward.  We also spruced it up and made the chalkboard side magnetic so she can use her alphabet magnets with it too.  I thought it was a fun surprise and that it would be a great way for her to stay busy and entertained during all of the nursing sessions in our future.  We are super proud of Claire and can't believe she is such a big girl already!  

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