Last week (and this week so far) has stretched my patience. For one, I don’t do very well not leaving the house on a daily basis. I fall into a slump of pajamas, too much TV and generally feeling like I’m going crazy with cabin fever. That’s no good. No good for anyone.
But this is about Jemma. The baby girl who’s turning into a young lady before my eyes.
I decided to kick off potty training/learning on a whim. I’ve been thinking about it for months. We’ve been talking about it forever. And ever and ever. And since we had nothing on the calendar this week, it seemed like the right time to take the leap. And a leap of faith it was.
Although I’d like to say we solely went the potty learning route, I did begin with some training techniques. Jemma is a skillful negotiator and doesn’t do anything she doesn’t want to do. Trying new things isn’t her favorite and I really wanted to support her and make this new adventure exciting. So, some bribery/incentive came into play in our early trips to the bathroom. Now, 5 days later, there are no incentives in play … we’re just listening to what our body tells us :)
I’ll break it down day by day or really, phase by phase …
In the week leading up to our potty adventures, Jemma picked out a pack of panties at Target – Dora one’s. Every day we talked about how awesome our panties were and how excited we were to wear them. We were giving all our diapers to Max because he is a baby.
On Monday, we woke up (dry, in fact!) and rushed to the potty. She was tearful about starting and didn’t want to sit. I didn’t force her. We had breakfast and talked about it. How we were ready to go potty on the potty, how we wanted to keep Dora dry and all that jazz. To make sitting on the potty fun, Jemma got to eat one chocolate chip each time she sat on the potty to try. Girlfriend does almost anything for “choc-a-lit”. Over the course of the day we set the timer for anywhere between 15-30 minutes to remind us to ask our body if it needed to pee. On the first day we attempted to sit and patiently wait/push at each of the timer intervals. Ownership of the process was key to Jemma’s success. We also drank tons of beverages (her normal watered down apple juice, mango smoothies and flavored sparkling water as a treat) and had lots of applesauce and popsicles. Day one resulted in only 2 puddles as we learned the feeling of pee and so many potty successes.
On Day two she woke up dry … we stopped drinking any liquids at 6pm the night before, all except for 4 ounces of her bedtime sippy of hemp milk. She happily peed shortly after waking and we began the timer/chocolate chip schedule. To make sitting on the potty fun (when you go 20+ times/day it can get a little boring I guess) she occasionally got to watch a movie, especially when we were hoping for poop
and had some new snacks to munch on while sitting. We had one miss while outside playing with chalk, but she knew right away that something was wrong and quickly went searching for fresh Dora panties.
Days three through five were pretty much the same. Phrases like, “Are you listening to your body? What does it say?” and “Let’s go sit on the potty together!” Lots of potty talk. Lots and lots.
We had over first big outing over the weekend. A trip to the parade! We packed the little potty to keep in the back of the car and she happily took a potty break while we were out. Because, no, we have not yet attempted the big/normal potty. Also known as “the mama potty”.
So … that’s where we’re at. Listening to our body when it tells us it is time to pee. It’s crazy how big of a little girl she seems when I see her sitting on the potty and she asks me to shut the door for “privacy!”.
Although we’ve had a bounty of successes, I’m considering this phase one of our transition to potty independence. Next up is slowly but surely overcoming our poo fear (readily accepting gently advice here!) and then transition to the big potty so I can stop packing the little potty on our outings. That’ll be the day.
So – as far as I’ve experienced, there is no magic process to this whole potty transition. Every child is different and each one is on their own time frame. It takes lots of patience and perseverance. Calm voices, lots of panties and a hefty dose of encouraging reading in the evenings for me :) Here is where I’ve found great advice:
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